Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Grain-Free (Canned)

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Rating: ★★★★★

Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Grain Free canned dog food gets the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix 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 Natural Ultramix Grain Free Beef and Vegetable Dinner
  • Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Grain Free Salmon and Chicken Dinner
  • Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Grain Free Turkey and Vegetable Dinner
  • Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Grain Free Chicken and Vegetable Dinner

Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Grain Free Beef and Vegetable Dinner was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Grain Free Beef and Vegetable Dinner

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 50% | Fat = 30% | Carbs = 12%

Ingredients: Beef, beef broth, potatoes, carrots, potato starch, peas, calcium sulfate, guar gum, sunflower oil, salt, dicalcium phosphate, flaxseed oil, choline chloride, betaine, potassium chloride, taurine, zinc proteinate, calcium carbonate, iron proteinate, vitamin E supplement, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, nicotinic acid, calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, sodium selenite, riboflavin, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, ethylenediamine dihydriodide, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 2.5%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis10%6%NA
Dry Matter Basis50%30%12%
Calorie Weighted Basis37%54%9%

The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Beef is defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1

Beef is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The second ingredient includes beef broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add moisture to a dog food they are a common finding in many canned products.

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

The fifth ingredient is potato starch. Potato starch is a gluten-free carbohydrate used more for its thickening properties than its nutritional value.

The sixth 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 seventh item is calcium sulfate, a source of supplemental calcium.

The eighth 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.

The ninth ingredient is sunflower oil. Sunflower oil is nutritionally similar to safflower oil. Since these oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids and contain no omega-3’s, they’re considered less nutritious than canola or flaxseed oils.

Sunflower oil is notable for its resistance to heat damage during cooking.

There are several different types of sunflower oil, some better than others. Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this ingredient.

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 two notable exceptions

First, betaine is a supplement known for its ability to protect cells, proteins, and enzymes from environmental damage. A growing body of evidence seems to suggest betaine may be important for the prevention of chronic disease.

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 Natural Ultramix
Grain Free Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Grain Free canned dog food looks like an above average wet 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 50%, a fat level of 30% and estimated carbohydrates of about 12%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 50% and a mean fat level of 30%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 12% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 60%.

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

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Grain Free is a meat-based canned dog food using a generous amount of beef, poultry or salmon as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically 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

12/29/2011 Original review
05/04/2013 Review updated
05/04/2013 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • Dori

    So glad you’re feeling better.

  • http://www.theholisticchatterbox.com/ Toxed2loss

    Miss you too Betsy! My world is getting better and better! Hope yours is going well too!

  • http://www.theholisticchatterbox.com/ Toxed2loss

    LOL, no, its not stalking! Come visit and read about how much better I’m getting. :-)

  • Dori

    OMG!!!! Toxed, you have been so missed. I loitered around for a couple of years while you were still posting. By the time I started posting you were gone. I’ve wondered where you were. I miss all your stories and trips about your camper and all that you went through to be able to take a trip. I’m going to log on to your site that you listed. I don’t have any questions, I just liked following you. I hope that’s not considered stalking. Just admiration for you and all you go through.

  • sue66b

    Hi Schnauzer mom, also Benadine antiseptic lotion helps kill any bacteria, I fill a shallow bath & rinse skin & paws when its been bad..I use Detol Antiseptic lotion its the same & cheaper u only need a couple of caps of Detol in a shallow bath.. I found this to be the best,it stops the itch straight away & gives instant relielf also for the ears I get a cotton bud & use the Detol cream, kills any bacteria in the ears…

  • 4FootedFoodie

    Agreed! She is a fountain of knowledge!

  • 4FootedFoodie

    Hi Tox!!! Miss you. Hope all is well in your world. : )

    It’s Betsy, here.

  • http://www.theholisticchatterbox.com/ Toxed2loss

    Hi Schnauzer Mom,
    Neezer is right. I don’t post here anymore; its out of respect for the site’s rules. Most of what I have to say isn’t about comparing dog food. Its about dietary and environmental toxins. So if you have a question for me, come ask it on theholisticchatterbox.com

  • neezerfan

    Unfortunately Toxed hasn’t posted on here in quite a while. I wish she would!

  • Schnauzer mom

    Please continue. I have an 8 year old Miniature Schnauzer who is now on his 5 RX of Tribinafine. He is allergic to fleas and their bites and ends up with yeasty skin/hair oilness and odor. He has been eating Instinct Lamb for the past 2 years and I have recently been feeding about 10 small pieces of raw steak and green beens. I also give him benedryl 2 xs a day, cotton ball dipped in vinegar skin rubs and feet dipped. I had it under control until this summer when the comfortis flea treatment didn’t seem as effective as last year. I only treat for fleas during summer because he doesn’t have a flea problem year round and I fear the insecticide in the confortis is causing cancer in many dogs. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated as I wasn’t aware of the problems associated with the Tribinifine. Thank you so much. Please feel free to email me as well.

  • Ashley

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but since Castor and Pollux became a part of Merrick in 2012, they use carrageenan as a thickening agent, not guar gum, like it lists here. I’ll be looking for a different grain free, meat based canned food for my almost year old australian shepherd. Any suggestions?

  • Dayz

    try acidophilus every day and coconut oil in his food, theses helped my dog but took few months, also grainfree or raw diet 

  • doggonefedup

     Bustersmom,
    you are stopping the ear drops and flush way too soon.  continue treatment nonstop for 10-12 weeks to break the cycle for once and for all. Then by all means get advice from Toxed2loss and think about changing the diet.

  • Toxed2loss

    I have suggestions, but they are pretty off the wall. Let me bend your ear and shift your paradigm. :-)

    That kind of discharge is an indicator of a stressed immune system. It’s often diagnoses as a yeast infection… Which is an indicator of a stressed immune system. So vets prescribe antifungals, which are toxic and stress the immune system. Or worse antibiotics which are also toxic, and are inappropriate for a yeast or fungal infection, so do harm without benefit, and stress the immune system.

    Or The ear discharge is diagnosed as allergies, which are indicators of a stressed immune system. Do you see the common denominator? . . . Stressed Immune System

    So if we want to improve the dogs health, we have to do two things.

    1.) Eliminate all the things which stress the immune system that we possibly can.

    2.) Build up and support the immune system.

    If you are interested, and open to considering this, I’ll continue.

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    First off, I would try a food that is grain free and potato free.  Have you tried Nature’s Variety Limited Ingredient diet (lamb flavored)?  It also comes in Turkey, but I’d go with the lamb.  It is grain free and potato free.  Perhaps try their Instinct canned food, as well.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/CLJZGJSMZRDXJ6J6KGG5CJ6TSI BustersMom

    Help! I have a 10 yr old shih-tzu. I rescued about 2 years ago. He is having real issues with his ears. Brown junk pooring from his ears. Already took him to 3 vets so far. Last one cost 1200. and could not figure out what to do with these constant ear infections,he has been on many meds to try to clear this up. After much research, I believe it is what he is eating. He gets worse on beef, chicken, venison anything except lamb. I have tried him on no grain, with grain you name it. Many of the top brands, Blue, Nutro, Natures Recipe, Natural Choice, even tried raw for a short time. Last vet said he needs to have a surgery to remove his ear canals. He would be deaf afterwards. I cannot do this to him. Has anyone else had such problems? One vet said it was a yeast infection put him on antibiotics and it got worse. I cannot imagine going to an allergy specialist only because I am not made of money. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks so much.

  • Jill

    My story is Exactly the same as the person below me. I have a 2 year old very picky chihuahua and she LOVES it’

  • Melissa W

    I have a two year old Chihuahua that has only eaten top quality canned dog food and still has a tendency to be finicky . She eats this dog food as though she is a starving beagle.  I think she would give this food 5 stars!

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    I just bought a few of these cans at Whole Foods this past weekend to top my dogs’ dry with.  Hopefully they like it and do well with it.