Can Koi Fish Eat Dog Food?

koi fish eating

Are you running low on koi food and wondering if koi fish can eat dog food? This post will tell you everything you need about koi and dog food.

Koi may eat dog food and isn’t harmful, but it shouldn’t be the main staple in their diet. Koi cannot digest some proteins, and most dog foods contain that type of protein.

If you feed you fish dog food, you should give them high-quality dog food.

Koi nutrition is usually best with these percentages:

  • 30-40% Protein
  • 4-10% Fat
  • 4& Fiber

This will ensure the best growth, health, and color.  

Also, be sure not to feed koi dog food or any food when water temperatures are below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.   During these times, their metabolism is too slow for a large amount of food.  View the koi feeding water temperature chart here.

Here is a video showing a pond-keeper feeding koi dog food:

Is it safe to feed Koi Fish Dog Food?

Dog food is safe for koi fish as long as they are correctly fed and in the right proportion. Koi will eat nearly everything you give them, even dog food. That is why folks refer to them as “sea dogs.” 

If you give dog food to your fish every day, they may not reach their growth potential and be deficient in the essential nutrients needed for survival.

Feeding Koi Dry Dog Food

Koi will consume dry dog food and do have teeth to help grind it down, but it is best to wet the food before feeding it.  Even just letting the food float in the pond for a little bit before the koi have access to it.

Dry dog food may cause the fish to take in excess air, which can cause health issues. It is also essential to be cautious about feeding too much dry dog food to your koi since excessive feeding could cause water quality issues.

Feeding Koi Wet Dog Food

Wet dog food is better for your fish than dry. There is not as much of a need for koi to grind the food down with their teeth.  However, wet dog food doesn’t provide all the nutritional requirements like dry food. 

The wet dog food will be digested easily by the koi. However, they are unable to digest proteins in dog food. Be careful not to make dog food the primary food source for your koi fish since it can cause health issues and diseases. 

Also, don’t rely on koi to tell you if they have had enough.  Like dogs, they will eat as much as they possibly can.  You will need to control the amount they eat.  This will keep the fish and water healthier. 

What Food Can I Feed My Koi Fish Other than Fish Food?

If you’re bummed, dog food can’t be more of a staple of your koi’s diet. You might try some other foods.

There are a variety of foods that you can give your fish in addition to fish food. It is possible to feed them with insects and bugs as they offer your fish a high amount of nutrition. It is also possible to provide them with algae and plants found naturally in ponds, along with snails as a possibility. 

Again, koi will eat whatever you offer them. You can even train koi fish to take food by hand with cereals like rice, peas, etc. They also eat fruits such as watermelon, spinach, lettuce, and even shrimp.

Fruits and vegetables are great for koi. It will help boost their immune systems.

Learn more about nutritional requirements for fish (USDA).

What about cat food?

Cat food is not dangerous for your fish, just like dog food. But, as we have mentioned with dog food, it won’t give your fish the nutritional value it needs, and it should only be fed occasionally, if ever.


Overall, dog food isn’t something you should feed your koi fish regularly. It can be a snack.

Although it’s unlikely to cause any harm, dog food doesn’t have the crucial nutrition value to ensure that your koi are healthy and robust.

If you’re seeking to introduce some new things to your koi’s daily diet, many better and healthier options are available to explore.

To learn more about koi fish, read the complete guide here. 

Last Updated on March 25, 2022 by Davin