Updated Aug 27, 2022
Feeding a Cane Corso is a very important subject, because it affects the health and well-being of your puppy. Getting this right is crucial, because it determines whether your Cane Corso pup will grow correctly. Getting it wrong increases the risk of problems with bones and joints, which can be significant.
This article will explore how much you should feed your Cane Corso puppy, how often to feed him, how long to feed him puppy food, when to start feeding him adult food, and what types of food are best for him.
How Much Should You Feed A Cane Corso Puppy?
The amount that a Cane Corso puppy should eat at a certain age can vary. It will depend on what food you choose to give your puppy. Typically, at 8 weeks, they should be having 1-2.25 cups per day. By 12 weeks, they should consume between 2.25 cups to 2.75 cups per day.
A healthy Cane Corso should grow into an adult weight of between 100-140 pounds depending upon its height and build, which can vary greatly. It also depends on gender, with males being larger than females. Cane Corsos have a very rapid growth rate in the first year, and they must be fed the appropriate amount of food for their size.
It is easy to check visually if your Cane Corso is eating the correct amount. Just like humans, it quickly shows in their physique if they are eating too much or too little. Your dog should have a clear waist. Looking from the side, he should have a clear transition from the deep chest typical to the breed, to a much shallower stomach.
Looking from the top, there should be a visible waist.
Also, the ribs and backbone should be lightly covered, but they shouldn't be prominent.
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How Often Should I Feed My Cane Corso Puppy?
When your Cane Corso comes home from the breeder, he should be around 8 weeks old. At this point, he will probably need feeding four times a day. Your breeder will already have a feeding regime, and he or she will be able to give you guidance about your puppy specifically. At around 12 weeks, this can be reduced to three times a day. At around 6 months of age, you can reduce the amount to two meals per day.
How Long Do You Feed A Cane Corso Puppy Food?
Most people feed their Cane Corso puppy food until they are about 12 months old. After that, you can start feeding them adult food but continue to feed them twice a day. It is important that you transition your dog from a puppy to adult food gradually.
How Often Should Adult Cane Corsos Eat?
Adult dogs should be fed twice a day. We give our Cane Corsos a nutritional snack in the middle of the day. It's a long time between breakfast and dinner, otherwise. A Kong will do nicely here, keeping the Cane Corso occupied, exercising jaw muscles, and helping with healthy teeth.
Most Cane Corsos nowadays are family dogs. If your Cane Corso is a working dog, he will likely need more food.
Wet Food Vs Dry Food
Most people prefer feeding their dogs dry dog food rather than wet food. There are benefits for both.
Some Cane Corso owners combine wet and dry dog food, while others feed their dogs one or the other exclusively.
Dry Dog Food
Dry food is more convenient and cheaper than some other kinds of food regime. You are relying on the manufacturer to fulfill your dog's nutritional needs.
With dry food, you must make sure your Cane Corso has plenty of fresh drinking water available, to avoid any risk of dehydration.
You also sprinkle some water on the dried food so that your dog takes in extra water at the same time.
You can also add bone broth to dried food. We save the bones from our own cooking, keep them in the freezer and put them on a slow boil. Adding a dollop of apple cider vinegar helps to leach out the calcium. We typically get a good few pints of bone broth. We add a ladle-full to a cup of dried food.
Dry dog food can contain preservatives, coloring agents, or chemicals. Check the label for details of the ingredients. Look at sources of protein. Whatever is listed in the first few ingredients will constitute the majority of the food.
You want to see:
Whole meat, such as chicken, beef, or lamb. Or fish
Concentrated forms of meat, such as meat meals
Fat: fish oil, chicken fat.
What you should avoid:
Corn, soya, wheat. Opt for grain-free.
Stay away from artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives
For example, the dried food we use for part of our Cane Corsos' diet (more on this below) lists the following ingredients, in order:
Wet Dog Food
Some people prefer wet food because it contains added water and is easier for dogs to digest, compared with dry food. Canned food has the advantage of needing no preservatives. It also has a more attractive smell for your dog.
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide whether you want to feed your Cane Corso dry dog food, wet dog food, or a combination of both.
Should You Give Your Cane Corso Human Food?
There are certainly some benefits to giving your dog some forms of human food. This doesn't include fast food, snacks or leftovers from unsuitable human meals.
Be sure not to allow your dog to have cooked bones. They tend to splinter and can cause significant stomach injury. This is not a common problem, but you need to careful to avoid it, because the consequences can be serious. We learned this the hard way many years ago. Our dog was rushed to the vet and it was touch and go whether he made it.
Some common human foods that are safe for Cane Corsos to eat are:
Human food items that you should avoid feeding your Cane Corso include:
Be careful with dairy products. Some dogs are lactose intolerant.
Should You Give Your Cane Corso Dog Supplements?
Dog supplements can be very beneficial in supporting many essential health functions, and as a remedy for many conditions.
Some common dog supplements that are safe for Cane Corsos:
Antioxidants are found naturally in fruits and vegetables, but these are not typically included in a dog's diet.
We have a full article on supplements here:
Cane Corso Dog Supplements
Fruits That Your Cane Corso Can Eat
Some fruits that your Cane Corso can eat:
Fruits That Your Cane Corso CANNOT Eat
Some fruits that your Cane Corso cannot eat are:
Vegetables That Your Cane Corso Can Eat
Some vegetables that your Cane Corso can eat are:
The fact that the various foods are good for your Cane Corso does not mean that he will be eager to eat them! Our Cane Corsos eat all manner of fruit and vegetables, but they have been introduced gradually. By doing this, the dogs come to accept them — and even like them — over time.
Home Cooked Food For Our Cane Corsos
We are big believers in cooked food for our Cane Corsos. They have fared really well on it. They are healthy, happy and they look in really good shape.
Here's a report from the kitchen:
"I make everything from scratch. Breakfast will be something like salmon flapjacks, which might consist of tinned salmon eggs, pumpkin purée, parsley and gluten-free oats. I might change the salmon for chicken livers. Or I might cut out the oats and pumpkin especially to try keeping things like grains to a minimum.
Lunch/tea might be sardines, apples, occasionally cottage cheese, yogurt, blueberries, banana. Homemade crunchy biscuits made with rye, barley, flaxseed, sesame. Baked in a low oven with a sprinkle of olive oil. I also add flax seed ground up in a supplement I make with crushed egg shells prawn skins. This gives the extra calcium, as I don’t give them bones.
Dinner. The cooked food they have for their main meal, breakfast and tea is a snack-sized helping. So they do have dried food too. They have Taste Of The Wild salmon flavour. One benefit of this is they're not impossible to feed if they go to the kennel. It also saves me some effort and, if you’re feeding 240-odd pounds of dog a day, it helps with cost.
So, for each of their two meals, they have 2 cups of the dried food plus a cup each of homemade meat and veg stew, which could consist of any combination of chicken, giblets, pork, liver, beef, turkey. Carrot, broccoli stalks, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, asparagus, parsley, coriander. I make a wok-full every 7 days.
They also get bone stock which I make once a week. Keeping all bones and throwing them in a pot with apple cider vinegar, so they're getting lots of good nutrients.
They both have good coats, great figures and perfect weights. They don’t look like bodybuilders with bulging muscles, but they are extremely strong, and incredibly lithe and agile."
So, how are you going to feed your Cane Corso puppy? If you love your dog, it's a simple decision to give it the best diet you can manage. We have seen here, in this article, that there are many factors to consider when it comes to feeding a Cane Corso puppy. Wet food or dry food? Human food? Cooked food? Food supplements or no supplements? These are all questions we have covered above, so that you can create a healthy diet for your Cane Corso.
How Much Exercise Does A Cane Corso Puppy Need A Day?
Puppies will get all the exercise they need from playing around the house or garden. By all means take them on small walks, but be careful not to overdo it. Don't let your Cane Corso jump off furniture, jump out of cars etc. This puts a large dog at risk of injury because their bones are not fully formed. They are not able to withstand the weight of a large dog jumping.