Husband and wife team Shelley Gunton and Brian Connolly have served over six million meals to hungry dogs in shelters and foster homes in the past twenty years. They see their own pets as family and it was Joey, a Lab/Pointer mix that first inspired them to start producing their own food. As is often the case with doting owners, nothing was good enough for their special boy.
They wanted to ensure that he was eating not only a healthy and nutritious diet but also one that was natural and organic. Dog food can often be looked over when preparing meals for the family. Incorporating your healthy diet into the diet of your pets is a relatively easy and natural way to extend your love to your pet. When an ideal food for your pet is not yet sold in stores, what does a dog owner do to reverse this trend?
Castor and Pollux are an Oregon company founded in 2000 in Clackamas. Since then, Merrick Pet Care who is based in Amarillo, Texas has purchased them. The production facility in Texas was one of the first in the United States to be granted organic status and is now the only one to be fully certified in both dry and canned pet foods.
Many dog foods come from manufacturing plants that may not be in the US, or may be in disrepair and lack the quality control needed to reduce potential toxins. Ingredients used in many foods are also not of the highest quality or highly regarded by the local veterinarians. Finding a dog food line that incorporates good, whole foods mimicked upon the diets of wild dogs is a tough battle. Creating a line of dog food to encompass the pure natural foods needed for a healthy dog was the only way for the owners and developers to be able to satisfy their need for a perfect dog food with the highest standards.
As the ingredients that the Castor & Pollux developers were looking for in their dog food became more widely available in their hometown, they saw an opportunity to incorporate them into a higher quality diet for the big brown-eyed Joey. With ingredients now freshly available, and the idea for creating a line of dog food fresh in their minds, the brand of Castor & Pollux Natural Petworks was born.
The emphasis from the start was on organic foods, a phrase that has become synonymous with good food on our own tables. The idea behind using organic ingredients in dog food derived from the thought of ‘if it is good enough for us then it should be just as good for dogs’. This line of thought is not only true for the betterment and health of dogs, but also in tuning into the dog’s ancestry and natural evolution of tastes and dietary needs.
Dogs in the wild do not have access to processed foods full of preservatives and additives. Dogs have evolved to eat only pure meat sources, coupled with the occasional fruit and veggie when needed. Sticking to an organic ingredient list for their dog food, the developers incorporated a natural and back-to-basics appeal all dogs can benefit from.
The definition of natural, according to the AAFCO (the regulatory body that enforces standards in the pet food industry), is a product that comes from an animal, plant or mined source that are either unprocessed or processed without synthetic materials.
Organic on the other hand uses this technical term and takes it a little further and can almost be seen as a natural-plus. There are completely new sets of standards to be met and the USDA’s Natural Organic Program (NOP) rigorously enforces these.
Many may find the term organic to be a bit vague, or to simply imply the food was grown on a simple farm rather than a mass production farm that uses quantity over quality as a main stay. The actual terms for organic foods describe foods that are not just free from artificial chemicals and genetic engineering but they are richer in vitamins and minerals.
Without being tainted with toxic chemicals, and having the ability to grow in pure soil and looked after lovingly, the fruits and veggies grown organically thrive more than their counterparts.
The benefits of this are an overall healthier pet with a reduction of allergies and itchy skin and reduced digestion problems. Dogs who are not ingested chemicals are dogs that have healthier bodies and immune systems as well as improved luster in their coat, skin, and eyes.
There are three levels within the organic certification system. Starting with ‘made with organic’, this does not allow the product to carry the organic seal and 70-94% of the ingredients must be organic, Organix falls into this category. The next step up is 95% organic, this can carry the USDA organic seal and Organix Canned Foods and Dog Cookies are proud to be able to put this seal on their label.
100% organic is the top tier and as the name suggests, every part of every ingredient must be organic. These foods carry the USDA seal too. Every ingredient in this rating process is graded by an independent, third party regardless of whether it claims to be organic or not. The standards are extremely rigorous and there is meticulous scrutiny of all ingredients at each stage.
It is always nice to see a company give back to their customers, and Castor and Pollux certainly do that and more. This pet food company works closely with many pet charities across the country and if you are prepared to work hard in that area, it surely bodes well for the preparation of their food. Understanding the need to share the joy of healthy dog food, and its profits, highlights the community involvement taken on by this group of dog food brand owners.
The responsibility lies not only in providing a good food for the canine customers, but also a good community for in which they live.
When creating a plentiful line of dog food, having the source of meat be the number one ingredient is important. Dogs need to have meat from an animal source, and the meat should always be the building block of nutrition. As with human food, the first ingredient listed on the bag of food should be the most important.
Having this food be from an organic source is even better. Organic meat is one in which the animals were not being fed chemicals or exposes to pesticides and other toxic chemicals. Chicken in other lines of dog food may be from animals that were not cared for and their meat may not be up to par.
Ensuring your dog’s food has organic chicken, rather than mass produced chicken, is an important step to take to ensure the health of your dog. Buying dog food that contains organic chicken also helps to support these farms that produce the properly cared for chickens. Supporting local organic chicken farmers can prove to the dog food brands how valuable using organic meat is and perhaps help stop the spread of potentially toxic chicken meat.
Organic chicken is the primary ingredient in most of Castor and Pollux’s foods followed by poultry meal. Despite organic chicken being whole chicken that is fully moist before cooking, poultry meal being a more concentrated food actually provides more nutrients. Maybe the organic chicken tastes better or maybe it looks better on the packaging, but as both are included. it hardly matters.
Poultry meal may not sound delectable to the human taste, but to dogs, poultry meal not only tastes great, but offers 300% the protein as traditional meat. The added protein to the diet of your dog helps aid in their development in the most natural of ways.
Poultry meal is the dry rendered product from a combination of chicken flesh and skin, and the rest of the chicken. While poultry meal is essentially a combination of leftover parts of a chicken, the poultry meal does not use the head, feet, feathers or entrails. Chicken meal is generally seen as more desirable than poultry meal, but in terms of nutrients, they really are on a par with each other.
When creating the best quality dog food, avoiding food made with GMO’s is important. With Castor&Pollux dog food, GMO’s are not used and an organic mind set is incorporated into their food production.
Real fruit and farm vegetables are mixed with high quality Carnivore Health Boost proteins to provide the energy that an active dog requires while also containing the vitamins and minerals that are essential to keeping your dog healthy.
The Organix line comes in freeze-dried raw taste bites, grain-free options and canned meals, they all carry the Non-GMO verification. GMO food have been shown to cause disease and allergic reactions in many humans and animals.
By using foods that avoid the use of GMO, you are not only supporting the overall health and wellness of your pet, but supporting the farms and the food brands that hold the ideal of using non-GMO practices.
The Natural Ultramix provides another option and features turkey and duck to go alongside the chicken found in the other products. Feeding your dog food that is made from pure and natural meat, such as duck, will adhere to the natural hunting instinct your dog possesses from being an ancestor of the wolf. Not all dogs find simple chicken to be satisfying.
Adding turkey and duck into the flavors of meat choices will add a bit of game-like taste to your dog’s pallet while also incorporating a variety of vitamins and nutrients found in a bevy of other animal meat sources.
Castor and Pollux show that organic produce can be as good for our pets as they are for us. They have been leading the way for many years and there is no reason to think that they will do anything but that in the future.
Having a strong reputation in the dog food manufacturing business shows how the company has grown from being a simple food created by dog owners, to being one of the best dog food brands on the market.
Utilizing the simple and organic ingredients humans use in their own diets, have helped this brand of dog food closely resemble the natural food found in the wild. Those dog owners who wish to extend their own healthy diet unto their dogs will find this organic and GMO free food to one that is trusted and valued among their canine clients.
Castor and Pollux Dog Food Coupons
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Castor and Pollux Dog Food Reviews
Our rating of Castor and Pollux Organix line is 9.5/10. Our reasoning of the high score was given to the Organix line due to their strong use of pure foods and meat sources. The high amounts of protein offered also boosts their ratings.
The Castor and Pollux Natural Ultramix is another great food we have rated high 9/10. The score of a 9 is a bit less than the 9.5 from the Organix line, but the nine-star rating is still a high rating to be given. The Ultramix line scores a nine based upon their strong rating of healthful ingredients and amount of protein offered in their ingredients.
Various online reviewers have posted on the effects the Castor and Pollux brand dog food has had upon their dogs. Dog owners who have seen serious allergies in their skin and fur noted a strong improvement when switching to the Ultramix brand line.
The itchy, flaky skin all but dissipated and their dog’s overall health improved greatly. There has not been any serious issue with this food upon most dogs, and the marked improvement of health is across the board.
Dogs who may be picky eaters have been reported to have enjoyed the Ultramix dog kibble. Pet parents who complain of their dogs eating habits post that this brand of food is eaten by all of their dogs-especially the finicky eaters or ones with sensitive stomachs. The food seems to appeal to all dogs despite age, breed, size and temperament.
The only complaints about this food seem to be in relation to the price. Online retailers have found that the profit margin for their company rises when this food price is boosted. Raising the price of the dog food and causing the expenses of the dog owner to increase have not made for many happy pet owners. Overall, the price can be differentiated simply by visiting other online retailers or visiting brick and mortar stores or bulk dog food shops.
When price is the only concern, a dog owner should head the saying of ‘you get what you pay for’. A dog owner may have to pay a bit more for the food, but when the food is top notch, high quality, the food may pay for itself in the long run by reducing pricey visits to the vet.
Castor and Pollux Dog Food Recalls
Recalls seem to be an inevitable part of dog food branding in today’s manufacturing world. Foods that are meat based seem to be at risk for developing salmonella and other bacteria based germs that create sickness and possible poisoning when ingested. Maintaining a clean facility and using pure ingredients and a high standard of quality control can only go so far, and many companies become at risk for having spoiled food containing a toxin.
Recalling dog food is not a usual aspect of pet food creation but is one that is often a necessary part of business. Recalls have been in the media a lot lately, usually do to products made overseas, or products made with ingredients shipped separately from overseas. With Castor and Pollux brand food being organic, GMO free, and made in the US, the risk of having this food recalled is greatly reduced.
Merrick Pet Care is a dog food brand that has purchased Castor and Pollux. Merrick Pet Care has had quite a few dog food recalls in their years of business, however, there have not been any recalls in recent years. After Merrick bought Castor and Pollux, there has yet to be any recalls from their umbrella brand. There have been no recalls of any products since the purchase in 2012.