The 8 Best Dog Foods For Cane Corsos

By Kevin Myers | 2021 Update

This (updated) guide lists all of the best dog foods for cane corsos this year.

The Cane Corso belongs to the mastiff family and is a large-headed, muscular dog bred for hunting large game and guarding both owners and property. It is not a dog for the beginner as it can be as opinionated as it is big. Corsi needs a job to do as well as the proper food for all that muscle and brain.

In this guide, we’ve selected what we believe are the best Cane Corso foods based on factors such as customer reviews, ingredients, and more. Here’s our complete 40 point inspection list.

Read on to find out more. 

The Best Dog Foods For Cane Corsos

Top PicksRatingTop Ingredients
1. Blue Buffalo WILDERNESS4.7deboned salmon, real chicken meal, peas, pea protein, tapioca starch
2. Wellness CORE Grain-Free4.7deboned turkey, turkey meal, chicken meal, peas, dried ground potatoes
3. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream4.7salmon, ocean fish meal, sweet potatoes, potatoes, peas
4. Orijen Large Puppy Grain-Free Food4.6deboned chicken, deboned turkey, flounder, eggs, whole Atlantic mackerel
5. Ziwi Peak Beef Grain-Free Dried Dog Food4.6beef, beef heart, beef kidney, beef tripe, beef liver
6. NUTRO Ultra Adult Dry Food4.8chicken, chicken meal, whole brown rice, brewers rice, rice bran
7. CANIDAE All Life Stages4.5chicken meal, turkey meal, lamb meal, brown rice, white rice
8. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet4.8deboned turkey, potatoes, turkey meal, pea starch, peas

How to Switch Dog Food Without Getting Your Pup Sick

                                                    

1. Blue Buffalo WILDERNESS

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. deboned salmon, 2. real chicken meal, 3. peas, 4. pea protein, 5. tapioca starch

  • Grain-Free, High-Protein
  • No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy
  • For All Breed Size
  • Protein: 34%
  • Fat: 15%
  • Fiber: 6%
  • Moisture: 10%

Blue Buffalo WILDERNESS is a special formula for highly active, muscular dogs like the Corso and is packed with salmon and pea protein while avoiding grains and other fillers. It contains omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat and provides LifeSorce Bits for a healthy oxidative balance. 


2. Wellness CORE Grain-Free

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. deboned turkey, 2. turkey meal, 3. chicken meal, 4. peas, 5. dried ground potatoes

Corsi need the right protein to build and maintain lean muscle mass, and Wellness CORE Grain-Free delivers. It is high in protein, fatty acids, and other premium ingredients. There aren’t any meat by-products or fillers in the Wellness CORE line, making it a great choice for dogs with sensitive stomachs.


3. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. salmon, 2. ocean fish meal, 3. sweet potatoes, 4. potatoes, 5. peas

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream provides premium nutrition at an affordable price. It uses novel protein sources like smoked salmon for lean muscles in an easy-to-digest formula perfect for Corsi with a sensitive stomach. It’s packed with fruits and vegetables that supply the antioxidants needed for a healthy immune system, and it’s made in the USA.


4. Orijen Large Puppy Grain Free Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. deboned chicken, 2. deboned turkey, 3. flounder, 4. eggs, 5. whole Atlantic mackerel.

Large breed puppies also need a special dietary blend to support the type of growth your Corso will undergo. The Orijen Large Puppy Grain-Free Food contains 85% poultry and fish ingredients to meet those needs. It’s made in the USA and is coated with freeze-dried liver to entice the pickiest of puppies.


5. Ziwi Peak Beef Grain-Free Dried Dog Food

Top 5 ingredients: 1. beef, 2. beef heart, 3. beef kidney, 4. beef tripe, 5. beef liver

The beef in Ziwi Peak Beef Grain-Free comes from a single source in New Zealand grown without antibiotics, growth, and other hormones. It is as close as you can get to feeding raw without actually feeding raw. It is highly digestible and contains New Zealand green mussels, a great source of chondroitin and glucosamine for joint health. This natural goodness comes at a price, so many Corso owners use it as a food topper instead of a main dietary staple.


6. NUTRO Ultra Adult Dry Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. chicken, 2. chicken meal, 3. whole brown rice, 4. brewers rice, 5. rice bran.

NUTRO makes sure that there aren’t any additives like preservatives or chemicals, preferring to pack their food full of healthy, whole ingredients like lean proteins and whole grains and oils. While this recipe isn’t grain-free like other foods on our list, not all dogs want or need grain-free. The Nutro Ultra Adult Dry Food combines chicken, lamb, and salmon to produce muscle fuel for your Cane Corso. It contains antioxidants for a strong immune system, Sunflower Oild for healthy skin and coat, and no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors.


7. CANIDAE All Life Stages

Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Lamb Meal, Brown Rice, White Rice.

CANIDAE All Life Stages a dog food that you can feed your Cane Corso during all stages of their life. CANIDAE includes the optimal proteins from turkey, lamb, fish, and chicken meals perfect for dogs like the Cane Corsos. Also included are probiotics and antioxidants for digestive and immune system health. Veterinarians specially formulate CANIDAE to be healthy and free from common allergens. 


8. Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. deboned turkey, 2. potatoes, 3. turkey meal, 4. pea starch, 5. peas

Sometimes less is more, and Blue Buffalo Basics is a “Limited Ingredient Diet” that eliminates extra ingredients that may cause allergies in your Cane Corso. Deboned turkey is the primary protein and highly digestible ingredients like potatoes, pumpkins, and peas, making this meal a good match for Cane Corso with a sensitive tummy. And because it’s Blue Buffalo, it has LifeSource Bits to provide antioxidants and all the other minerals and vitamins your Corso needs.


9. Chicken Soup for the Soul Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. chicken, 2. turkey, 3. chicken meal, 4. turkey meal, 5. cracked pearled barley

Chicken and turkey are the first two ingredients listed in this Chicken Soup for the Soul Dog Food.  It includes the glucosamine and chondroitin required by big-boned dogs like Corsi but without fillers like wheat, corn, and soy. And to top it all off, this another Made in the USA product you can feel good about feeding to your Corso.


10. Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. salmon, 2. barley, 3. rice, 4. oatmeal, 5. canola meal

Cane Corsos can be sensitive to some ingredients, which is where the Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin fits onto our list of best dog foods for them. It is highly digestible, containing no corn, wheat, or soy, and it includes pro and prebiotics for the digestive health of your Corso.


11. Diamond Naturals Adult Dry Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. lamb meal, 2. ground white rice, 3. cracked pearled barley, 4. egg product, 5. grain sorghum

Diamond Naturals Adult Dry Dog Food delivers on the protein needed by large athletic dogs without including fillers like soy, corn, or other fillers and preservatives.


12. Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. chicken, 2. cracked pearled barley, 3. whole grain wheat, 4. whole grain corn, 5. whole grain sorghum

Normally associated with prescription diets for dogs, Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed doesn’t require a prescription, but it is just the ticket for your Cane Corso. With chicken, barley, and corn, it delivers on protein without upsetting tummies. As you’d expect, it contains glucosamine and chondroitin for bone and joint health and provides those omega fatty acids necessary for a healthy coat and skin.


13. EUKANUBA Premium Performance Sport

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. chicken by-product meal, 2. corn, 3. brewers rice, 4. chicken fat, 5. wheat gluten

EUKANUBA Premium Performance Sport is specifically designed for highly active dogs requiring top-flight nutrition. It has a 30/20 ratio of protein and fat for active muscles and includes chicken by-product meal, corn, and wheat gluten are all major ingredients. It has glucosamine, chondroitin, and EPS to promote healthy bones and joints and prebiotics to support digestion.


14. Stella and Chewy Perfectly Puppy

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. chicken, 2. salmon with ground bone, 3. chicken liver, 4. chicken gizzard, 5. pumpkin seed.

For puppies, Stella and Chewy Perfectly Puppy is one of the most premium brands you can get. Look at the ingredients, and you’ll see chicken, salmon with ground bones, chicken liver, and other organ meats, along with ingredients like pumpkin seeds. Stella and Chewy have freeze-dried raw foods for puppies and adults, which come in convenient little patties.


15. Nulo Freestyle Grain Free Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. deboned turkey, 2. turkey meal, 3. salmon meal, 4. chickpeas, 5. chicken fat

Nulo Freestyle is a fantastic, premium grain-free food with turkey, turkey meal, and salmon meal as the first three ingredients. It has probiotics and antioxidants to aid with digestion, wellness, and general health. Nulo makes great dry, wet, and even raw dog foods, so there are many options available. 


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FAQs

1. Should my Cane Corso eat wet food, dry food, or a mix?

A hotly debated topic, most vets prefer dry food for dogs. Wet food isn’t just expensive but tends to have more filler ingredients, a lot of water, and not much nutrition. Many pet owners also prefer wet food because it looks more like “real” food to them, even if the ingredients may scream “junk food” to a vet. When it comes to the highest quality brands such as Wellness and Blue, both wet food and dry food will be just fine. But most vets do recommend either feeding with dry food or feeding with a mix; while most dogs do prefer wet food over dry food, dry food has a lot of health advantages such as better dental health.

2. Do Cane Corso dogs have any specific dietary needs?

In general, the Cane Corso has the same dietary needs as any large breed dog. Cane Corsos should be fed a moderate-calorie food with some joint-supportive ingredients (such as fish oil). Weight management is key, so they don’t put too much pressure on their joints. Large breed dog foods are great for Cane Corso dogs, but they don’t necessarily need it; they can go on an all-around dog food just fine. Cane Corsos, in general, are remarkably robust and healthy, but every Cane Corso is unique and should be watched for any adverse reactions when starting a new food. 

3. Should I give my Cane Corso dog different food as they age?

As a dog owner, you have multiple options. You can feed your dog by age (Puppy, Adult, Senior), or you can provide an “all life stages” blend. Many dogs will thrive on an all-life stages blend, as there aren’t that many unique requirements for a puppy or a senior dog. But if you find that your older dog is struggling or that your puppy isn’t growing as fast as it should be, a tailored solution may be best for them. Puppy food contains a higher nutritional profile so that puppies can grow healthy. In contrast, senior foods often have joint supplements and lower-calorie ingredients that promote a healthy weight and longevity.

4. Should I give my Cane Corso large breed dog food?

Large breed dogs have different dietary needs than smaller dogs, both in terms of ingredients and calories. When possible, a large breed dog food is usually best. But most premium dog breeds are going to have everything that a dog needs to thrive and grow, and it’s more on an individualized basis. If you’re choosing dog food right now for a new pet, erring on the side of a large breed dog food might be the best choice. But if your dog is already on one of these great, premium brands and doing well, there shouldn’t be any reason to change brands just because it isn’t specifically a large breed food. 

5. Is it dangerous to give a Cane Corso table scraps?

Many foods that are great for people are dangerous for dogs. Garlic and onions, for instance, are in almost everything and aren’t well-tolerated by pets. While it’s fine to occasionally give your dog a piece of unseasoned, cooked chicken, it’s probably best to stick with dog food and dog treats rigorously tested and formulated to give your dog everything that he or she is she needs. Table scraps can easily become a bad habit leading to weight gain and overall health problems. 

6. What treats should I give my Cane Corso?

It’s easy for pet owners to lose track of treats. Cane Corsos are dogs that have a huge bite, so you may want to give them some safe chews, such as Himalayan yak milk sticks. It’s debatable as to whether rawhide rolls and rawhide chips are good for dogs, as they can get bound up in the intestines; you can ask your vet for advice. Treats should always be factored in when you’re feeding your dog; if you’ve given your dog a lot of treats, you may want to cut back on the calories they are receiving for breakfast or dinner.

7. Does a Cane Corso need to eat raw meat?

With Cane Corsos being as athletic and muscular as they are, many dog owners wonder if they should be on raw food diets. Raw food diets can be healthy when completed by a veterinarian or a dietician, but they can be dangerous when attempted at home.

8. Is Grain-Free food good for a Cane Corso?

When in doubt, Grain-Free food can be a great option. If nothing else, it eliminates something that could be difficult for a dog to digest. Dogs have not evolved to eat grains, so it’s possible that trying to eat grains can hurt their digestion, especially in dogs with sensitive stomachs. However, most dogs can eat foods with grains just fine. Dogs are omnivores and have a wide variety of food sources in the wild; they will forage and hunt. Grain-Free food tends to be high in protein which is good for Cane Corsos.

9. Does a Cane Corso need food that’s high in protein?

Many good, premium foods are high in protein. Dogs need significantly more protein in their diet than humans do. On the other hand, there is such a thing as too much protein. Protein is difficult to digest, and dogs with kidney issues or other organ issues may need foods that aren’t as high in protein. Premium foods can also be high in calories. So while high protein foods do tend to be better for dogs, you should still be aware of the other factors at play.

10. Should my Cane Corso have a prescription food?

If you’ve been to a vet’s office while thinking about food recently, you probably saw that they carried foods like Hill’s Science Diet. There are many prescription foods out there, but unless your vet thinks that your pup needs it, they probably don’t. On the other hand, your vet only knows about the symptoms you bring up. So, if your dog has been having negative reactions to food, gaining weight, or otherwise experiencing issues with the food you’re feeding, you should talk to your vet.

11. What are signs my Cane Corso is allergic to their food?

Food allergies tend to be fairly obvious. When allergic to food, dogs will usually start to chew on their feet, bite at their fur, or even pull their hair out. It can take some time for food allergies to become obvious, so you should always watch when changing foods. They may also throw up, drink more water, or outright refuse to eat. If your dog is losing weight quickly or gaining weight quickly, these are also things that merit a consultation with your veterinarian.

12. Do Unneutered Cane Corsos need different food?

Intact animals which have not been neutered or spayed generally need more calories. They probably don’t need any different food, though pregnant dogs will need supplements your vet can supply. Cane Corsos are, obviously, purebred dogs, but they’re also rarer purebred dogs compared to labs or golden retrievers. So a higher percentage of Cane Corsos are likely unaltered for breeding.

13. How do I change my Cane Corso’s food?

Changing food should always be done slowly. You will add a small amount of food every week (starting with a quarter, then a half, then three-fourths, and so forth), dialing it back if you see any negative effects. After a month, you should have transitioned fully to the new food. Some dogs are more sensitive than others to changes in their food.

14. What can I do if my Cane Corso hates their dog food?

Being a picky eater is not an uncommon problem. Cane Corsos can be stubborn and particular. In this situation, you can always try other formulas. Many dogs just become less enthusiastic about food over time. Toppers, such as raw food toppers, can be used to get them interested. You can mix a small amount of wet food on top of a dry one to see if it piques their interest.

15. Do Cane Corso puppies need different types of food?

There are large breed puppy foods available, giving Cane Corsos the nutrition they need to grow strong. Most of the premium dog food brands on this list will be suitable for pretty much any dog at any age, but using a large-breed puppy food can help target the exact needs of the Cane Corso puppy. 

16. How many times a day should I feed my Cane Corso?

Most vets recommend feeding your dog once in the morning and once at night to keep them satiated and prevent them from overeating the way they might if they are free-fed. Feeding three times a day is probably unnecessary. Some dogs do just fine eating once a day, but other dogs will be extremely hungry and beg for food throughout the day if fed once daily. 

17. What if my Cane Corso eats too fast?

Cane Corsos can seem to have a bottomless appetite and consequently can sometimes eat too fast. Bloat is a serious health problem that can occur with large breeds like the Cane Corso. You should do everything your can to encourage your Corso to eat slowly, including training and feeders specifically designed to prevent fast eating. 

18. What should I give my Cane Corso for an upset stomach?

There are sensitive dog foods for dogs that have stomach aches. Usually, these have a mixture of chicken and rice, known to be a little bland. You can also consult with your vet; this may be time for a prescription diet. If it’s a temporary upset stomach, your vet may also recommend something very similar to “tums.” Don’t use Tums or other antacids unless under the advice of your veterinarian.

19. Is wet food bad for a Cane Corso?

Wet food isn’t necessarily bad for any dog. Most vets prefer dry foods simply because dry foods are better for dental health. But wet foods aren’t going to be bad long-term for your dog’s health, especially if you have regular vet visits to check their teeth and perform dental cleanings. You can inquire with your vet for more information.

20. How can I get my Cane Corso to lose weight?

The easiest way to get a Cane Corso, or any dog, to lose weight is to use a low weight food. Low-calorie foods still give dogs a sense of satiety (because they’re eating the same volume of food) while having fewer calories packed in, so they aren’t getting as much energy with each meal. There are many low-calorie premium dog brands.


A Buyer’s Guide for the Best Dog Foods

There are a lot of dog foods out there. And there are a lot of amazing dog foods, too. Rather than just knowing what the best brands are for your dogs, the best way to choose dog foods is to really understand what goes into dog foods and how to make the right decisions for your pup.

Learn to read the label on dog foods.

You’ll see things like “chicken” and “chicken by-product” or “chicken by-product meal.” You want to see whole ingredients like “beef,” “chicken,” or “turkey” in the first three ingredients. Otherwise, your dog is eating low-quality meats; low-quality ingredients are scraps from higher quality products.

It’s absolutely fine to have by-products or meals as secondary ingredients used to supplement. But they shouldn’t be the first ingredients.

You will also see things like grains or other starches (in grain-free foods). In foods with grain, you want to see whole grains, such as barley or brown rice. These are healthier for your pup. They include more fiber to aid with their digestion. An exception: many sensitive stomach diets may contain things like white rice to be easier to digest overall.

In grain-free foods, you’re more likely to see sweet potatoes and peas as the main ingredients. Sweet potatoes are an excellent nutritional alternative. Right now, dietary science is out on whether a diet high in peas is helpful to pets; you may want to consult your veterinarian.

For a breed like Cane Corsos, this means two things:

  • They need a good nutritional balance because they may deal with joint issues or mobility problems as they get older. Cane Corsos, in general, are very healthy and dynamic dogs, but because they are heavy set, muscled, and large,  you do need to pay attention to their joint health. Foods that are high in fish oil, salmon content, or joint supplements can help.
  • They may have issues managing their weight. You also need to pay attention to the calorie content of your dog foods to make sure that they aren’t gaining weight. Lower calorie foods tend to be around 320 calories per cup, while higher-calorie foods can approach 480. Adjust as appropriate for your dog.

So, when reading the labels of pet foods, you should be looking at the first five ingredients (for whole meats rather than meals) and you should be looking at the calorie count.

Additionally, shorter ingredient lists are often better, which means that the manufacturer isn’t making up for deficiencies in bad food by putting in additives (for instance, making up for a poor protein source by just adding vitamins and minerals). Additions like probiotics are great, but the best brands get things like antioxidants from the ingredients themselves (like blueberries) rather than by adding them artificially.

In addition to looking at ingredient lists, you might be wondering whether dry food or wet food is best for your dog.

Most vets agree: dry food is better. Dry food encourages dental health. You might not think about it very often, but dental health affects the whole health of your dog. It isn’t just about scraping off plaque (dog food isn’t, after all, that hard), but it’s about massaging gums and ensuring good blood flow.

There are always cases when you need to use wet food. Some dogs don’t eat dry food well, some dogs have dental problems already, and some dogs do very well on wet food, so there’s no reason to alter their diets. You can consult with your veterinarian on this account, but many vets would suggest at a minimum adding wet food to dry food rather than forgoing dry food altogether.

If you do feed on wet food, having dental sticks and chews is usually advised.

For Cane Corsos and other athletic dogs, many people decide to feed them “raw.” Raw feeding means, for instance, feeding a dog a whole chicken (usually grounds up to avoid issues with the bones). The problem with feeding raw is that it’s very easy to introduce a dietary deficiency without careful help. Dogs need a certain blend of meats, including organ meats and bones, and it’s also very dangerous to feed bones whole.

To help with this, some brands provide what is essentially raw food but freeze-fried or frozen. These dog foods are very nutritious for dogs (and dogs tend to love it), but it’s also very expensive compared to other pet food brands because it’s raw meat. And with a Cane Corso, you’re going to be feeding them a lot!

Most Cane Corsos don’t have any particular dietary needs. Because purebred Cane Corsos often aren’t neutered or spayed, they may have higher caloric needs than normal, but this is something to address on a dog-by-dog basis. Nursing Cane Corsos should be fed more and may need to have puppy food mixed into their food for a nutritional boost. And, as noted earlier, Cane Corsos should be provided foods recommended for large breeds, specifically because their size can introduce joint problems and weight management issues. 

When changing food for dogs (something to do slowly), you should look for any dietary distress. If your dog refuses to eat the food, it’s likely just being picky, but that might mean you need to try something else if they’re going to be happy with your choice. If your dog becomes itchy after eating its food, it’s likely allergic to an ingredient in the food; you should discontinue the feeding immediately. Likewise, if you see your dog drinking unusual amounts of water after eating new food or becoming lethargic, you should go back to your old food until you figure out what the problem is.

If your dog has consistent food-related issues, there are also prescription foods available. Your vet can tell you more about these. They are generally limited-ingredient foods that have supplements included to make them easier to digest. Some dogs can have specific problems that high-quality foods can make worse. As an example, dogs need high protein diets. But high protein diets can also be hard on the kidneys if there are issues with a dog’s kidneys. 

Dogs aren’t like people. For most dogs, variety can be harmful. While some people rotate the foods that their dogs are on fairly regularly (both to give them a variety and make sure that they can digest multiple things well), others swear by keeping them on the same food consistently for most of their lives. Generally, it’s safe to switch (still slowly) between different flavors of the same brand of food. Switching between brands of food should always be done carefully and cautiously.

Finally, there’s a continuous debate between grain-free brands and whole-grain brands, as well as “pet store” brands of food and boutique brands. For the most part, dogs don’t necessarily need to go grain-free unless a vet has advised it, and there aren’t conclusive studies that whole-grain brands are any worse for dogs than grain-free brands.

In recent years, many premium dog brands arise that are high in proteins, particularly pea proteins, and that are low in grains and other additives. Many dogs thrive on these brands, but they haven’t the track record of major brands such as Purina and Iams. So, while brands such as Purina are “grocery store” or “pet store” brands, they have improved the quality of their ingredients over time and been more thoroughly tested for long-term nutritional value.

Choosing dog food for your companion can be a complicated process. You don’t want to get it wrong; it’s their basic nutritional profile for the rest of their life. But by learning more about the ingredients, taking a look at reviews online, and consulting with your vet, you should be able to find something that they love.