Our dogs are fed a combination of a natural raw diet, fresh raw beef, bones, and organ meats, home cooked meals, and high quality corn-free dry kibble. We feed our dogs and pups a variety of high quality corn free kibbles including Nature's Domain (from Costco), Innova's Large Breed Puppy, Evo, and Diamond Super Premium Chicken & Rice. Innova & Evo, and Nature's Domain info and dealer locations provided on our link resources page). We vary raw diet and kibble type based on protein content and the age, condition, and nutritional needs of each individual dog. We also include some supplements based on our preference for ideal dietary needs of each dog.
Changing your dog's food type:
Start your Cane Corso on their accustomed food for the first couple days while they are settling in. When you are ready to change the kibble, on the first day add just a small amount of the new kibble, then the second day mix 1/4 of the new food with 3/4 of the original food. The third day you will mix 1/2 new food with 1/2 original food, and the fourth day mix 3/4 new food with 1/4 old food. In this manner you can change the dog completely over to your preferred food type in just 5 days, without bothering their stomachs.
Protein Content & Quality:
Regardless of the brand of kibble you prefer, Protein and Calcium content play a key factor in the growth of your Cane Corso puppy. As a large breed puppy your Cane Corso has the potential to grow too fast and put additional stress and strain on still maturing joints and hips if fed a diet that is too high in protein and calcium. Growing pups up to two years of age will do best on a lower protein diet designed for adult dogs or large breed puppies. The protein level you feed can be reached thru a combination of kibble, raw feeding, and supplements (Supplements are detailed below on this page).
Quality is extremely important in your dog food decision - a cheap food that has lots of "fillers" (corn, etc) will not be digestible or nutritional, and can actually be detrimental to your puppy's health. Many commercial foods are full of cheap fillers, by-products, and artificial preservatives. Taking corn alone out of your dogs diet will keep your dog much happier and healthier in the long run, and likely increase his life span as well. Corn is completely indigestible to dogs, has no nutritional value whatsoever, many dogs are allergic to it, and a corn based diet has been linked to the cause of many cancers, seizures, and canine health issues. As if that is not enough, the corn in our country is loaded with growth hormones to mass produce it for the demand and variety of corn based products - the quality has been sacrificed for the quantity. If your dog, cat, or even yourself, have a predisposition to cancer, those growth hormones will feed that gene, increasing the risk of the growth of cancer. Frightening when you think about it!
- Feed your dog Well - it isn't worth saving a couple bucks on the cheap brand of kibble when you consider the loss of years to your dogs life and health, and the many pets that have needlessly died in dog food recalls in recent years.
- Feed your dog Carefully - many of the premium labels and brands are not what they appear, are not even manufactured by the company marketing the product, and are offered by companies that put a lot more expense into marketing then they do into quality nutrition and ingredients.
Dog Food Quality Rating System
If you are curious about the quality of the kibble you are feeding, or simply struggling to decipher which of the many brands available would be the best quality for your dog, use this Dog Food Rating System. This is a simple way to judge the quality of kibble brands - and compare how different dog foods measure up.
Pet Food Recalls & Choosing What You Feed
Your choice of kibble for your Cane Corso is very important, especially in light of yet another pet food recall, and the scale of brands, families, and pets affected. Many families were shocked by the unexpected loss of their beloved pets ... many families who thought they were feeding good quality food.
Co-Packing: Most people are surprised, and appalled, to learn that all the Iams/Eukanuba canned foods are not made by the Iams Company at all. In fact, in 2003 Iams signed an exclusive 10-year contract for the production of 100% of its canned foods by Menu. This type of deal is called co-packing. One company makes the food, but puts another company’s label on it. Co-packing is a very common arrangement in the pet food industry. While not commonly known, it is often brought to light when a recall is issued, and surprisingly when dozens of "premium" private labels are involved. This practice of co-packing is used by many large and “reputable” labels such as Iams, Eukanuba, Hills, Purina, Nutro, Doanes, Diamond, and other high-end, so-called “premium” foods.
The big question raised by the co-packing arrangement is whether or not there is any real difference between the expensive premium brands and the low quality generic brands. The recalled brands in the latest recall run from the cheap walmart Ol'Roy brand, up to the high-end premium labels. Whatever the differences are between cheap and high-end food, one thing is clear. The purchase price, brand, and label of commercial pet food does not always determine whether the food is good, bad, or even safe.
Here are Dog Food Recall Lists, from the Food and Drug Administration, and the American Veterinary Medical Association:
FDA Dog Food Recall List • AVMA Dog Food Recall List
Cooking for your dogs
One or two times per week we feed all our dogs a "home-cooked" meal. I will boil a whole chicken until tender, pull all the meat from the bones, and then drop some scrambled raw eggs into the boiling broth (with the chicken pieces) before finishing up with a kettle-full of rice. The end result is rice boiled in chicken broth, with wispy pieces of egg throughout, and shreds of chicken mixed in. A little oil can be added as it is cooking as well. Your dogs will love it! This is an awesome recipe for settling an upset stomach. You can also change up the ingredients for variety, including pasta, sliced potatoes, and some assorted fresh vegetables.
We supplement all our dogs diets with Satin Balls (recipe below) a healthy and tempting recipe you can mix together and freeze for easy daily use.
If you start researching raw diets, you'll hear a vast difference of opinions. Personally, we have found that a natural raw diet has been nothing but beneficial to our dogs. Raw bones and food are what dogs are naturally suited to eat. Commercially prepared cooked foods & kibble lack enzymes and other essential dietary components and contain some ingredients that promote allergies and are otherwise harmful for dogs. The conventional canned and kibble dog foods are convenient and practical to handle, that's why they are so popular. After a couple of years of feeding though, they can be harmful for your dog's liver - especially the super premium types.
If you decide to feed raw to your Cane Corso, your options range from packaged medallions of raw food, to simply picking up a couple ribs at the grocery store (and explaining to the family why the dog gets ribs while dinner is spaghetti!). We stop by a small privately owned meat processing company near us once a week and pick up fresh raw beef for all our dogs, and store it in a 14 cubic foot freezer to so their feedings stay fresh all week long. Our dogs ear fresh raw beef, lamb, and goat, raw bones, chicken necks, organ meats (hearts/livers/kidneys etc), and green tripe.
- Raw bones are healthy for your dog. Raw bones are digestible, natural, softer, and nutritional, while cooked bones will become hard, brittle and lose much of their nutritional value.
- NEVER feed cooked chicken bones to your dog. They will splinter into fatally sharp slivers and pieces and can KILL your dog. Raw chicken bones are fine.
- Before feeding raw game or pork meat or bones to your dog, freeze them completely for three weeks (21 days) to kill any possible parasite larva that may be present in the meat.
Feeding Both Raw and Processed Kibble Together
Feeding a natural raw diet has produced outstanding results in our dogs. However, depending on the individual dog and situation, there are many times when we supplement the dog's raw diet with some kibble as well. There is nothing wrong with combining raw and kibble in the same diet, as long as you feed them in the proper order. Raw is what your dog's stomach was designed to digest, as a result raw food is processed and digested quickly and efficiently through your dog's digestive tract. Commercially prepared cooked foods & kibble take longer for your dog to digest and process. If you chose to feed raw and kibble, do not feed both raw and kibble together, and do not feed kibble immediately followed by raw. This is a common mistake, following a bowl of kibble with some raw 'dessert', but when fed in this order the raw food gets backed up in the digestive tract behind the slower processing kibble, and remains in the stomach for a much longer period of time that it otherwise would. This extended time can result in a buildup of bacteria that is not healthy for your dog. Better to either feed raw followed by kibble, or to feed in separate meals - raw one meal, kibble in a se per ate meal altogether.
We strongly recommend NuVet Plus immune system builder and NuJoint Plus for all of our dogs. We have given your new pup the best start possible in life, and we highly recommend you continue your pup's health and hip supplement support, from the time they arrive home to you, on both NuVet Plus to support your pup's immune system for optimal health, and NuJoint Plus to help reduce the risk of Hip Dysplasia. NuVet is not available in stores, and is only available to the general public with an order code from an authorized pet professional.
For your convenience, you may order directly from the manufacturer (at up to 50% off what most veterinarians charge)
- Online, at this link: www.nuvet.com/36105
- By phone, Call: 800-474-7044 and use Order Code: 36105
NuVet Plus will protect your new Cane Corso puppy against ailments and toxins (from back yard pesticides, pet food allergies and hormones, toxic formaldehyde in furniture and carpeting, immune threats transmitted from dog parks and the vet’s office, etc), while maintaining a beautiful coat and healthy skin.
NuVet Plus can help prolong the life of your dog and can help eliminate many ailments, including Allergies, Skin and Coat Problems, Scratching, Itching, Biting, Hot Spots, Arthritis and Joint Problems, Low Energy Levels, Diabetes and Liver Problems, Cataracts and Tumors, Digestive Problems, Tearing, Heart Disease, Premature Aging.
NuVet Plus is not just a vitamin. It’s an immune system builder with a precise balance of vitamins, minerals, omega fatty acids, amino acids and high-potency antioxidants. That’s why it works so well through all three stages of a dog’s life. For younger dogs (under 2 years old), it strengthens their immune system, while building and strengthening the cardiovascular, skeletal and nerve systems. For dogs in their prime (age 2-8), it improves the luster of their skin and coat while protecting against allergies, skin and coat problems, staining from tears, digestive problems, etc. For older dogs (over 8 years old), it helps protect against, tumors, premature aging, cataracts, heart conditions, diabetes and many types of cancer, while extending the life and improving the vitality of many dogs.
Click here to ORDER NuVet Plus for your pup's health and immune system!
NuJoint Plus is a premium nutritional natural anti-inflammatory hip and joint therapy supplement. Hip Dysplasia can be a serious concern in any large breed dog, despite the best of care and ideal breeding. NuJoint Plus is a nutrient rich product that goes to the source of the problem, combating hip dysplasia, arthritis, osteoporosis, joint inflammation, and joint and bone ailments with a wide variety of natural healing ingredients designed to be bio-digestible.
NuJoint Plus is a carefully formulated nutritional pet supplement, using only the highest quality pharmaceutical, human grade ingredients that are specifically compounded in a FDA approved laboratory for maximum potency and effectiveness.
NuJoint Plus uses a cutting edge formula that targets disease causing pathogens and free radicals by infusing the cellular framework of your pet’s metabolism with precise percentages of Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), and Vitamin C.
Click here to ORDER NuJoint Plus for your pup's hips and joints!
Natural Nutritional Extras
- A spoonful of live culture plain yogurt daily will aid in digestion.
Giving yogurt with every feeding is an excellent way to add back beneficial bacteria and probiotics to the stomach anytime your dog is on antibiotics.
- A spoonful of raw pumpkin (fresh, or non-spiced pie filling) with each feeding will help firm up loose stools.
- A spoonful of mayonnaise daily will promote a shiny healthy coat, and help prevent dry/flaky skin and hair problems. We often thin the mayonaise with added oil (coconut oil, fish oil, or corn* oil).
*While dogs can not digest corn, they can assimilate linoleic acid and linoleic from the corn oil.
- A raw egg daily will promote a shiny healthy coat, and help prevent dry/flaky skin and hair problems.
*Please read the information below on Feeding Raw Eggs before giving raw eggs to your young puppy.
The above mayonnaise, oil and egg supplements are high in protein and fat. Used correctly they will producing a shiny healthy coat, and they will help prevent dry/flaky skin and hair problems as well. Do keep in mind though, an overweight fat puppy is not a healthy puppy and is going to be more prone to hip/joint problems. When used with moderation to feed the average active pup that this is never really a problem, but pay attention. If your pup starts to get chunky, you need to slow down on the extras.
Satin Balls are a total canine diet. They can be feed by by themselves or as a supplement, used to build up a show dog, or develop a healthy appetite for a picky eater. They will increase weight on thin dogs, build healthy soft skin and glossy coats, alleviate itching and chewing at dry coats/skin, and maintain a bright-eyed look and healthy energy level.
Again, Satin Balls are high in protein and are well used as treats and to supplement to a puppy's diet. Care must be taken not to cause the pup to become overweight by feeding too much Satin Balls to a young and growing pup.
Satin Balls Recipe and Instructions
|Small Recipe Ingredients
||Full Recipe Ingredients
- 1 lb. cheap hamburger (for high fat %)
- 1 and 1/3 cups Total cereal
- 1 and 1/2 cups uncooked oatmeal
- 1 egg (*boiled in the shell for 30 seconds)
- 6 Tablespoons wheat germ
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 Tablespoons unflavored molasses
- A pinch of salt
- 1 package Knox Joint gelatin
(unflavored gelatin can be used instead)
- 10 labs cheap hamburger (high fat %)
- 1 large box Total cereal (about 12 cups cereal)
- 1 large box uncooked oatmeal (about 15 cups oats)
- 10 eggs (*boiled in the shell for 30 seconds)
- 1 15oz jar wheat germ
- 1 and 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 and 1/4 cup unflavored molasses
- A pinch of salt
- 10 packages Knox Joint gelatin
(unflavored gelatin can be used instead)
|Directions: Mix all ingredients together, much like you would a meatloaf. Include entire eggs, shells and all.
DO NOT COOK. This recipe is fed fresh and raw.
Mix completely, then roll into "meatballs" or "patties", store in quart freezer bags or tupperware, and freeze.
Thaw as needed, and feed raw!
*(Boiling the eggs for 30 seconds denatures the whites, while leaving the benefits of the uncooked yolks intact.)
Feeding Raw Eggs
We feed raw eggs to all the adult dogs at various times. Eggs are very good for dogs. In fact, they are the most concentrated, valuable form of protein that a dog can get. HOWEVER, with young puppies you never want to feed them uncooked egg whites. Raw egg yolks are just fine for pups, but pups are unable to digest raw/uncooked egg whites.
Egg whites contain an enzyme inhibitor which can make them difficult to digest for very young puppies, sick dogs, old dogs, or dogs with pancreatitis. Apart from that, unless a dog has an allergy to eggs, there should be no problem. Egg whites contain a substance called avidin, which binds with the vitamin biotin (a member of the B Complex group), making it unavailable for your dog. This has been shown in studies to not be a problem when a dog is fed a balanced healthy diet - only when a dog was fed no biotin for weeks while being fed large amounts of eggs did it begin to cause a deficiency. Also, egg yolks contain a high amount of biotin so when whole eggs are fed it is not a problem.
The yolks are healthier for the dog uncooked, but in the instances listed above, the whites are better cooked than raw. This is the reason for dropping the eggs for just 30 seconds in boiling water. It gives the best benefit from both the whites (partially cooked) and the yolk (still uncooked).
The reason you include the entire egg - shells and all - is because the shells are high in calcium, phosphorous and other minerals. You can always throw the whole egg, shell and all, in the blender before mixing with the recipe to avoid shell pieces.
Liver Brownies - The BEST Training Treats & Show Bait!
Liver Brownies Recipe
- 1 lb. liver, any kind
we usually use beef, some prefer the chicken livers for a less strong smell
you can also substitute beef or chicken heart for 1/2 the liver
- 1 cup corn meal
- 2 cups wheat germ
- 1 tsp fresh minced garlic OR 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp fennel or anise seed
- 1/2 tsp salt
Cut liver (and/or hearts) into small chunks and grind in a food processor or blender. In large bowl, mix liver with corn meal, wheat germ, garlic, fennel/anise, and salt. Spread mixture on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Allow to cool 10 minutes; cut into squares (while still warm).
Another variation is to add an egg to the above recipe, and then force-knead in flour (after mixing the above recipe) until the dough no longer sticks to the working surface. Press/roll this into a 1 inch thick slab with a little more flour on each side, sprinkle some garlic powder on top, and baked on a non-stick cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven for about an hour until it will spring out of the pan on its own, and gives a clean hollow sound when you tap it. Allow to cool 10 minutes; cut into squares (while still warm). The result will be a crunchy crust with a chewy interior.
Keep refrigerated, and freeze what will not be used within a week to prevent it from spoiling.
Toys / Chews & More:
A variety of chew toys, and fun toys should always be available, especially for young energetic puppies. They provide hours of entertainment, help get through the teething process, and are much cheaper to replace than your couch & shoes. "Fuzzy/Squeaky" toys are always a big hit with pups here, but won't last long in unsupervised competition with your pup's sharp teeth and powerful jaws. Our growing pups will spend a couple happy hours chewing and shaking their new "victim" ... then bring me the gutted remains with a quizzical look when it stops squeaking. Braided fleece balls and tugs seem to be among the more durable corso-proof toys we have found. Hard chew toys/treats will help scrape their teeth, and will reduce plaque buildup. We offer a variety of chew treats, including Nylabones, Raw Bones, Bully Sticks, Braided Pizzle Sticks, Antler Chews, rope bones, and more.
A couple notes on the subject of treats:
Nylabones have been long lasting safe chew toys for our big dogs with powerful jaws. However we use only large regular Nylabones, not the flexible Nylabone chew toys marketed under names like Gumma-Bone and Plaque Attacker - these can break and be ingested leading to health and stomage problems.
"Greenies" have been linked to the deaths of a number of dogs due to the fact that they shatter in large chunks, get lodged in the digestive system, and even the newer formula does not soften/dissolve when pieces are ingested.
Rawhide strips are common easy to find treats, but are often laced with harsh chemicals and unhealthy for your dog. If natural chemical free versions are fed, they should be limited and ingested in moderation. If your dog ingests a large amount of rawhide at a time, it will swell in their stomachs and can lead to bloat or blockages.