Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Grain-Free (Canned)


Rating: ★★★★★

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

The Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Grain Free product line includes one canned dog food, a recipe claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.

Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Grain Free Beef and Vegetable Dinner

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 44% | Fat = 22% | Carbs = 25%

Ingredients: Beef, beef broth, carrots, potatoes, peas, natural flavor, sunflower oil, calcium carbonate, sodium phosphate, guar gum, potassium chloride, choline chloride, minerals (zinc amino acid complex, iron amino acid complex, manganese amino acid complex, copper amino acid complex, potassium iodate, cobalt glucoheptonate, sodium selenite), 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), salt, flaxseed oil, agar-agar, locust bean gum, flaxseed, xanthan gum

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 7.8%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis8%4%NA
Dry Matter Basis44%22%25%
Calorie Weighted Basis36%44%21%
Protein = 36% | Fat = 44% | Carbs = 21%

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 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 includes carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

The fourth 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 fifth 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.

After the natural flavor, we find 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.

The eighth ingredient is calcium carbonate, likely used here as a dietary mineral supplement.

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, we find flaxseed oil, one of the best non-fish sources of omega-3 fatty acids — essential to a dog’s health.

Next, we note the use of 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.

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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 44%, a fat level of 22% and estimated carbohydrates of about 25%.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.

Above-average protein. Near-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 and flaxseed, 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 significant amount of named meat as its main source 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 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.

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Notes and Updates

11/03/2017 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • anyone THERE TO SPEAK TO??

  • These are the ingredients : AND it has some listed that are considered not a good choice.
    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.

  • theBCnut

    You can try to contact the company and ask for an “as fed” phosphorus level.

  • Spencer Whittier

    My dog has chronic renal failure and will not eat kd or Royal Canin. Where can I go to find out how much phosphorus is in Caston & Pollux?

  • Dori

    So glad you’re feeling better.

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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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

    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.

  • 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.