Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix (Dry)


Rating: ★★★★☆

Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix product line includes 2 dry dog foods.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Important: Because many websites do not reliably specify which Growth or All Life Stages recipes are safe for large breed puppies, we do not include that data in this report. Be sure to check actual packaging for that information.

  • Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Adult [M]
  • Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Lamb and Rice Adult (3.5 stars) [M]

Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Adult recipe was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.

Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Adult

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 28% | Fat = 17% | Carbs = 48%

Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, milo, ground whole oats, ground whole barley, chicken fat (naturally preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), brown rice, dried bananas, dried peas, natural chicken flavor, tomato pomace, dried sweet potatoes, dried carrots, salmon meal, brewers dried yeast, dried egg product, potassium chloride, salt, freeze dried peas, dried cranberries, ground whole flaxseed, fructooligosaccharide, dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, zinc sulfate, vitamin E supplement, choline chloride, ferrous sulfate, niacin, copper sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, manganous oxide, pyridoxine hydrochloride, sodium selenite, riboflavin, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, calcium iodate, folic acid, rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.3%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis25%15%NA
Dry Matter Basis28%17%48%
Calorie Weighted Basis24%35%41%
Protein = 24% | Fat = 35% | Carbs = 41%

The first ingredient is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains up to 73% 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 includes chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The third ingredient is turkey meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

The fourth ingredient is milo. Milo is another name for sorghum, a starchy cereal grain with a nutrient profile similar to corn.

Since it is gluten-free and boasts a smoother blood sugar behavior than other grains, milo can be considered a quality non-meat ingredient.

The fifth ingredient includes oats. Oats are rich in B-vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.

The sixth ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The seventh ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.

Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.

The eighth ingredient is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

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 six notable exceptions

First, we note the use of dried peas. Dried peas are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.

However, dried peas contain about 27% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

Next, tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup.

Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.

Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.

In addition, brewers yeast can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient is rich in minerals and other healthy nutrients.

Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.

Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.

In addition, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is a claim we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.

In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, yeast can still be considered a nutritious additive.

What’s more noteworthy here is that brewers yeast contains about 48% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

Next, this recipe includes flaxseed, 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.

Additionally, we note that this recipe contains fructooligosaccharide, an alternative sweetener1 probably used here as a prebiotic. Prebiotics function to support the growth of healthy bacteria in the large intestine.

And lastly, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.

Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix 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 28%, a fat level of 17% and estimated carbohydrates of about 48%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 26% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 51% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.

Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the dried peas, flaxseed and brewers yeast, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meats 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 and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

Castor and Pollux Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.

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A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

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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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Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

11/06/2017 Last Update

  • Dianne

    This list is fantastic but do your pet a favor and cross reference this list with the one on You’ll be shocked!!! The dog foods rated the highest rating for ingredients often have the highest % of industrial toxic impurities (eg, cadmium, lead & melamine). For example
    Earthborn Holistic Grain Free Ocean Fusion Dry Dog Food (which I fed my dogs for years) received one out of five stars and made it to the list of the 10 most toxin laden dog foods tested.The Dog Food Advisor gives Earthborn Dry foods 4.5 to 5 stars. Don’t get me wrong I love and am thankful for this website but it doesn’t and can’t test food for impurities.

  • Crazy4cats

    If you are just buying it due to it containing added glucosamine and chondroitin, I wouldn’t bother. Most of the time, there isn’t enough in the food for it to be therapeutic anyway. Also, I personally don’t think a one year old dog needs it. Sometimes though, large breed dog formulas are lower in fat helping a large dog stay leaner which is easier on the joints. Your dog sounds like a great mix. I bet he’s beautiful! Good luck.

  • Amateria

    I believe that glucosamine, chondroitine are useful throughout life, that way it’s unlikely your dog will ever have joint problems or at the very least they won’t be very bad.

  • Thea tricks

    I can’t decide if I want to go with the Ultramix chicken or with Organix large breed. I have an Alaskan malamute/collie mix who is 1 yrs old and 86 lbs. Ultramix is cheaper but Organix is formulated for large breeds. He’s pass puppy stages and not a senior yet so I don’t know if the added glucosamine and chondroitin matter though. He also has a sensitive stomach but isn’t picky with what he eats. Advice?

  • Barbara

    Are you aware that Castor & Pollux (Merrick) was bought out by Purina this summer? We’ve had a very difficult time getting the formulation we’ve used for years (Natural Ultramix Grain-Free Duck, Sweet Potatoes & Whole Peas Dry mix), so I called them. It turns out they had a “packaging reformulation” – which means they changed from a 30 lb bag for $48-$50, to a 25 lb. bag for $60!! Outrageous. I’m concerned what other changes they made to the ingredients.

  • Cyndee G

    I had been using ultramix weight for my dogs but they have changed the formulations and this one has been discontinued. The calorie count on the new/replacement products are higher. I’m changing to premium edge since that has a 5 star rating. I use to LOVE kirlands brands but when I saw the ratings I had to change because I love my 2 dogs to much to feed them food that isn’t 5 stars. To see the changes I put the link for castor and pollux here

  • Crazy4cats

    Hee hee, he’s cute!

  • Dori

    What a happy healthy looking guy. Looks like all is right in his world.

  • Keila

    My 4-year-old yellow lab has been on Castor & Pollux for about a year now and it works very well for him. He is slender and athletic – not turning into a couch potato as he matures.

    I mostly wanted to post to let people know that this food is available on Amazon at a discount if you “Subscribe and Save” – so you sign up for an automatic shipment to be sent at whatever interval works for you.
    This really helps me out – I pay $42.55 for the 30lb bag AND I don’t have to remember to buy it, it just shows up!

    I also want to add that I’m a vet tech and I direct clients to this site all the time – it’s such a great tool.

  • disqus_VCzaPQsyJI

    Since the merger I cannot tell any difference in the ingredient list so, hopefully things will remain as good as they were. Our 4 dogs really love this stuff, so for taste, I guess it has to be highly rated.

    I was curious about the chelated mineral comment in the review so I asked them. I got a response in less than one day.

    Hello Edward,

    Thank you for taking the time to contact us and your pawsitive feedback. Yes, our dry foods contain chelated minerals. If you need further assistance, please let us know. Have a wonderful day!

    Stephanie Dehay
    Pet Parent Relations, Merrick Pet Care, Inc.
    Tel: 1-800-664-7387 |

  • Crazy4cats

    Guess I’m gonna have to tell my family (human) that they are just getting filler tonite for dinner.

  • Brandon Roberts

    Obviously this has turned into debate that wasn’t necessary. Let people share their own views on subjects and then let the person who asked for advice in the first place form their own opinion. This isn’t a competition, You don’t have to prove everyone else who replies wrong.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Just because your dog has allergies to chicken doesn’t constitute it as a “filler” – I believe what you’re trying to say is that chicken is a common allergen (that would be an accurate statement). By your reasoning nuts and shellfish would be low quality foods for humans because many humans are allergic. I’m sorry you went through what you did finding out what was causing your dog’s issues but your logic isn’t sound.

  • Brandon Roberts

    Ok “filler” meaning cheapest protein source. We could argue our personal opinions all day using the reliable source “Wikipedia” but I was simply giving Bindels Mom a separate view into the higher probability of having a bad reaction with chicken. True there’s more chicken available but you get what you pay for when it comes to dog food and chicken is the cheapest. Take it from me, I’ve personally spent $5-6k on vet bills for my dog only for a vet to tell me food allergy tests aren’t accurate. He read negative for chicken but all he can eat is fish or he breaks out in hives or chews off his own limbs. Stay away from chicken. Your dog won’t miss it.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Chicken is included in many dog foods because it’s the cheapest protein source. The cost factor isn’t because chicken is necessarily less nutritious than other protein sources, it’s because chickens are cheaper to raise and more plentiful. Chicken isn’t a “filler.” A filler is defined as “an ingredient added to provide dietary fiber, bulk or some other non-nutritive purpose” for example “products like corn and corncobs, feathers, soy, cottonseed hulls, peanut
    hulls, citrus pulp, screening, weeds, straw, and cereal by-products are
    often included as inexpensive fillers or low-grade fiber content.” [wikipedia]. Chicken is a quality source of protein and as long as a dog is not allergic to chicken there’s no reason anyone should avoid foods that contain chicken.

  • Brandon Roberts

    True but chicken is in almost everything(as a filler) and is the top protein for allergies. If your dog hasn’t had chicken(which he/she probably has from a treat) it’s best to keep chicken out of the diet.

  • Justice and Mercy

    Just got off the phone with Merrick (looking for a weight management food) and learned Castor & Pollux was purchased by them (and food production moved to their TX plant) in the last year. I wonder how this will affect their rating. Merrick gets a solid 5 here while C & P a 4 to 4.5.

  • maxiemom

    Sounds like an allergy. I can’t give one of my dogs peanuts, either, or just about anything else for that matter.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    A chicken-free food would only be beneficial if the dog is allergic to chicken. If the dog isn’t allergic to chicken there’s nothing about chicken that makes it any worse than other protein sources.

  • Bindel’s Mom

    Any dog Springer Spaniel will benefit from a High quality dog that is corn and wheat free and chicken free is good too. Hope you have something by now.

  • Bindel’s Mom

    Have you given your dog any other peanut treats like Old Mother Hubboard or similar. This sounds more like allergy than bad food.

  • Bindel’s Mom

    Bindel my dumpster rescue has show no allergy symptoms so I’m slightly less picky about his food. As a puppy even though starved he was never enthusiastic about his food. Ate calmly chewing thoroughly? His first bag of adult food was Ultramix Lamb and Rice. It was gone before I could set the other dogs bowls down. That continues to be case except he has a slow bowl now. I insist on sourced and made in the USA for food safety. I also consider what comes out (poo) a good test of food quality and that has been perfect twice a day every day! Bendel and I are very pleased with Ultramix.

  • Theresa Mohr

    When we first adopted our 7 year old Shepherd mix we couldn’t get him to eat anything; we started him off on Blue Buffalo because that’s what we had been feeding our little Schipperke mix. After trying a few different brands we came across Castor and Pollux Organix, he ate a lot more than before but still not enough. Then I saw a bag of Ultramix and liked that I could see the colorful vegetables mixed in with the kibbles. I guess our dogs liked that too because they scarfed it up. Both of our dogs have been eating Ultramix for over a year now and have maintained a healthy weight even without being really active. I have nothing but the highest of praise for Castor and Pollux Ultramix.

  • Ali

    I have a question, I have a 2 year old springer spaniel mix and we have put him on Purina pro plan so far he is doing better then when we first got him, as they were feeding him table food and Alpo. After researching the current dog food im giving him i want to definitely switch, one of my friends recommend castor pullux, would you recommend a springer spaniel this type of food?
    I’m frustrated in my research and i need help. My vet recommend blue buffalo and science diet but im unsure of those products due to the reviews i have read.

  • Stephanie

    My bull terrier, Oblina, is an extremely picky eater and would only eat her dry topped with Little Cesar. She loves the Organix Butcher & Bushel by Castor & Pollux. We tried it for the first time last night. I suggest you smell the food when you open the can: it smells like something a human would eat.

  • hello

    is it possible that he was allergic to some of the ingredients?

  • My dog Ralph got very sick after eating the Castor and Pollux Peanut Butter Flavored Wheat Free Mix. Initially, I didn’t know what made the dog so sick, and even after a $500 vet workup they couldn’t say, but a week later, when he recovered I reintroduced that treat and the puking began immediately. I contacted the company, surprisingly their vet found nothing wrong with their treat and I was stuck with the bill. I will never purchase any Castor and Pollux treat again and will tell anyone who will listen the same, starting with the dog park crowd.

  • Melissaandcrew

    HI George-

    I have never had a dogs thirst increase simply by the food being grain inclusive or grain free. With that said, I have had certain foods cause it in my dogs-and I no longer feed those foods. Not sure why certain foods do it, but my first thought always goes to the sodium content. The new merrick grain free caused vomiting in some of my dogs

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi George, No grain-free doesn’t cause excessive thirst. But since your dog is tiny, why not feed her a grain free canned food? Canned is more species appropriate, because it is moisture rich. If you have a Costco Kirkland cuts in gravy is rated 5 stars on this site. And it is $18.99 for a case of 24. Oh, and if the excessive thirst persists, I would take her to a Vet, not to scare you, but it could be a medical condition.

  • Johnandchristo

    Hi George HLINKO

    WELL no.

  • Does grain free dog food cause excessive thirst in dogs. We switched our yorkie to Merrick grain free dry food a week ago, primarily because of the high ratings it had gotten on the numerous dog forums we visited, and while he loves the taste, we notice he’s been drinking more water than normal since the switch. Is this a normal reaction? Several other people I spoke to said they noticed similiar effects.

  • Mandy L.

    I have fed my pug Avoderm weight control formula for several years, but saw Castor & Pollux at my local Whole Foods and bought the smaller size bag to try it out. I used Avoderm because it was recommended by the pug rescue I volunteered with for it’s lack of corn because corn can exacerbate allergies in pugs (many pugs have a corn allergy – many dogs for that matter). I have noticed over the last couple of weeks since bring on the Castor & Pollux weight control that my pug no longer is scratching under his front arms or on his belly. I think I might have found a healthy dog food that works better than Avoderm, but isn’t quite as expensive as some other brands. I wish they would create a line with s-shaped kibble that bulldogs can eat, but for now I have my bulldog on Royal Canin because it’s the only kind I now of that has kibble that makes my bulldog thoroughly chew so that she doesn’t vomit up her food, and that helps reduce flatulence (ugh, the methane).

  • InkedMarie

    Why would you even want to do that?

  • Tprosser86

    wondering if i gave my puppy food that had expired date of like 5 months ago and he is vomiting would he be ok?

  • Guest

    Copied from there website.  No. For our naturally preserved fish meal there is no use of ethoxyquin on the boat or in the processing.
    The fish are caught and placed in refrigerated holds. They are then
    processed immediately upon return to port and naturally preserved with
    mixed tocopherols.

  • Well any 4 star high quality food will “help rescues” because they probably were starved or fed the cheapest possible food or some grocery store brand. 

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    Announced today re: Susan Thixton, Merrick has bought Castor & Pollux company….fyi.

  • sodium selenite is in the third line from the bottom of the ingredient list above. Being that far down on the list, there’s probably not a whole lot of it.

  • Cass_122

    It also includes sodium selenite which u forgot to include on your list of ingrediants! And this can be highly toxic depending on how much is in it. I have yet to call the company to find out…which I am doing right now! 

  • Boonight

     I have been feeding my 2 dogs Castor & Pollux Organix canned dog food for a long time.  All of a sudden my dogs refuse to eat the canned dog food. My senior dog ate a little bit of it and had stomach gurgling.  The lady at Petsmart said we are not the only ones complaining that their dog has suddenly stopped eating Organix. The lady said so many people are returning the Organix canned dog food, and buying a different brand dog food.
    I would like to know if Castor & Pollux changed the Organix canned dog food.  Now I have to change the brand of my dogs food.

  • Bowen7

    Castor & Pollux helps dog rescues immensely, I don’t think it would be as possible without them. It’s as local a food as it gets & the ingredients are what we swear by for all our dogs in rescue. Can’t recommend highly enough guys!

  • We just got our guys started on this 4 days ago coming off of Pedigree. What a difference I see in them. Definitely more energy & enthusiasm. They’re both 12 years old, one 20 lbs, one 50 and they’re doing great with it. Love it so far! Thanks for this great site!

  • I am leery of food with lots of fish in it because ethoxyquin is often used as a preservative with fish and not noted on the label.  I have seen the horrible mess ethoxyquin can make of an otherwise healthy cat—nasty greasy skin and matts and dander. And I know other dog owners that won’t touch fish for their dogs.  I want to ask, “does Castor and Pollux use any fish product in their foods that has been preserved with ethoxyquin”  I have to know!

    My cat loves fish and has been doing well on Ultramix Cat but I am running out of food for two dogs that I am sitting right now and I need to buy dog food.

  • Lauri

    I am a foster home for Dachshunds and this is what everyone around here loves…..cracker jack of dog food!!  They all eat the prizes (bananas, peas, cranberries, and carrots) first then on to the belly filling stuff

  • Frank


  • sandy

    I think the Merrick site is more updated.  My old spreadsheet shows that they did use canola before.

  • Frank

    According to their website (, Merrick Before Grain does contain Canola Oil.

  • Pingback: Castor & Pollux Ultramix Lamb & Rice Adult Canine Food | Animal Rescue()

  • That was really nice Sandy, good list!

  • sandy


    Just don’t run out of your current bag and mix some of the new formula in it.

  • sandy

    Core original does not have canola oil. Some of the Natures Variety Insinct formulas do not have canola. Castor & Pollux Ultramix GF, Nutrisource GF, Nutrisource PureVita GF, Pinnacle Peak Protein, Pinnacle Turkey & Potato, Canidae Pure Elements and Pure Sky, Brothers, Horizon Legacy and Amicus, Nutrisca, Victor GF, Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural, Blue Buffalo Wilderness, Core original, Merrick Before Grain, Taste of the Wild Wetlands, Fromm GF, Natures Select GF, Natures Logic, Back to Basics. I’m sure there’s more…

  • Pamela Meeks

    I am looking for a premium (grain free) dog food for my dogs (Airedale & Wire Fox Terrier) that DOES NOT contain Canola Oil. They have been eating Wellness Core Fish Formula and our WFT had excessive thirst that we tested for everything and came back normal. I discontinued feeding them the Wellness and it is getting better. PLEASE guide me to a food WITHOUT Canola Oil. I would prefer Grain-free (helps with itchy dogs), but we don’t have to have that.

  • Hi Linda… Bailey’s current dog food smells horrible to me. But he seems to love it. Unfortunately, there’s no way I know of to reliably predict the taste of the new chelated minerals to your dog. Wish I could be more help.

  • Linda Castaneda

    Castor & Pollux informed me that the minerals will be chelated in the dog food Ultramix & be available in 60-90 days. Will it change the taste of the food to the dog?

  • Hi Linda… This review is one of our older ones. Whenever a dog food contains fructooligoscaccharide, newer reports state… “this recipe contains fructooligosaccharide… an alternative sweetener probably used here as a prebiotic. Prebiotics function to support the growth of healthy bacteria in the large intestine.



    Check out fructooligosaccharide in this Castor & Pollux Natural Ultramix dry kibble. Acccording to my research, it is used as a probiotic in some dog foods as well as in some human foods.


  • Kristin

    What a great site! This has been extremely helpful reading.

    We just adopted an adult Basset from a rescue. The poor boy is just recovered from an abdominal surgery, we were told he’s a bit of a picky eater. Also, it’s been a while since we’ve needed just plain old regular kibble…wow, when did dog food get so complicated?!

    I ended up choosing C&P for the ingredients as well as the fact that it’s “made in the USA” and looked to be a smaller company. AND it was a little less expensive (relative, I know).

    So this “picky eater” LOVES this food! Of course we’re switching over from what the rescue gave us, and are also “topping” with a little wet (Trader Joe’s) but this guy is going for his meals like you wouldn’t believe.

    I hope we have him a long time like the last rescue (12 years!).

    Thanks again for a wonderful and informative site!

    K and “Miles”

  • Hi Linda… This review is inclusive of the Lamb and Rice formula, too. Unfortunately, due to the biological uniqueness of each pet, I cannot provide customized reviews and product comparisons for each reader. For more help, please check out my reviews and visit our FAQ page. Look for the topic, “Help Me Choose a Dog Food”. Or check back for a possible response from one of our other readers.

  • Linda

    I just purchased a bag of Castor and Pollux’s “Natural Ultramix Lamb” It appears to be a new variety for the company and the bag says the food is made in the US. Would you please comment on or analyze this food?
    Thank you!

  • Hi Diane… There are a number of new recipes recently added to the C&P product line. And they’re already on my To Do list. However, due to our current backlog of products for review, it could be a while longer before I get to them. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • diane

    When you get some time, can you review Castor & Pollux Ultramix Poultry free Grain free dry dog food. Your reviews are always helpful.


  • Hi Mary… I’m always happy to welcome manufacturers to my website. And to correct errors whenever they’re brought to my attention.

    However, in your comment here, you state “our vitamins and minerals are chelated”. Yet based upon your own label information posted on your company’s website (and duplicated here), I find no chelated minerals anywhere in this particular product line. And of course, vitamins can never themselves be chelated.

    Unfortunately, before I can “update” my review as you request, it’s important that you first update your published ingredients list to reflect the inclusion of the chelated minerals claimed to be in your C&P Natural Ultramix product line.

  • Hi there, thanks for the great review Mike! A quick note – our vitamins and minerals are chelated. I’d really appreciate it if you could update the review with that clarification.

  • Lacey

    We switched to Castor & Pollux Ultramix about three weeks ago from Merrick’s BG Bison formula. While that was a very high quality food, we were looking for something less expensive, and this was on sale. I thought the girls were doing well on the BG, but the difference in the last two weeks has been amazing! My seven year old ridgeback/shepard mix is acting more like a puppy than she has in years- she wants to play, and doesn’t seem as depressed. In addition, they both love the taste- they dance when it is lunch or dinner time.

  • Barb

    I have 3 dogs a long haired chi, a terrier and a Lhasa mix.
    The chi is so picky she will not eat dry food until she is about to pass out. The other 2 would eat anything they dont have a problem. Since I bought this food my Chi has been eating everyday!! I cannot believe it!!! i didnt have to have her smell it or play games for her to eat it. She went for it on her own! This thing must be delicious! I think this is a must try for owners of picky dogs!

  • Hi Susan… It’s probably safe to say your dog is not fully digesting the carrots. But I certainly wouldn’t be concerned with that issue. Just the same, you may wish to run this by your vet the next time your dog is there for a check up.

  • Susan

    Dr. Mike – I recently adopted a Bernese Mountain Dog and I switched him to C&P Natural Ultramix Dry Dog Food. He loves it and gobbles in down in seconds, but I’ve noticed that when he goes to the bathroom, the dried carrot pieces from the food always remain whole and undigested in his feces. Have you heard of this and is this something to be concerned about? Other than consistently finding the carrots in his feces, everything else seems normal. Thanks!

  • Hi Suzanne… Mixing a quality canned food with a dry food is a feeding technique known as topping. Topping is a great way to improve both the palatability (taste) and the nutritional value of almost any kibble.

  • Suzanne

    I’m feeding my dogs Castor and Pollux dry mixed with the Castor and Pollus canned. I did think the dry was a Five Star.

    Two questions: I have heard mixed opinions as to whether it is best to feed dogs dry food, or canned food. I am mixing them for that reason, and because my dogs like the taste of the canned better, or maybe they just think it is more of a treat. I would like to know which is more healthy, dry or canned (called wet by some).

    The other question is If there is ANY dog food that is extremely tasty to dogs and still high quality PLEASE TELL ME. Frankly, I have decided dog food isn’t that flavorful, and the dogs can’t really tell us, and they force themselves to eat what we give them. That is why I wonder about the Cesar Dog Food, which I consider dangerous and suspicious, and why it is so enticing to dogs. I am ashamed to say that two of my dogs will only eat the Cesar, they are both in life threatening condition, one from age and the other from criminal abuse and neglect before rescued. I am looking for an enticingly tasty dog food that is also healthy and of high standards. Please help me if you can. Thank you.

  • Hugo

    I just purchased the Ultra Mix today for my 8 month Boxer. She has been very picky about her food and I had no problem with this one. She devoured the recommended feeding in minutes. I recommend it.

  • Bob K

    Britt – Feed a quality food in the appropriate quantity and measure the food don’t guess. Most adults think the puppy is starving since he chows down the food and is looking for more. Don’t do it, don’t give in and keep filling the bowl. Feed the puppy 3 meals a day if possible with the appropriate quantity. Most puppy foods are 1 year. You can find feeding directions on the dog food bag and additional information on the mfgs. website or tollfree number if needed.

  • Hi Britt… I cannot completely agree with this advice. If your dog is a puppy, I’d only feed a puppy or all life stages dog food. Adult foods will be lacking in some important nutrients. However, you should avoid overfeeding (feeding too many calories) which is now considered (by many experts) to be the leading cause of skeletal dysplasias in large breed dogs. Hope this helps.

  • Britt

    Thanks for your response. I had an additional question. I decided to do some research on labs and all the information i found said that they grow quickly between 4-7 months and that the recommend a high-quality, low-calorie diet to keep them from growing too fast to help prevent bone disorders. does this mean that a puppy food would be to calorie rich for him? Another site recommended switching from puppy to adult food at 4 months.

  • Hi Britt… It’s not unusual to you see parts of a meal that’s passed undigested in the feces. For some dogs, this can be completely normal. Whereas for others, it could be a sign your dog is not assimilating the ingredients in a proper way. Unfortunately, since I’m not a veterinarian, it would be inappropriate for me to provide specific health advice or product recommendations. Please see our FAQ page and our reviews for more information. Or check back for a possible response from one of our other readers.

  • Britt

    Hi, I recently adopted a 3 month old lab mix, I’ve been feeding him the puppy formula. He’s onlly been on it for a couple of days but I’ve noticed a large amount of what i beleive is either the dried carrots or sweet potatoes in his stool. I was wondering if this means he’s having a hard time digesting his food and if so do you have a recommendation on a food that may be easier for him to digest?

  • Hi Lynn… Chelated minerals are minerals that have been bound to proteins or amino acids (protein building blocks). This makes therm easier for a dog to absorb. You can read more in my article about chelated minerals. Hope this helps.

  • I just read that Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramax dry adult food is not chelated for minerals. I have had my dog on this for awhile now. She gets a big spoonful of Castor and Pollux Natural Ultamax canned food once a day on her dry food. Are the minerals in this food hard for a dog to absorb? My dog is a five year old Westie who once in awhile throws up, so seems to have a slightly sensitive stomach. What she throws up is usually clear.

  • Cathy

    John – For teeth cleaning – Give Your Dog a Bone!
    Lots of info on the internet. Example –

    Q. What do you recommend people do when it comes to doggie dental hygiene?
    A. Brushing your dog’s teeth is a noble act, but through my personal experience I discovered that I got the same if not better results from letting them chew on raw bones. Raw knuckle bones (the joints) in particular are great because they are soft and still have some tendons and muscle meat attached. They look kind of round like the shape of your fist. These bones clean your dog’s teeth in addition to providing them with a nice oral workout – not to mention a healthy dose of natural calcium.

    Q. Does it matter if the bones are raw or cooked?
    A. It does matter. Raw knuckle bones are what I recommend versus cooked or sterilized bones. Cooked bones are more likely to splinter from the effect that high cooking temperatures have on them. And cooked bones, especially the white sterilized bones from the pet stores, will also be deprived of beneficial nutrients which raw knuckle bones are chock full of. A further benefit of raw bones versus the white sterilized bones from the store, are that they are much more yummy to your dog. This translates into more chewing time from your dog, which will both keep him occupied and better clean his teeth.

    Q. Why the knuckle bone as opposed to other types of bones?
    A. Raw knuckle bones are soft and allow dogs of all sizes to scrape their teeth into the bone, nicely cleaning food and tartar from their teeth. The meat tissue typically still left on the bones allow for a separate type of chewing, which is natural and necessary for your dog. This is the nibbling and pulling you see your dog do with his front teeth. They will use their front teeth to pull the tissue off the bones which is a great way to clean these teeth – natural flossing, if you will. ##

  • John

    Dr. Mike–thanks for the quick and informative reply. We’ve been feeding him a total of about 3 cups/day (maybe a bit over), and he’s leaving a lot in the bowl, so maybe we’ll slowly raise the amount, as you suggest.

    We have a dental cleaning scheduled with a vet for next weekend. Not cheap, but he has a lot of tartar, and I see some swelling where the tooth meets the gum.

    Thanks again!

  • Hi John… First, I speak for many when I say “thank-you” for adopting your 9-year old dog. And for giving this wonderful creature a chance to live out his full life.

    In all honesty, I’m nearly always surprised when our calculator matches a manufacturer’s recommendations. Our 4 cup recommendation isn’t dramatically different than the 3.75 cup top range mentioned on the C&P package. In any case, when in doubt, I’d suggest favoring the manufacturer’s estimate over ours.

    By the way, a 9-year old larger breed is usually considered a senior by most experts. So, you may want to use the “senior” setting on the calculator.

    Also, I’d advise starting somewhere in the middle of C&P’s range and then (over time) adjusting the serving size for weight gain or loss. In medicine, this method of altering the dose of a drug (or, in this case, the serving size) to suit the observed clinical effect is known as titration.

    Brushing a dog’s teeth (at least for us) has been very difficult. We adopted our dog after he was an adult. So, we’ve missed the best opportunity for acclimating him to the process. In a nutshell, toothpaste isn’t necessary. The brush itself can provide excellent cleansing all by itself.

    In any case, there are meat-flavored toothpastes out there that can (supposedly) make your dog want to cooperate with your efforts. But unfortunately, some are sweetened with xylitol (which can be toxic to dogs).

  • John B

    Dr. Mike, could I get your help? We just bought Ultramix Large Dog for our newly adopted (as of last night!) 9-year-old, 71-lb. Shepherd/Greyhound mix. Despite his age, he’s actually pretty active–not a frisbee chaser, but he’ll break into a trot in the backyard and reportedly loves long walks, which we mean to continue starting this evening.

    We’re not sure how much to feed him. The Castor/Pollux bag says it could be 3.25-3.75 cups. The Dog Food Advisor calculator recommends, for a dog of this size and energy level, about 1200-1500 cal/day (depending on whether I put in “senior”–which I imagine to be a lethargic Bassett hound–or “typical”). He is by no means overweight.

    The Castor feeding guide says the food has 324 kcal/ME/cup. Using a calorie requirement of 1350, that means he would need 4 cups per day. That seems high to me. It’s not only well above the range on the bag, but the previous owner was only feeding him two cups/day of a different food (Avoderm Lite).

    Any thoughts?

    And if you as a dental surgeon have any suggestions on canine toothbrushing, I’m all ears on that as well.

    Thanks so much! This site is incredibly useful.

  • kelli

    when natural balance had a recall i was looking for something else and decided upon this. the dog loves it and eats at the bowl until it’s all gone. seems to be a good food and has lots of color too – you can actually see the peas and carrots

  • Candice

    After researching and reading through your great website, we decided to try Castor & Pollux Ultramix dry and canned for our chihuahua (Minnie), pekingnese (Annie) and border collie (Jersey). Annie is the picky eater and she loved Castor & Pollux! We were so happy to finally find a food that everyone loves and is good for our doggies too!!! I had been feeding them another “high quality” food and after reading the ingredients, was very disappointed. I’ve referred many people to this website as it is so helpful to pet owners who want to make sure and give our babies the best. Our doggies have been on the food about 2 weeks now, they look great, no digestive issues and they really seem to be happy with it. I’ve also switched to dry food in the morning and dry with canned topper for their dinner. It’s working out great!Thank you again for the insight and help!!!!

  • Hi Lori… Unless your dog has been diagnosed (by your vet) with advanced kidney disease (and although some may disagree), almost any 4 or 5-star dog food is just as appropriate for your senior pet as for any younger adult. Just be sure to decrease serving size (a.k.a. calories) to match a dog’s naturally decreased energy use with an increase in age. You may wish to visit our FAQ page regarding the topic, “Dog Food Protein”.

  • Jonathan

    Lori, this food fails to be a 5 star product because it isn’t grain-free. The employees that told you Acana is “too rich” aren’t really correct. A senior dog NEEDS more protein for appropriate cellular regeneration. What does need to change as he ages and slows down is the AMOUNT of food he is allowed to eat. If it does seem to still be “too rich” as in fat content, try a low fat high protein food like Wellness Core Reduced Fat.

  • Lori

    Hi Mike,
    I am going crazy over too much information but not enough information centered around senior dogs. My otherwise healthy Blue Healer going on 13 years old has been showing some digestive upsets. I have added probiotics to his diet which seems to have helped. My normal pet store told me the Acana I feed maybe too rich for him. They suggested Natural Balance. He HATES it and it doesn’t smell appetizing. I am a bit disappointed I cannot find a 30% protein 5 star dog food I can try him on. I would like to find an all around great dog food for all 4 of my dogs (2 seniors, 1 large breed lab/mastiff, and a corgi.) Any suggestions on some foods to look at and/or websites regarding seniors? This food looks to be good possible choice but I am a bit disappointed that it’s not a 5 star on your site.

  • Hi Christina… Allergies are a direct function of your pet’s unique immune system and not usually a problem with the quality of the product itself. In other words, if your dog happens to be allergic to any of the ingredients in any particular food, he will likely develop an unfavorable reaction.

    Hypoallergenic foods are designed by manufacturers to help with these issues.

    Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix is not currently on our suggested hypoallergenic dog foods list. This special report (linked to here) contains some of my best recommendations (based upon information currently available). Unfortunately, choosing the right dog food still involves at least some trial and error. Hope this helps.

  • christina

    hi my dog chewy has food allergies more on the artifical colorings on the food that he eats i dont think hes allergic to yeast would you recommend this product for a dog that has allergies please lt me know and thanks.


  • JamesB

    I just recently realized I was being cruel to my Pomeranian by feeding her Purina Dog Chow (cruel because, as I just discovered, she is highly allergic to gluten and Dog Chow is mostly corn and wheat – she has lived her whole life with stomach pain and with a terrible itch that would not go away because of her diet and my ignorance!).

    While getting educated on commercial dog food and the requirements of the Pomeranian I came across C&P Ultramix at the local Big Lots store, with 6lb bags for $5 each. I bought a bag after reading the ingredients label (a necessary skill for any pet owner) and then looked it up online when I got home. It turns out this was a great deal! This normally runs $15 for a 6lb bag and is rated 4-stars on this website (and just as high on others). I’m not sure if this is an on-going brand that Big Lots carries or if it’s a limited time thing, but I bought 2 bags because I know I’ll use them before they expire.

    While I had decided to change my dog to Taste of the Wild dog food, one of the things I learned while researching this is that dogs need variety too. Not just for taste, but also for health (no dog food is complete by itself and different ones fulfill different nutritional requirements). This should make a good alternate dog food for her.

    But most importantly, she is so much happier and energetic after taking her off the Dog Chow (and dropping all the doggy junk food snacks as well, they are mostly wheat and corn as too) and she no longer spends an hour or two a day gnawing her paws, and the flatulence has mostly subsided as well.


  • Bob

    Castor and Pollux is now sold at Petsmart as well as Petco..

  • Dana

    I have two mini schnauzers. I say mini, but they are quit large. My male Spike is 31 lbs (vet said he needs to loose 5 lbs) and my female Simi is 22 lbs (she is not overweight). Spike has had intestinal problems his whole life, so I have to be careful what I feed him. I had been feeding them both Nature’s Recipe. Seemed to be a good food, but the dogs didn’t want to eat it. I would have to add some Beneful to it before they would even look at it. I was using the little individual bags of Beneful. It was getting to be very expensive. Even though Beneful is crap, it is expensive crap.

    When I went to buy more food at Petsmart, I noticed that they had several bags of Castor and Pollux on clearance for 50% off. So it was basically $25.00 for 30 lbs. It looks like it was on clearance because the bags had been damaged in shipping. I am a full-time college student, so price is always a consideration for me. I went ahead and bought a bag. I was so suprised to see real (dried) fruits and veggies in the food. It actually made me feel really good about feeding it to them. The dogs loved it! I didn’t even have to add the Beneful! And they had so much more energy. I went back today and bought another bag (while they still had some 50% off) However, I will probably still continue to buy it at full price.

  • Diane

    Thinking of Switching -my 11 yr lhasa from California Naturals- Lamb and Rice to Castor and Pollux Lamb and Rice- any comments?

  • Col. Kenneth Frazier

    NOTE: Castor and Pollux Dog Foods can be found at the PETCO Stores …..
    I buy it at my Orange City PETCO …….

  • Hi John… Any dog food labeled complete and balanced for either “growth” or “all life stages” should be just fine for your new puppy. The “all life stages” category actually covers puppies through adults (and seniors, too). However, never feed adult maintenance type dog foods to your puppy. Hope this helps.

  • John

    I’m new to dogs and dog care, I want to make sure I’m doing everything right. I have a 4 month old puppy that is a mix of Schnauzer and Chihuahua. Is there a difference between the Puppy mix or the Adult formula. I am interested in trying this one.

    Also how come other brands don’t have puppy or adult to choose from?

    Thanks again.

  • Hi Kathy… Glucosamine can be found in only trace amounts in meat… not enough to make much of a difference. However, the compound can be found in much higher concentrations in cartilage (like what you’d expect to find in the joints of chickens). There’s no appreciable glucosamine in rawhide chew bones.

  • Kathy

    Does all dog food contain glucosamine? Avoderm large breed lists chicken cartilage as it’s source. Castor and Pollux has glucosamine but I don’t see cartilage listed in the ingredients.

    Also, do rawhide bone contain glucosamine?

  • Reg

    I was reading about Castor and Pollux dog food. I recently came across the food and bought a few cans for my doggies. They absolutely love it. But for very finicky eaters I tried the raw frozen nuggets. My dogs went crazy for this food, but i will switch from that to ultramix.

  • Hi Hilary… I would not have that information. Why not call Castor and Pollux or visit their website. Most dog food websites offer a “locator” where you can enter your zip code to find the closest retailers.

  • Hilary

    Is this food available in Alachua County FL?

  • Hi Melanie… We used to have the same problem with Bailey. But now, since we began using a canned dog food as a “topper”… he gobbles up his meals.

    Dry food is popular to us (humans)… but kibble is as far as you can get from what a dog would ever choose to eat “in nature”. Canned foods (although certainly not natural… or perfect) come a lot closer to fresh food than any kibble.

    So, try “topping” your baby’s quality kibble with a nice 4 or 5-star canned food. Mix ’em together. See how that works for you. I know it sure works for Bailey.

  • Melanie

    I have a lab/terrier mix who is 7 months old and 17 lbs. I don’t think there is much lab in her, as she is very small. We have been having a really hard time finding a food she will eat without us having to doctor it up. Currently-she is on 1/2 Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Puppy and 1/2 Halo Spot’s Stew Puppy-both dry. We can’t get her to eat-unless we add warm water and peanut butter. She has been on a few different foods since we got her when she was 2 months: Puppy Chow- from the shelter, Wellness Super 5, Natural Balance LID and now this concotion-and she has never shown much interest in any of them. Any suggestions of a brand that you think will make her run to her bowl when it’s feeding time? Or do you think what we do now is ok?