Castor and Pollux Organix Grain-Free (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★½

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

Protein = 33% | Fat = 13% | Carbs = 45%

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 when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis30%12%NA
Dry Matter Basis33%13%45%
Calorie Weighted Basis30%29%41%

The first ingredient in this dog food lists 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

We are pleased to note that, unlike many fish meals, this particular item appears2 to be ethoxyquin-free.

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 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 33%, a fat level of 13% and estimated carbohydrates of about 45%.

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. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effects of the peas, soybean meal and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Castor and Pollux Organix Grain Free dog food is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of poultry meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 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

12/22/2011 Original review
06/27/2013 Review updated
06/27/2013 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Per Castor and Pollux via comment dated 6/10/2010
  • mopsie1

    Sadly, we used to love this food but after almost two years on it, our dog suddenly developed anal gland problems and loose stools. After talking with our vet, she said maybe to go to the Organix food WITH grains. But that’s not been great, either. We switched to Wysong Epigen with great success but then they switched their formula, so now it’s back to the drawing board. Why do these companies all keep switching their formulas?!

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Lindsay-
    My dogs had the same rough start. Only I had two of them with it. Very stressful. Now, every time, they have a loose stool, I panic that it is back. I didn’t realize that our lives would revolve around dog poop for two years. We actually have a rating system. LOL! But, they continue to be a little sensitive too. I’ve been using Victor grain free kibble recently with great success. I am going to stay on it for a while to keep things stabilized. I may put this food on my future list to try out due to your recommendation. Also, wanted to recommend Victor to you if you need a kibble to rotate to in the future. Take care.

  • Lindsay Ramos

    Every dog is different but my experience with this formula has been positive. I have a short haired female lab mix (some pit and possibly boxer mixed in there). She had intestinal parasites when we first got her from the shelter, which were difficult to get rid of but we finally by working with the vet. Still after she tested negative, her poo was…pretty disgusting. That whole ordeal lasted about a year until I finally found this and the issue resolved within a week! I get the 14.5 lb bag delivered from Amazon every month or so for about $37, which is awesome. She’s now 3.5 and a very healthy and happy pup with a shiny coat and great teeth! I think the raw hide plays a bigger role in the latter.

  • Jane

    A while back, I stopped using this brand’s dog treats when I found out some of their ingredients were SOURCED FROM CHINA, even though they are made in the US. I got this from the company themselves when I called & asked them directly. I believe they had plans to change that, so maybe they have now, but I certainly would NOT FEED MY PET ANYTHING SOURCED FROM CHINA. There have been deaths associated with other brands of pet food/treats sourced or made in China, most especially the whole JERKY TREATS made in China situation recently (google it). ALWAYS CHECK WHERE YOU PET’S FOOD & TREATS ARE MADE & WHICH COUNTRIES THE INGREDIENTS ARE SOUCED FROM. They can be made in the US but sourced from other countries.

  • Shelley

    We had the same problem about 2 months ago after feeding this food for 2+ years. Turns out the company has been sold and relocated to TX! We switched to Wellness!

  • Susan Price

    I adopted a 5yo Chocolate Lab mix last week and was told this is what she was being fed. After less then 24 hours she developed loose stools then last night (1 week on) every 1 1/2 to 2 hours she had horrible smelly diarrhea. I had been trying rice and boiled chicken with her kibble for the last 2 days but last night was bad. This morning I switched to a completely different brand (tiny amount mixed w her rice) and no more issues. Not sure if we just got a bad bag or what but we will not be going back to C&P.

  • jolieqe

    Oops should have read this post before submitting my question. Which potatoes are ok for dogs if not the white kind?

  • jolieqe

    Howdy, can someone clarify where this food is missing the half star to make it a 5 star recipe? Any concerns about soybean? My cousin’s dog is on this and I”m thinking of trying it (my dog is on Fromm but I think she’s got ear issues from an ingredient in there). Looking for made in the USA of course…

  • Betsy10360

    Looks like Castor & Pollux has added some new items to their Organix line since Dr. Mike’s most recent review.  The ingredients look the same (although I’m clicking back and forth trying to compare).  Wonder if it’s just that the kibble size is smaller for the small breed formula.  
    http://www.castorpolluxpet.com/our-products/brands/organix  

  • tony82

    i just took my dog off this for freshpet due to my schnauzer vomiting, this is expensive food. is this food really that good? what is good food? 

  • Dog Food Ninja

    I was with ‘em right up until “organic soybean meal”. I don’t care how organic it is, it’s still soybean meal. And on top of that, white potatoes! Phytoestrogens and lectins and enzyme blockers, oh my!