Castor and Pollux Organix Grain Free Dog Food earns the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.
The Castor and Pollux Organix Grain Free product line includes two dry 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 Adult
- Castor and Pollux Organix Small Breed Grain Free Adult
Castor and Pollux Organix Grain Free Adult was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.
Castor and Pollux Organix Grain Free Adult
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Organic chicken, poultry meal, organic tapioca, organic peas, organic soybean meal, organic potato, dried egg product, salmon meal, poultry fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), organic chicken liver, natural chicken flavor, organic flaxseed, salt, minerals (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), potassium chloride, choline 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), 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) = 3.9%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||33%||13%||45%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||30%||29%||41%|
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 poultry meal. Poultry meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh poultry.
Although the word poultry doesn’t clearly identify the species, poultry meal is most commonly sourced from chicken and turkey.
The third ingredient is tapioca, a gluten-free, starchy carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.
The fourth 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.
The fifth ingredient is soybean meal, a by-product of soybean oil production more commonly found in farm animal feeds.
Although soybean meal contains 48% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.
And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The sixth 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 seventh 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.
The eighth ingredient includes salmon meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1
The ninth ingredient is poultry fat. Poultry fat is obtained from rendering, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Poultry fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life.
However, poultry fat is a relatively generic ingredient and can be considered lower in quality than a similar item from a named source animal (like chicken fat).
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 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 Dog Food
The Bottom Line
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.
Judging by its ingredients alone, Castor and Pollux Organix Grain Free looks like an above-average dry 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 33% and a mean fat level of 13%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 45% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 40%.
Above-average protein. Below-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, soybean meal and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing at least a moderate amount of meat.
Castor and Pollux Organix Grain Free is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of poultry meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 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
12/28/2014 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩