Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix canned dog food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix product line includes four grain free recipes, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Natural Ultramix Grain Free Beef and Vegetable Dinner
- Natural Ultramix Grain Free Salmon and Chicken Dinner
- Natural Ultramix Grain Free Turkey and Vegetable Dinner
- 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
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 indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||50%||30%||12%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||37%||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 is 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 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 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 ingredient 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, we find flaxseed oil, one of the best non-fish sources of omega-3 fatty acids — essential to a dog’s health.
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 Natural Ultramix
Grain Free Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix 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.
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.
Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Grain Free is a meat-based canned dog food using a generous amount of various species as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 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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The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.
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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.
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Notes and Updates
11/05/2014 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩