Castor and Pollux Organix Grain-Free (Canned)

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Castor and Pollux Organix Grain Free canned dog food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Castor and Pollux Organix Grain Free product line includes four canned dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Castor and Pollux Organix Grain Free Chicken and Potato
  • Castor and Pollux Organix Grain Free Chicken and Vegetable
  • Castor and Pollux Organix Grain Free Turkey, Carrot and Potato
  • Castor and Pollux Organix Grain Free Turkey and Vegetable (3.5 stars)

Castor and Pollux Organix Grain Free Chicken and Vegetable was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Castor and Pollux Organix Grain-Free Adult Chicken and Vegetable

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 34% | Fat = 27% | Carbs = 31%

Ingredients: Organic chicken, water sufficient for processing, organic turkey, organic chicken liver, organic pea flour, organic carrots, organic potatoes, organic apples, organic guar gum, organic flaxseed meal, salt, tricalcium phosphate, 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), organic garlic, potassium chloride, vitamins (vitamin E, A, B12, D3 supplements, thiamine mononitrate, biotin, riboflavin supplement)

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.5%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis8%6%NA
Dry Matter Basis34%27%31%
Calorie Weighted Basis26%51%23%

The first ingredient in this dog food includes chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1

The second ingredient is water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.

The third ingredient is turkey, another quality raw item.

Both chicken and turkey are naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The fourth item is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The fifth ingredient is pea flour, a powder made from roasted yellow peas. Pea flour contains as much as 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The sixth ingredient is carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

The seventh ingredient is 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 eighth ingredient includes apple, a nutrient-rich fruit that’s also high in fiber.

The ninth ingredient is guar gum, a gelling or thickening agent found in many wet pet foods. Refined from dehusked guar beans, guar gum can add a notable amount of dietary fiber to any product.

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 meal is one of the best plant-based sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Flax meal is particularly 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, 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.2

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 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 Grain Free
Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Castor and Pollux Organix Grain Free 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 34%, a fat level of 27% and estimated carbohydrates of about 31%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 34% and a mean fat level of 28%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 30% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 83%.

Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical canned dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effects of the pea flour, flaxseed meal and rice protein concentrate contained in another recipe, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing just a moderate amount of meat.

Since this recipe contains a number of organic ingredients, we feel compelled to grant this line a 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.

Bottom line?

Castor and Pollux Organix Grain Free is a meat-based canned dog food using a moderate amount of chicken or turkey as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly 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

12/13/2011 Original review
06/14/2013 Review updated
06/14/2013 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. 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)
  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    It’s still highly recommended because there are still hundreds more foods that are below it (less than 4 stars). Foods with 3 stars and higher are recommended.

  • Jazmine Bailey Stobie

    In the Bottom Line sub, it is stated that “As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 34% and a mean fat level of 28%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 30% for the overall product line. And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 83%.”
    But then you state that the food contains a “Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical canned dog food.” yet you also say that it is highly recommended? Please explain

  • Claire Leone Skody

    I too bought several cans of this dog food. Fortunately for my dog, we mix it with her dry food & were able to find the large thigh bone & shards of bone mixed in with the food. I am SURE that if ingested, my dog would have gotten seriously ill or died. The bones were neither soft (actually very sharp) or digestible. When I called the company they gave me the same crap about how the bones were “supposed” to be in the food. When I asked if shards of bone were also supposed to be in the food, she couldn’t answer me. I also called the pet store where I purchased the food, they were going to pull the batch.
    Bottom line, I will never purchase this food again & I don’t recommend it to anyone else!!

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    My dogs love the merrick smothered comfort food with the chicken thigh in it. They have some Wingaling to try too but I’m sure they’ll love it as well. Every now and then they just a raw meaty bone to eat. They get chicken, pork, duck and sardines (raw, bone and all).

  • Charlie

    Patty is a fraud her information is flawed.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I never understand why people who don’t care what anyone says think that someone will care what they say.

  • Cavalier mom

    Didn’t you Hounddog feed Purina until 2-3years ago?and how old?23? Don’t you think that you are a bit too young to be that arrogant???:):):)

  • Hound Dog Mom

    The bones are supposed to be there. From Castor & Pollux’s website:

    “We want to reassure you the chicken bones in ORGANIX® Butcher & Bushel Organic Choice Chicken Wing & Thigh Dinner with Fresh-Harvest Sweet Potatoes are there on purpose. If you notice on the can, there is a note from the chef that states the purpose of the chicken bones: ‘Our slow cooked, whole chicken thighs/wings are marinated tender chicken cooked on a softened bone. This special cooking process makes the bone
    soft and safe for your dog to enjoy. Feel free to serve whole, remove, or break apart the soft chicken bones for ease of pet consumption.” The bones also provide the full flavor your dog loves. The food is pressure cooked inside the can and this process is what softens the bones.'”

    I know you said you don’t care what anyone says, but I’ll say it anyways – poultry bones are very safe as long as they are raw or have been pressure cooked for a long period of time to soften (such is the case with this food).

  • Trillian6

    I also just found a Huge chicken bone in the wing & thigh dinner I bought. I’m sorry but I don’t care what anyone says here, chicken bones are DANGEROUS!! I’m not going to buy anyone stating that they’re Good for my dog to eat. I didn’t rescue him to put him in Any danger. That would be reckless endangerment IMHO.

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    I don’t know why you responded to me, I didn’t say anything about the bones…I know all about them. I’ve used Merrick cans for years.

  • Tom Lewandowski

    Do any of you with “bone” comments read the can? The bones are supposed to be in there and are safe to eat. The chicken is so slowly cooked … ON THE BONES .. resulting in bones that a child can easily crush by hand. The dogs love them, they contain some nutrition, and I give them to my dogs as treats!

  • Kelpi

    I recently purchased some of the C&P Organix Butcher and Bushel Chicken Wing and Thigh Dinner, and yes, there are bones in it but they are very soft and almost disintergrate when pushed with a fork. The bones don’t bother me as they are not sharp, at least I haven’t seen any sharp ones. And bones are an excellent source of many things to include, I believe, calcium. I just mix it all up. Some of the wet food, some of the C&P dry kibble and whatever else I may add that day, ie: egg, pumpkin or organic rice, etc..
    I LOVE C&P pet food, am extremely satisfied and feel that I am feeding my dogs a superb, high quality food. My dogs are very healthy. I also buy their line because it is ORGANIC, and that is the number one priority for me.
    And last but not least, my dogs like the food.
    Obviously, I highly recommend this dog food.

  • Diane

    I use the Organix Butcher & Bushel (chicken wing & thigh with sweet potatoes). Since I only put a couple of teaspoons on top of their dry food, and then mix in all together, when I find bones I just remove them. So far I have had good luck with this canned food.

  • Annie

    I gave my dogs some Organix Butcher and Bushel Chicken Wing and Thigh Dinner w/Sweet Potatoes as a topper. The next morning, one had an explosive accident in the house for the first time ever, then the following morning, the other had bloody diarrhea. Both are fine eating raw chicken, so don’t think the amount of bone mentioned by others was a problem, especially because they only got a quarter can each. Contacted Castor & Pollux via 800 number on the can. They said they hadn’t gotten other reports, but took the batch number off the can and will check the reserved quality control for that batch. They are issuing a refund, too. Don’t know what the big picture might be, but just a heads up that there seemed to be something wrong with the can I purchased.

  • m young

    YES! I just returned two cans to Whole Foods advising them there were whole chicken wing bones inside! Bad, bad, bad. My dog almost ate them. Gross too!

  • jjack

    I found bones in the canned food as well. What the heck??? Some of them where sharp.

  • Maxx n Zoeys mom

    Huge bones in the food I just bought!

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    Just got some of this canned food at Whole Foods, along with the Ultramix grainfree cans….they were 1.50 each, so not bad.  Hopefully my dogs will like their kibble topped with it and do well with it.