What Do Wolves Eat? (Wolf Diet and Favorite Food)

In this article, we’ll answer the question:

“What do wolves eat?”

First, you’ll find a short summary of what wolves eat in nature, then get a list of a wolf’s favorite foods that make up a typical wolf diet. And finally, answers to common questions about wolf feeding habits and nutrition.

Wolves, also commonly known as the gray wolf or timber wolf, are large canines (Canis genus) of the Canidae family in the Carnivora order.

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What Do Wolves Eat?

Wolves eat large hoofed mammals, such as bison, moose, deer, and elk, and hunt smaller mammals like beavers, hares, and rodents. Even though wolves are carnivores, they occasionally eat plants and vegetables. A wolf’s diet is determined by the availability of prey and vegetation in its habitat.

Wolf Diet (Favorite Foods)

  • Deer
  • Elk
  • Moose
  • Bison
  • Caribou
  • Beavers
  • Hares
  • Rodents
  • Plants
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits

How Often Does a Wolf Eat?

A wolf often eats every few days and compensates for the feast or famine lifestyle by consuming over 20 pounds of meat in a single meal. Studies show that a wolf’s feeding intervals can reach up to 12 days between meals.

How Much Do Wolves Eat Per Day?

Wolves eat around 10 pounds of meat per day, on average, but can eat up to 20 pounds of meat in a single meal, especially because they live a feast or famine lifestyle in the wild.

According to International Wolf Center, Gray wolves survive on about 2.5 pounds of food per day but require five to seven pounds daily to reproduce successfully.

How Long Can Wolves Live Without Food?

Wolves can live for up to two weeks without food and typically go at least one week without feeding when prey is scarce. Wolves have adapted to eating a large amount of food in a single meal because of the difficulty in catching prey, which can take days or weeks.

Do Wolves Eat Fruits and Vegetables?

Wolves do eat fruits and vegetables to stock up on nutrients not found in meat. A wolf’s fruit selection includes blueberries, cowberries, pears, and apples. Sometimes, wolves eat grass when their stomach is upset.

Do Wolves Eat Fish?

Wolves do eat fish and all kinds of seafood, such as salmon, beluga, grey whale, walrus, and seals when land animal meat is scarce.

According to National Geographic, coastal wolves of Vancouver Island live with two powers in the ocean, which means they can swim to capture seafood.

Do Wolves Eat Humans?

Wolves do not eat humans but cases of rabid wolves attacking and killing humans have been reported. It is very rare for a wolf to eat a human because they live in different habitats.

According to Colorado State University, “there are no documented accounts of humans killed by wild wolves between 1900-2000.” However, “have been recent reports of wolves attacking people.” One reported incident occurred in a remote part of Alaska in 2010 and another at a campsite in Banff National Park in 2019.

What Animals Eat Wolves?

Wolves are prey to a few different species.

You can visit our other guide on what animals eat wolves to find out which predators actively feed on these mammals.

Wolf diet

Wolf Eating Habits and Diet Summary

You now know what do wolves eat in the wild as well as the typical food in a wolf’s diet.

As you discovered in this guide, wolves are carnivores that prey on various species for nutrition with a wolf’s favorite food being things like deer, elk, and beavers.