Dog Food Ingredients A to Z: Quail

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We continue our Dog Food Ingredients A to Z series with the letter “Q”. Today’s ingredient is Quail.

What is Quail?

Quail is a collective name for several families of mid-sized birds generally considered in the order Galliformes.   A “game” bird, quail is an alternative source of fowl protein.


Common names for Quail

The most common name variations include Old World Quail, New World Quail, which includes Quail found in North and South America.


Why is Quail included in dog food?

Using quail, instead of more typical fowl like chicken, provides a “novel” protein source that can help keep a dog from developing an allergic reaction to frequently fed protein sources or help calm the intestinal system of a dog with an existing food allergy.


Is Quail a commonly used ingredient in dog food?

Quail is very rarely used and is in only a handful of dog foods currently.


Common benefits or risks of Quail

Quail is a relatively low calorie and high in protein food.  One ounce of quail has about 66 calories, 7 grams of protein, and 4 grams of fat.  It is also a source of the B Vitamins and the minerals phosphorous and iron.

Quail is slightly higher in calories, protein and fat per ounce than is chicken.

Quail, like other novel proteins (e.g. rabbit, venison), can provide an alternative protein source for your dog.  Novel proteins like quail can be used to add variety to a dog’s diet and reduce the chances of allergic reaction if used as part of a protein rotational strategy.  A rotational strategy is a feeding approach that uses a variety of foods to ensure a balanced diet and proper nutrition, instead of one that uses the same food.  Over time, serving the same diet can lead to malnutrition and food allergies. This is why we recommend changing and mixing up your dog’s food every 2-3 months.


Miscellaneous facts about Quail

Although they are capable of short bursts of strong flight New World quails, such as the California Quail, prefer to use their legs and will walk or run from danger, using flight as a last resort for escape.
slimdoggy smiley

Slimdoggy Ingredient Comfort Level

Because quail is high in protein and a good source of fat (both of which are important for a dog), Quail gets the Slimdoggy “smiley” rating.


Sources and further reading



We’re joining the Tasty Tuesday Blog Hop sponsored by Sugar, the Golden Retriever and Kolchak from Kol’s Notes:

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  1. Interesting…I always associate quail with a bird we hunt and eat, but never even thought of it as a source of food in commercial dog food. I would guess that if it is an ingredient in dog food the dog food in rather expensive since the cost of getting wild or farm raised is probably pretty high…and what is the quality if the quail that is put into dog food?
    Kathryn Durno recently posted…Where have you been all my life?My Profile

  2. My dogs would like quail, ok they would like pheasant better. I haven’t seen any prescription foods come across with quail yet. Would be a good choice but bet expensive since not much meat on those little birds.

  3. I never would have thought of quail being in dog food either! I think it makes perfect sense to switch their diet around, it’s something we had never thought about before. We’d get them on whatever food we thought was good and stick with it (turns out those foods weren’t that good anyway!). I’m so glad to be aware of this now so we can give them some variety.
    Jan K recently posted…Monday Mischief – Week 1 w/ LukeMy Profile

  4. Qwazy Quail in dog food? I know there are humans that hunt and eat Quail, but never thought of it as something for dogs.
    emma recently posted…Party with Confetti Balls | GBGV | Tasty TuesdayMy Profile

  5. Sounds like a great ingredient for dog food and somewhat natural. I never see it in dog food around here.
    Jim recently posted…Simple Steps to Crate Train your Husky PuppyMy Profile

  6. Hmm very interesting read!
    Have a Happy New Year!!
    ((Husky hugz))
    “Love is being owned by a husky”
    Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady recently posted…OMD Monday..Christmas editionMy Profile

  7. Hmm I haven’t noticed any quail in any of my dog food or treats yet!
    Ruckus the Eskie recently posted…Giveaway: Zuke’s Skinny Bakes (ends 1/13/14) @ZukesPetsMy Profile

  8. I’ve got Californian Quail that come and visit on my front lawn quite a bit 🙂 Thankfully the dogs (so far) aren’t interested in adding them to their diet! It’s lovely to see them mooching about.

  9. Quail? Now we are talking! 🙂

    the brown dawgs
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  10. Felix will cut you for raw quail. It’s only like a bazillion dollars a pound, so he doesn’t get it often, but it is one of his absolute favourites, ever.
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    • Doggy crack…
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