As our founding pupper celebrates fourteen laps around the sun, we’d like to say one thing: ageing doesn’t have to mean pain and illness for our dogs.
Our story starts with Lyka — a five-year-old pup — suffering from health issues like tooth decay, bald patches and lethargy. She would sometimes scratch so hard, it caused scars.
Lyka was on a premium kibble diet at the time. After losing faith in commercial pet food options, Anna decided to start cooking for Lyka at home, with wholefood, fresh ingredients. The results were incredible — Anna’s fun-loving pup was back!
For Lyka, a diet filled with wholefood protein and veggies was the key to good health. Anna knew other dogs could benefit in a similar way: this was how Lyka (the company) started.
Since 2018, Anna and her team have prepared almost 20 million human-grade meals for dogs across Australia. So many golden oldies are now enjoying their food — and life — that little bit more.
Is disease in senior dogs really inevitable?
When a senior dog is diagnosed with a chronic health condition, this is normalised as simply “getting old”. With the prevalence of diseases for senior dogs in Australia, it’s only fair that many people assume that they’re inevitable.
Kidney disease is estimated to affect 10% of dogs over the age of 15 — and 10% of all dogs are diagnosed with heart disease. Over half of dogs over 10 are diagnosed with cancer. Whether it’s dementia, arthritis, liver disease or another debilitating illness, each comes with a sharp drop in quality of life and often, a prescription for long-term medication.
If medication takes a toll on other parts of your dog’s body, this can lead to the development of other chronic diseases.
What’s Lyka’s secret to longevity?
Our pups have plenty of zest for life while they’re young — adulthood then turns into a long period of illness, before they cross over the rainbow bridge. This is what we come to expect, but it doesn’t need to be this way.
By being nourished by a fresh, wholefood diet, Lyka changed this narrative: with her glossy coat, healthy teeth and puppy-like energy levels. Anna believes that “it should be a top priority to invest in preventative lifestyle choices for your dog, with nutrition being a key one.”
As is the case with humans, diet alone can’t do all the heavy lifting. The benefits of nutritious meals will become most impactful alongside other healthy habits. The important thing is to find what works for your dog: Lyka is just one example for you to take inspiration from. Here are a few ideas:
Movement and exercise: whether you’re going to the dog park, or further afield on longer adventures together. Lyka loves going on off-leash hikes in the Blue Mountains, as well as roaming around Sydney Park or the beach.
Maintaining a rich social life: does your dog prefer people or other pups? Lyka loves hanging out with her office colleagues in the week, and spending time with Anna’s family on weekends.
Nutrition: this means high-quality protein and veggies, which are found in our recipes! We pack our meals with superfoods like blueberries full of antioxidants to reduce free radicals and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli full of sulforaphane to fight ageing and chronic disease. Lyka also enjoys bits and pieces of Anna’s wholefoods as treats, plus our Joint and Dental supplement.
Preventative care for the body:there are many holistic treatments out there for dogs, which you can tailor to fit their needs. Lyka injured her hip when she was young, so monthly acupuncture and hydrotherapy have helped keep her mobile.
Dental care: make sure to brush your dog’s teeth at least three times a week, but ideally every day — dental disease is the most common ailment for dogs over three, and can have knock-on effects to the heart and liver. Read our step-by-step guide on how to brush your dog’s teeth for more information.
Let’s take a w-a-l-k down memory lane with Lyka
Here’sa short history lesson on this gorgeous golden oldie — or you can read Anna and Lyka’s story in full.
“It makes me so happy seeing Lyka go for sprints in the park or “flirting” when she comes across a dog she likes. I never would have expected her to have so much energy at this age!”
— Anna Podolsky — founder and CEO of Lyka
Ready to bring back that big puppy energy?
Our pack members have reported more energy in their dogs, as well as improved immunity, better behaviour and healthier joints. Let’s normalise leaps, bounds and zoomies at all stages of life.
If Lyka and our senior pack can do it, your pup can too.