There are several different areas to consider when thinking about Cane Corso care. If you are a new cane Corso owner, or somebody considering getting one of these great dogs, you want to know what you’re in for. How much time and effort will it take to properly care for your Cane Corso?
And, even if you are already a Cane Corso owner, you want to be sure that you are not missing any important details of what you should be doing.
So, in this article, we’ll get up to speed on the various essential aspects of Cane Corso care.
Food And Nutrition
Appropriate nutrition is at heart of good health. And therefore is also the foundation of caring for your Cane Corso.
Dogs are omnivores, and nature has equipped them to eat all manner of things. Nevertheless, for the best health and condition, they need high-quality food just like the rest of us.
To cannibalize an old saying, feeding your Cane Corso can be easy, it can be effective, and it can be cheap — you can have any two of those, but you can’t have all three.
You need it to be effective, so it can be effective and easy, or it can be effective and cheap.
If you can put your own time and effort into it, it can be effective and cheap — but it’s not easy.
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If you have a busy working schedule and you cannot put time and effort into it, it can be effective and easy, but it won’t be cheap.
Because we are working from home, we have the luxury of being able to arrange our time to suit our lives — including being able to allocate time to prepare food for our Cane Corsos.
Home-Cooked Food For Your Cane Corso
We are big believers in home-cooked food for our dogs. They have all done very well on our feeding regime, with long, happy and healthy lives — and they look great.
We buy the cheaper cuts and types of meat at the supermarket, such as stewing steak, ground turkey, or chicken thighs. We also get things like calves' liver and ox kidney.
The meat — stewing steak, ground turkey and chicken thighs — will make up maybe three quarters or four fifths of what we cook up. And the offal products — such as the calves' liver and ox kidney will make up the small remainder. The offal products are very rich, and this is the mix we have found to work well.
You'll find full information about our approach in these two articles:
Cane Corso Eating — How And What To Feed Your Cane Corso
Check out the 'Report from the kitchen'!
Dry Food For Your Cane Corso
Nevertheless, even though we are fortunate to have more time than many people with busy work schedules, preparing food is very time-consuming. So we do make up about half their food with a good quality dry food. Our favorite is Taste Of The Wild
We've been feeding our Cane Corsos with Taste of the Wild Smoked Salmon for many years now, and they have absolutely thrived. They have had long, healthy and happy lives, and they look great — so this dried food gets our absolute recommendation.
Nutritional Supplements For Your Cane Corso
If you're strapped for time and you're feeding your Cane Corso mainly dry food, you should consider supplementing their diet. The most efficient way to do this is with a nutritional supplement from a reputable manufacturer, who provides only high-quality products.
Salmon oil provides the best bang for your buck. Our favorite is covered here:
We have further researched supplements, and reported in the following articles:
Supermarket Add-Ons To Boost Your Cane Corso's Diet
The concentrated goodness of a high-quality supplement is ideal. However, if you are strapped for cash, tinned sardines in oil from the supermarket is a good addition to dry food. Tinned mackerel is also inexpensive and provides good health benefits.
You wouldn't want to add these things to your dog's food every day, but a couple of times a week can be very helpful.
Talking about supermarket fish products, you should avoid tuna, as it can be high in mercury.
Greek yoghurt, once in a while, is good for protein and probiotics — good bacteria for the stomach. You can also add cottage cheese, or an egg every few days, for added protein.
Kimchi (Kimchee) is available in many supermarkets, as is sauerkraut, which is similar. Both of these are inexpensive, and either of them is another good, healthy occasional addition to your Cane Corso' food.
It's probably best to look at this approach over the course of a week — if your dog gets a few of these things added to his dry food each week, you'll be doing a lot of additional good.
So, we've looked at dry food with home-cooked meat, dry food with high-quality supplements, and dry food with supermarket add-ons.
Here's the final combination...
If your schedule is busy, and money is not too much of an issue for you, you can look into the various specialist pre-prepared dog menus which have sprung up to meet the needs of busy working people who want the best for their dogs.
We haven't researched these, but we may well do so in the future.
Cane Corso Common Health Issues
There are a few health conditions that Cane Corsos are prone to. You should know what these are, know what to look for, and know what to do if your dog displays these symptoms.
Hip dysplasia is perhaps the most common health issue found in the Cane Corso. It is a condition where the ball and socket of the hip joint do not fit properly together. This results in discomfort or pain, and perhaps lameness.
One of our Cane Corsos has suffered from hip dysplasia. This condition cannot be properly diagnosed until the Cane Corso has reached adulthood, somewhere around two years old.
We suspected dysplasia in our female Cane Corso, just by the appearance of the hip area. The back end seemed a little undeveloped, not as muscular as the chest and shoulders.
We had her X-rayed at around two years and the malformation in the area was clear. Although the hip dysplasia looked serious, we were fortunate in that it did not really impact her life.
Because the Cane Corso is such a large breed, the effect of weight on the affected joint must be kept in mind with all activities.
Consequently, we kept a close eye on her weight at all times, and adjusted her food if necessary, to keep her lean. We were also careful that she did not jump out of vehicles, or off beds or other furniture, and we limited the distance she walked at any one time.
She actually managed to live a very normal life. And it was only towards the end of her life as she got a lot older, that her back became weaker.
But we were lucky. In many cases, hip dysplasia can be worse.
Care for a Cane Corso with hip dysplasia falls into a few different areas.
In addition to keeping an eye on the physical activity, as above, you should also consider nutrition and possible supplements, to maintain and support the dog’s skeletal system.
In some cases, surgery may be required. There are several possible procedures, culminating in hip replacement surgery. I’ll just bring this to your attention here, as it is beyond the scope of this article. This is something you can research further, if necessary, and follow up with your veterinary surgeon.
Cane Corso Entropion
Cane Corsos can suffer from a condition called entropion, where the eyelid rolls inward and the eyelashes rub against the eye. This can cause irritation and even blindness if left untreated.
Medication can be used to relieve the effects of Entropion, but surgery is required to correct the condition permanently. The eyelids are tightened up by removing skin from the surrounding area.
Cane Corso Ectropion
Ectropion is also an eyelid problem in which the lower eyelid rolls outward, drooping lower than the eyeball. This can cause irritation and discomfort for your dog, and risk of eye infection, as well as difficulties with vision.
Medication can be used to treat mild cases of Ectropion. Usually this will be drops or ointment to prevent the eyball from becoming dry.
But, in more severe cases, surgery may be required. Surgery is the only way to permanently correct the condition. This involves shortening the eyelid to tighten it up.
Costs for surgery are similar for both Entropion and Ectropion, and will vary according to the severity of the case and whether it can be dealt with by a general veterinary practitioner or whether the case is referred to a specialist veterinary ophthalmologist.
A typical range of costs is between $500 and $2,000.
If you notice either of these problems in your dog, take him to the vet for advice.
The breed is also prone to a condition called cherry eye, which is a protrusion of the third eyelid gland. While the condition is not painful, it can cause damage to the eye if left untreated.
Treatment typically involves surgery to sew the gland back into place.
Costs for Cherry Eye surgery can range between $300 and $1500.
We have written more about Cane Corso eyes here:
The Cane Corso cane be prone to bloat, or gastric torsion. This typically occurs when there is a rapid gas build-up in the bowels. Gastric torsion is a condition in which the stomach twists on itself. This can be life-threatening.
Bloat in Cane Corsos can be caused by overeating of rich foods, drinking too much water, exercising immediately after eating, eating too fast, and lack of exercise.
To help prevent these conditions, it is important to feed your dog several small meals throughout the day instead of one large meal, and to avoid letting them drink too much water at once. Also avoid exercise immediately after eating.
Panosteitis is a condition that affects the bones of young dogs. It is an inflammation of the long bones in the legs, which can cause pain and lameness.'
The condition is prevalent in large breeds, due to the amount of rapid growth required from puppy to adult dog. Cane Corsos are considered a giant breed, and are therefore susceptible to panosteitis.
Panosteitis typically affects young dogs between the ages of 4 months and 3 years of age, and most cases resolve without treatment. However, some dogs may require anti-inflammatory medication or pain relief to manage the symptoms of panosteitis.
We told the story of one of our Cane Corsos with Panosteitis, and the other with hip dysplasia, here:
And we wrote more about health issues here:
Cane Corso Cleaning And Grooming
Cane Corsos are known for being a low-maintenance breed when it comes to grooming, but that doesn't mean they don't need any attention at all. While they may not require as much grooming as some other breeds, they still need to be brushed on a regular basis to keep their coat healthy.
Additionally, their nails should be trimmed regularly, their ears should be cleaned, and their teeth should be brushed often to prevent tartar buildup.
Cleaning and grooming falls largely into two camps -- wet and dry. Bathing is obviously the wet side, whilst the dry side consists mainly of brushing and using various de-shedding tools. The short Cane Corso coat does not typically require cutting or trimming.
If you have never owned a Cane Corso, the truth about shedding may surprise you. Although the Cane Corso coat is short, it is a double cat, and the amount of shedding can be more tha you would expect from a short-coated dog.
We looked in detail at the methods and tools we use in this article:
In that article, we also talked about supplements to help with healthy skin and coat.
Dog hair and dander can provoke an allergic reaction in humans, and this can creep up on you. Even if you were not aware of any issues previously, the effect can become cumulative over the years and symptoms such as sneezing, coughing and itching can start to bother you.
So it is as well to keep on top of grooming your dog, develop a good, effective grooming routine, and stay in the habit.
It's also a good idea to get a good vacuum cleaner that is known to work well with dog hair, and use it regularly. Vacuuming is nobody's idea of fun, but you don't want to have any kind of allergic reaction to your dog.
I speak from experience here as, after years with no problems, my wife has recently developed some degree of increased sensitivity to our dogs.
We actually researched vacuum cleaners and deliberately chose one which got rave reviews from dog owners. It is the Miele Blizzard CX1, and while it's not cheap, we are thrilled with the effectiveness.
It's light and easy to use, and it takes a lot less time and effort to keep the house clean and free of dog hair.
The Miele Blizzard CX1 Pure Suction Bagless Canister Vacuum Cleaner
HYGIENE LIFETIME FILTER: Maintenance-free Hygiene Lifetime Filter and Gore CleanStream Fine Dust Filter ensure top-notch filtration
EASY EMPTYING: With Click2Open hygienic emptying, you do not have to worry about a cloud of fine dust coming back up into the air while emptying the dust
We brush our dogs once or twice a week and use 2 or 3 simple de-shedding tools to help get rid of the maximum loose hair.
You shouldn't bathe your Cane Corso too often, as too much shampoo and soap can cause irritation.
We bathe our dogs once every 4 to 6 weeks. We use baby shampoo for our Cane Corsos, and even with that, we dilute it to be weaker.
Cane Corso Exercise
The first thing to understand about Cane Corso exercise is that it is sharply divided into two completely different scenarios.
Firstly exercising a Cane Corso puppy. It’s important to understand that there is a danger of overdoing it with exercising a puppy and, particularly, with a large breed like the Cane Corso.
The Cane Corso is considered a giant breed. Because there is such a difference between the size of an adult Cane Corso and a puppy, there is a tremendous amount of growth that needs to take place in a very short time. This is one of the reasons why nutrition is so important.
But it’s also important to realize that over-exercising during these stages of high growth, can cause damage and ongoing health problems.
When the Cane Corso puppy is very young, it is entirely likely that he will get all the exercise he needs, just from everyday activities like playing, and going out to do his business and for house training etc.
A Cane Corso puppy should not be taken for walks at all in these very early stages.
We wrote more about this here:
The second scenario is as the puppy grows and reaches adulthood. There is a widespread idea that the Cane Corso is a high-energy dog that requires a large amount of exercise.
We have found this not to be true at all. We have found that these dogs are actually incredibly adaptable. Whilst they are quite happy to have a lot of activity, they are just as happy with much less exercise.
Our Cane Corsos have had it both ways, and they are equally happy with either. If your lifestyle is such that you are unable to provide large amounts of exercise, I really wouldn’t worry too much. The Cane Corso is perfectly able to adapt to this and can do well with a small amount of exercise.
So that's our guide to Cane Corso Care. We obviously want our Cane Corsos to be happy and healthy, and in great shape. We try to balance that with time spent, and adjust wherever we can to suit our own lives. Hopefully the information above will help you to do the same.