Can Koi Fish Eat Dog Food? 3 Fun Treats To Feed Koi Instead

Some dog and koi owners wonder “Can Koi fish eat dog food?” since we know that koi are quite versatile in what they eat and can consume a wide range of different things.

It is true that dog food can be used as a treat for koi fish, and it won’t be harmful to them at all. There are people who feed their koi fish dog food sometimes. It is important to note, though, that this should not become a staple in your koi’s diet, and certainly, it shouldn’t be the only thing you feed them.

We will cover the topic of koi eating dog food in this article in a little more detail, and we will also give you some pointers about tasty snacks that your koi are sure to enjoy.

Can Koi Fish Eat Dog Food?

When it comes to feeding your fish, dog food probably should not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, it is well known that koi are considered to be the dogs of the sea- meaning that they will eat practically anything you feed them. You might wonder if you could feed your koi dog food, especially if you have dogs.

In my opinion, dog food does not pose a threat to koi and is not harmful to them at all. The downside to this type of food is that your fish will not gain any nutritional value from it, so you should make sure not to make it the sole or major component of their diet.

It’s highly likely that your fish will not grow to their full potential if you regularly feed them koi dog food on a regular basis or make it a staple part of their diet.

Koi fish can eat dog food, but you should not feed them frequently
Koi fish can eat dog food, but you should not feed them frequently

As a result, whether you decide to feed your koi dog food or not is, after all, a matter of your own choice, but if you do so, you should do so very occasionally.

This is primarily due to the fact that dog food generally contains a high amount of protein. Protein is an indispensable part of a dog’s diet in order to stay healthy.

Koi fish, however, struggle to digest proteins. The koi fish also need protein to stay healthy and strong, although the protein that they require is available in the fish food they eat. Since it is possible for digestive issues to arise if they are given other sources of protein, you should avoid doing so.

What If You Still Want To Try Feeding Dog Food?

Since dog food is actually not dangerous for koi fish, we totally understand if you still wish to feed dog food to your fish. If you decide to do this, we recommend that you go with natural, high-quality dog food in order for your pet to be healthy.

It is important to pay attention to the food ingredients and to make sure that no fillers have been added to it. In this manner, it might be a good idea to stay away from dog foods that contain grains in them.

You should keep in mind that the more natural you feed your pond and your fish, the fewer problems you will have with them. When I say natural, I mean meat/ vegetables.

Fun Treats To Feed Koi

In some cases, you might like to feed your koi something interesting and unique every once in a while, but dog food might not be the best choice since you still need to feed them something nutritious. Rather than feeding your koi dog food, I am going to give you a list of snacks that you can use.


Koi fish eat watermelon
Koi fish eat watermelon

Fruit is Koi’s favorite food! Watermelon, oranges, and grapes are among the best fruits to give them. There is no need to cut them into small pieces because Koi have very large mouths with powerful teeth at the back of their throats, so you will not need to do this.

There’s no denying that fruits have immense nutritional value and are even said to help improve the immune system of your fish.


Although you may not think of meat as the first food item that you’ll feed your koi, there’s no denying that it makes them happy to see it. Among the various nutritional treats for koi, shrimp is known to be a favorite.

Additionally, you could feed them crayfish and worms. Due to the fact that koi are omnivores, you will be able to feed them meat on occasion without worrying about causing any problems.


The nutritional value of vegetables is also well known to koi. In particular, green vegetables provide them with the most nutritional value. Lettuce and broccoli are some of their favorite green vegetables. Also, you will not need to cut these up because koi will work together to tear the pieces apart.

Another favorite of koi is garlic. They are crazy about this treat, and apparently the scent of it appeals to them especially!

This list of treats for koi fish is just a suggestion for the occasional treats which can be given to your koi fish.

While they provide important nutritional benefits and are renowned for improving your fish’s health, this does not mean that you should replace any of the essential foods. That is just to be a part of your koi’s diet with these foods.

However, just like humans, fish might become bored eating the same things every day, and will want to try something new every so often.


Can you feed cat food to Koi?

In the same way that dog food is safe for your koi to eat, cat food is also safe for it to eat. However, once again, this will not provide your fish with any nutritional value, and so this should be something that is fed to your fish on a rare, if not an occasional, basis.

What do Koi fish like to eat?

Koi fish eat worms, larvae, algae, seeds, insects, and small crustaceans. Technically speaking, they are omnivores, meaning that they will eat just about anything that can fit into their mouths. In their circular mouths, Koi do not have teeth, so they have difficulty biting or tearing.

Can Koi eat bread, cereals & cooked rice? 

The short answer is yes, koi can consume bread, cereals, and cooked rice. Koi will happily eat these items, but too much carbohydrate can lead to various health problems for them


In the end, dog food isn’t something that you should be feeding your koi on a regular basis. Even though it will not cause them any harm, dog food isn’t going to help your koi to stay strong and healthy because it lacks the essential nutrition they need.

There are plenty of healthier and more nutritious options that you can use to add something new to the diet of your koi every so often, so if you are looking for something new to feed your koi, consider my recommendations above. 

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