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Review of Castor and Pollux Pristine Grain Free Canned Dog Food
Castor and Pollux Pristine Grain Free canned dog food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Castor and Pollux Pristine Grain Free product line includes the 5 canned dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
Recipe and Label Analysis
Pristine Grain Free Free-Range Turkey, Carrot and Apple Stew was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.
Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.
Castor and Pollux Pristine Grain Free Free-Range Turkey, Carrot and Apple Stew
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Organic turkey, chicken broth, water sufficient for processing, organic chicken liver, organic pea protein, organic carrots, organic apples, dried egg product, organic dried peas, organic tapioca starch, organic spinach, calcium carbonate, sodium phosphate, organic flaxseed, sunflower oil, organic dried alfalfa meal, salt, choline chloride, potassium chloride, salmon oil, guar gum, organic sage, organic rosemary, minerals (zinc amino acid complex, iron amino acid complex, manganese amino acid complex, copper amino acid complex, potassium iodate, cobalt glucoheptonate), sodium selenite, xanthan gum, Yucca schidigera extract, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, niacin, vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin supplement, folic acid, pyridoxine hydrochloride, biotin, thiamine mononitrate)
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 7.4%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||42%||21%||29%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||35%||42%||24%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is turkey. Turkey is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of turkey”.2
Turkey is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient is chicken broth. Broths are of only modest nutritional value. Yet because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food, they are a common addition component in many canned products.
The third ingredient is water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.
The fourth ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The next ingredient is pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable.
Even though it contains over 80% 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 meat content of this dog food.
The sixth ingredient includes carrots, which are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The seventh ingredient is apple, a nutrient-rich fruit that’s also high in fiber.
The eighth 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 ninth ingredient includes dried peas, which 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.
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 Castor and Pollux product.
With 5 notable exceptions…
First, we find 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.
Next, we note the use of 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.
In addition, we find alfalfa meal. Although alfalfa meal is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%), this hay-family item is more commonly associated with horse feeds.
Next, 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.
And lastly, this recipe includes sodium selenite, a controversial form of the mineral selenium. Sodium selenite appears to be nutritionally inferior to the more natural source of selenium found in selenium yeast.
Based on its ingredients alone, Castor and Pollux Pristine Grain Free Dog Food looks like an above-average wet product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 41% and a mean fat level of 25%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 26% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 61%.
Which means this Castor and Pollux product line contains…
Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.
However, when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the pea protein, dried peas, flaxseed and alfalfa meal, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing at least a moderate amount of meat.
Our Rating of Castor and Pollux Pristine Canned Dog Food
Castor and Pollux Pristine is a grain free canned dog food using a moderate amount of named meats as its dominant source of animal protein, thus receiving 4 stars.
Has Castor and Pollux Pristine Dog Food Been Recalled?
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Castor and Pollux.
No recalls noted.
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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More Castor and Pollux Brand Reviews
The following Castor and Pollux dog food reviews are also posted on this website:
- Castor and Pollux Organix Butcher and Bushel Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Castor and Pollux Organix Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Castor and Pollux Organix Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Castor and Pollux Organix Grain-Free Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Castor and Pollux Organix Grain-Free Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Castor and Pollux Organix Tiny Feasts Dog Food Review (Cups)
- Castor and Pollux Pristine Grain Free Dog Food Review (Dry)
A Final Word
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- “Last Update” field at the end of this review reflects the last time we attempted to visit this product’s website. The current review itself was last updated 12/23/2021 ↩
- Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for chicken published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, Official Publication, 2008 Edition ↩
05/10/2023 Last Update