Lyka was built with a passion for dog health and well-being, and it will always be our driver.
Our own Lyka story began with our founder Anna Podolsky’s devastating experience with her gorgeous Border Collie cross, Lyka. A few years ago, Lyka started experiencing several health conditions despite being fed with premium commercial pet food and engaged in daily exercise.
Lyka had always shed a lot of fur, but it go to the point where she was getting bald patches. Her energy levels were low and her teeth started decay and Lyka’s vet warned Anna that some of Lyka’s teeth would need to removed in the coming years. She also experienced itchy ears and mouth, and she would scratch her mouth so hard that it formed scars. “It was so frustrating, because I was doing everything by the book, yet she was unwell- and she was only 5 at the time!“, says Anna. “She is so important in my life, and all I wanted was for her to be around as long as possible, enjoying life by my side.“
As Anna conducted her own research to find the best dog food brand for Lyka, she found out that the commercial pet food supply chain is typically spread across multiple geographies and takes months, if not years. It means that the shelf life could often be extended to multiple decades, and the nutrition content can simply be questioned!
Mind-blown, Anna then decided to prepare home-made, fresh real food for Lyka. “I notice a change in my body when I follow a healthy diet with lots of fresh plant and animal foods, while trying to minimise processed foods. It made sense that Lyka would feel the same.“, says Anna.
Lyka’s transformation was incredible and noticeable within weeks. Not only was Lyka more energetic, but her coat was also glossier, and her skin was also no longer itchy. Even her tooth decay reversed. As a bonus, Anna also noticed her poo didn’t smell anymore and Lyka’s frequent farting had ceased completely. Now at 10, Lyka is often mistaken for a puppy. Inspired by Lyka’s transformation, Anna started Lyka Pet Food to produce and deliver fresh, human-grade dog food to dogs in Australia, using 100% wholefoods ingredients to nourish Lyka puppers.
“I was so passionate about the benefits of a real food diet for dogs that I wanted to share the potential benefits with more dogs, and disrupt a highly antiquated industry that was built for shelf life and not nutrition – because all dogs should have the right to eat real food,” says Anna.
Before starting her dog food startup, Anna was working as a management consultant at Bain & Company which took her on years of international travel. Naturally, she didn’t want to leave Lyka behind, so she took Lyka overseas with her! Anna rated California as by far the most dog-friendly place as she found it so easy to get around with Lyka and there are so many off-leash dogs parks.
To date, Lyka has flown to Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and the USA with Anna before then returning home to Australia. “I’m in a unique position where I have bought dog food in a lot of different countries“, she says. Anna recalled that compared to other countries, Australia has the strictest process to allow pets to enter the country.
Read her full story with Lyka in her recent interview with Pet Friendly Accommodation here, where she shares some pieces of advice travelling with dogs, based on her experience travelling with Lyka.