Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix product line includes six dry dog foods, five claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance and one recipe for growth.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Adult
- Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Puppy (4.5 stars)
- Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Large Breed Adult
- Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Weight Management
- Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Lamb and Rice Adult (3.5 stars)
- Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Beef, Barley and Carrots (4.5 stars)
Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Large Breed Adult was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Large Breed Adult
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, milo, ground whole oats, ground whole barley, chicken fat (naturally preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), brown rice, dried peas, dried bananas, tomato pomace, natural chicken flavor, ground whole flaxseed, dried carrots, dried sweet potatoes, salmon meal, brewers dried yeast, dried egg product, potassium chloride, salt, freeze dried peas, dicalcium phosphate, dried cranberries, fructooligosaccharide, calcium carbonate, glucosamine hydrochloride, zinc sulfate, vitamin E supplement, choline chloride, ferrous sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, niacin, l-carnitine, copper sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, manganous oxide, pyridoxine hydrochloride, sodium selenite, riboflavin, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, calcium iodate, folic acid, rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||28%||12%||52%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||25%||27%||48%|
The first ingredient is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.
After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.
The second ingredient includes chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The third ingredient includes turkey meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
The fourth ingredient is milo. Milo is another name for sorghum, a starchy cereal grain with a nutrient profile similar to corn.
Since it is gluten-free and boasts a smoother blood sugar behavior than other grains, milo can be considered a quality non-meat ingredient.
The fifth ingredient is oats. Oats are rich in B-vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.
The sixth ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The seventh ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.
The eighth 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 ninth ingredient includes dried peas. Dried peas are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.
However, dried peas contain about 27% 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 five notable exceptions…
First, tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup.
Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.
Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.
Next, we find flaxseed, 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.
In addition, brewers yeast can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient is rich in minerals and other healthy nutrients.
Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.
Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.
In addition, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is a claim we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.
In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, yeast can still be considered a nutritious additive.
What’s more noteworthy here is that brewers yeast contains about 48% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
Next, this recipe contains fructooligosaccharide, an alternative sweetener1 probably used here as a prebiotic. Prebiotics function to support the growth of healthy bacteria in the large intestine.
And lastly, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.
Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.
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 28% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 49% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 52%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the pea products, flaxseed and brewers yeast, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of various named meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
11/06/2014 Last Update