Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix canned dog food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix product line includes four canned dog foods, three claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance and one recipe for all life stages.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Adult Beef
- Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Adult Lamb
- Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Adult Chicken
- Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Puppy Chicken
Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Adult Lamb, Vegetable and Brown Rice Stew was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Adult Lamb, Vegetable and Brown Rice Stew
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Lamb broth, lamb, chicken, lamb liver, brown rice, potatoes, dried egg white, potato starch, carrots, peas, oat fiber, red peppers, guar gum, natural flavor, cranberries, blueberries, apples, spinach, flaxseed meal, sodium phosphate, dried bananas, sunflower oil, garlic, salt, minerals (iron amino acid chelate, zinc amino acid chelate, cobalt amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, sodium selenite, potassium iodide), calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, vitamins (vitamin E, A, B12, D3 supplements, thiamine mononitrate, biotin, riboflavin supplement), choline chloride, l-carnitine
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||44%||28%||20%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||34%||51%||15%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is lamb broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food they are a common addition component in many canned products.
The second ingredient is lamb. Lamb is considered “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered” lamb and associated with skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1
The third ingredient is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.2
Both lamb and chicken are naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The fourth ingredient is lamb liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The fifth ingredient is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The sixth ingredient includes potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The seventh ingredient is dried egg whites. Eggs are highly digestible and an excellent source of usable protein.
The eighth ingredient is potato starch. Potato starch is a gluten-free carbohydrate used more for its thickening properties than its nutritional value.
The ninth ingredient is carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The tenth ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.
But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.
With four notable exceptions…
First, flaxseed is one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.
However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
Next, sunflower oil is nutritionally similar to safflower oil. Since these oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids and contain no omega-3′s, they’re considered less nutritious than canola or flaxseed oils.
Sunflower oil is notable for its resistance to heat damage during cooking.
There are several different types of sunflower oil, some better than others. Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this ingredient.
In addition, garlic can be a controversial item. Although most experts favor the ingredient for its numerous health benefits, garlic (in rare cases) has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.3
However, the limited professional literature we surveyed provided no definitive warnings regarding the use of garlic — especially when used in small amounts (as it likely is here).
And lastly, this food contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.
Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix
Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix looks like an above-average canned dog food.
But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 45% and a mean fat level of 24%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 23% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 54%.
Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effects of the peas and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a significant amount of meat.
Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix is a meat-based canned dog food using a generous amount of lamb, poultry or beef as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.
Rice ingredients can sometimes contain arsenic. Until the US FDA establishes safe upper levels for arsenic content, pet owners may wish to limit the total amount of rice fed in a dog's daily diet.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
04/09/2010 Original review
03/07/2014 Last Update
- Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for beef published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition ↩
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
- Yamato et al, Heinz Body hemolytic anemia with eccentrocytosis from ingestion of Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum) and garlic (Allium sativum) in a dog, Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 41:68-73 (2005) ↩