Doggie Designer is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

8 Best Puppy Foods for Cane Corsos in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

Cane Corso PuppyThe Cane Corso is a giant dog breed and needs a high level of protein and a relatively high level of calories in his diet. Your dog’s exact dietary requirements are determined by his age, his activity level, and his general condition.

While the Cane Corso breed is rare, he is one of a number of large breeds, which means that there is a varied selection of potentially suitable puppy foods. However, your giant breed is active and very muscular, which means that he has specific dietary requirements. He needs a food that is high in protein, but he also needs a relatively high level of fat and the right amount of carbohydrates.

Getting the right puppy food is important, but getting the right balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates can be confusing — which is why we have done the work for you. Below is a list of reviews of the eight best puppy foods we have found.

thematic break

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula
  • Feature iconPrimary ingredients of buffalo and lamb meal
  • Feature iconGrain-free formula
  • Feature iconWell priced
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy
  • Feature iconCheap
  • Feature iconHigh protein and fat
  • Feature iconLow carbohydrates
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Hill’s Science Diet Puppy
  • Feature iconNo meat by-products
  • Feature iconIncludes chicken-meal
  • Feature iconAbove-average protein
  • Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy
  • Feature iconThe primary ingredient is chicken
  • Feature iconChelated minerals
  • Feature iconAverage protein level
  • Purina Pro Plan Puppy Large Breed Purina Pro Plan Puppy Large Breed
  • Feature iconGood protein levels
  • Feature iconChicken is the primary ingredient
  • Feature iconContains probiotics
  • The 8 Best Puppy Foods for Cane Corso – Reviews 2021

    1. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Food – Best Overall

    Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula Grain-Free

    Grains like wheat, corn, and soy can cause hypersensitivity reactions in dogs. Feeding a grain-free food, like Taste of the Wild’s High Prairie Puppy dry dog food, allows you to avoid these ingredients entirely.

    High Prairie food includes novel proteins from buffalo and bison as well as highly digestible ingredients like peas and sweet potato. There’s chicory root, which aids digestion, and omega oils to improve coat and skin condition. The food is low cost, which has been achieved through the addition of carbs. Nutritional balance does suffer slightly as a result, but it is still a very good quality food and at a very competitive price.

    The ingredients also include fish meal, which is a concentrated and cooked source of protein derived from fish. While the protein levels are generally quite high, there is some controversy surrounding this ingredient because the exact source of the fish is unclear.

    Overall, Prairie Puppy dry dog food from Taste of the Wild is a high-quality, well-balanced dry kibble that has proven popular with puppies and owners alike.

    • Primary ingredients of buffalo and lamb meal
    • Grain-free formula
    • Well priced
    • Sweet potato provides carbohydrates
    • Contains fish meal
    thematic break

    2. Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy Food – Best Value

    Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food

    IAMS ProActive Health Smart Puppy dry dog food is a cheap but good quality food. It costs noticeably less than the Taste of the Wild food, but IAMS has used some controversial ingredients to achieve this low price.

    With more than 30% protein, 19% fat, and 40% carbs, it has very good nutritional values, but it is a corn-based food. Corn can cause allergic reactions in some dogs, and others may be insensitive, albeit not allergic, to the ingredients. Furthermore, IAMS has used chicken by-products, which can include virtually any part of the chicken including some of the most undesirable. You will also find beet pulp, which is not considered a harmful ingredient but is decried as being low-quality filler: an ingredient that will fill your dog up but provides very little nutritional benefit.

    In any case, IAMS ProActive Health Smart Puppy Dry Dog Food is a decent quality dry kibble that costs less than most other brands. As long as your dog is not sensitive to corn, and you don’t mind the use of chicken by-products in your dog’s food, it is the best puppy food for Cane Corso for the money.

    • Cheap
    • High protein and fat
    • Low carbohydrates
    • Some dogs are sensitive to corn
    • Uses chicken by-products
    thematic break

    3. Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Food – Premium Choice

    Hill's Science Diet Puppy Large Breed Lamb Meal & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

    Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Dry Dog Food has been specially formulated for puppies and is suitable for feeding your Cane Corso. It does use whole grain wheat and corn as primary ingredients, which might be a concern if you’re worried about grain allergies, but it also contains chicken meal and does not use meat by-products in its formulation.

    It has added fish oil as well as flaxseed and other high-quality ingredients but is noticeably lacking in probiotics. The minerals are not listed as being chelated, either. Chelated minerals have been bound to an organic molecule so that they are easier to absorb and are typical in premium dog foods.

    Despite not having this feature, Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Dog Food does attract a premium price tag, being more expensive than most other options on this list. It is a good quality food, but the lack of chelation and the inclusion of grains, coupled with its high price, means that there are cheaper alternatives that offer almost the same quality at a lower price.

    • No meat by-products
    • Includes chicken-meal
    • Above-average protein
    • Below average carbs
    • Minerals are not chelated
    • No probiotics
    • Pricey
    thematic break

    4. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Food

    Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Puppy Dry Dog Food

    Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula is a moderately priced dry puppy food with chicken and chicken meal as its primary ingredients. It also contains brown rice, which bulks up the food but only really offers modest nutritional returns. Blue Buffalo incorporates vitamin B-rich oatmeal, omega-3-rich flaxseed, and highly beneficial chicken fat.

    The formula does contain garlic, which has been linked to anemia in dogs, as well as yeast. Yeast is controversial because there are some owners that believe it increases the likelihood of their dogs getting bloat.

    Happily, the food does contain chelated minerals, which are easier for your dog to digest. Blue Buffalo has roughly average fat and protein levels, but it has higher carbs than most other similarly rated foods. It does list a number of ingredients that are used primarily as filler, which means that it does not have the same nutritional benefit as some other foods, and the inclusion of garlic will be a concern for a lot of owners. We’ve got it fourth on our list for best dog food for Cane Corso puppies.

    However, it is well priced, and apart from the garlic, it shouldn’t prove harmful for most dogs.

    • The primary ingredient is chicken
    • Chelated minerals
    • Average protein level
    • Contains garlic
    • Above average level of carbs
    • More filler than other foods
    thematic break

    5. Purina Pro Plan Puppy Large Breed Food

    Purina Pro Plan Puppy Large Breed Chicken & Rice Formula with Probiotics Dry Dog Food

    Purina Pro Plan Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food is specially formulated for large breed puppies, which means that it should be ideal for your Cane Corso puppy. With approximately 30% protein, it certainly has the protein level required for your furry friend to pack on and maintain muscle.

    The food gets a lot of its protein content from chicken, which is the primary listed ingredient, but would not be suitable for dogs with grain sensitivity. It combines whole grain wheat with corn and wheat bran. It is reasonably priced compared to other foods, but it is another food that contains garlic as an ingredient.

    Also, the minerals are not chelated but the ingredients do include live probiotics and omega-rich fish oil that delivers DHA to improve coat and brain function, which means that your puppy may struggle to digest the beneficial ingredients that are included. It also lists menadione as an ingredient, which has been linked to liver toxicity and other canine health complaints. There are several ingredients listed that are by-products and are not considered the best quality for food.

    • Good protein levels
    • Chicken is the primary ingredient
    • Contains probiotics
    • DHA derived from fish oil
    • Grains not suitable for dogs with allergies
    • Minerals are not chelated
    • Contains garlic
    thematic break

    6. Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy Food

    Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food

    Eukanuba’s Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food is designed for dogs that will have an adult weight over 55 pounds. It can be fed to puppies until they are 24 months old when they should be moved to an adult food. Its primary ingredient is chicken, which means that it provides high-quality animal protein.

    Unfortunately, it also relies on chicken by-product meal, which is the remaining bits of chicken that are left after the good cuts have been removed. This ingredient offers highly concentrated protein, but the quality of the protein depends on what sections of the chicken are used. It does contain chicken fat, which is high in omega-6. Eukanuba also consists of fish oil and flaxseed, both of which are a good source of omega-3.

    Brewer’s yeast can help prevent fleas but may increase the risk of bloat. The minerals in Eukanuba’s puppy food are not chelated, which makes it more difficult for your dog to properly digest and benefit from them. The protein levels of this food are above-average while the carb levels are below average, but it is a grain-inclusive food so may not be suitable for dogs with allergies or sensitivities to these types of ingredients.

    • High meat protein content
    • Good source of omega-3 and omega-6
    • Specifically formulated for big breed puppies
    • Not suitable for dogs with grain sensitivity
    • Contains chicken by-products
    thematic break

    7. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Puppy Grain-Free Food

    Blue Buffalo Wilderness Puppy Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    Blue Buffalo’s Wilderness Puppy Grain-Free Dry Dog Food uses ingredients inspired by a wolf’s natural diet. It contains salmon and chicken meal as its primary ingredients, as well as peas that are used as a grain alternative. It also contains flaxseed and chicken fat, which are excellent sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

    The minerals are chelated, which means that they are easier to absorb, but the Blue Buffalo food is on the expensive side, and unless your dog has an allergy or insensitivity to grain, this may be an unnecessary cost. It is also worth noting that the Wilderness food contains yeast, which some owners refuse to feed their dogs because they believe it increases the likelihood of them developing bloat.

    While the food is expensive, it does have good protein levels, which are vital to puppy growth. It also has roughly average levels of fat and lower than average carbs, while its ingredients are generally considered to be high quality, so it does represent good value for money if your dog cannot stomach grain-based food.

    • Grain-free
    • Chelated minerals
    • Primary ingredients are chicken and salmon
    • Expensive
    • Contains yeast
    thematic break

    8. American Journey Puppy Food

    American Journey Active Life Formula Puppy Chicken, Brown Rice & Vegetables Recipe Dog Food

    American Journey Puppy Dry Dog Food’s primary ingredients are chicken, turkey meal, brown rice, and peas. It also contains beneficial ingredients like chicken fat and flaxseed, as well as vitamin supplements to provide further nutrients and essential minerals.

    This food relies on peas and pea ingredients, while brown rice is only considered to have moderate nutritional value so is likely used as an inexpensive filler, despite the food being one of the more expensive in this list. However, the minerals are chelated, which means that your puppy will enjoy more of the nutritional and mineral benefits offered.

    The American Journey formula has above average levels of protein, which will help your Cane Corso grow to a healthy and well-formed adult. It has average fat levels and carb levels, too, signifying a reasonable quality food.

    • Chelated minerals
    • Primary ingredients are chicken and turkey
    • Good protein levels
    • Pricey
    • Not good for puppies that are grain sensitive
    • Contains brown rice and other fillers

    Divider 5

    Buyer’s Guide

    The Cane Corso is a giant dog breed that will grow to an adult weight of around 100 pounds. He will need more than 2,000 calories a day once he is fully grown. As a puppy, your Cane Corso will require high levels of protein and fat, which ensure that his muscles grow as he ages.Check out our buyer’s guide on how to land the very best source of food for your growing Cane Corso.

    The Importance of Animal Protein

    Protein serves various functions within a dog’s body but is especially important for delivering amino acids to hair, skin, muscles, and other areas of the body. Although protein can be supplied via animal or plant protein, dogs have a simple gastrointestinal tract, which is not capable of digesting large amounts of plant-based protein. They are omnivores, which means that they eat both animal and plant, and a good quality dog food will usually follow the same path by providing a mix of plant and animal protein. Some plant proteins are also lacking in the amino acids that are found in animal protein. It is possible to feed dogs a vegetarian diet and ensure that they remain healthy, but it can be difficult to replace all of the essential minerals in their diet.

    Cane Corso Puppy

    Monitoring Protein, Fat, and Carbohydrate Levels

    It is recommended that dogs get a diet consisting of a minimum of 22% protein, but puppies require more. The ideal target for a young dog is that their diet consists of 29% protein. Fat, which provides dietary energy for your dog, should make up approximately 8% of your puppy’s diet.

    Ideal carbohydrate levels are more difficult to determine. Dog food manufacturers do not need to list carbohydrate levels, and there are many owners and experts who believe that dogs do not require any carbohydrates whatsoever. It is believed, however, that some dogs do benefit from having carbohydrates in their diet, even though excess carbs can be stored as fat and may lead to your puppy putting on weight. A puppy’s diet should not consist of much more than 40% carbohydrates.

    Grain-Inclusive vs Grain-Free

    Grains are considered a reliable source of carbohydrates in dog food. They can provide omega fatty acids as well as a host of other vitamins and minerals. However, they can also cause itching, scratching, diarrhea, and vomiting in dogs that are sensitive or allergic to grains.

    If your dog has not shown signs of an allergic reaction to these ingredients, it is usually recommended that they are given a grain-inclusive diet because of the beneficial ingredients that grains include. However, if your dog does show these symptoms year-round, and you have ruled out all other possible causes of the symptoms, or your veterinarian has advised that you feed a grain-free diet, there is a good selection of grain-free foods available.

    Controversial Ingredients

    Some ingredients found in dog food are considered controversial. The two primary ingredients we found to be common in these foods were as follows:

    • Garlic – that garlic aids digestion and offers anti-bacterial properties. There are also some that claim it can help prevent fleas and mites, although this is anecdotal and there is no supporting scientific evidence. Garlic is known to be toxic to dogs, too, so should you buy food that includes this ingredient? Proponents say that garlic is only toxic in large doses, while opponents state that it causes subclinical damage to blood cells even in lower doses. Whether you choose to give your puppy food that contains any garlic ingredient is up to you, but you should ensure that it only has trace amounts of the ingredient.
    • Yeast – This is another ingredient that some people claim staves off fleas. It can also help to support the immune system. However, opponents of this ingredient say that it can increase the likelihood of bloat, which can be life-threatening for dogs. It is also a known allergen, although this shouldn’t be a problem unless your dog is specifically known to be allergic to the ingredient. Again, in small amounts, yeast is generally considered safe for dogs, but the final decision rests with you, the owner.
    thematic break

    Divider 2Conclusion

    The Cane Corso is a giant dog breed. As a puppy, this means that he will have a sizable appetite to meet his muscle growth requirements. You should ensure that you choose a good quality food that contains the right levels of protein, fat, and carbohydrates, and that includes essential ingredients like omega fatty acids.

    Some foods include additional vitamin supplements, as well as ingredients like probiotics, and it can be a good idea to ensure that minerals are chelated because this makes it easier for your puppy to ingest the good ingredients and to benefit from the minerals.

    During our testing, we found that the Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Dry Dog Food offered the best overall quality thanks to its grain-free formula and high-quality ingredients, while the IAMS ProActive Health Smart Puppy Dry Dog Food offered the best value for money thanks to its low price and its combination of meat and animal-based protein ingredients. We hope you’ve been able to find the best food for Cane Corso puppies from our list that fits your budget and your dog’s needs.

    thematic break

    Featured Image: John Voo, Flickr