Castor and Pollux Organix dog food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.
The Castor and Pollux Organix product line includes five dry dog foods, four claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance and one recipe for growth (Puppy).
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Castor and Pollux Organix Adult
- Castor and Pollux Organix Puppy
- Castor and Pollux Organix Small Breed Adult
- Castor and Pollux Organix Large Breed Adult
- Castor and Pollux Organix Weight Mgmt Adult (3.5 stars)
Castor and Pollux Organix Adult was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Castor and Pollux Organix Adult
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Organic chicken, chicken meal, organic brown rice, organic peas, organic millet, organic oats, chicken fat (naturally preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), salmon meal, natural chicken flavor, organic quinoa, dried egg product, organic flaxseed, minerals (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), organic carrots, organic apples, organic broccoli, organic pumpkin, organic pears, salt, choline chloride, potassium chloride, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, l-ascorbyl-2 polyphosphate, vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B12 supplement, biotin, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement), chondroitin sulfate, yeast culture (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, dried Bacillus subtilis, fermentation solubles, rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||29%||16%||48%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||25%||33%||42%|
The first ingredient in this dog food 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 is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The third 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 fourth ingredient is 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.
The fifth ingredient is millet, a gluten-free grain harvested from certain seed grasses. Millet is hypoallergenic and naturally rich in B-vitamins and fiber as well as other essential minerals.
The sixth ingredient is oats. Oats are rich in B-vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.
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 includes salmon meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
After the natural chicken flavor, we find quinoa. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is not a true cereal grain but a plant prized for its gluten-free seeds.
Compared to most other grain-type ingredients, it is high in protein (about 12-18%), dietary fiber and other healthy nutrients.
The next ingredient is dried egg product, a dehydrated form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.
In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
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 three 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, we note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added to provide enzymes to aid the animal with digestion.
And lastly, this food also 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 Organix Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Since this recipe contains a number of organic ingredients, we feel compelled to grant this line more favorable status as we consider its final rating.
That’s because organic ingredients must comply with notably more stringent government standards — standards which significantly restrict the use of any synthetic pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, hormones or antibiotics.
Judging by its ingredients alone, Castor and Pollux Organix 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 53%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effects of the peas, quinoa, flaxseed and the pea protein contained in the puppy recipe, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Castor and Pollux Organix dog food is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of chicken meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.
Those looking for a wet product from the same company may wish to visit our review of Castor and Pollux Organix canned dog food.
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
04/06/2010 Original review
11/06/2010 Review updated
11/02/2011 Review updated
05/11/2013 Last Update