Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Grain-Free (Dry)


Rating: ★★★★★

Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Grain Free product line lists 3 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 Grain-Free and Poultry-Free Adult (4.5 stars) [M]
  • Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Grain-Free Real Chicken and Sweet Potato [M]
  • Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Grain-Free Duck, Sweet Potatoes and Whole Peas [M]

Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Grain-Free Duck, Sweet Potatoes and Whole Peas was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Grain Free Duck, Sweet Potatoes and Whole Peas

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 43% | Fat = 19% | Carbs = 30%

Ingredients: Deboned duck, turkey meal, lamb meal, salmon meal (source of omega 3 fatty acids), sweet potatoes, peas, potato, duck fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), potato protein, pea protein, natural flavor, bananas, carrots, apples, cranberries, blueberries, organic alfalfa, salmon oil, minerals (salt, zinc amino acid complex, zinc sulfate, iron amino acid complex, manganese amino acid complex, copper amino acid complex, potassium iodide, cobalt amino acid complex, sodium selenite), vitamins (choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, vitamin A supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin D3 supplement, niacin, riboflavin supplement, biotin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, thiamine mononitrate), dried chicory root, Yucca schidigera extract, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.9%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis38%17%NA
Dry Matter Basis43%19%30%
Calorie Weighted Basis36%39%25%
Protein = 36% | Fat = 39% | Carbs = 25%

The first ingredient in this dog food is duck. Although it is a quality item, raw duck 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 is turkey meal. Turkey meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh turkey.

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

The fourth ingredient is salmon meal, yet another high protein meat concentrate.

Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1

The fifth ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.

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 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 eighth ingredient is duck fat. Duck fat is obtained from rendering duck, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.

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

The ninth ingredient is potato protein, the dry residue remaining after removing the starchy part of a potato.

The tenth ingredient is pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable.

Although potato protein and pea protein contain over 80% protein, these ingredients would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

And less costly plant-based products like these 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.

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 four notable exceptions

First, we find alfalfa, a flowering member of the pea family. Although alfalfa is high in protein (18%) and fiber, it’s uncommon to see it used in a dog food. This hay-family ingredient is more commonly associated with horse feeds.

Next, salmon oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.

Depending on its level of freshness and purity, salmon oil should be considered a commendable addition.

In addition, chicory root is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.

Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.

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 Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Grain Free 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 43%, a fat level of 19% and estimated carbohydrates of about 30%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 39% and a mean fat level of 18%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 34% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 46%.

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

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, potato protein, pea protein and alfalfa, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Grain Free is a meat-based dry dog food using a significant amount of named meat meals 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 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.

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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.

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Notes and Updates

11/03/2017 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • Deana Farley

    I’ve stopped using them completely. They stopped making certain formulas, reduced bag size and jacked up the price. Great customer service. Got tired of being put on hold with my recurring shipment with Amazon. Customer service at Castor and Pollux sucks. Now I know why they have a don’t give a s… attitude with customers……they’re owned by Purina

  • ZeekandT

    I guess I should have said “cannery technology”. I do remember our Merrick sales rep saying their resources would make canning more efficient, but that can be done in Merrick’s own plant.

  • Crazy4cats

    Merrick manufactures their own canned food.

    I guess they could use Purina as well. You would probably need to contact them and ask. Hope this helps.

  • Crazy4cats

    It’s right on Merrick’s website:

    I feed Merrick’s Whole Earth Farms kibble in my dogs’ rotation and have not noticed any changes.

  • ZeekandT

    Merrick has definitely been bought by Purina but continues to operate as a separate entity. Customers at my store have not noticed any change to the dry food. Some have complained that they don’t see as many whole veggies in the cans anymore but my dogs still eat it the same. I think the biggest role Purina plays is offering cannery services for canned products.

  • Tammy Bowers Lawson

    Have you called Merrick, directly, to verify the claim that Purina bought them? My holistic vet gave them a call, back when it was first being discussed, and were told that no such deal had been made and that Purina did NOT own Merrrick. Maybe worth another call to Merrick to confirm.

  • Jon

    Punina owns Merrick who owns Castor + Pollux. View the news from dogfoodadvisor here: … deal began in 2015. Such a shame… I have read more and more customers complaining they notice a change in formula but not notated on the bag

  • Dawn – Naturally Texan

    Well it’s great in theory but the 3 yr tend to have more toxins as they need adjuvants to spur immune system because it’s killed not MLV.

    The MLV ones are dangerous because of mutating strains with the not quite killed viruses and a higer incidence of them becoming sick with what they were vaxxed for.

    Bordetella vax can cause whopping cough like symptoms in anyone exposed to a recently vaxed dog also.

    At most i recommend people.follow Dr. Jean Dodds recommendations. She is a renowned veterinary immunologist and she says after kitten and puppy rounds dine and a 1 yr followup they are good for life.

    Many states require rabies over and over but she is wrapping up her rabies challenge study to prove 7 year efficacy. Hopefully we can use that to get laws changed.

  • Dawn – Naturally Texan

    Actually gluten intolerant people have reacted badly to wheat fed poultry and eggs and milk. I know what we eat can cause allergies in babies when moms are breast feeding too. Mothers have stopped baby’s eczema by figuring out ehat foods to avoid that trigger baby.

    You are what you eat.

  • Dawn – Naturally Texan

    I avoid fish when i recommend alternatives to the raw diet for my kitten buyers when I was breeding and now nutrition consulting.

    I question the mercury too. If not specified though the salmon is most likely farm raised which has it’s own challenges main being they feed farmed fish some awful crap.

    Mercury in sea fish is less in smaller and shorter liver fish vs lg predators like tuna.

    FDA considers Wild caught salmon low mercury but still says don’t exceed 12 oz of low mercury fish per week.

    Think i will email company and ask.

  • Dawn – Naturally Texan

    Done right raw is often a lot less expensive than grain free and nicer kibbles.

  • Susan

    Hi, it’s best to rotate your dogs kibbles, try a few different brands & pick the ones he seems to do really well on… I have about 3 brands I feed, you can feed 1 brand for breakfast & another brand that has a different protein for dinner or some people feed the same brand kibble then when the bag of kibble is nilly finished about 1/4 of a bag left you buy another kibble that has a few different ingredients & protein & start introducing it…. In Australia a kibble called “Applaws” It’s All Good, grain free had pink, blue & red little bits of rubber & plastic thru their dog & cat kibbles, they refunded our money back & said it was a rubber part from a machine that broke off….Applaws never had a recall, the kibbles were on special for a while until all the batches were sold, Applaws said its harmless, I didn’t want my cat eating it any more..

  • SaritaBeth542

    I had been feeding my puppy this food for a few months. One day I looked down at his food dish and saw something blue! There were little round rubbery pieces in the kibble. Sent it into the company and was told it was most likely a sanitary glove that got into the food. Who knows how many bags it got into. They didn’t do a recall..

  • Animal Lover

    Merrick purchased Castor & Pollux almost 4 years ago. I’m sure that has nothing to do with it.

  • keleee

    The only time my dog gets sick is if I don’t introduce new foods slowly over a three or 4 day period. All “four star” dog foods are excellent but they have different amounts of nutrients, fat, protein etc. Another thing can be feeding them some new kind of treats without a slow introduction. The “runs” doesn’t mean the food is bad it just means that the dog is not used to the new formulation. I mix a half a cup of the old food with a quarter cup of the new food for a few days. If you try this you may find it easier on your dogs digestive system. Grain free is definitely the way to go and keeps skin conditions away. My dog doesn’t smell like corn chips anymore since being on Castor and Pollux which is a good thing!

  • LabsRawesome

    I will not give my dogs ANY of these unnecessary vaccinations. Puppy vaccs give lifelong immunity. Rabies is the only one that is required by law. Hopefully the Rabies Challenge Fund gets rabies shots frequency changed to 7 years, instead of 3.

  • Jena

    I work at a vet and we only vaccinate per environment and rotate vaccines. We offer 2 and 3 year vaccines(rabies and da2pp) so pets aren’t getting so many vaccines at once. We also don’t vaccinate for lepto and da2pp at the same time, because they are most likely to have a reaction if those vaccines are given at the same visit. I love that they offer 2 and 3 year vaccines and believe that too many vaccines at once can harm your pet. I wish all vets would do this. Not to mention, it saves people money as well. 🙂

  • Ashley Hough

    having a lot of problems with my dog suddenly having diharrea on the poultry free and grain free food. She did great on it for several months, now it is making her sick. As soon as I read that Merrick took over Castor and Pollux it made sense. My dog wound up so sick and placed on hydraulized protein food because of Merrick food last year. She has a few allergy problems, but when I tried the Merrick food…she was beyond sick with vomitting and diharrea. I hope that whatever process the Merrick food goes through is not the way Castor and Pollux operates…but it kind of looks like it as my pup is showing the same signs again. 🙁

  • Ashley Hough

    I am actually having a lot of problems with my dog suddenly having diharrea on the poultry free and grain free food. She did great on it for several months, now it is making her sick. As soon as I read that Merrick took over Castor and Pollux it made sense. My dog wound up so sick and placed on hydraulized protein food because of Merrick food last year. She has a few allergy problems, but when I tried the Merrick food…she was beyond sick with vomitting and diharrea. I hope that whatever process the Merrick food goes through is not the way Castor and Pollux operates…but it kind of looks like it as my pup is showing the same signs again. 🙁

  • Diane

    My dog has been on numerous dog foods to help with his dry skin and ear infections. All led to diarrhea and vomiting at some point. I wanted to try the Ultramix Grain-Free Salmon because I felt chicken and grains were an issue for him. Within 3 weeks of him being on this food, his coat became extremely shiny, his itching is almost non-existent, dry flaky skin gone; his ears are perfect but most of all, no vomiting or diarrhea! Love this food…and so does my 95lb black lab!

  • Vance Tullier

    Perhaps, but keep in mind, vets also recommend some pretty poor quality food options for dogs all over the place. Science Diet comes to mind for their consumer options. I don’t believe they get a lot of nutrition training and are usually just going with their gut save for medically relevant diets they may suggest and in those specific cases it’s far more expensive than the average option (barring all natural or “raw” diets) owners would generally provide.

  • jessica

    This is honestly one of the best dog foods you can buy, but be cautious about how much protein your dog is getting. This would be perfect for really active dogs! However if your pet spends most of the day lounging around this could be dangerous. My vet said for my shih tzu and yorkie I shouldn’t surpass 35% at all.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    As long as the food was well before its expiration date that shouldn’t have been the cause.

  • dcdawn

    time for new vet….that is all crap!!!

  • dcdawn

    online foods could have been sitting on a shelf for quite a while…

  • Jason Shwagner

    This looks like some great food BUT..Are there not worries about feeding dogs food that contains seafood though? Salmon can contain mercury, which in a healthy human is no big deal as we eat it only occasionally. If a dog eats the food daily it could cause nausea, other issues or worse if mercury is present. Do dog food companies test the fish they use? Anyone know the specifics of this? Not to sound rude, but I’m not looking for theories or supposition, I’m looking for facts and haven’t been able to find any specific to dog food fish. Thank you for your help.

  • Naturella

    My almost 2-year-old terrier mix Bruno just got off this food (the Duck recipe) in his rotation and he did very well on it. His stools were consistently great – formed, firm, and not too smelly. I didn’t really see any of the dried fruits and veggie particles that the food has exit his stool undigested, which I sometimes see with some of the dehydrated foods I also feed him as toppers. I am pretty happy with the food, and I would use it again in the future, and maybe try the Salmon formula as well.

    Edit: Somehow, when on this food however, he decided that he wouldn’t eat his yoghurt as a topper with it. He normally gets a teaspoon of yoghurt with his breakfast kibble serving twice a week, but when mixed with the food, he just wouldn’t eat it. Separately he ate them just fine.

    Also, the food is pretty calorie-dense, so I could feed him a tad less (also due to reduced activity levels), so that made the bag last a bit longer.

  • nutrimade

    dogs do produce amylase, they produce pancreatic amylase but not salivary amylase as humans do.

  • theBCnut

    Those big pieces didn’t go though the drying process correctly and they can introduce mold into the bag. Smart dog!!

  • Linda Bradley

    Thanks – I had just asked above when I saw your original comment. Glad to hear this…..


  • Linda Bradley

    What type of known problems? That’s a pretty broad statement. (and a little scary).

    My dog continues to love it, although this current bag has weird, big pieces in it (2-3 inches in length), and she avoids those totally.

  • Linda Bradley

    I agree – that’s the one I bought too. I do see under “recipes available” it is listed and gets 4.5 stars – down a half star from the duck formula. I may try the duck next time as well.

  • Laura Travieso

    Hi Sue, took about 5 days to change the food .. Mixing the new with the Iams but she seemed to have tolerated very well. Is it possible that it takes this long to manifest the symptoms of possible intolerance? Thank you for your post it has very interesting info

  • sue66b

    Hi Laura, how long did you take introducing her to this new food? Have a look at the Iams fat% & Protein% The Iams was probably lower in fat% & protein then this new food…also there’s 4 diferent proteins in this kibble, I’d find a kibble with just 1 protein the same protein that her Iams was & around the same fat% & protein% & slowly work ur way up to a higher protein..also there might be an ingredient that she cant tolarate, peas or potatos.. I had my boy on Eukanuba then I started him on a grainfree kibble…after 1 & 1/2 weeks he had real bad diarrhea, I quickly put him back on his Eukanuba, later I found out he cant have Potatos..

  • Laura Travieso

    My son’s 5 year old lab mix was eating Iams for a long time .. 3 weeks ago he changed the food to the Organix Grain free – she finished the first small bag without problems .. He ordered the next bag online and after feeding her – she is now having “accidents” (diarrhea ). I am concerned that could be an issue with this new bag (same food) or maybe she is just now reacting to the food change? Is that possible? Any feedback is appreciated. Thank you

  • George Dileonardo

    Hill’s & RC have owned the vets since their inception because they require a scrip for common ailments.Just my opinion.

  • Michele Tiana

    Would love a review on the Ultra-mix grain free and poultry free (with the # 1 ingredient being Salmon). I bought this because I remembered Ultra-mix got 5 stars, but didn’t realize this one was not reviewed. May exchange for the duck just to be sure to get 5 star food.

  • dchassett

    I was on cyclosporin a few years back, I’m glad their tapering her off. I have to have liver and kidneys tested every four months ever since including a whole host of other testing. I pray she’ll do well and seems like she’s in very good hands.

  • Sarah Beth

    I have a three year old boxer w the same issues and after going thru a mass number of dog foods and benadryl we settled on grain free poultry free and he loves it… His coat has grown almost all the way in and I’ve been able to lessen his intake of benadryl. It worth the cost

  • Casey

    Try adding some wet food to the dry every so often. I use the duck base and give him 1/2 dry w/1/3can wet like 2-3 times a week… u cud even add some freeze dried chicken to the top of it… this is the first food my dog has every willingly eaten so im lucky! Cuz his allergies are nuts and he needs certain things…

  • JudyandSam Simpson Norris

    mine don’t like anything “fish”. The literally can smell it, as I can too, and walk away from it.

  • Sharon

    I agree with you on the vaccines. i almost killed my dog with them. Never will I make that mistake again. I am not saying not to do shots just not going to do them all at one time and some of them not again after they get some of them once. Check out the section of Vaccinations in book The Nature of Animal Healing by Martin Goldstein. Saved my dog and she will be 15 this year. That was in 2007.

  • JudyandSam Simpson Norris

    1- it’s a trait that some Cockers carry along with other breeds.
    2- dogs get too many vaccines that they don’t really need. I will not be giving vaccines to my other cocker this year. We live in a subdivision, we have a fence around the outside yard (we’re on a corner curve) no dogs can get in, mine can’t get out, and we are both retired, so we are here all day. What time we are not here, I close the doggie door until we get back. so, they don’t come in contact with anything in order to get rabies, no bordatella and some others I can’t think of right now. My vet has given me a letter for the State Rabies Board on Abbie about her condition. He said she’s not his first, he has also had a German Shepard diagnosed with it and is now 10yrs old and doing well. The protocol is as stated above on eventually tapering off the meds to see how they do because the Cyclosporin can cause liver problems. We will see, but so far, she is very pink with gums, nose and white eyes !!

  • dchassett

    Poor sweet baby. I’m glad she’s at home and doing a little better. Did anyone give you any thoughts as to what happened to her?

  • JudyandSam Simpson Norris

    We have to have blood test to check her PAC every -6- wks.

  • JudyandSam Simpson Norris

    Better watch all those vaccines. That’s how my Abbie came down with Auto Immune Hemolytic Anemia in April 2013, –2- days after I retired from a college-IT dept. So I have done a lot of research on this disease. We liked to have lost her. She had to have a blood transfusion and then spent -7- days at the Emergency Animal Hospital. She was on a lot of meds, Predisone, Plavix, Pepcid and Cyclosporin. All in all they have gradually tapered her off. They took her off the Cyclosporin last Tuesday until April 01 – to see how she does. I have to watch her closely until April 01- to see if she starts to turn pale and jaundice. It was awful last year seeing her go through that. I would go down and sit with her for 12hrs a day. The ER doctor said he felt like that made a world of difference in her recovery.

  • JudyandSam Simpson Norris

    They could be just tired of the same thing day in and day out. Mine get tired of the same thing so I switch flavors every couple of months and they are fine with it. Mine are on Fromm Grain Free though but before it, they were on Castor and Pollux Grain Free.

  • JudyandSam Simpson Norris

    They could be just tired of the same thing day in and day out. Mine get tired of the same thing so I switch flavors every couple of months and they are fine with it. Mine are on Fromm Grain Free though but before it, they were on Castor and Pollux Grain Free.

  • omar

    I have a 7 month old boxer puppy. She has skin allergies. So i first purchase the victor grain free salmon dog food. She started shedding really bad and had dandruff really bad as well. So i went to the vet and she told me that it was the food. So i switch her over to castor& pollux ultramix grain free duck formula. And the shedding has stop and the dandruff. I love this food and my dog does too.

  • JAY

    my 2 poms have been eating castor and pollux dry foods,I buy 3-4 bags and switch it out every few days.They love the small size and the different choices. they eat a small handful in the am and about 2pm they eat a bowl of fresh cooked carrots and green beans as well.

  • Kevin Courcey

    You might be interested in the following article:

    Too much glucosamine can damage pancreatic cells. Also tends to bring about precipitous drop in blood sugar.

  • Monica

    Just bought the Duck, Sweet Potato, Whole Peas dry food for my Pit puppy. Hope she likes it! We are transitioning from Simply Nourish Grain Free Puppy.

  • LabsRawesome

    OMG. She’s adorable!! Sorry, I just saw your post, I haven’t been on this site for awhile. I agree with everything HDM said. Oh, and the canned foods I use are Kirkland cuts in gravy ( Costco ) & Pure Balance gf ( Walmart ). Both are grain free, and 5 star foods. 🙂

  • 4saints

    sorry that should be NO known problems

  • Zombie Chick

    Makes complete sense to me, thanks. ~Karla

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Zombie Chick –

    Weight is affected by calories. Fat gets a bad rap because it’s more calorically dense (9 kcal. per gram) than protein (4 kcal. per gram) are carbohdyrates (4 kcal. per gram also). Although it may be easier to feed an inactive dog or a dog that needs to lose weight a lower fat food that’s less calorically dense, it’s not necessary as long as calorie levels are controlled (it would allow the dog to eat a larger volume of food, however). Rather than opting for low fat foods (which often contain elevated levels of carbohdyrates), I feel it’s more appropriate to ensure that an overweight dog is eating a moisture rich food (canned, raw, dehydrated, etc.) this way the calorie content will be diluted by the high moisture levels.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Zombie Chick –

    I don’t know of a single canned food with 12% protein or less (this wouldn’t conform to AAFCO nutrient standards) – most canned foods contain between 30% and 60% protein. Any 5 star canned food should contain at least 40%. I’m assuming the problem is that you’re forgetting to convert the as fed protein values to dry matter. Kibble is only 10% moisture, canned foods generally contain over 70% moisture so you can’t directly compare the two. To convert to a dry matter basis you subtract the percent moisture from 100% – this gives you the percent dry matter. You then divide the as fed percent protein by the percent dry matter and multiply that value by 100. For example, say a canned food contains 8% protein and 78% moisture: 100% – 78% = 22%. 8%/22% = 0.36. 0.36*100 = 36% protein. Luckily, Dr. Mike does this for us. You can find the dry matter protein level in the yellow box on each review.

    Due to the high moisture content, canned foods tend to have a much lower caloric-density than dry foods so feeding a canned food is more conducive to weight loss and a good idea for dogs prone to weight gain. As a general rule, a large (~13 fl oz.) can of canned food contains roughly the same number of calories as 1 C. (8 fl. oz.) of dry food.

  • Zombie Chick

    OOps, sorry, I didn’t see how old the post was..

  • Zombie Chick

    I wish they would show who votes down like they do when we vote up..LOL.. 30% fat? gads, my dogs would be all fatties for sure 😉 Do you think that kind of diet (like you feed) is good for dogs that are just basically house dogs that don’t “work” or are super active? How much fat do you work into your dogs diets? ~Karla

  • Zombie Chick

    What canned food do you feed that has that much protein? One of my dogs, a long haired chihuahua just had 11 teeth puled (product of poor breeding, she just turned 4), and I need to feed her canned. But I cannot find anything above 12%.

    SHe doesn’t need much fat though, she is a chunky monkey 😉 lol She is 6.6 pounds and should be no more than 4. I am actually surprised she could eat at all, let alone get fat with how bad her teeth were.

    We found out she has a broken bottom jaw (right between the 2 bottom canines). Our vet said it has been that way a long time. So it either happened by the last person who cleaned her teeth or possibly born that way.

    She also has a small open frontal which we always were aware of. Like I said, BAD breeding. Wish I could find her breeder because we paid a lot for her, AND I would love to make sure she still isn’t breeding.

    Foxy is such a wonderful dog. She was such a cute pup. But the good news, she is healthy otherwise, so far. And she is so much happier since she had those bad teeth removed Friday.

    Pictures below of her at 10 weeks and then July I think after she had a hair cut. She has super thick hair so we had her trimmed for the summer 😉

  • 4saints

    Anyone else having a problem with the Grain-Free / Poultry-Free formula? I have 4 who have been eating it for months, now all of a sudden all 4 are flat out refusing it. Not just leaving part but leaving the whole bowl. I contacted Castor & Pollux but they said there are known problems.

  • InkedMarie

    Charlie already posted a link to Dr Dodds’ protocol….please realize that you can do what you want, you can choose to do puppy shots and only do rabies (assuming rabies is the law).

  • charlie

    This is a link to Dr Jean Dodds Canine Vaccine Protocol.

    There is more and more evidence that once a dog reaches about a year of age the vaccines they receive last for at least 3 years. There is also evidence that the vaccines could last for the life or your dog

    Vaccines have side effects and some of them are very serious. This is an article from a wonderful resource for adopting a pet. The article is about the side effects of canine vaccines.

    This is a controversial subject so the more you learn about it the better you will be prepared to make an informed desicion about vaccines and your dogs!

  • Elizabeth Autry Sutton

    My vet only charges $35 for all the shots my dogs need annually,(we live in a rural area), whereas my mother’s vet charges close to $300 for the same shots (she lives in a suburb of Oklahoma City) and I think that is obscene. He said he keeps the costs of simple things like an annual shots low so that when we purchase our dogs flea/tick meds we are more likely to buy from him whose prices are set by the manufacturer and so that when our dogs need more involved vet services we are confident that he is not taking advantage of us financially in our time of need. He sells this brand of food, Natural Ultra Mix Grain-free (his price matches Petco’s price) and several others (Hills, Royal Canin, and Nutro) and our dogs seem to love it.

  • Terry

    I highly doubt the duck or chicken diet would affect the dog eating this source of protein. Grains are problem when consumed directly caused by the lectins that irritate the gut lining

  • Ned

    Something to keep in mind with grain free food is that Duck and Chicken are often fed grains so if your pet is sensitive, intolerant or allergic to grains even these protein sources can be a problem. Also in my experience as someone who has fostered 100s of dogs, many dogs allergic to grain will react to chicken/duck sourced food as well and surprisingly, flax.

  • Ned

    agreed! Glad someone pointed this out!

  • SamD

    Wondering if the fish parts source is farmed or wild caught. That makes a difference for me. Q’d the company but never heard back….

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Unless the dog was predisposed to or had a history of pancreatitis I have a very hard time believing a food with 17% fat would cause pancreatitis unless it had gone rancid – 17% fat is about average for a kibble. Did she by any chance get any leftovers or fatty treats? Have an opportunity to get into the garbage? These are often the things that cause pancreatitis – someone gives the dog some poultry skin or a fatty marrow bone or the dog gets into the trash and eats a bunch of fat or skin left over from dinner. How long had the food been open and what temperatures was it stored at? If it had been open for more than 4 weeks and/or was exposed to high temperatures there’s a chance the fats could have gone rancid. Because she’s now had a bout of pancreatitis you’ll probably want to keep her on a low fat food (<12%) for awhile – in the future you may be able to gradually increase fat levels to see what she can tolerate. A good low fat food that is widely available is Wellness CORE Reduced Fat. Annamet also has a great formula called Lean which is not as widely available in stores but is available through many online retailers. If you wanted to stick with Castor & Pollux, both their Weight Management and Large Breed formulas are low in fat. Two other low fat foods I am a big fan of are The Honest Kitchen's Zeal and Grandma Lucy's Pureformance Chicken – these are both dehdyrated foods and a bit more expensive than kibble. Typically foods labeled for "weight loss", "seniors" or "large breeds" are going to have the lowest fat levels. I would also recommend adding supplemental digestive enzymes.

  • 10schick

    My beautiful American Bulldog was just diagnosed with pancreatitis. She is currently hospitalized for the next 4 days getting IV fluids and antibiotics. I was feeding her Blue, then I switched a few months ago to Castor & Pollux GF Duck. The main reason was for the high amounts of glucosamine (1200mg). It has the highest of any I have found. AB’s having a history of hip problems, I thought that would be a proactive preventative approach. I just hope this food has not caused her pancreatitis. It has a 5 star rating, but I’m not sure about the fat content for a dog her age. If its too high or within the recommended amount? She is 9. Is there something better for her? I have two AB’s, the other is 2 1/2. They both would have to eat the same food.

  • Maukwa

    I have been gradually transitioning my dogs to the GF Duck and Sweet Potatoes and Whole Peas Entrée….but they hate it…and my allergic boy is starting to itch…don’t know if it is the food or the pollens 🙁 I had high hopes for this product but it doesn’t look like it is going to work…I liked the kibble size, as my dogs are small. They were on the Wellness Simple Turkey Potato…didn’t like that much either, but they ate it…eventually…these are two rescued dogs who probably lived on table scraps and my little one was a street dog who ate paper….very frustrated.

  • keleee

    I ran into a Vet today trying to drum up patients at the local Petco. I told him my dog is on Organix and he said it was no good. I asked why and he said he only sells Hills and Royal Canin. I said,” Isn’t that because you have a deal going with those brands to sell their dogfood”? He said, no but because those foods are best according to vets. He also said it’s not good to get my dog shots at petco for 50.00 vs 300 bucks at the vet. He said what if there are complications? I said I would call the vet but that has never happened and a licenced vet gives the shots. He said it is really hurting his business. I told him it may be hurting him but it helps all the people who don’t have 300 bucks to get their pets shots. I really did not like his attitude and I think he just out to line his pockets and bs customers who may know the wiser.

  • Cate

    Merrick is a very good food. The problem was with treats not food. Castor & Pollux are also good.

  • Mel

    Hey Mike. What are you feeding now then? Are there any brands available at Petco that you would recommend? Wellness Simple or Core? Solid Gold? Blue? Nutro Ultra?

  • mike

    merrick bought out castor and pollux ,,,,,,the food was good but since merrick took over the food has changed color and size they said they didn’t change anything …but i’m not betting on my dogs life with it….merrick has too many recalls

  • Try several foods over a period of time and see how your dog likes them. You should be able to rotate different brands and types of food to give your dog variety. I serve my fosters 3 different kibbles (including Nutrisource) and some canned foods and my personal dogs get kibble, canned, freeze dried, raw. Their foods vary in meat and fat content.

  • Courtney

    I am considering switching my dog to this food from Nutrisource. It will be a bit more expensive so I need to decide if a one star quality difference is really worth the extra expense. Any thoughts?

  • I deviated from one of my usual brands to try out
    Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix Grain-Free because it was on sale at my local pet superstore. I am impressed with the quality, and my dog seems to enjoy its taste. Firm, less odoriferous stools are a plus, too.

  • mike

    poutry free salmon is not all wild caught ….while it states .050 mercury ….c&s is unable to give information on the percentage of farm raised salmon …..if it was 90% farmed and 10% wild the mercury would be much higher ….and also the coloring of farm fish and there contaminets….. not impressed

  • mike

    poultry free salmon based food is not all wild caught…so farm raised salmon is used…..c&s cannot supply the information on the percentage used…. mercury was stated at .050 ….. what if salmon used was 90% farm raised and 10% wild ….mercury and coloring of farm fish and contaminets would be alot higher….not impressed….

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Mikeben999 –

    Dogs are carnivores, they are not designed to eat grains. Grains are no species-appropriate foods for a dog. They don’t produce the enzyme amylase required to digest carbohydrates, so it stresses their pancreas to feed them diets high in grains and carbohydrates as the pancreas is forced to produce enzymes the dog’s body is not designed to produce. Grains aren’t even healthy for cows and horses, why would they be healthy for a dog? As long as protein and fat are supplied in adequate quantities dogs actual have no nutritional requirement for carbohydrates.

    High protein diets will not cause kidney failure. This is a complete myth than many people (unfortunately) believe. Even dogs with kidney failure benefit from high protein diets in the early stages of the disease.

    This may help clarify things for you, it’s an article written by Delmar R. Finko DVM, PhD. It describes the effects of high protein diets on renal function in dogs:

    Here is another article by Kenneth Bovee DVM MMedSc discussing the myths surrounding high protein diets and dogs with reduced renal funtion:

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Mike, Grain free is better. NO. High protein that is species appropriate, from meat, eggs will not cause kidney problems. A dog is a Carnivore, feed him like one. My 2 dogs eat a canned diet that is 44% protein. Actually it is even higher that that, because I add fresh meat & eggs.

  • Mikeben999

    is grain free better than grain based food….and will 30% and over cause kidney problems

  • Hound Dog Mom

     Mikeben999 –

    If anything 30% protein is too low. My dogs’ meals range from 45 – 55% protein. A dogs ancestral (ideal) diet is about 56% protein, 30% fat and 14% carbohydrates. You won’t find a kibble with these types of nutrient values but you should look for a kibble as close to these values as possible. As far as the mercury, I think it’d be fine to use in a rotation. The same food shouldn’t be fed continuously, so find a few foods you like and rotate in the salmon kibble on occasion.

  • Mikeben999

    will 30% salmon protein too much ?? and what about the mercury if feed c&s salmon??

  • Keleeemo

    Great buy on Castor and Pollux dogfood. Just 99 cents for a 5 lb bag! I usually get it at my local Petco but just found this great deal at Petflow. Unfortunately it is just one bag per person.

  • i8ok

    And cooked tomato apparently has more lycopene than raw tomato. One of those rare phenomenons where cooked is better than raw. But how much cooking might destroy the licopene? Pet food kibble processing produces a dry pellet. Anyone know how much lycopene is left in overcooked dried tomato?

  • Ninja
    Tomato pumace is valued as a fiber that has a high degree of soluability and can be considered as a prebiotic. In a week or two I’ll have more detailed info on the Brothers thread about the benefits of fiber as a prebiotic that were uncovered in a 7 year study comparing different fibers.

    Any fiber that will encourage bacterial growth in the colon is very good. The overall health of the dog is almost directly related to the health of the colon. It is the bacteria in the colon that repair the mucosal lining of the gut wall which is crucial. The mucosal lining prevents anything from escaping into the blood stream through a “leaky gut” condition and about 80% of the immune system is generated in a healthy gut wall. The bacteria, if the colonmy is lagre and healthy enough, can also keep the Candida albicans yeast in check.

    I have not heard anything in particular that is bad about tomato pumace but of course the whole GMO and pesticides thing must be taken into consideration. Tomato, like potato, is in the nightshade family so the possible problem with Solanine concentrations must be considered.

    All things considered though, since tomato pumace is a prebiotic I would not really give much weight to the criticism that it’s a filler since the function of encouraging bacterial growth is so important.

  • DFN,
    Can I jump in? I thought the Tomato was added for licopene… Richard, I’d like to hear your answer too? 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Hey Richard, what’s your take of Tomato Pomace?  It’s another one of those “kinda red flagged” ingredients that are in quite a few of the better brands of dog foods just like beet pulp.  And, apparently, for the same reason (fiber). 

  • Grain-Free dog food is more healthy and does not cause allergy for dogs. which is 50% of dog diseases.