Real & Raw: A Common-Sense Approach to Pet Nutrition

By Scott Pollak

Just as people are taking a closer look at what’s “real” and “good” on their own dinner plates, they are re-examining the content and quality of the food in their pets’ bowls. Of course we want the best for our pets, but how do we identify high-quality nutrition for dogs and cats? What’s real and what’s not? And does it need to be raw?

Well, think about it: How could our beloved four-legged companions have survived thousands upon thousands of years without raw food?

This sort of common-sense approach is the hallmark of the pet food maker PHD. Since its founding 15 years ago, the company has set the standard in pet nutrition education. Its flagship products, Viand, a two-meat (chicken and lamb meal) cooked diet, and Aelyon (pronounced el-yon), a dehydrated, meat-based diet, have never been recalled or reformulated. And the reason is simple: They’ve stood the test of time.

Viand and Aelyon are designed for canines of all ages, breeds and sizes—which makes them an easy choice among all the specialty diets on the market. So how can one food work for all ages, sizes and breeds of dogs?
It’s common sense: Except for a short period when they are nursing, all creatures eat the same foods throughout their lives. Granted, the textures and quantities vary, but the foods are the same. This basic understanding was the beginning of PHD’s no-nonsense, concentrated formulas.

It also makes sense that PHD’s formulas are designed to fit the varied lifestyles of pets’ caregivers. (We aren’t really “owners.”) Viand and Aelyon can be fed as is, or with raw meats and vegetables added in. For example, the proportion might be 50 percent PHD food, 40 percent raw, and 10 percent leftovers, or it might be 100 percent PHD food, as conditions and life dictate.

Understanding what a live, raw diet brings to a dog or cat is crucial. The energy this type of diet delivers can’t come from a processed product. On the other hand, there are necessary nutrients that are hard to incorporate into a raw diet. And variety is the spice of life. So how can we supply everything our best buddies need?

In essence, PHD foods are concentrated base foods. They contain everything a dog or cat needs: all the micro-nutrients, chelated minerals, vitamins, good carbohydrates, fat and, most of all, digestibility—a critical factor that pet food manufacturers do not address. Digestibility is determined by accurately measuring a pet’s intake to its output; that is, the smaller the stool, the more of the food is being digested and used by the animal. Again, it’s common sense: The key to pet health is better food, not more or different foods.

When fed with some raw proteins and perhaps a few table scraps, Viand or Aelyon become that magic formula for a dog’s health and happiness. Because they are nutritionally sound, Viand and Aelyon can be fed exclusively, but adding raw meat is vital to the PHD concept. So use a little meat from the grocer (if it’s good enough for you, it’s good enough for Fido), set aside some leftovers, and add them to the solid nutritional base that Viand or Aelyon provides. That’s the recipe for optimal health, as enjoyed by thousands upon thousands of PHD pets for the last 15 years.

Scott Pollak is the founder of PHD Products, Inc. PHD’s foods are available exclusively at or For more information on raw feeding and how your animal and nature interact, visit


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