Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix (Canned)

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Rating: ★★★★★

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

Protein = 44% | Fat = 28% | Carbs = 20%

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
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis8%5%NA
Dry Matter Basis44%28%20%
Calorie Weighted Basis34%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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 44%, a fat level of 28% and estimated carbohydrates of about 20%.

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.

Bottom line?

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.

Enthusiastically recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.

A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

04/09/2010 Original review
03/07/2014 Last Update

  1. 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
  2. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  3. 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)
  • Jessica

    My mom and I feed Castor & Pollux Natural Ultramix, Organix, and Butcher & Bushel (we also feed Blue Buffalo and Dave’s) to our 6 dogs. Three are senior labs and one of those has allergies. One is a spitz mix with epilepsy, one is a pit bull, and one is a border collie mix. They’ve all done great on this food for years. The oldest lab (now 13yrs) has started to develop itching on her skin, but it is apparently not due to food. My mom mixes the wet food with Blue Buffalo Life Protection for her dogs; I mix it with Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete. All of them have done really well on this combo for years.

    Furthermore, they don’t have problems with food transitions. I wonder if it may be due, in part, to the fact that we have always mixed different protein sources. We can change across all the foods I’ve mentioned and none of them ever have digestive problems.

  • Pingback: Best Canned Dog Food: A Few Extra Years For Your Dog | Best Dog Treats For Your Happy & Healthy Dog !!

  • Missimin

    My male dog eats Freshpet Select but my female didn’t like the texture so I bought the grain free Castor and Pollux and she loves it. 

  • Lili

    I found the Ultramix for adult dogs at Wholefoods cheaper then on Amazon for $46.95 30lb bag

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    I really didn’t check, but the difference is probably a little more fat/protein/calories.  Imho, if your Maltese is eating the puppy and doing fine on it, I would think it’s alright to continue feeding it.  Just watch that your little dog stays in a healthy weight.  The adult food usually has less calories/protein/fat.  Others can comment if I’m wrong on this.  

  • LriMar

    Can you tell me what the difference is between CP Ultramix puppy and the adult is. My Maltese loves it but he will be 1yr  old in June.Should I switch to adult? I have read the cans and they are pretty much the same.Since he is so tiny,I thought puppy food size is easier for him to eat. 
    BTW I was feeding him Wellness but went back to CP after the recall.

  • Bazuhi

    Hello, Cathy here..I got this brand in the puppy food based on your reviews and am very very happy with it and so are my puppies. Now as things always happen I went to purchase more puppy formula and found that it was being discontinued at all my local Petsmart stores, even the adult looks to be going away. This was in December, I off course ran to 4 stores and bought all on hand so I should be good for a bit. I now am reseraching and trying different brands so I can have a replacement once Castor is all gone. I choose the Merrick brand.. my pups love it… problem…13oz can.. half the weight is liquid it is not a solid can of dog food as others are so it takes pretty much a whole can to feed 2 8lb puppies. I also noticed on some foods you list Guar Gum and on this one you do not list it even tho it also has it in the food. Just wondering is all.

  • Dadsgirl99pr

    I changed my dog to this food after noticing my little one losing weight. I got him from an owner that I’m pretty sure gave him human food, so when I gave him strictly kibble (I don’t agree with mixing human food with kibble and little by little take him off of it) he would eat just enough to live. That and when I bought the food I didn’t know the difference between good quality food and not. So I JUST served him half a can like 10 minutes ago and he ate it all in record time. I am so glad he likes it! I’ll wait a few weeks to see if it’s a good fit for us. Crossing fingers!

  • Anonymous

    Ooops, sorry, this one is not a pellet/kibble, but rather canned. Anyway, either canned or kibble, it carries a higher price tag.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, I’ve heard about the higher price tag this dog food pellet, carries. “If you happy and you know it, clap your hands.” Umm, I meant, if you’re happy with this food and its results re your dog, then stick with it I say.

    May I ask if you feed your dog, an RMB (raw meaty bone) a day. Great for teeth maintenance.

    A raw meaty bone a day, keeps the vet away.

  • Dan

    Our 3+ year old female lab has been on this food along with their Ultramix dry for over a year. She gets half a can plus a cup of dry in the morning and the second half and a bit more dry in the evening. It’s the only food we were able to find that she would eat. Go figure, a finicky eating lab! Her coat is gorgeous and activity level is high. It’s a bit high priced but Amazon delivers it cheaper than the locals.

  • Janie

    Thank you very much Mike..I got a few cans of this yesterday and tried my shih tzu’s on it and they didnt like it ..turned their nose up at it and walked away. My shih poo had no problem with it ..looked like a very good dog food..thanks again.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Janie… Yes the Chicken, Vegetable and Brown Rice is a newer and very similar product. It would probably receive the same rating (5 stars). The C&P Ultramix canned product line appears to have been recently upgraded to include a few more recipes. So, this review is currently on my To Do list for updating. Hope this helps.

  • Janie

    Was wondering if this reviews also covers the chicken, vegetable, and brown rice stew adult that is on the market . I could not find it on the list . Thanks for your great work and reviews.

  • sandy

    Nola,

    Are you thinking about feeding the can food for breakfast instead of kibble or using the can food as a topper to make the kibble more interesting? Or replacing the raw meal from time to time with the can? In any case, can food is a step up from kibble so I don’t think you could go wrong to add it to your feeding regime as long as it’s for “growth” or “all life stages”.

  • Nola

    My 11 month old dog has been eating castor & pollux’s organix puppy kibble as breakfast, and he gets Stella & Chewy’s frozen raw for dinner. I can’t afford S & C for both meals for a 70lb puppy. However, he really does not enjoy kibble anymore. Would switching to this canned food for one of his meals be a good idea? I’ve never done canned food before so I wasn’t sure if it would go alright with the raw.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Carla… Great idea. I always suggest owners of senior pets consider feeding canned foods. From a dental and periodontal standpoint, these softer foods are so much more comfortable. She’s fortunate to have you taking such good care of her.

  • Carla Marie Rupp

    My dog Lucky loves Ultra (from Whole Foods), all three types, and now that she lost some teeth (she’s 15 years), I crush the chunks a bit with a fork, and feed in small amounts.

  • Danette

    Sea Salt is a much healthier salt for those who worry about their dogs hearts. I don’t know of any other dog food that is made with sea salt! I can really appreciate this dog food.

  • Bnai Silverbush

    My 6-month-old poodle/jack russell/beagle mix has been on the canned puppy formula and enjoys eating it. He ate a low-quality brand for 10 days while staying with family because their dog eats a different food (Kibbles N Bits) and of course he gorges himself on his dog-friend’s food for the entire 10 days. (Peer pressure. hmph.) His coat was frizzy and dry-looking when I picked him up–He had lost so much of the beautiful gloss his coat had developed! After a week of being back on his Castor & Pollux, the amazing gloss returned to his coat and the frizz was again replaced by his usual sleek waves. fur returned to it’s slick waves