March 22, 2019
Lyka is a subscription dog food service with the goal of making your dog healthier and your life easier. All Lyka meals are prepared on demand and delivered directly to the customer – a convenient way to bring healthy pet food to you and your pooch.
We caught up with Brisbane local Anna Podolsky, the founder of Lyka Pet Food, to share her thoughts on international pet travel and what inspired her to start her company that produces high quality minimally processed whole foods for our four-legged friends.
It’s great to swap stories with another person who, like myself, refused to leave her pet behind when she travelled because there’s no doubt that pets can make anywhere in the world feel like home.
As we all know overseas travel for humans can be a stressful experience let alone for pets, so it is fantastic to learn that Anna has relocated several times with her dog, as she didn’t want to leave Lyka behind.
- Why did you start Lyka pet food?
I started Lyka Pet Food because of the experience with my dog, Lyka. A few years ago Lyka experienced a dramatic shift in her health. She was only 5 at the time, but she started shedding a lot of fur to the point of having bald patches, she was constantly itching at her mouth and ears and had tooth decay that the vet recommended removing some of her teeth.
I was exercising her every day, fed her top of the line commercial food – so I had no idea why her health was deteriorating – I thought I was doing all the right things! At that time we had just moved overseas to Chile and I was researching which dog food brand to buy for her.
I researched deeply and was shocked to learn that the pet food supply chain is global and lengthy – kibble is often made in one country and shipped across to others, which mean the shelf life could often be multiple decades. It’s not something I would ever eat and certainly wouldn’t feed to Lyka. I started thinking if I wouldn’t eat it, why should dogs? That’s when I decided to prepare real food for Lyka at home and her transformation was incredible.
Within months she stopped itching, was more energetic and her coat was glossier than before. Even her tooth decay improved. 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.
- What was the inspiration behind the name Lyka?
The company Lyka Pet Food is named after my dog Lyka. Lyka is a common Russian dog name which means “barker”. There are a few famous Lykas throughout history including the first dog that went to space.
- Why should people buy Lyka for their pets? What are the health benefits?
Lyka is a fresh food diet that I believe is the best dog food available in Australia. Our Lyka recipes use locally produced and farm fresh 100% whole foods, all of which have their own unique purpose and benefit. These ingredients are minimally processed to retain their nutritional integrity.
In contrast, every type of commercial food must contain synthetic vitamins and minerals due to the high level of processing. The natural nutrients are destroyed and must be replaced with synthetics.
Our Lyka puppers have experienced a multitude of benefits after switching to Lyka. Some of the improvements we hear are better digestion (less farting, better-smelling poo and breath), shinier and glossier coat, better teeth, more energy and generally happy. As one of our customers described – it’s like a veil lifts and you can see the true colours of your dog.
We are redefining pet food to improve every dog’s quality of life!
- What type of pets do you have at the moment?
I currently have just Lyka. She loves being the centre of attention and I don’t think we could ever get another pet – she’d be so jealous!
- You have travelled to 5 different countries with your pets, where/why/how?
I’ve travelled with Lyka to Chile, Argentina, Brazil, USA and then back to Australia in 2015-2018. Prior to starting Lyka Pet Food, I was a management consultant at Bain & Company which had a lot of international opportunities. I didn’t want to leave Lyka behind so she came with me! Most of the travel was on a plane but we also had some road trips including to Argentina and within California. Lyka adapted very well to every new place, and I often wondered whether she knew that she was in a foreign country!
- Which was the most pet-friendly country and why?
I found California to be by far the most dog-friendly place. There are so many off-leash dogs parks and getting around is very easy – Ubers generally have no problem if you ride with your dog, and you can even take your dog on public transport at certain times of the day.
- What was the toughest thing about international pet travel?
The toughest part was preparing Lyka to return to Australia. Every other country we went to had more lenient importation processed while Australia is very strict. We had to start her preparation 6 months before coming back, and all tests and vet checks had a strict timeline – and not having a clear return date made it hard to navigate. I was also quite anxious during her 10-day stay in quarantine, as you don’t receive any communication or updates on how they are doing.
- What advice would you give to people travelling with pets?
Start preparations early and use a pet travel service. Jetpets helped us coming back to Australia and they were very helpful. Also, get your dog used to their travel crate weeks or even months before they travel. It will reduce a lot of the stress when it finally comes to the travel day.
Win a 1 Year Lyka Pet Food Subscription or 1 of 3 Minor Prizes from Lyka
Lyka is currently running a promotional giveaway – entries will close on April 10. To enter please visit their website, Facebook or Instagram page.
Do you have Australia’s most Lykable Dog?
Lyka Pet Food launched their first-ever search for Australia’s most Lykable Dog.
They are searching the dog shelters and backyards of Australia to find Australia’s Most #Lykable Dog, launching, March 19.
The winner will be crowned Australia’s most Lykable Dog for 2019 and win a year supply of Lyka’s famous tailored food.
For more details on how to enter please visit the Lyka website.