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Castor & Pollux Organix dog food was founded in 2000. They were based in Clackamas, Oregon and became a leader in organic and natural pet products. The Organix product line was the first certified organic dog and cat food to meet all of the requirements established by the USDA’sNational Organic Program (NOP). Other featured product lines include: Natural Ultramix natural dog and cat foods and treats and Good Buddy dog cookies and treats. In April 2012 the company was purchased by Merrick Pet Care, based in Amarillo, Texas. Merrick stated that they would be consolidating operations at Merrick’s facilities in northwest Texas. Merrick has canning and dry pet food operations there and they have earned 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.
According to a Merrick press release at the time of the sale:
“Retail sales of dog and cat food exceeded $19 billion in 2011 according to market research company Euromonitor International. The ‘super premium’ and ‘natural/organic’ segments within the overall pet food category are estimated at $6.2 billion and are growing at a faster rate than the rest of the category. Packaged Facts estimates 40 percent of dog-owning households purchase some type of natural/organic pet foods, treats or supplies.”
…Which explains Merrick’s interest in Castor & Pollux.
Prior to the sale of the company Castor & Pollux was very active in supporting animal shelters and their web site was somewhat animal rights-oriented. Since the sale, the company seems to be focusing on making pet food as part of Merrick Pet Care.
Organix is a leader in organic and natural dog food. Their foods are certified organic by the USDA’s National Organic Program and Organix has met certification requirements from an outside party for their ingredients, their production process, their storage and handling, and other parts of their manufacturing process. Organic certification regulates the way organic foods are raised and grown and all aspects of their usage. You can find out more about the USDA’s program and what is required here: www.ams.usda.gov/nopor www.ota.com.
Note: Just because a company uses organic ingredients doesn’t mean the food is the best one for your dog. The ingredients could still be unbalanced. There could be excesses or deficiencies. You still have to read the label and learn more. But you are usually starting with good ingredients when a company uses organic ingredients.
Organix’s kibbles are in the 70-94 percent organic range. The company explains this by saying that their whole chicken, which is the number one ingredient, is organic and free-range, but there are no organic sources of the other protein meals they use at this time such as organic chicken meal.
Organix makes dry food, canned food, and one snack. They focus mainly on foods for adult dogs and small breeds at this time. They do have a grain-free kibble and several grain-free canned foods – though there is not usually much grain in canned foods anyway. They also have a weight management kibble and a puppy kibble.
- Organix Small Breed Adult Dog
- Organix Grain-Free Adult Dog Food
- Organix Small Breed Grain-Free Adult Dog
- Organix Adult Dog Food
- Organix Weight Management
- Organix Puppy Food
- Organix Grain-Free Adult Dog Food Chicken & Potato Formula
- Organix Grain-Free Adult Dog Food Chicken & Vegetable Formula
- Organix Grain-Free Adult Dog Food Turkey, Carrot & Potato Formula
- Organix Grain-Free Adult Dog Food Turkey & Vegetable Formula
- Organix Adult Dog Food Turkey, Carrot & Potato Formula
- Organix Adult Dog Food Turkey & Vegetable Formula
- Organix Adult Dog Food Chicken & Potato Formula
- Organix Adult Dog Food Chicken & Brown Rice Formula
- Organix Dog Cookies
Review Of Organix Adult Dog Food
Ingredients in Organix Adult Dog Food
Organic Chicken, Chicken Meal, Organic Brown Rice,Organic Peas, Organic Millet, Organic Oats, Chicken Fat (Naturally Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid), Salmon Meal, Natural Chicken Flavor, Organic Quinoa, Dried Egg Product, Organic Flaxseed, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Organic Carrots, Organic Apples, Organic Broccoli, Organic Pumpkin, Organic Pears, Salt, Choline Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2 Polyphosphate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Niacin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Chondroitin Sulfate, Yeast Culture (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus Niger Fermentation Extract, Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract, Dried Bacillus subtilis, Fermentation Solubles, Rosemary Extract.
Top 5 Ingredients Breakdown
As already mentioned, Organix says on their web site that their chicken is organic and free-range and it’s the frist ingredient in this food. Of course, whole chicken contains a lot of water before processing so once the chicken is cooked, this ingredient will not be the most plentiful in the food, but it’s still nice to see it listed prominently.
The second ingredient is chicken meal. This is an excellent source of meat protein. Again, this is not organic for the reasons already explained (no sources of organic chicken meal), but that shouldn’t bother most consumers.
The next three ingredients are Organic Brown Rice, Organic Peas, andOrganic Millet. Brown rice is a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals and it’s easy for dogs to digest. Millet is another healthy grain (or small-seeded grass) and it’s a good source of protein, essential amino acids and fiber. Peas are often used by dog food companies today as a source of fiber though in some cases dogs seem to have trouble digesting them. Foods that contain a lot of peas or pea fiber seem to cause diarrhea, so that could be a concern here.
Organic oats appear high on the list of ingredients and these also act as fiber. They give a feeling or fullness when eaten. They contain more soluble fiber than nay other grain and they help slow digestion. They are also a carb and supply energy. Their protein content is nearly equal to that of soy which is quite high. Quinoa, a heritage seed-grain, also appears in the ingredients. It’s also very high in protein.
Chicken fat – a named fat preserved with a form of vitamin E – is used as fat in the food. The food also contains salmon meal, a good source of protein that is high in Omega-3 fatty acids. Castor & Pollux also says that their fish ingredients are ethoxyquin-free. Dried egg product is another source of protein. The food also has organic flaxseed – another good source of fatty acids.
Along with chelated minerals, which are easier for dogs to absorb, the food also features a number of organic fruits and vegetables as sources of vitamins and minerals. You also find chondroitin sulfate added for joint health.
Finally, the food contains a selection of fermentation products to act as probiotics and pre-biotics and encourage healthy digestion.
Overall, this looks like a good ingredient list for a good food.
Quality Of Ingredients
The quality of the ingredients in Organix Adult Dog Food looks very good. Most of them are organic, except the ones already discussed and the reasons why. There are good sources of named meat protein, named fat, good grain sources, chelated minerals for easier absorption, organic fruits and vegetables as sources of vitamins and minerals, and probiotics and pre-biotics.
In addition, there are no by-products or digests; no artificial preservatives, colors, or sweeteners. No unnamed sources or meat or fat. And, for those who dislike corn, wheat, and soy, those ingredients are not here either.
Castor & Pollux has some good information about the testing they perform on their ingredients and on what the term “organic” means in their FAQ section.
There’s also a good article here about how the company avoids having recalls:How Castor & Pollux Pet Works prevents recalls of their natural and organic dog food and treats
The only issue that I might personally call into question is the prominent use ofpeas in the food (in the first five ingredients). In my experience, feeding my own dogs a food that added peas to the formula, and in talking to others who have fed foods with peas and pea fiber added as a new ingredient, it seems like dogs can have some trouble with this ingredient and diarrhea can result.
Castor & Pollux says that peas are a good source of fiber, B vitamins, potassium, protein, amino acid, and that they are relatively low in fat. I have no reason to doubt this. But I know what happened when I fed food that contained peas and what my friends have told me about their experiences.
- Crude Protein (min.) …… 26.00%
- Crude Fat (min.) …… 14.00%
- Crude Fiber (max.) …… 4.50%
- Moisture (max.) …… 10.00%
- Calcium (min.) …… 1.00%
- Phosphorus (min.) …… 0.90%
- Vitamin E (min.) …… 50 IU/kg
- Omega 6 Fatty Acids (min.)* …… 2.00%
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids (min.)* …… 0.35%
- Glucosamine (min.)* …… 150 mg/kg
- Chondroitin Sulfate (min.)* …… 75 mg/kg
*Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles
ORGANIX Adult Dog Food is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance.
- Calorie Content Metabolizable Energy (ME): Not provided on the web site or on any listing of dog food calories that I could find.
Organix Adult Dog Food provides 26 percent crude protein (Minimum), which is well above the government’s recommendations (18 percent for adult dogs). This is a little on the low side for a premium/super premium adult dog food these days.. The 14 percent fat in Organix Adult Dog Food is also well within the government’s recommendations (9 to 15 percent for an adult dog). The 4.5 percent fiber is within normal parameters.
Company Reputation And Quality Control Issues
Castox & Pollux has always enjoyed a good reputation, especially for their organic pet foods. They have had an FDA recall for their Natural Ultramix foods and for their Good Buddy pressed rawhides, but they have never had a recall for Organix.
However, Merrick Pet Care has had lots and lots of FDA recalls since FDA began posting such information in 2007. Some consumers are worried about buying Castor & Product products now that they are being made by Merrick.
Organix Adult Dog Food looks like a very good food with excellent ingredients. However, I would watch for any signs of problems with digestibility due to the peas in the formula. If your dog has any diarrhea, it might be due to the peas so don’t assume he has allergies or that he’s sick. Find a food that doesn’t contain peas.