Castor & Pollux Dog Food
Castor & Pollux Natural Pet Works describes itself as a leader in organic and natural pet products. They make ORGANIX® and Natural Ultramix® lines of food and treats, and GOOD BUDDY® dog supplies, along with Curious Cat® treats. They make pet foods for both dogs and cats. Organix was founded in 2000 in Clackamas, Oregon. It was the first certified organic dog and cat food to meet all of the requirements established by the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP). In April 2012 the company was purchased by Merrick Pet Care, based in Amarillo, Texas. Merrick has canning and dry pet food operations in Texas and they have organic certification under the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) for all of their Texas manufacturing facilities. Merrick Pet Care, Inc., is the only organic certified manufacturer for both dry and canned food for pets.
Who Manufactures Castor & Pollux dog food?
Castor & Pollux foods are now made by Merrick Pet Care, Inc., the company that acquired Castor & Pollux in 2012. Merrick has manufacturing facilities in Texas and is the only U.S. manufacturer certified to make both dry and canned organic food for pets. The Castor & Pollux product line has expanded since being purchased by Merrick. “During the spring of 2013, Castor & Pollux introduced 24 indulgent recipes for dogs and cats. The lineup now includes a new ORGANIX dry food for dogs, recipes for large breeds, five new ORGANIX Butcher & Buschel canned food for dog recipes, plus and array of appetizing new recipes for dogs and cats of all sizes and life stages.”
Castor & Pollux Recalls
Please Read First: If this statement is still here we are actively watching for new recalls. Below you will find a history of recalls. If you would like to know as SOON as we find out about a recalls visit:http://dogfood.guru/recalls and fill out our Recall Alert form. We will ONLY email this list in the event of an actual recall. Once we stop watching for Recalls I will remove this statement.
We also encourage everyone to bookmark the site for future reference.
We have records in the past for FDA recalls of Castor & Pollux Natural Ultramix and Good Buddy pressed rawhides but these recalls are not listed in the FDA database at this time.
Merrick Pet Care, Inc. has had a number of FDA recalls in the past, but they were before 2012 when the company purchased Castor & Pollux. There are no recent recalls for Castor & Pollux or Merrick.
Castor & Pollux Coupons
For coupons, check PetFoodTalk.com, PetFoodDirect.com, and DogFoodHowTo.com. Pet food delivery web sites like Chewy.com often have discounts on the food or free shipping. You can also check the Castor & Pollux Facebook page and their Twitter account for their latest specials.
Castor & Pollux Dog Food Overview
Before we go very far in reviewing Castor & Pollux it’s important to consider the term “organic” because this is an important selling point with this food for many people. Foods that claim to be organic have to be certified by the FDA’s National Organic Program which has a definition for the term “organic.” Agricultural ingredients have to be produced under conditions that would meet this definition. The FDA also has labeling standards based on the percentage of organic ingredients in a product.
According to the FDA, organic is a labeling term that indicates that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods that integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used.
Organic certification is done by an entity that has been accredited by the USDA. Farms can be certified to produce livestock, crops, wild crops, and processed products such as chopped carrots, for example. Different kinds of organic certification can use different kinds of seals to show the kind of approval they have achieved.
Some foods can be more organic than others, depending on how many organic ingredients they use. For example, Castor & Pollux’s Organic kibbles are 70-94 percent organic while some of their canned foods are 95 percent organic. According to the company, they use whole chicken as their number one ingredient, which is organic and free-range, but they do not have organic sources for their chicken meal or other protein meals.
In order to be labeled 100 percent organic, raw or processed agricultural products in the “100 percent certified organic” category must meet these criteria:
• All ingredients must be certified organic.
• Any processing aids must be organic.
• Product labels must state the name of the certifying agent on the information panel.
Raw or processed agricultural products in the “organic” category must meet these criteria:
• All agricultural ingredients must be certified organic, except where specified on National List.
• Non-organic ingredients allowed per National List may be used, up to a combined total of five percent of non-organic content (excluding salt and water).
• Product labels must state the name of the certifying agent on the information panel.
Multi-ingredient agricultural products in the “made with” category must meet these criteria:
• At least 70 percent of the product must be certified organic ingredients (excluding salt and water).
• Any remaining agricultural products are not required to be organically produced but must be produced without excluded methods (see page 1).
• Non-agricultural products must be specifically allowed on the National List.
• Product labels must state the name of the certifying agent on the information panel.
You can find out more about organic products and labeling on this site.
We do note that Castor & Pollux uses organic chicken as the first ingredient in many of their foods, but the second ingredient is usually poultry meal. Organic chicken would be a whole chicken that contains mostly moisture that will cook out during the cooking process. Once that happens, there will be much less of the organic chicken left and it would come lower on the ingredient list. This means that, by weight, poultry meal, a non-organic ingredient, is probably the first ingredient in the food. Poultry meal is defined as “the dry rendered product from a combination of clean flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone, derived from the parts of whole carcasses of poultry or a combination thereof, exclusive of feathers, heads, feet, and entrails. It shall be suitable for use in animal food. If it bears a name descriptive of its kind, it must correspond thereto.” Poultry meal is generally considered to be less desirable than a specific named meal such as chicken meal or turkey meal, though we have no problem with a concentrated protein meal.
Castor & Pollux’s Organix is recognized as a leader in organic and natural dog food. Their foods are certfified organic by the USDA’s National Organic Program. Organix has also met the certification requirements required from an outside party for their ingredients, their production process, their storage and handling, and other parts of their manufacturing process. Organic certification is important because it assures regulation of the way organic foods are raised and grown and all aspects of their usage.
The Organix product line includes dry foods, canned foods, and jerky chip cookies in various formulas. Their foods include grain free, small breed, large breed, weight management foods, adult and puppy foods, and Butcher & Bushel canned food, among others. (The company web site is a little annoying to navigate if you are searching for dog food since it lumps dog and cat food together in seemingly random order.)
Ingredients for these foods include: Organic chicken, organic brown rice, organic peas, organic quinoa, organic flaxseed, organic carrots, organic apples, and organic broccoli. Organic Grain free adult kibble is 30/12/3.5/10 in terms of crude protein, crude fat, fiber, and moisture. It is a maintenance dog food. Calories for the food are not provided on the web site.
Organix adult dog food is 26/14/4.5/10 in terms of protein, fat, fiber, and moisture. It is also a maintenance dog food. It contains 394 kcal/cup.
Organix Butcher & Bushel (Turkey & Chicken) is 8/4/1.4/81 in terms of protein/fat/fiber/moisture. It’s a maintenance dog food and contains 280 kcal per 12.7 oz can.
Organix adult dog food (canned organic turkey, organic carrot, organic potato formula) is 7.5/6.5/1/78 in terms of protein, fat, fiber, and moisture. It’s also a maintenance dog food. It is 95 percent certified organic. The food is 440 kcal per 12.7 ounce can.
This is just a sampling of some of the kibble and canned food in the Organix line. The Ultramix line emphasizes natural ingredients but not necessarily organic ingredients. It does not use wheat, corn, or soy. And it does not use artificial colors or preservatives or flavors. Foods for dogs include adult, adult grain free, grain free and poultry-free, large breed, lamb & rice, puppy, and weight management kibbles. They also have grain free canned foods – which are not that unusual. Many canned foods do not contain grains. And they have other canned foods for adult dogs and puppies, along with some Ultramix cookies. Castor & Pollux also makes some dietary supplements in their Ultramix line such as Natural Ultraxmix Real Pumpkin and Natural Ultramix Real Sweet Potato. These are dietary supplements and not intended to be fed to your dog alone.
Castor & Pollux Natural Ultramix® Beef, Barley & Carrots Entrée Dry Food has 30/15/3.5/11 in terms of crude protein, crude fat, fiber, and moisture. This is a maintenance dog food. It contains 400 kcal/cup.
Castor & Pollux Natural Ultramix® Grain-Free Duck, Sweet Potatoes & Whole Peas Entrée Dry Food for Dogs is 38/17/3.5/11 for protein, fat, fiber, and moisture. It is a maintenance dog food. This food also contains 400 kcal/cup.
Natural Ultramix Adult Dog Food (canned) comes in regular and grain free formulas. Duck & Venison, Green Beans with Minnesota Wild Rice Entree is 8/4/1/81 percent in terms of protein, fat, fiber, and moisture. It is a maintenance dog food and contains 317 kcal per 13.2 oz can.
Natural Ultramix Grain-Free Whole Chicken Thigh, Fresh-Cut Carrots & Sweet Potatoes Entrée is 9/5/1.4/81 percent in terms of protein, fat, fiber, and moisture. This is a maintenance dog food. This food has 362 kcal per 13.2 oz can.
This should give you a sample of the Ultramix line of dog foods.
Castor & Pollux has a wide variety of dog foods in both canned and kibble formulas, and with and without grains. Foods in their Organix line are 70-94 percent organic, with the exception of some of their canned foods which are 95 percent organic. The Ultramix product line provides many choices with good quality ingredients.
It’s important for consumers to keep in mind that the presence of organic ingredients by itself doesn’t guarantee that a product is better (for you or for your dog). Vitamins and minerals can be unbalanced, for example or their could be other excesses or deficiencies. It’s always important to read the label and learn more about the food. However, if the food has good ingredients, that’s a big advantage.
Castor & Pollux Organix Adult Dog Food Organic Turkey & Organic Vegetable Review
Since people are interested in Castor & Pollux for their organic foods, we are reviewing one of their canned dog foods that is 95 percent organic. This canned turkey and vegetable food is a loaf or pate style food. Canned foods like this one are typically more dense with calories than kibble. While they may be very costly to feed if you have a large breed dog or multiple dogs, they can be a good choice for small or medium dogs. They can also be important if you have a dog who is a picky eater or a dog who is convalescing after an illness. Sometimes feeding a good canned food is the best way to get your dog eating again. Senior dogs who are losing weight will often eat canned foods, too. Many senior dogs start to have dulled senses and kibble no longer smells or tastes good to them. A canned food can tempt them to eat again.
The first five ingredients in this food are organic turkey, water sufficient for processing, organic brown rice, organic chicken, and organic chicken liver. Since this food is 95 percent organic, it’s not surprising to see this list of organic ingredients. Turkey is a good food for most dogs, unless your dog happens to have an allergy to poultry. Turkey breast meat has about 70 percent protein, 16 percent carbs, and 14 percent fat. A whole turkey, which is probably used for making dog food, will probably have slightly less protein and higher fat percentages, but they shouldn’t be too far off. Turkey is a good source of riboflavin and phosphorus.
We expect a high water content in any canned food. Most canned foods contain 75 to 78 percent moisture (compared to 10 to 12 percent moisture in kibbles). The maximum moisture content allowed by AAFCO is 78 percent except for products that are labeled “in gravy” or “stew” or “in sauce.” These products are allowed to have more moisture. This is why it’s always important to look at the dry matter basis for foods so you can compare their contents with the moisture removed. This lets you compare a canned food to a kibble and compare one canned food to another.
The third ingredient in this food is organic brown rice. Rice is a cereal grain. Brown rice is usually considered to be more nutritious than white rice because it is slightly less processed, so it has not had some of its nutrients removed. However, it has the same amount of calories and carbohydrates. Brown rice is 8 percent protein, 7 percent fat, and 85 percent carbs. It’s a good source of selenium and manganese. There have been concerns that rice carries arsenic absorbed from the soil where it is widely found. Brown rice seems to carry more arsenic than white rice because the arsenic accumulates in the outer hull which is processed and removed in white rice. Regular consumption of rice containing arsenic is not advised but if your dog eats it occasionally in some dog foods, we don’t think it’s a serious problem.
The fourth ingredient in this food is organic chicken. Organic chicken is a very good ingredient for most dogs, unless your dog has an allergy to chicken. Chicken breast meat is about 80 percent protein and 20 percent fat. Whole chicken is 60-80 percent protein and still an excellent source of protein and nutrients. It provides vitamin B6, niacin, selenium, and phosphorus.
The fifth ingredient is organic chicken liver. Organic meat such as organic chicken liver is a great source of vitamins and minerals. Organic chicken liver provides 63 percent protein, 2 percent carbs, and 35 percent fat. It’s a good source of thiamin, zinc, copper and manganese, vitamin A, vitamin C, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, iron, phosphorus and selenium.
Other interesting ingredients in this canned food include vegetables for vitamins, minerals, and fiber such as organic potatoes, organic carrots, and organic apples. The food also contains guar guar which is usually added as a thickener though it can also be a laxative. It’s a fiber that comes from guar beans. It is often used in gluten free recipes and products. There has been interest in guar guar as a weight control ingredient but the FDA has banned it as a weight loss pill because there were some reports of pills containing guar gum swelling and causing obstructions. On the other hand, it does act as a good prebiotic for beneficial bacteria in the gut. Guar gum is widely used in canned dog foods.
The food also contains flaxseed meal which is a good dietary fiber and source of protein as well as a good source or omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. However, you should use caution in giving your dog food that contains flaxseed, especially if you are planning to breed your dog. Flaxseed contains phytoestrogens which can interfere with an animal’s hormones. Small amounts found in a can of dog food probably won’t bother your dog, but long term use could make a difference.
The food also contains chelated minerals which means the minerals have been bonded to proteins to make them easier for your dog to absorb. This is often found with better quality dog foods.
How would you rate Castor & Pollux Pet Food?
Overall, this looks like a good quality canned food that most dogs will probably enjoy.
This food contains 463 kcal per 12.7 ounce can and 201 kcal per 5.5 ounce can.
ORGANIX Adult Dog Food Organic Turkey and Organic Vegetable Formula is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for adult maintenance.
|CRUDE PROTEIN (MIN.)||7.50%|
|CRUDE FAT (MIN.)||6.00%|
|CRUDE FIBER (MAX.)||1.00%|
*Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles.
The dry matter basis figures for this food are: 34.1 percent protein; 27.3 percent fat; 4.5 percent fiber; and 25 percent carbohydrates (estimated).
This food has an above-average protein percentage. The fat percentage is also high but this is not that unusual in a canned dog food. The fiber percentage is in the average range; and the carbohydrates are low compared to most dog foods.
We like the fact that this canned food is 95 percent organic and we think this is important to many dog owners. We also like most of the ingredients in this food, including the turkey, chicken, and chicken livers. Recommended.
Where can you buy Castor & Pollux dog food?
We think Castor & Pollux has some very good foods. We like their organic ingredients and we like that Merrick, the company that owns them, makes the food themselves. They have had no recalls since Merrick purchased Castor & Pollux, even though some people were afraid that there might be a drop in quality for Castor & Pollux. Instead, the company has added more products and they seem to be moving ahead. The canned foods, grain free foods, and other foods all look good. Castor & Pollux still looks good.