As you acquire a large breed puppy, such as the Cane Corso, also called an Italian Mastiff, a question that might come to mind is, “How much food to feed my Cane Corso?”
Cane Corso feeding is one of the essential things that dog lovers need to learn to keep their dogs well nourished. It may sound deceptively simple, but figuring out the right amounts can get tricky too.
With its large frame, muscular build, and high energy levels, the Cane Corso demands a high daily caloric intake. However, giving it too much food might lead to obesity and other Cane Corso health problems.
This comprehensive Cane Corso feeding guide will walk you through everything you need to know about feeding this breed, like how much to feed it, the optimal feeding times, and choosing the appropriate food.
Cane Corso Feeding Chart by Age: How Much to Feed Your Cane Corso?
How much to feed a Cane Corso is determined chiefly by its age. You should feed Cane Corso puppies about 2.5 cups daily, with the amounts increasing as they grow. As adults, they can eat anywhere from 6 to 9 cups a day, while seniors may be given around 4.5 to 7.5 cups a day.
Your Cane Corso’s food intake is also affected by other factors, such as size and the amount of exercise they get in a day.
This guide will show you the recommended amount of food you should give your Cane Corso during its various life stages. Of course, every dog is different, so these are only guidelines, not strict rules.
Cane Corso Puppy Feeding Chart (2 to 12 months)
Puppyhood is a crucial time for your Cane Corso’s nutrition, as this is when the body of your Cane Corso puppy goes through its most extreme and drastic developments.
For your Cane Corso pup to develop properly, you need to give the right type and amount of food.
In the first two months, these large breed puppies will live on their mother’s milk or puppy milk replacement. At around three weeks, weaning may start by combining milk with good quality puppy food.
You may ask your Cane Corso breeder what brand of puppy food they have been feeding your Cane Corso puppy and continue with the same commercial dog food brand.
Make sure the food is tailored to maintain your large-breed puppy’s health and nutritional needs. Also, remember to take into account the puppy’s weight when you portion your puppy’s diet.
Here are the recommended amounts of dry food you can give your new Cane Corso puppy based on its age:
|Age||Daily Food Quantity |
|2 – 3 months||1 – 2.5||1180 – 1200||22%||8%|
|4 – 5 months||3 – 3.75||1300 – 1500||22%||8%|
|6 – 9 months||3 – 5.25||1340 – 1800||22%||8%|
|10 – 12 months||4 – 6||1500 – 2000||22%||8%|
Giving your Cane Corso puppy food that has too much protein and calcium could cause joint problems, hip dysplasia, and other orthopedic disorders, which are common among Cane Corsos due to their large frames.
Adult Cane Corso Feeding Chart (1 to 6 years )
By the time a Cane Corso puppy reaches 12 months of age, it is already nearing its full-grown size. This will give you a better idea of the appropriate amount of food to feed a Cane Corso.
Often reaching up to 100 lbs or more, Cane Corsos require a high caloric intake throughout their adult life, especially if they engage in a lot of daily physical activity.
Because the Cane Corso breed tends to be muscular dogs, increasing their protein intake through adulthood can develop their physique and improve their strength and energy levels.
Here is the table showing the recommended amount of food for adult Cane Corso feeding:
|Age||Daily Food Quantity |
|1 – 6 years||6 – 9||2000 – 2500||25%||6%|
You should also take into account your Cane Corso’s sex. There are some differences between male and female Cane Corsos physically and in terms of energy levels, which affect their dietary needs.
It may take some trial and error on your part, but knowing your dog well can help you better gauge how much adult food to feed them.
Senior Cane Corso Feeding Chart (7 years and above)
Cane Corsos have a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years, so by the time they reach age 7, they are already considered senior dogs.
At this time, their calorie requirements change to adjust to their decreased metabolism and activity levels. It’s best to transition your older Cane Corso to an adult food tailor-made for large-breed senior canines.
Here’s the recommended amount of dry food you can feed your senior Cane Corso:
|Age||Daily Food Quantity |
|7 years and above||4.5 – 7.5||1600 – 2200||28%||5%|
For older Cane Corsos, it might also be beneficial to provide them with supplements, such as glucosamine or chondroitin soft chews, to support their joints.
Cane Corso Feeding Frequency: How Often Should You Feed Your Cane Corso?
Generally, Cane Corso puppies need to eat around four times a day more frequently. You can reduce the frequency as they age, eventually settling on twice-a-day meals for adults and seniors.
Setting regular feeding schedules is very important in establishing a routine for your pet, which is a great way to regulate your dog’s food intake and keep their weight in check.
Whether you have a Cane Corso puppy or a full-grown adult dog, this table explains the recommended frequency to feed your pet:
|2 – 5 months||Four times a day|
|6 – 12 months||Three times a day|
|1 year and above||Two times a day|
Like other active dog breeds, a Cane Corso puppy is a little ball of energy. A healthy pup requires small meals but more frequent feedings to keep up with its fast metabolism.
Older Cane Corsos have more stable energy levels and will do well with just two feedings a day.
Because Cane Corsos are particularly prone to bloat, it’s wise to avoid feeding them one big meal a day. Splitting their food intake into at least two meals and using a slow feeder bowl can help prevent this.
Getting the feeding frequency right can help prevent any medical emergencies, which can get expensive. To get a better picture of the costs of caring for a Cane Corso, check out this Cane Corso price guide.
Optimal Feeding Times for Cane Corsos
A Cane Corso puppy should be fed four times a day at 5 to 6 hours intervals. On the other hand, an adult and senior Cane Corso dog may be fed once in the morning and in the evening.
Here are the recommended feeding times for your Cane Corso puppy, adult, and senior:
|Age||Optimal Feeding Times|
|2 – 5 months||7:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., and 10:00 p.m.|
|6 – 12 months||8:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m.|
|1 year and above||8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.|
A Cane Corso puppy eats more frequently, with a few hours in between to allow healthy digestion. They can consume bigger meals with longer periods in between feedings the older your Cane Corso puppy gets.
In between meals, you can offer your Cane Corso puppy or adult Cane Corso treats as a training tool, but you should keep the amount to a minimum to avoid ruining their appetites.
These time frames are just a guideline to help you know how much time to set between feedings.
Ultimately, your Cane Corso’s feeding schedule will depend on your own lifestyle and the routine you set up for your pet.
Best Dog Foods for Cane Corsos
Aside from feeding times and frequencies, you also need to select the best food for your Cane Corso puppy.
Not all dog foods are made equally, so it can be confusing to select the best dog food for your pet.
You may ask whether you should get a commercial brand, try raw feeding, or prepare your dog’s meals yourself.
Here are some options you have when it comes to feeding a Cane Corso:
- Dry Food: Dry food is a practical option for feeding a large breed dog like the Cane Corso. Dry food comes in biscuit or kibble form and is stored in bags, making it easy to keep and serve. It also can help prevent plaque build-up in dogs.
- Wet Food: Wet food or canned food contains more protein and fewer carbohydrates. It is easier for dogs to chew and swallow. Wet food is preferred by some because it also contains more water and is healthier for the kidneys. It’s also possible to mix it with dry dog food or raw food to reap more benefits.
- BARF Diet: Biologically Appropriate Raw Food Diet (BARF) is also known as raw food or raw diet. This raw-feeding diet contains bones, raw meat, offal, vegetables, and seeds. Raw food is preferred by many dog owners with active, muscular dogs. Those that can’t commit to full raw diets can also try semi-raw feeding.
- Home-cooked Diet: Preparing natural food at home is an economical option, although a bit more time-consuming. Home-cooked meals for dogs typically include an animal protein source, such as sawdust or chicken, carbohydrates like brown rice, and vegetables, for additional nutrients and flavor.
You may need to try different types of Cane Corso foods before settling on one that works for your dog and your lifestyle. It’s possible that you’ll change up the type of dog food several times throughout your dog’s life.
Again, you may also mix and match dry food, wet food, raw food diet, and organic dog food to keep your Cane Corso pup, even adults, excited with meal time and promote a healthy appetite.
Depending on the health of your Cane Corso puppy or adult dog, you may also need to give them dietary or medicated food if the situation calls for it.
Some pet owners even add supplements like fish oil, which contains omega fatty acids, to improve their Cane Corso’s health and promote healthy skin.
Learning how to read dog food labels is also useful when you’re selecting a brand of dog food for your pet.
Ultimately, you should consult with your vet to know which type and brand of adult or puppy food will be best for your dog.
Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Cane Corso
Now that you have an idea of what type of food your should feed your Cane Corso, you should also familiarize yourself with the food items you need to avoid giving them.
Some foods can cause upset stomach or digestive issues in dogs, while others are downright toxic.
Keeping such items out of your dog’s reach is paramount to keeping them safe and preventing medical emergencies.
One food that is highly toxic to Cane Corsos is chocolate, which contains theobromine, a chemical that dogs are unable to metabolize well. When ingested, it can lead to tremors, seizures, and heart failure.
Another ingredient to avoid at all costs is xylitol, a natural sweetener that can be found in candies, gum, some brands of peanut butter, chewable vitamins, toothpaste, and mouthwash, and it can cause hypoglycemia.
While they may seem integral to a healthy diet, many fruits and vegetables are also off-limits to Cane Corsos.
These include but are not limited to garlic, onions, avocado, cherries, grapes, tomatoes, and mushrooms.
Some fruits and vegetables are okay to feed in small or moderate amounts but may cause digestive issues or weight gain in increased quantities.
For example, brussels sprouts and cabbage can be given to your Cane Corso but can lead to flatulence when overdone. Broccoli is also okay in very small amounts but can cause gastric irritation in higher volumes.
How to Transition Your Cane Corso to a New Food
Inevitably, your Cane Corso puppy won’t be eating the same brand or type of food throughout its life.
Once your dog is past the puppy stage, you need to switch its food to one that’s more appropriate for its age.
Even in adulthood, you may need to switch up your Cane Corso’s diet at some point due to changes in health or circumstances.
Transitioning to a new food doesn’t happen overnight. It will take about a week, and you need to gradually mix the new food in increasing amounts into your dog’s existing diet.
Here’s a more detailed guide to transitioning your Cane Corso to a new food:
|Day||Old Food||New Food|
|Day 1 – 2||75%||25%|
|Day 3 – 4||50%||50%|
|Day 5 – 6||25%||75%|
|Day 7 – 8||0%||100%|
Switching gradually instead of abruptly not only eases the palate of picky eaters like Cane Corsos but can also prevent an upset stomach or other gastrointestinal issues that might arise with a new diet.
Patience is key when transitioning to a new food. There may be times that your Cane Corso will ignore his food completely or leave leftovers. Their bowel movements and stool quality may also change.
When this happens, stay calm and remember that your dog will get used to its new diet.
However, if your dog continues to display a low appetite or shows any signs of upset stomach, such as diarrhea and vomiting, consult a vet immediately.
Feeding an Overweight Cane Corso
Because of their muscular physiques and tendency to be fussy eaters, it isn’t common for Cane Corsos to be overweight. However, when it does happen, their weight needs to be controlled immediately.
You’ll know your Cane Corso is overweight if you can barely feel its ribs, and it’s hard to distinguish its waist from its chest. Meanwhile, an obese Cane Corso will have a large belly and visible rolls of fat all over its body.
To get your Cane Corso’s weight down to a healthy level, you will need to increase its physical activity while controlling it from eating more food than required.
Start by decreasing your Cane Corso’s daily calorie intake by 10 percent. Make sure to implement a strict feeding schedule and avoid free feeding.
If you can, completely eliminate treats from your dog’s diet while getting it to lose weight. If you need to give rewards for training, choose small portions of fruit, vegetables, or meat instead of store-bought treats.
In extreme cases, you may need to ask your vet to create a weight control plan for your dog. This could mean putting your Cane Corso on a specialized diet to help it lose weight safely and healthily.
Additionally, here is a video on how to handle your Cane Corso’s obesity:
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Is My Cane Corso Not Eating?
Cane Corsos are notoriously fussy eaters. When you notice that your Cane Corso is not eating, it may simply be that they are bored with their food.
Sometimes dogs also refuse food if it has gone stale or if they are anxious or stressed.
However, if they continue to refuse food, you may want to consider switching their diet, mixing in a broth or palatable wet foods, or adding other ingredients like raw meat to make their meals more palatable.
Do Cane Corsos Eat a Lot?
Cane Corsos tend to have big appetites when they like their food. Large-breed dogs, like the Cane Corso, intuitively consume many calories to keep up with their energy needs.
If given the opportunity, Cane Corsos will also graze throughout the day, which can lead to overeating. A good way to prevent this would be to avoid free-feeding and stick to a strict eating schedule.
Can Cane Corsos Eat Bones?
Feeding raw bones is highly beneficial for dogs as it provides a variety of minerals, improves their teeth and gums, and prevents boredom. However, precaution must be taken when you give your Cane Corso a bone.
Do not give your dog cooked bones, as these can easily splinter and cause blockages. For large breeds like the Cane Corso, only give them large bones to prevent them from accidentally swallowing them.
Always keep your dog under close supervision when they have a bone; never let them chew it to small pieces.
Can Cane Corsos Be Vegetarians?
Cane Corsos can survive on a vegetarian diet, provided that their nutritional needs, especially protein requirements, are met with alternative plant-based sources.
However, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, unusual dog diets, such as the vegetarian diet, may also be linked to heart disease.
On a more practical note, it can be costly to put your Cane Corso on a strict plant-based diet because their size and muscular build require high amounts of calories and protein.
With their large size, feeding a Cane Corso can be intimidating to any new owner. Large breeds like them demand significant amounts of food and need to be fed carefully to prevent any health problems.
However, with enough research and dedication, there’s nothing to be intimidated about. With a proper diet, your dog will be living a healthy life.
Ultimately, whether you choose raw feeding, dry dog food, or home-cooked meals, you need to select the diet that’s best for your lifestyle and your dog’s preferences.
Hopefully, this Cane Corso feeding guide has helped you with everything there is to know to keep this breed well-nourished. If you have experience feeding a Cane Corso dog, share it with us by leaving a comment below!
My name is John Carter and I absolutely love pets, especially cats and dogs. I’ve got a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and have several years’ experience working in animal shelters and rescues. My passion for animals started at a very young age as I grow up on a farm with several horses, cows, cats, chickens, and dogs on our property.