Can Koi Carp Eat Dog Food? {It Is Safe?}

Did you just run out of fish food for your koi? Can koi carp eat dog food?

I buy huge bags of dog food, but much smaller containers of fish food for my koi. Can I give them some doggie chow?

I will try to explain everything you need to know about koi fish and dog food in this article.

Can Koi Carp Eat Dog Food?

Yes. Koi carp can eat dog food and it is not dangerous for your koi fish and will do them no harm. It shouldn’t be the major component of their diet.

Some proteins, which are present in the majority of dog meals, are indigestible to koi. If you feed your fish dog food, be sure it’s of the highest quality.

Can Koi Carp Eat Dog Food

Is it Safe to Feed Koi Fish Dog Food?

Dog food is safe for koi fish when you feed it to them in the right quantity and proportion. Koi fish will feed on virtually everything you feed to them, including dog foods, which is why most people refer to them as “the dogs of the sea.”

  • Dog food does not provide any special nutritional value to your koi fish
  • It will neither harm nor hurt them if you give it to them once in a while.

If you feed dog food to your koi fish regularly, they will not attain their potential growth and lack many basic survival nutrients. You can decide to or not feed dog food to your koi fish, but if you will, you should feed it to them occasionally.

Can Koi Eat Wet Dog Food?

Feeding wet dog food to your koi fish is not a problem. There is a high chance the food will get wet before your koi fish eat it as you will drop the food in the water.

Try to avoid making dog food the main meal for your koi fish as it will deprive your fish of many benefits.

Wet dog food in a can will disperse and cause a mess in the water where dry kibble will expand in size, but will maintain its shape. I would refrain from messing up the water with canned dog food.

Can Koi Eat Dry Dog Food?

No. Your koi will eat dry dog kibble, but it will be better to make them a little wet before feeding it to them.

The dry dog food can cause the fish to take in air, which can be dangerous to its health.

You also have to avoid extensive feeding of dry dog food to your koi fish as prolonged feeding can cause the fish some health issues.

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What Can I Feed My Koi Fish Besides Fish Food?

There are varieties of food you can feed your koi fish aside from fish food. You can feed them:

  • bugs and insects
  • plants and algae
  • shrimp
  • fruit
  • vegetables

Koi fish will eat anything you give to them as long as it is edible to them, so you do not have to worry much about the food to give them.

Some koi fish will even eat people’s food, and they will eat cereals, rice, peas, etc. They will also feed on fruits like watermelon. Stay away from high carbohydrate foods as it could cause gut impaction.

Should Koi Be Fed Everyday?

Yes. You should generally feed koi once daily, no more than they can consume in five minutes.  Try feeding less the next time if after five minutes, there is still food left unfinished.

It’s better to give them some human food or dog food then leaving them hungry when you run out of fish food.

Can Koi Eat Meat?

Yes. Koi would prefer meat from the sea, but they are not picky eaters. Shrimp is a well-known favorite among the many dietary delights for koi.

You may also give them crayfish and worms to eat. Koi are omnivores, so you may occasionally give them meat without fearing that it will cause any issues.

Can I Give Koi Cat Food?

Yes. The same principle applies when feeding koi cat food as it would with dog food. The nutritional value is low and some proteins will not be digested well.

This means they can eat it but stand to gain little or no nutritional value. At least cat food will not make your koi sick.

Can You Feed Other Pond Fish Dog Food?

Yes, but there are risks. Some fish such as catfish have reportedly died from gut impaction when dog food expands and gets stuck.

Dog food is not recommended for all pond fish. Koi fish are like the dogs of the sea and can handle dog food better than most pond animals. Dog food can:

  • Be difficult to digest
  • Lack quality nutrients
  • Muddy the water

These drawbacks more than explain why feeding pond fish to dogs should never be an option and should be the very last thing on your mind.


Your koi fish will eat dog food when you feed it to them. These foods are not that nutritious to koi and not also harmful to them. You may occasionally feed it to them in small quantities as you always consider the health of your koi fish first.


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Hello, I'm Jason. I'm the guy behind I volunteer at my local fish shop and I created this site to offer tips and advice on the fish I care for.