When it comes to food, we all have different likes and dislikes. Dogs are no different. Introducing new foods to your fussy dog can be a process, and you may find that they’re reluctant or even stubborn about it. However, persistence is key, and there are ways you can encourage your pupper to explore and extend their palette.
Take it slow
When introducing a new diet, a slow approach is always best. Start by giving a very small amount of the new food – we say to aim for 25% (or less!) to begin with. By doing this, you will allow your pupper to become familiar with the new food and give their microbiome a chance to adjust. Remember, some puppers may be instinctively wary of new foods as a survival tactic, so you will need to be patient. For some puppers, their previous diet may have had a limited set of ingredients compared to Lyka, for example, so their new diet could potentially cause sensory overload if introduced too quickly.
Make it interesting
Puppers are drawn to food by their snoot and sense of smell. To enhance the scent of their new food, you can warm it up slightly – just be careful not to make it too warm, we don’t want any burnt tongues! Adding some of their favourite healthy foods or treats within the mix or as a topper can be a great option to spark a positive association. Our Lyka pack love using our drool-worthy line-up of single protein treats to add some extra taste and crunch to mealtime!
Change it up
If your pupper has always been fussy, it may be the environment they are being fed in. Changing their bowl or even moving the location of their bowl could make things a little more exciting for when it’s time to chow down. Changing their regular routine and establishing a new one, can add excitement and interest, which may spark your pupper’s appetite.
Why is my pupper continuing to be fussy?
Often, puppers are fussy because they are set in their ways, with several factors at play, such as:
Their body may be craving sugar, salt or starch, which were present in their old diet, meaning they could be reliant on those foods. These cravings can cause your pup to feel lethargic and even create dysbiosis, an imbalance of the gut bacteria causing various digestive disturbances.
Textural issue. The texture of Lyka is different to kibble, raw food or even homemade food. The smell, taste and overall experience of a new diet may be distinctive compared to their old food, so puppers are naturally wary.
Don’t worry though, all of these issues can be overcome with time and patience, and you’ll soon have that tail wagging at mealtime.
Lyka: Happy puppers from snoot to tail
Formulated by our co-founder and in-house Integrative Veterinarian, Dr. Matthew Muir, alongside a team of Board-Certified Veterinary Nutritionists, our six signature recipes have been given the lick of approval from our pack. Made with human-grade whole food and superfood ingredients, our fresh, drool-worthy meals are bursting with goodness and are bound to get tongues and tails wagging. Are you ready to embark on a fresh food journey with your pupper? Join the pack today!
When it comes to your dog’s health, your mind probably goes straight to diet and exercise. And yes, of course, both are absolutely essential to their health and wellbeing, but you should also consider their mind, too. Just like it is for us humans, your dog’s brain health and mental stimulation is an integral part of their overall health.
What is mental stimulation?
Think of mental stimulation as a workout for your pupper’s brain to keep their cognitive health fighting fit. A bored pup can mean an unhappy pup. To fight boredom, your pupper may find ways to amuse themselves, such as digging holes, barking and chewing on things they shouldn’t, resulting in stressful scenarios for both of you.
How to mentally stimulate your dog
There are a variety of ways you can mentally stimulate your dog. Here are a few that we and our pack both love:
Change your walking routine: It’s easy to stick to the regular walk, but a new route or even a hike will be a welcomed change. The new scents and scenery will help to keep your pupper excited and engaged in their surroundings the next time you venture outside.
Teaching your dog new tricks: Take 5-15 minutes each day to teach your pupper a new trick. Tricks can be a form of mental stimulation for dogs, and they’ll love the cheeky reward at the end (check out our healthy treats here!). Does your dog know how to sit on command or even roll? Why not give it a go!
Treat-based games: Hiding treats or scattering treats in easy-to-reach places is a great enrichment activity. You can also play games where your pupper completes tasks such as putting their toys away or dropping their ball in containers. Give them a treat as a reward when they complete the task successfully – our Chicky Chews or Tripe Straps make the perfect training treats.
play dates with pupper pals:
Set up play dates or take your pup to various dog parks to stimulate them and
have them mingle with other people and puppers. When it comes to socialising,
there are just a few things to remember:
Take it slow when introducing your pupper to new potential friends. Closely monitor them until you’re confident they are getting along well.
To avoid the risk of passing along any nasties, you should ensure your pupper is up to date on any vaccinations or flea, tick and worming treatments they may require. We’d recommend speaking to your vet about what they think is best for your pupper.
Use mentally enriching toys: Feed your pupper using enrichment toys and puzzles to make mealtime fun, or even just as a boredom buster. Our favourite items include puzzle toys, snuffle mats and even treats like our Lamb Straws, which can be filled with your pupper’s favourite Lyka recipe or even a slick of xylitol-free peanut butter! Remember, puppers have much better smell than you, so perhaps try and explore safe aromatherapy scent-based games where you dilute 100% Lavender essential oil and drip a few drops on a toy and see if they can find it!
Rotating your pupper’s toys: Rotating the toys your pupper has access to or introducing new toys every few weeks is an easy and effective way keep them engaged and excited for playtime.
Lyka: Delicious, nutritious brain-boosting meals for your pupper
There are many ways to keep your dog’s brain health in check and their mind entertained and mentally stimulated to ensure they’re happy and healthy. On top of this, they of course, need a good diet. Take the stress out of your pupper’s mealtime by joining the pack and having vet-formulated, complete and balanced fresh recipes delivered to direct to your door. Bursting with brain-loving ingredients such as egg, fish oil, purple & red sweet potatoes and quinoa, our wholefood recipes are perfect for boosting your pupper’s cognitive health.
For us, your pupper’s health is paramount, we all want our pets to stay happy and healthy, so it’s important that we do our best to keep their immunity strong. Regular health checks are a good starting point, as well as keeping an eye out for some of the common sicknesses and dog viruses that your furry bestie may be exposed to. Illnesses may vary from allergies and arthritis to heart disease and cancers, but there are also some pesky viral varieties that it’s important to be aware of.
Canine Influenza Virus
Humans are used to
dealing with the occasional flu, but for puppers this is a relatively new
virus. Two common strains of Canine Influenza Virus are H3N8 and H3N2.
Influenza in dogs is spread via respiratory secretions and contaminated objects
and can last for up to 48 hours on surfaces. Just like us when your pupper has the
flu, they can have a runny nose, fever and cough. There are vaccines available
for Canine Influenza, so seek advice from your vet to see if this is a suitable
option, as it is not recommended for all dogs.
Kennel Cough is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by the bordetella bacterium. It is most prevalent in environments such as boarding kennels, parks, dog shows and events where multiple puppers congregate in social situations. Symptoms include a strong cough, runny nose, fever and lethargy. If the case is severe or prolonged, antibiotics or medication may be prescribed. There is a vaccine that can prevent the spread of kennel cough, so it is worth discussing this with your vet.
Oral Papilloma are small benign growths that can be found growing on the lips, tongue, gums or inner walls of a dog’s mouth. Usually, these spread from direct contact or sharing food, water and toys with an infected pupper. Water bowls at dog-friendly cafes and parks can be a breeding ground for this type of infection. Generally, these growths don’t need treatment as removal can cause the lesions to spread. They will usually resolve on their own in 2-3 months, and only require antibiotic treatment in the case of a secondary bacterial infection.
extremely infectious virus is potentially deadly and spreads via the contact of
faeces from an infected pupper. Symptoms include fever, vomiting and bloody
diarrhoea. Dogs most at risk of serious complications are puppies younger than
four months and those that are unvaccinated. The bacteria in Parvovirus can
linger for years though, which is why vaccination for this disease is highly
Many dog owners are wary of taking young pups to busy parks when they are very young and not fully vaccinated for parvovirus. But, it’s important to remember that the modern pupper is more likely to suffer from behavioural issues than catching the virus. Early socialisation between the ages of three and 12 weeks is crucial for a dog’s behavioural development, so we advise speaking to your vet about safe ways to do this prior to full vaccination.
There are a range of parasites such as fleas, ticks, worms and mites that your pupper can be exposed to when they are out and about. They can carry a variety of diseases and illnesses. Many ticks can inject lethal poisons and sometimes carry Lyme disease.
Dogs can display several forms of Lyme disease, but the most common symptoms are lameness, swollen lymph nodes, joint swelling, fatigue and loss of appetite. It is easily treated in dogs though, so it’s best to seek advice from your vet to avoid the more serious kidney complications that can occur. Fleas may carry spawn for internal parasites such as tapeworm, roundworm or hookworm, which can lead to malnutrition and diarrhoea.
We advise speaking with your vet about their recommendations for preventing parasite-related illnesses and discussing worming and tick prevention medication.
canine distemper is not common due to high vaccination rates, but it is highly
contagious. Symptoms include runny eyes, fever, snotty nose, coughing,
vomiting, diarrhoea, seizures and paralysis. Sadly, there is no known cure for
this virus, and it can often be fatal. Therefore, the vaccine is recommended
for all puppers.
At Lyka, we endorse the use of vaccine titre levels from vets who have experience in requesting and interpreting these tests. This ensures that unnecessary vaccine boosters can be avoided. Boosters can trigger life-threatening autoimmune diseases like IMHA, so it’s important to find the right balance.
Lyka: Helping to keep your pupper’s immune system fighting fit
As well as showering your pupper with love, trips to the beach and park, it is crucial that they’re chowing down on a complete and balanced diet for their overall health and wellbeing. Our fresh, wholefood meals contain a mix of powerful superfood ingredients to help them live their healthiest lives from the inside out, and avoid any nasty dog viruses.
Each recipe is formulated with key immunity-building ingredients like shiitake, carrots, ginger, turmeric, blueberries and kale. These immunity-boosting ingredients will help to ensure your pupper’s body is getting the love and attention it deserves, especially during the challenging winter months.
Whilst dogs do not get common colds like us humans, depleted immune systems can result in kennel cough, warts and even skin infections.
Every time your dog interacts with other dogs, there is a risk they can be exposed to these types of contagious conditions. Keeping your dog healthy and their immunity strong, especially during the cooler months, will help to ensure they stay fit and happy, and avoid any of these nasties.
So, how can you keep your pupper’s immunity strong?
Maintain an ideal weight
It can sometimes be challenging to keep your pupper at an ideal weight for their body shape, age and breed, especially if your pupper loves a few extra treats, but the further your pupper strays from an ideal weight, the more their immune system will struggle. Firstly, you want to make sure you know what your pupper’s ideal weight is – this will depend on their body shape, age and breed. Portion control is the easiest way to ensure your pupper is chowing down on the correct number of calories and serving of food per day. You can speak to your vet about what ideal weight and body shape they would recommend for your pupper based on their health record. As a starting point, you can always assess your pup’s body shape at home using our helpful guide.
Stay calm and stress-free
can be a major contributor to a weakened immune system, as well as impacting
your pup’s emotional wellbeing. Like humans, when a pupper is in a stressful
situation, they can release cortisol, which in excess can weaken their
immunity. Playtime, regular affection, a healthy diet and good sleep, will all
assist in keeping your dog happy, healthy and stress-free.
your pup fit has been proven to be one of the most effective ways in building
and maintaining strong immunity. Active dogs have a stronger immune system than
sedentary dogs, so thirty minutes of daily exercise is a good goal to aim for.
Exercise can come in the form of walking, playing with a ball or a trip to the
local dog park. Plus, it’s good for the humans, too!
Did you know that the gut contains about 70% of the key markers for a pup’s immune system? This means that maintaining good bacterial balance in their gut microbiome is vital in maintaining a healthy immune system. A great way to do this is by adding a probiotic to your pup’s diet alongside a complete and balanced diet.
Why antioxidants are so important to for your pup’s immunity
Antioxidants help in removing oxidised molecules (otherwise known as free radicals) that can accumulate and place cells under stress. Whilst puppers already create their own antioxidant-filled defence system to protect from free radicals, some pups may rely on a bit of a ‘top up’ from their food.
Antioxidant powerhouses you should look out for include:
Our meals include Vitamin E oil as well as ingredients high in this essential vitamin such as spinach, broccoli and butternut squash. It protects against oxidative damage and is essential for cell function.
Dogs can synthesise Vitamin C on their own and it plays an important role in their antioxidant intake. Some dogs with imbalances in their microbiome may not be able to manufacture adequate Vitamin C (and Vitamin K). At Lyka, we ensure our meals have the correct balance of nutrients by including Vitamin C-rich foods such as cauliflower, blueberries, basil and bok choy.
Beta-caroteneis a vitamin that your pupper’s body is unable to produce, and therefore it’s important to feed them plants or supplements that include beta-carotene to help build their immunity. In our meals, you’ll find ingredients like carrots and butternut squash that are jam-packed with this powerhouse vitamin to help fight disease and infection.
Omega 3’s have antioxidant properties and are a key ingredient aiding anti-inflammation to help with skin and joints, as well as build immunity against common illnesses and even cancer.
Lyka: help puppers stay healthy and strong
A strong immune system will help to keep your dog healthy and ensure they live the longest and happiest life they can. On top of exercise and playtime, a good diet will do the trick! Each of our signature recipes are complete and balanced for all life stages, and each meal plan is portioned according to the weight, breed, lifestyle and activity level of your pupper. Help boost your pupper’s immunity, join the pack today!
Pupper parents love getting up close and personal with their dogs, but there’s nothing worse than bad dog breath! There are many reasons your pup may have stinky breath. It can be a sign of dental disease, the result of a poor diet or even the lack of a regular dental home care plan. Here are our recommendations to maintain good oral health and ensure your dog’s teeth stay pearly white.
Lyka’s co-founder, Dr. Matthew Muir, is also our in-house Integrative Vet and we are fortunate to have his expert advice on hand. When it comes to your pupper’s teeth, he recommends brushing a minimum of three times a week, but of course, daily is brushing is optimal. A regular, clean human toothbrush will do the job but you can also invest in a dog toothbrush or even a finger brush!
To maintain a sustainable brushing routine, it is important that your pupper learns to tolerate it. Start slowly by getting them used to the technique. Gum massages like that of TTOUCH can help. TTOUCH uses specific types of touch, movement and awareness exercises to help train animals and make them comfortable in a new environment or experience.
If your pupper is already wary of dental interventions, it is best to ask your vet to perform an oral check to ensure there are no pre-existing causes of pain. Then it may be possible to desensitise your pupper with gradual exposure to teeth cleaning using rewards, to create a more positive association with teeth cleaning. Try our drool-worthy treats line-up – our sturdy dental chews act like a doggy floss and can make teeth cleaning a little less stressful for both pupper and pupper parent.
Toothpaste is not essential, but there are dog-friendly ones available. A natural alternative is coconut oil. It is known for its anti-bacterial properties and may have positive results for oral health. Research indicates that it could be effective in decreasing plaque formation and plaque-induced gingivitis. At the very least, Dr. Matt advises that a wet soft brush can be therapeutic if your pupper doesn’t like toothpaste or coconut oil.
Bones can be a great addition to your pupper’s diet, both as a treat and a way of keeping their teeth clean. It is important that you discuss your dog’s risk profile with your vet before giving them bones. Our meals are formulated on the lower end of the calcium to phosphorus ratio to allow for additional bones in your pup’s diet.
Never give your pupper cooked bones or heavy weight bearing bones, as they can splinter into smaller pieces that can damage their teeth and may even get stuck in their intestines.
Treats and toys
Chewing aids can be a great addition to your pup’s diet, as they can help to scrape off any leftover food and plaque that has accumulated on your dog’s teeth.
Check out our treats line up, which includes some delicious options. For dental health our top picks are the Pig Twigs and Lamb Straws. Gently air-dried, our single-protein treats are made using Australian ingredients and are sturdy, long-lasting and great for supporting good dental hygiene.
It is also worth considering dental toys. They are a great way to keep your pup entertained and clean their teeth at the same time – we love efficiency!
Probiotics and superfoods
It may be worth considering a probiotic to help minimise any microbiome upset, which has been linked to rapid progression of periodontal disease in puppers.
Another good addition to your pup’s diet is a kelp called Ascophyllum nodosum known for its bio-active compound, which is scientifically proven to reduce plaque, tartar and bad breath.
The link between diet and oral health
Periodontal disease is the immune system’s reaction to accumulated plaque and calculus. A diet that reduces inflammation and provides ample tissue support can be beneficial for your dog’s teeth and their overall health.
Our meals are designed for optimal health and contain anti-inflammatory ratios of omega 6 to omega 3, as well as additional Vitamin E and Zinc to support healthy immune systems. We also avoid ingredients that may be inflammatory to gums, such as refined wheat and corn.
Lyka: Healthy puppers from teeth to toe
Complete and balanced and low in carbohydrates, not only are our recipes super tasty, but they also help to promote the natural production of saliva – which is rich in enzymes and antimicrobial agents. Paired with beneficial ingredients like kelp, leafy greens and carrots, our vet-formulated recipes are a sure way to kick start a healthy dental plan and nourish your pup from the inside out, boosting their general wellbeing.
As an almost 5 year old, Hurley the Weimaraner has suffered with a number of congenital health concerns and digestive issues that severely affected his usual fun and loving personality. That was until his pupper parent, Cheryl, made the switch to fresh dog food.
Hear how Lyka’s fresh, minimally processed food has helped with Hurley’s colitis and get him back to being a happy and playful pupper
After a few years with no puppers in their family, Cheryl made the decision to welcome Hurley to their pack and fill the enormous pupper-shaped hole in their lives.
“Hurley was our third Weimaraner, as we really love the breed, and this dear little fella did not disappoint.”
– Hurley’s pupper parent, Cheryl
But whilst Cheryl and her family were so excited by Hurley’s arrival and to have another Weimaraner in their pack, sadly it didn’t take long for some congenital health concerns to come to light, which meant that poor Hurley had to undergo surgery. This procedure unfortunately left him with a very sensitive tummy and ongoing digestive issues.
For a few years, Cheryl continued feeding Hurley vet-prescribed food. That was until early 2021, where his health issues seemingly got worse.
Hurley’s struggle with colitis
In May of 2021, Hurley was diagnosed with chronic colitis – an inflammation of the large intestine, causing soft stools, blood and mucus, weight loss and lack of appetite. Poor Hurley was seriously unwell, and this was extremely evident for Cheryl, who found herself regularly cleaning up diarrhoea, mucus and fresh blood as a result.
“The clean-up was pretty confronting if I’m honest, and let’s not talk about the smell! Hurley couldn’t continue on like this.”
– Hurley’s pupper parent, Cheryl
In a bid to treat his colitis, a heath concern that Cheryl hadn’t experienced with a Weimaraner previously, Hurley was prescribed a range of antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medication and steroids to calm his gut and intestines. He was also put on a very bland diet, which involved fasting. This worked for a period of time, but sadly its success was short lived.
“We all know our dogs’ poop can tell us a lot about their health and going off the state of Hurley’s poop, he was one very sick and unhappy pup.”
– Hurley’s pupper parent, Cheryl
At the peak of her worry, Cheryl heard about Lyka at her local pet store when she was looking for human-grade, fresh food for Hurley, having discovered that fresh may be the way to go.
“I loved the look and feel of the website, its endearing use of images, video and language – it felt like the people at Lyka just got me. I loved how easy the website was to use and was so impressed with the level of professionalism, attention to detail and customer service I received. Lyka was clearly a company that really cared about and genuinely loved what they were doing!“
– Hurley’s pupper parent, Cheryl
Lyka to the rescue
Delivery day was an exciting one for Cheryl’s household.
“When Hurley’s order arrived, the quality of the environmentally friendly packaging, level of communication and the personal touches truly made me feel like we’d joined something special. The meal pouch was so easy to open, and I loved the inclusion of the probiotic to help with Hurley’s transition. We were so excited to watch him wolf down his new food for the first time!”
– Hurley’s pupper parent, Cheryl
And Cheryl couldn’t believe the difference she was seeing in Hurley since he started chowing down on Lyka. Slowly but surely, his poop started improving, his stomach stopped gurgling, he was getting his playful puppy energy back, and his new whole food diet began helping to heal his gut.
“I was hoping that Lyka could help Hurley, but having tried so many different diets, I didn’t actually expect it to heal him. It has been 6 months now and we haven’t looked back. Lyka changed everything and we have our beautiful dog back. He makes us laugh every day and brings so much joy, and to see him happy, it means the absolute world.” – Hurley’s pupper parent, Cheryl
Living his best Lyka life
Since transitioning onto Lyka, Hurley has been so much happier and healthier, and his life (not just his bowl!) is packed full of the good stuff – just how it should be for a gorgeous, much loved pupper.
“Not only has the colitis completely disappeared, but we’ve also noticed improvements to his skin, coat and breath as well. Hurley’s days are now only filled with runs on the beach chasing his ball, tearing through the house playing chasey, lazing in the sun or in front of the fire, cuddles on the couch, lots of love and now, delicious and nutritious food. I know we’re giving Hurley the best possible pupper life and nothing could make us happier!”
– Hurley’s pupper parent, Cheryl
Lyka: fresh, human grade ingredients for your puppers gut health
Lyka’s recipes are vet-approved by our co-founder and Integrative Vet, Dr. Matthew Muir, and crafted alongside Veterinary Nutritionists to ensure they are complete and balanced for all life stages. We are proud to use only the highest quality, human-grade ingredients in each of our recipes. We include many gut-friendly ingredients such as chicken, turkey, blue grenadier, kelp, psyllium seed husk, shiitake mushrooms and turmeric, and with our low-GI content, Lyka is a safe option for most puppers with conditions such as gut inflammation or colitis. Please always consult with your trusted vet before making any dietary changes.
Fish oil is found in all of our signature bowls, due to its impressive benefits to your dog’s health.
Like humans, puppers can’t produce omega-3 fatty acids themselves, so rely on their diet to get these key nutrients.
Why fish oil?
An important supplement in your pup’s diet, fish oil is found in the tissue of fatty fish and contains omega 3’s, which can assist in heart health, boosting immunity and reducing itchy and flaky skin.
High quality and sustainable
Like our other ingredients, quality is key and we only use the highest quality fish oil, which is sourced from small fish such as sardines and anchovies. These fish are low in mercury, wild caught and sustainably harvested from reputable local suppliers.
What are the benefits of fish oil?
🧠 Fish oil is packed full of DHA and EPA – otherwise known as omega-3 essential fatty acids – that can help to improve cognitive function, memory and even the immune system.
✨ Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, fish oil can help to support
the look and feel of your pup’s skin and coat, as well as reduce dry and flaky
skin and give them their glow back.
🦴 Fish oil can also help to protect your pupper’s joint fluid and cartilage. This is particularly important for senior pups, as well as those suffering with arthritis and hip dysplasia.
⚖️ Fish oil is a great way to help with weight management and keep your pupper fit and healthy.
We also adhere to FEDIAF’s stricter guidelines on extra vitamin E in high omega content diets. Like humans, dogs can take fish oil supplements, but some supplements can contain sweeteners or other unnecessary ingredients that aren’t beneficial for your dog. Obtaining fish oil from real fish will always trump in quality, and this is why we use both and always the highest quality.
Adverse reactions are generally considered to be very low in dogs that are intolerant to fish, but if you’re concerned about your pupper consuming fish oil or having an allergic reaction, always speak with your trusted vet.
Lyka: helping puppers thrive and live their best lives
All our recipes are bursting with ingredients rich in omega-3s. From fish oil to hemp seeds, flaxseed oil, kale, chia seeds, spinach and broccoli, we’ve got your pupper’s essential fatty acid intake covered. With each recipe carefully designed to benefit your pup from the inside out, you can rest easy knowing they are chowing down to the ultimate glow-up. Are you ready to make the switch to fresh?
Team Lyka is continuously growing, and with so many incredibly talented people working behind the scenes to bring you Australia’s freshest dog food, we thought we’d introduce you to some of our superstars!
Angelina, Customer Care Specialist
What’s a typical day like for you at Lyka HQ? I get to talk to our amazing customers about all stages of their Lyka journey, and help pupper parents navigate a fresh food diet. I also work closely and collaborate with different teams to ensure we’re offering the best service we possibly can. I also love seeing the cute snaps of dogs we receive daily from our customers!
What is the best part of your role? Being able to engage with our pack and hearing all the stories of how much of a difference moving to a natural, fresh food diet has made to the lives of our puppers. Hearing the stories makes me realise why we do what we do!
What’s your favourite thing about working at Lyka? I feel incredibly lucky to work with a team of amazing people who really care about why we’re here, and that’s to help Aussie puppers live their healthiest, happiest lives.
What dog breed would you be? I think I’m a little biased with my love for the breed, but I would be an American Staffordshire Terrier. In reality though, I think I may actually be a Chihuahua… it’s self-explanatory!
Any tips for people wanting to join Team Lyka? Have passion for what you do and why you do it, because it makes everything else worth it! At the end of the day, we’re doing it for the health of puppers and to change the status quo. So, if you’re up for doing that, come join us!
Team Lyka is continuously growing, and with so many incredibly talented people working behind the scenes to bring you Australia’s freshest dog food, we thought we’d introduce you to some of our superstars!
Aydin, Senior Software Engineer
What’s a typical day like for you at Lyka HQ? My typical day at Lyka consists of three things – maintaining current technology behind our operations, developing new features, and aiding other teams in their use of the technology. I catch up with the tech team every day to share and plan, which helps me to prioritise the work for that day or the week. We also have fortnightly meetings with the team to map out the long-term direction. That said, ultimately I am in charge of what I do and how I do it at Lyka. Thus, I can mix and match a variety of front-end and back-end coding, IT and planning tasks to keep myself focused and entertained throughout the day.
What is the best part of your role? The best part of my role is working autonomously, whilst contributing to the overall team effort and success of Lyka. I know the place that I occupy in the company and what is expected of me, and love being able to make decisions to fulfill my role to the best of my abilities.
What’s your favourite thing about working at Lyka? The non-stop innovation. I am constantly finding the team discussing ideas, doing trials, product development, facility upgrade projects and so on. All of this is happening in collaboration with team members, and the management is always open-minded and invite everyone to share their views and opinions.
What dog breed would you be? A Jack Russell. They don’t have big claims for their size or sound, but that’s only until it’s action time. That being said, my favourite breed is a Caucasian Shepherd Dog.
Any tips for people wanting to join Team Lyka? If you are interviewing for a role at Lyka, put forward what you genuinely enjoy doing. Lyka combines a wide variety of people from all walks of life and corners of the world. And what makes Lyka such a great place to thrive is that the uniqueness of every person is appreciated
Team Lyka is continuously growing, and with so many incredibly talented people working behind the scenes to bring you Australia’s freshest dog food, we thought we’d introduce you to some of our superstars!
Andrew, Operations Strategy & Analytics Associate
What’s a typical day like for you at Lyka HQ? Every day is different, although a typical day starts with some meditation before cycling into the office in Alexandria, grabbing a coffee before a team meeting and then sitting down to dive into some deep analytical work. By the afternoon, I’ve been pulled in all different directions and will be juggling several different workflows, but that’s what makes it fun!
What is the best part of your role? Definitely the feeling that your work matters and that you can see the impact of your work directly. I also love that my roles give me the chance to touch all parts of the business, and connect and collaborate with a diverse range of people and skillsets.
What’s your favourite thing about working at Lyka? The people, it feels like a family. And the sense that you can forge your own path and take ownership of your career, it’s a great feeling.
What dog breed would you be? A Curly-Coated Retriever – I need to exercise daily for both my physical and mental health, or I can get a bit restless!
Any tips for people wanting to join Team Lyka? Go for it – it’s such an exciting time to join and be part of a mission driven start-up.
Team Lyka is continuously growing, and with so many incredibly talented people working behind the scenes to bring you Australia’s freshest dog food, we thought we’d introduce you to some of our superstars!
Cindy, Product Development Manager
What’s a typical day like for you at Lyka HQ? A typical day for me would be split between researching customer insights and market trends, working with different teams on future product releases, and running product tests in our production facility.
My role also sees me working closely with vet nutritionists from the US, machinery providers from the EU, as well as internal Lyka teams including operations, marketing and technology, to help manage new product launches and continuously improve our current range.
What is the best part of your role? The best part of my role is knowing that I am working on the forefront of the pet food industry and disrupting an antiquated industry with the ability to drive real change to puppers lives.
What’s your favourite thing about working at Lyka? The fact that I am able to bring my pup, Chiko with me to work! I am also really lucky that I get to work with passionate and like-minded people from diverse backgrounds.
What dog breed would you be? I would be a Shiba Inu, as they are known to be loyal but also somewhat sassy with a bit of attitude.
Any tips for people wanting to join Team Lyka? Joining a start-up can be very fun and exciting, and in order to be successful at Lyka, you should be a self-motivated individual that is passionate about our mission and have a real knack for problem-solving.
Team Lyka is continuously growing, and with so many incredibly talented people working behind the scenes to bring you Australia’s freshest dog food, we thought we’d introduce you to some of our superstars!
Jui, Operations Coordinator
What is a typical day for you look like at Lyka HQ? My main focus is to ensure that our business operations are running as smoothly and as efficiently as possible. This involves communicating with employees at all levels to ensure they have proper resources to function at an optimal level; as well as procuring and purchasing ingredients, packaging material, office supplies and so on. I also liaise with various suppliers and speak regularly with our internal teams and even customers, to let them know of any disruptions or changes on the operations side of things.
What is the best part about your role? The simple answer – EVERYTHING. My dad always says that if you are excited about going to work, or if your work simply makes you jump out of your bed, you are in the right place. This happens to me every single day. I absolutely love what I do and really look forward to each day. Working at Lyka has given me the opportunity to understand the mechanisms behind the way in which a business functions, as well as enable me to study the market conditions of various ingredients, such as their supply, demand and price.
At Lyka, every day is a new challenge and a
new opportunity, I’m lucky to say that I never get bored at work and have never
experienced a monotonous working day whilst at Lyka. What else could I ask for!
What is your favourite thing about working at Lyka? At Lyka, I also have everything that I’ve always wished for in a company – flexible hours, career progression and work events where we get to mingle with the wider team!
What dog breed would you be? I would be a Cavoodle – cute, playful and intelligent!
Any tips for people who are joining Lyka? Being a part of a fast-growing start-up means that you need to be a strong multi-tasker and have great time management and organisational skills with the ability to efficiently handle a number of projects at the same time.
We love new, big and bold ideas here, and everyone is encouraged to share these – you never know, your bright idea may just be your next project!
Team Lyka is continuously growing, and with so many incredibly talented people working behind the scenes to bring you Australia’s freshest dog food, we thought we’d introduce you to some of our superstars!
Charlotte, Community Manager
What’s a typical day like for you at Lyka HQ? I start my day by meeting with the marketing and customer care teams, as I work closely with both. Once we’ve addressed all tasks planned for the week, I then respond to questions and engage with our amazing community across our social channels, including Instagram and Facebook. I’ll also check in with our pack in our exclusive Lyka Pupper Parents Facebook group.
What is the best part of your role? Getting to interact with our Lyka pack via Instagram and Facebook, and seeing the strong connections that are made and the support that’s present in our exclusive Facebook group – Lyka Pupper Parents! I also get to scout for gorgeous puppers and their pupper parents who believe in our mission and are helping us to spread the word about fresh food and dog nutrition.
What’s your favourite thing about working at Lyka? I love that dogs are at the centre of everything we do!
What dog breed would you be? A Golden Retriever! Blonde hair, active, playful and loving 🐾
Any tips for people wanting to join Team Lyka? If you love working in a fast-paced, rewarding and exciting environment, and of course, love dogs – we’re just the place for you!
We’re thrilled to announce that Holistic Vet @ Home and star of the popular TV show “Desert Vet” on Channel 9, Dr. Lu Fenny, is our new ambassador!
“With over fifteen years’ experience practicing traditional veterinary medicine and surgery, I am passionate about treating pets holistically to ensure they can live their best lives naturally.” – Dr. Lu Fenny, Holistic Vet @ Home
A holistic approach to pet wellness
Dr. Fenny uses a combination approach when treating her patients. Encompassing both conventional medicine and science-based natural therapies, she focuses on treating the pet, not just their symptoms. She believes in improving the wellbeing, vitality, quality of life and overall health of the pet, by restoring balance and supporting natural healing. Something that we here at Lyka are very passionate about.
For Dr. Fenny, natural healing for positive long-term outcomes with fewer negative side effects is most important. To ensure the right course of treatment, she always undertakes a thorough assessment of each patient, from their diet to the amount of exercise they do, as well as their emotional wellbeing and full medical history.
“A holistic approach truly is the best way to ensure your pet will live their healthiest and happiest life.” – Dr. Lu Fenny
So, why Lyka?
“I believe in Lyka because it’s been developed by an incredible Integrative Vet, Dr. Matt Muir, whom I greatly respect. I know that it’s been thoroughly researched, nutritionally balanced and also has the best quality ingredients. I can recommend it to all of my pet parents and especially those who have dogs with any health problem, because when it comes to fighting disease, optimal nutrition always comes first.” – Dr. Lu Fenny, Holistic Vet @ Home
You know how good you feel when you eat a healthy, balanced diet – the same goes for our puppers. A fresh food diet can help with your dog’s skin, coat, gut, energy levels and general long-term health – and it can have a positive effect on their behaviour as well.
So, how can a complete and balanced diet help with your pupper’s behaviour?
A complete and balanced diet helps to fuel your pupper by meeting their nutritional needs and nourishing them from the inside out. Ensuring your pupper is chowing down on optimal portions of protein, carbohydrates, omegas, and amino acids will ultimately assist with their overall health, with these dietary essentials the building blocks of a healthy diet and gut.
If your pup is eating an overly processed or unbalanced diet, such as kibble, the high sugar content can influence their sense of wellbeing, behaviour, and ability to concentrate. Research by Dog Risk also indicates that dogs that are fed kibble have elevated levels of metabolic stress and systemic inflammation.
When your pup has health issues they can become irritated and stressed, just like humans. Itchy skin, gut issues such as irritable bowel and pancreatitis, urinary issues and food intolerances are all classic culprits.
How fresh food can impact your pupper’s anxiety and mood
Scientists now know that gut bacteria produces chemicals that communicate with the brain via nerves and hormones. This is called the gut-brain axis. Many of the crucial chemicals and hormones used by the brain and the nervous system are produced in the gut. These include serotonin, dopamine and GABA. So, it’s no surprise that an off balance microbiome may cause anxiety and behavioural problems.
Serotonin has been dubbed the ‘happy chemical’ because it contributes to a sense of emotional wellbeing. It is estimated that 70% of this chemical is made in the gut. Dopamine is another important feel-good chemical that supports motor function, mood, decision-making and helps to control other hormones. It is estimated that 50% of dopamine is produced in the gastrointestinal tract. GABA regulates stress, anxiety and sleep patterns and is modulated by bacteria in the gut microbiome.
A fresh, high protein, low carbohydrate diet enriched with colourful vegetables and omegas, will help to balance your dog’s gut bacteria so that these vital chemicals and hormones can work at their optimum level.
Keep reading to find out how amino acids, omegas and amino acids play a huge role in your pupper’s diet and overall health and happiness.
Research into amino acids, such as tryptophan and tryosine, has proven them to be essential to canine health. Tryptophan supports the modulation of mood and can influence behaviours related to anxiety, stress, fear and aggression. Animals who consume high tryptophan diets have reduced instances of aggression. Low tyrosine levels can also influence stress and aggression.
Diets rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids like DHA are known to have positive effects on dogs, in particular their learning behaviours. If you want your pupper to be more receptive to training then it’s worth keeping this in mind.
Like humans, dogs appear to experience an energy slump after meals if their diet is heavy in high-GI carbohydrates, most notably kibble. This follows with a spike in blood sugar levels. This type of diet creates a short-term fullness followed by a sharp increase and then decrease in glucose levels. It’s just how humans feel if they have overdone it on sugary snacks!
Diets higher in protein with an emphasis on more complex low-GI carbohydrates encourage a steady flow of energy, as it takes your pup longer to digest and absorb the nutrients. Ultimately though, this creates a happier, more content and emotionally balanced pupper.
Lyka: go fresh for a happy, healthy pupper
Our fresh meals are high in protein, low GI, and will keep your pupper healthy from the inside out. Carefully formulated by our in-house vet, Dr. Matthew Muir, each of our five recipes contain a colourful mix of vegetables and superfoods, as well as optimal ratios of protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals to help maintain your pupper’s health and happiness.
At eight years old, Fenton the Cavoodle has dealt with a number of health issues, issues that were having a huge impact on his life and happiness.
Discover how Lyka’s fresh recipes have helped and changed the lives of Fenton and his pupper parent, Anne-Marie!
A very welcome addition to the family, particularly when it came to building the male quota, Fenton instantly settled right in with his new pupper parents, Anne-Marie and Steve.
“Fenton is the son that we never had. He loves walks at the dog park, playing with his favourite toy, “Tugga” and stealing socks!” – Fenton’s pupper parent, Anne-Marie
Fenton is also the big brother to four-year-old Schnoodle, Lulu, who is full of sass, attitude and has the biggest heart.
Serious health issues
When Fenton was about a year old, he became seriously ill and was ultimately diagnosed with pancreatitis, a condition where the pancreas becomes inflamed and can cause severe lethargy, abdominal pain, reduction in appetite and vomiting.
“Fenton was immediately put onto a prescription, low-fat diet and we supplemented this with steamed chicken breast. Since then, he has had several severe bouts that have required extended veterinarian care and we came very close to losing him on a few occasions.” – Fenton’s pupper parent, Anne-Marie
“I decided to give it a try, too. So, I completed the questionnaire online that suggested the best meals for Fenton based on his medical conditions, size and exercise levels.” – Fenton’s pupper parent, Anne-Marie
Whilst initially nervous to start a new diet in case it made Fenton sick again, the feedback and experience of Lyka from Anne-Marie’s friend was enough to convince her to give it a go.
“The new food arrived frozen in a well packaged and sustainable box, and there were even probiotics included to help transition Fenton onto his new food. He took to it straight away and experienced no problems at all, much to my surprise!” – Fenton’s fur mama, Anne-Marie
Both Fenton and Lulu are now part of the Lyka pack and haven’t looked back.
“Both of our puppies LOVE Lyka and cannot eat it fast enough. Whilst preparing their meals, I remember back to Fenton’s old diet that was beige and bland, and surely must have tasted the same every day. Their Lyka meals on the other hand, are full of colour and texture – and I can only assume taste amazing.” – Fenton’s pupper parent, Anne-Marie
The extra licks of an empty bowl seem to indicate so!
Happy, healthy pupper
Since transitioning to Lyka, Fenton has never been healthier or happier.
“He hasn’t been ill since starting his new fresh food diet, and now walks with a bounce in his step and he’s constantly wagging his tail – it’s just amazing to see.” – Fenton’s pupper parent, Anne-Marie
The other thing that Anne-Marie has been impressed by? Fenton’s poop! Both he and Lula now have well-formed, regular poop thanks to a complete and balanced diet that helps with digestion and gut health.
“One other incredible benefit that we are so grateful for, is that it’s so easy to give Fenton his medication mixed in with his Lyka. He used to be the Houdini of evading medication of any flavour, size and type, but now he just gulps it down and it’s a far less stressful experience for all of us.” – Fenton’s pupper parent, Anne-Marie
For Anne-Marie, Steve, and their pups, Fenton and Lulu, mealtime and prep has become so easy.
“You simply defrost the pouch, peel it open and spoon it into the bowl – healthy eating has never been easier. Initially, it may not seem cost-friendly, but when you calculate the cost of prescription food, chicken and time spent preparing there really is very minor difference and Lyka has made the world of difference to our family.” – Fenton’spupper parent, Anne-Marie
Lyka: complete and balanced for puppers with pancreatitis
Pronounced keen-wah, this ancient grain and powerful superfood is ideal for dogs and a great addition to their diet. You can find quinoa in our Lamb and Turkey Bowls!
What is quinoa?
Native to South America, quinoa has become increasingly popular over the years and is considered to be a powerful superfood for both humans and puppers. Known as a pseudo-cereal grain due to its similarities to a seed, quinoa is gluten-free, making it ideal for puppers with sensitivities or intolerances to wheat. Wheat is a starch that is commonly found in kibble and can cause health issues such as itchy skin and digestive issues.
Why is quinoa so good for your dog?
Whilst tiny in size, quinoa is jam-packed with goodness and bursting with an extensive list of benefits:
A great source of fibre and protein to help keep your pup feeling full for longer.
High in antioxidants, quinoa can help fight inflammation and oxidative damage caused by free radicals.
Contains optimal levels of healthy fats, and is rich in iron and magnesium.
Helps to regulate cholesterol and blood sugar levels and is a great option for puppers with high blood lipids, including cholesterol and triglycerides.
Quinoa is also considered to be a complete plant protein, and is high in lysine, methionine and cysteine, amino acids that plant foods are often low in. Finally, feeding quinoa is a great way to ensure your pupper is receiving all the vitamins and minerals they need to live a healthy life.
Adding quinoa to your dog’s diet
Some dogs can find grains such as corn, wheat, and soy hard to digest and can even cause dietary related issues, so with many incredible benefits, quinoa is a great substitute and put simply, adding quinoa to your pup’s diet just makes sense. It’s important to note, though, that some puppers can be sensitive to quinoa.
When adding it to your pup’s bowl, start by giving small amounts and see how they respond. Always ensure the quinoa is cooked and plain to enable proper digestion, and make sure to avoid any sauce or seasoning. If you notice any changes in your pup’s bowel movements, including constipation, diarrhoea, or even vomiting, remove the quinoa from their diet and refrain from feeding it to them again.
Where does our quinoa come from?
Our quinoa is grown and harvested in the mountains of Bolivia. Staying true to our ethical values, no insecticides, pesticides, preservatives or additives are used at any stage of the process.
Lyka: bursting with superfoods to make your pupper feel super good
With an extensive line-up of signature recipes on offer, each containing a handpicked mix of superfoods, Lyka’s recipes will help your pupper glow from the inside out. Along with quinoa, you will find turmeric, blueberries, kale, spirulina, hemp seeds and psyllium seed husk, with each recipe bursting with nutritional, vet-approved goodness.
The importance of a good diet should not be underestimated when it comes to the heart health of dogs and preventing or treating heart disease. With approximately one third of dogs over 10 years old having some sort of cardiovascular disease it is important to understand the nutrient profile of your pet’s diet and the impact it may be having on their heart health. Salt intake should be monitored as congestive heart failure is associated with retention of sodium, chloride, and water.
What is MMCVD?
The most common cardiac condition seen in dogs is myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMCVD). More commonly found in smaller breed dogs this condition is caused by the degeneration of the mitral valves which sit on the left-hand side of the heart between the left atrium and left ventricle. It is also seen in middle aged and geriatric dogs so if you have a larger breed you still need to monitor their heart health.
The degenerative process causes the valves to thicken and retract. This creates a hole in which blood can flow back from the left ventricle into the left atrium when the left ventricle contracts. Most dogs with MMCVD show no clinical signs, especially when the disease is mild. It often takes a vet to pick it up first. It is only when the disease progresses to the point of Congestive Heart Failure that is becomes more obvious.
What is DCM?
Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a disease of the heart muscle and one of the more common heart diseases found in dogs. DCM causes the heart to enlarge and pump weakly. This can cause coughing, difficulty breathing, collapse or even sudden death. It occurs when the heart muscle (myocardium) of the lower pumping chambers (ventricles) become weak and unable to contract normally.
Usually, DCM occurs in the left side of the heart which is the side that receives blood from the lungs and pumps it into the body. When the heart muscle cannot pump blood out of the left heart, the kidneys will retain sodium and water to increase the amount of blood returning to the heart. This leads to an enlargement of the ventricles to compensate for the ineffective pumping. This process can cause the blood pressure in the heart to back up into the lungs and cause fluid build-up (pulmonary edema). This is called heart failure or congestive heart failure (CHF).
How can your pupper’s diet cause heart problems?
A rise in DCM in breeds not typically susceptible to it prompted the US Food and Drug Administration to investigate and a study found that many of these dogs ate certain pet foods labelled ‘grain free.’ Whilst not all grain-free food is bad some vets are advising against it due to its highly publicised link to DCM. This research is by no means definitive but there appears to be a connection between grain free diets that include lentils, white potatoes, and legumes such as peas as the base ingredient in their dog food.
At Lyka, we are avoiding legumes and beet pulp until more research has been conducted. We use ingredients such as quinoa, butternut squash and purple potato. Our recipes also include whole food ingredients such as high-quality protein with excellent bioavailability and amino acid profiles. These are known to deliver cardio-supportive results and include L-carnitine and taurine. They have naturally high antioxidant levels which minimise oxidative stress. We also ensure our recipes are low in salt in accordance with the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) guidelines.
What your pupper needs for a healthy, happy heart
Omega 3 Essential Omega 3s include Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
The two most essential Omega 3s, EPA and DHA, are found in fish and seafood sources. Mackerel, sardines and fish oil all great low-mercury options.
ALA requires a bit more work for your pup’s body to convert and is found in ingredients like eggs, flaxseed oil, canola oil, spirulina and other plant sources. For dogs to use ALA, their bodies must convert it to EPA & DHA. This is an inefficient way to access it, so it is preferable to maximise EPA & DHA, rather than ALA, in your dog’s diet.
When it comes to total fat content in a diet it is important to consider the ratio of Omegas 6:3 as food lower in saturated fats may have a higher total fat content due to being enriched with Omega 3s.
To help minimise the
inflammatory response, Lyka recipes contain well above AAFCO’s recommended
minimum ration of 6:3 omega 3 to omega 6. Our ratio is 30:1 and we also include
increased levels of natural vitamin E (d-alpha tocopherol) to offset the higher
requirements associated with a high omega 3 diet. This is achieved by using
grass-fed and free-range ingredients. These are higher in Omega 3 than their
grain-fed counterparts. They are also lower in supersaturated fats.
L-carnitine This is an important amino acid nutrient that transports fatty acids that are essential to the cellular production of energy. If your pupper is deficient in this nutrient it can cause a variety of health conditions, including heart disease.
Lyka recipes include high quality protein with excellent bioavailability and amino acid profiles to deliver known cardio-supportive action, including L-carnitine and taurine.
Taurine Taurine is an amino acid that is necessary for normal cardiac muscle function and helps to prevent and treat DCM. Typically, this amino acid is produced by the dog when they’re eating a nutritionally balanced diet. It is important for your pup’s metabolic processes and is thought to have antioxidant properties.
Introducing the gut-cardiac axis
Sounds technical right? It’s about your dog’s friendly gut bacteria. A study in 2021 found that dogs who progressed from low level mitral valve disease to heart failure had high levels of gut dysbiosis. This means there is an imbalance of gut microbiota that leads to unhealthy outcomes including heart failure. Anything that is found to be good for gut health may support your pet’s chances of avoiding heart failure.
Lyka: complete and balanced for optimal heart health
All of Lyka’s recipes are low in salt, free from legumes and beet pulp, but rich in bio actives and amino acids. Each recipe is formulated by our co-founder and Integrative Vet, Dr. Matthew Muir, with heart health top of mind. For puppers with heart issues, we highly recommend our Beef and Kangaroo Bowls.
Aussies make the best coffee and we absolutely have some of the cutest puppers in the world – not biased at all, obviously!
Discover some of the best dog-friendly cafes across Australia and start planning your next coffee date with your furry bestie.
Jackies Cafe, Paddington
If your pup likes to run with the glamour pack, then Jackies is the ultimate place! Set just off Paddington’s bustling Oxford Street, this local institution has been churning out the lattes for years. The shaded courtyard is a great place for your pup to lounge around and be spoilt by the ultra-friendly, dog-obsessed staff.
Tail Cafe, Lane Cove
Your pupper will be front and centre at this cute little pit stop on Sydney’s North Shore. Owner, Naoko, is passionate about pups and the dog menu is almost as extensive as the human one. The best part? It’s just a stick’s throw away from one of Sydney’s best dog parks, Blackman Park, which even boasts a dedicated off-leash agility run.
Located on the NSW South Coast, The Scarborough is the perfect place for an outing with your pupper. There are delicious lunch options and ample outdoor tables, and when you’re done, your can head down to the nearby beach and let your pupper run and explore.
Common Grounds, Gowrie
For our social puppers that love a get-together, Common Grounds is a firm favourite. Loved by the locals, there are always plenty of puppers to meet and play with thanks to the café’s dog-friendly seating, mountain views and great coffee. It fills up quickly on weekends, so grab your leash early and head down for a mingle and quality caffeine hit.
Millhouse Cafe, Queanbeyan
Just over the border in NSW, but considered by many to be in Canberra, this popular cafe is set in a beautiful heritage building. Grab a seat outdoors and take in the sunshine whilst enjoying the delicious selection of coffee and treats on offer.
A Minor Place, Brunswick
The dog-loving staff in this cool Melbourne cafe will have your pup feeling welcome in no time thanks to the many water bowls and treats on offer. Located just minutes from the hustle and bustle of trendy foodie haven Lygon Street, grab a seat at a table outside, sip on your latte and watch the world go by.
If you’re looking to laze away a Sunday morning with your pupper, look no further than Brighton Schoolhouse. The cafe is set in a dog-friendly garden and is a lovely spot to meet like-minded dog lovers and chit chat all things pupper-related.
Lilydale General, Lilydale
Just a little outside Melbourne, The Lilydale General feels a world away from the city. The dog-friendly outdoor seating is fenced and popular with four-legged locals and is the perfect place to fuel up on the way to the Yarra Valley!
Bakery, Burleigh Heads
In a picturesque timber cottage, Paddock Bakery has become a hit with owners and their puppers, who love to stop by for a bite to eat in the garden or rooftop area.
and Co, Tenerife
It‘s all in the name for this super pup-friendly Brisbane eatery. The emphasis is on healthy, sustainable fare and the waterfront outdoor area is the perfect spot to kick back with your pupper, watching the ferries go by.
One Cafe, Cairns
Puppucino with a view? This tropical paradise tops the lot! Grab a coffee or breakfast at one of the many outdoor tables and take in the gorgeous ocean breeze with your pupper.
Pups are always welcome at Union Kitchen. There are doggy beds, water bowls and a complete dog-friendly menu that sits alongside the human menu. Your hungry pup can chow down on homemade treats whilst you take in the water at this popular foodie spot.
Holly Rayes boats some serious dog-loving credentials, which are clear to see from the giant dog mural that adorns the side wall. There are regular Instagram dress up competitions with dogs in front of the mural and they can even make a pup-friendly cake for your pupper’s birthday!
South Australia’s beautiful wine regions have
plenty of eating spots that are dog-friendly, and Octeine is at the heart of it.
Located within the stunning Seppetsfield winery, the coffee is top-notch, the
menu is delicious and nutritious, and there’s plenty of space for your pupper to
stretch their legs and enjoy the sunshine.
and Square, Adelaide
The staff here are rightly proud of their dog-loving status and this Adelaide cafe puts dogs at the heart of their operation. There’s a human menu and also a pup menu, so whilst you are tucking into a delicious breakfast, your pupper can enjoy a famous furchino.
Cafe, Botanic Gardens
The perfect spot to rehydrate after your and your pupper have explored Darwin’s historic gardens. There are water bowls for your pupper, tasty food for you – you can even organise a picnic to enjoy in the Botanic Gardens
Laneway Coffee, Parap
A great spot for your and your pupper to quench your thirst, this popular cafe boasts super friendly staff, a sustainable healthy menu and great coffee.
for a Pony, Hobart
Yes, there is room for a pony and for more than a few puppers, too. This trendy cafe has become one of North Hobart’s most popular spots and there’s no reason why your pup can’t join in the buzz! Pull up a pew at one of the alfresco tables or lounge on the comfy beanbags and chow down on one of the delicious plates on offer.
There’s a lot for you and your pupper to love in this pretty Launceston cafe. A great spot all year round, the outdoor tables are a great spot to enjoy the sunshine, or you can grab a blanket and snuggle up close to the heaters during the chilly winter months and enjoy cafe favourites and delicious baked-goods.
As a now 15-year old, Murphy the Jack Russell has been through a number of health concerns over the past few years. But, thanks to fresh dog food, he’s now living his best life and is truly enjoying his senior golden years with his fur mama, Debra.
“I was never gifted with children, but Murph awakened a part of my soul I never knew existed.” – Murph’s fur mama, Debra
Read on to hear Murphy’s heart-warming journey to health and happiness.
Murphy was a very lucky puppy, having been rescued when he was just 18 months old, handpicked by his two human brothers.
“He was adopted by my sister Karen, her husband Peter and their two young boys, Nic and Ryan – it was so special as the the boys got to pick him themselves.” – Murph’s fur mama, Debra
Murphy moves in with Debra
When Murph was 14, he began developing some serious health issues, which required constant care from his fur family. But, with Karen and Peter needing to go to work every day, Debra began to take on the role of Murph’s fur mama.
“My ‘adoption’ of Murph came about very gradually when he needed constant care and supervision after having an operation to remove a tumour from his back leg and then a toe removed a few weeks later.” – Murph’s fur mama, Debra
transition began slowly with a few midweek sleepovers, but eventually Murph
moved in permanently with Debra, who was able to provide the care he needed –
with plenty of visits from Karen, Peter and the boys, of course!
“Murphy eventually moved in with me and our 93-year-old dad in 2020 at the age of 12, when my sister and her husband finally conceded that Murph was definitely going to be happier with me receiving 24/7 care, love and attention. Dad and I live in a lifestyle retirement village, so being a senior dog, Murph fits in perfectly!” – Murph’s fur mama, Debra
The dream pupper
With his low maintenance and gentle nature, unwavering loyalty and fierce intelligence, Murphy has been the perfect addition to Debra’s life and certainly knows how to pull at the heartstrings with those beautiful big brown eyes.
“He is so friendly to all humans and dogs, and his total presence in our lives is priceless. He follows me around everywhere – even to the loo! I have more love for him and from him than I could have ever imagined. I’m also certainly MUCH healthier from walking him every day – he absolutely loves his walks!’ – Murph’s fur mama, Debra
Murphy and Lyka
Lyka came into Murphy’s world after a serious ordeal with his left anal gland.
“Along with the removal of a toe, Murphy had to have surgery to flush and clean the gland, which his vet said was the final step before having to remove the gland altogether, which could leave him incontinent! It was a very trying time for poor Murph, as he’d had a number of surgeries and went through a rough time over a period of three months, having to take courses of antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and cream applications. We also had to see the vet on a regular basis to have his anal glands manually squeezed and emptied, particularly as he couldn’t empty the left one himself.” – Murph’s fur mama, Debra
As a strong advocate for holistic medicine, Debra discovered Lyka’s fresh recipes after researching different diets and getting approval from their vet.
“Murphy had been very fussy with food, and for 18 months I tried cooking his meals mixed with some of the best dry foods available, but nothing worked and he just wasn’t enjoying mealtime. That’s until we discovered Lyka.” – Murph’s fur mama, Debra
Joining the Lyka pack signalled a fresh start for Murph’s health. Now in his golden years, Murphy has ditched the kibble for good and is living his best, healthiest and happiest fresh food life.
“Lyka was the start of an amazing journey for both Murph and I, and the Customer Care team were so helpful in assisting with his transition. His vet was also very impressed with his recovery and in her words, “he’s just so happy”. I’ve loved seeing him bounding around just how a Jack Russell should! – Murph’s fur mama, Debra
Saying goodbye to kibble forever and hello to health
Murph’s diet now consists of only Lyka’s fresh recipes and they’ve since ditched the kibble for good.
“After reading so many reports on the way kibble is made and also hearing from our vet that at Murphy’s age, it isn’t great for his kidneys, it was a no brainer to move solely onto Lyka, and thankfully Murphy loves all of the recipes.” – Murph’s fur mama, Debra
Now in his golden years, Murph is living his best, healthiest and happiest life. A life free from pain and discomfort.
“Combined with LED therapy, Murphy’s Lyka diet has been the key to his anal glands functioning well again and he is now drug-free and a perfect weight for his breed. Dry food has all gone to the wind! Life is now so much easier for me and far more nutritious for Murph – he’s just so happy and so is his mama!” – Murph’s fur mama, Debra
Lyka: Bursting with taste and nutrition
Never compromising on taste or nutrition, Lyka’s 5 signature recipes are bursting with a colourful rainbow of ingredients that include purple sweet potato, broccoli, turmeric, blueberries and of course, the highest quality human-grade protein available. Not only are these ingredients 100% drool-worthy, they also help give your pup the boost they need, the glow-up they deserve and the energy they want to live their best, healthiest lives – and yes, that includes our beautiful senior puppers, too! Are you ready to make the switch for your pupper’s health today?
We are very selective about which carbohydrates we add to our recipes, but button mushrooms are a big yes from Team Lyka. Bursting with a delicious flavour that intensifies when cooked, they are both pupper and vet-approved when it comes to taste and nutrition.
Why you should be adding button mushrooms to your pup’s diet
Buttons assist in regulating your dog’s immune system and can help to control free radicals due to their high antioxidant content. They are also known to support and prevent allergies, cancer, and autoimmune diseases.
The beta-glucan and prebiotic content in these little babies may help to improve metabolism and protect your pup’s microbiome and gut health. They are low in fat and calories and a powerful source of Vitamin D, protein, and fibre. A rich source of healthy fats and digestive enzymes button mushrooms really are a power food.
They also contain
important minerals including selenium, zinc, potassium, B complex and folic
Are shiitake mushrooms good for dogs, too?
It is well known
that shiitake mushrooms are good for humans, but they are also a great food for
your pup. Native to East Asia and used in traditional herbal medicine shiitake
mushrooms are packed with vitamins. They are high in vitamin B and D, zinc,
selenium, iron, copper, and protein, including amino acid glutamine.
They will boost your dog’s immunity and have antiviral, anti-bacterial and antifungal properties. Like buttons they also contain beta-glucans which will support your dog’s gut health and their phytonutrient content can support heart health.
If your pup is prone
to gaining weight adding shiitake mushrooms to their diet may help. The soluble
fibre content in these mushrooms can help to increase satiety (the feeling of
Shiitake mushrooms are also good for your dog’s skin and coat and can improve skin healing. This is thanks to their selenium and zinc content. These trace elements can also reduce cancer and DNA damage and improve joint health.
Wild mushrooms are a no-go for your dog. We all know dogs love to sniff around and sometimes eat things they shouldn’t. Whilst only a small amount of wild mushrooms are toxic, the ones that are toxic are very toxic and it can be difficult to tell which mushrooms are toxic to dogs. If you are concerned that your pup has ingested a wild mushroom, contact your local vet immediately.
Locally grown and sourced
Fresh from farm to bowl, our mushies are grown and sourced locally from a dedicated and passionate family of mushroom farmers in Sydney. They are handled with the utmost care and are grown on a controlled, environmentally friendly farm, in a process that takes up to six months, with special attention taken to avoid disease and contamination.
SNACK TIP: Mushrooms are a great snack for your pup when fed in moderation. They can be served both raw and cooked. If the latter, we recommend roasting or steaming them. And just make sure to not use any seasoning or additional toppings that you may add to your own mushroom-filled dishes! When it comes to your pup, plain is best.
Lyka: fresh, complete and balanced recipes for hungry puppers
You will find mushrooms in all 5 of our signaturerecipes which include a mix of whole food ingredients. Our meals are vet-formulated by our in-house Integrative Vet and Lyka co-founder, Dr. Matthew Muir and are balanced to include an optimal mix of vegetables, protein, superfoods, vitamins and minerals. Each ingredient has been handpicked for its benefits to your pup. We use both button and shiitake mushrooms in our recipes. Try our new Kangaroo Bowl which includes button mushrooms!
Yes, dogs and intermittent fasting can go together. In recent years, humans have been embracing diets such as the 5:2 and Fast 800 as a way of kickstarting their metabolism, losing weight and improving overall health. So, it’s not surprising to discover that these benefits also translate to our furry friends.
Dogs are evolutionarily designed to skip meals, so fasting and intermittent eating can have a positive effect on your pupper’s health and longevity.
How can your dog benefit from intermittent fasting?
Fasting can boost immunity and longevity Digesting a large meal consumes a lot of energy. The idea of taking a break from eating is that it gives the body more energy to do other things such as repair, toxin removal and general regeneration.
A study has found that reduced food intake, avoiding malnutrition, can ameliorate aging and aging-associated diseases in invertebrate model organisms, rodents, primates, and humans. Recent findings indicate that meal timing is crucial, with both intermittent fasting and adjusted diurnal rhythm of feeding improving health and function, provided intake is not reduced.
Fasting can facilitate detox If your dog has constant access to food, they will firstly get their energy from glucose, which is favoured in times of plenty. When this source has been consumed, the body will then start to burn fat. Toxins are stored in fat which is why fasting can help your pooch to purge itself of any nasties.
Fasting results in cellular cleansing The body is constantly generating new cells and killing off old ones. When your dog is fasting, this activity increases. This process is called macrophage and it engulfs and destroys bacteria, viruses and other foreign substances and ingests worn-out or abnormal body cells.
Fasting is anti-inflammatory for dogs Fasting reduces the amount of insulin in your dog’s body. Insulin transports sugar to cells and is a pro-inflammatory hormone. Fasting gives the immune system a break from this activity for a while, freeing it up to do more productive things.
It is important to remember that fasting does not mean starving your pupper. It is about the timing of meals, not the quantity. Dr. Matthew Muir supports this feeding practice, and has always fed his pets this way.
Most adult dogs are likely to benefit from 1 or 2 feeds within one 8-hour window. This still provides your dog with 16-18 hours without food, which will provide enough time for the benefits of fasting to kick in. Some nutritionists and vets advocate for this to be afternoon-based feeding, as it is thought that the liver is more proficient at processing nutrients during this time. Be sure that your dog has access to fresh water at all times.
When is fasting a bad idea?
Never fast puppies, dogs with diabetes or pregnant dogs. If your dog has health issues or is underweight please consult your vet, holistic vet or veterinary nutritionist.
Ticks are something that all dog owners must be aware of, as they can occur all year round and be a serious danger to your dog’s health.
Ticks are small parasites that feed on human and animal blood. In Australia there are about 70 different types of ticks but most bites are caused by the paralysis tick, which can cause severe illness and, unfortunately, are often fatal. These ticks release a neurotoxin and after prolonged attachment, the engorged tick transmits the toxin to its host. Daily checking for ticks will go a long way in ensuring they can be removed before they have done too much damage.
Ticks range in size from as small as a pin head to as big as
your little fingernail and they come in different colours from shades of brown
to reddish brown and black. They thrive in warm weather, so it is important to
be particularly mindful during the summer months. Generally, tick season is
from October to March although mild winters and lots of rain at the beginning
of spring and summer can contribute to a rise in tick cases outside this
window. It is safest to assume that ticks can affect your pet all year round.
The paralysis tick is found on the east coast of Australia from Victoria to North Queensland. Other common but less dangerous ticks found in other parts of the country include the bush tick, brown dog tick and cattle tick.
Tick poisoning requires urgent vet attention: know the symptoms
Head and ears With so many crevices, the ears are an ideal hiding place for ticks. Make sure to look on the outside of your pup’s ears and deep into the ear, as ticks can get attached and go unnoticed for a long time.
Eyelids Ticks on eyelids can be easily missed as they get mistaken for skin tags. They can even embed themselves inside the eyelid so be sure to check pupper’s eyes.
Armpits High up where your pup’s front legs meet their body is what we often refer to as the armpit region. It’s nice and dark here and the perfect spot for a tick, so be sure to check this area thoroughly and regularly.
Toes Ticks often embed themselves in-between the toes or even on the bottom of the foot near the pads.
Tail Ticks like dark, moist areas, so the underside of the tail is a notable hiding spot and an area where they can go unnoticed for some time. A thorough search with a fine comb will likely catch a tick that’s attached itself under the tail.
Groin Because this area is moist and dark and hidden by the tail it is a great hiding spot for ticks. Be sure to keep a close eye on this area.
Under the collar Don’t forget to check this area. It is worth getting into the
habit of regularly removing pupper’s collar and doing a thorough check as ticks
can easily go unnoticed for quite some time here.
Most doggies love a good scratch so try and make your daily tick
check fun for your pupper. You can comb through their fur with your fingers.
Press gently so you can feel any bumps on the skin. Ticks come in many sizes
ranging from a pin head to grape. If you find a bump, part your dog’s fur so
you can see their skin. Look for a black, brown, or greyish-brown bug. You
might only see the tick’s body but other times you will also see their legs.
The best way to remove a tick is with a pair of fine-point
tweezers. These are needed to avoid tearing or breaking the tick and spreading
infections into the bite area. We also recommend wearing a pair of latex or
rubber gloves so you can keep the area as clean as possible.
Spread your dog’s fur and grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Use a gentle slow and steady motion to pull the tick straight upward. Pulling in this direction will minimise the chance of breaking the tick’s mouth off so that it remains stuck in your pup’s skin.
After you have removed the tick
Place the tick in a glass jar or something that you can seal.
Add a teaspoon of rubbing alcohol to kill the bug and save it for a few weeks.
Wash your hands thoroughly and clean the bite site with rubbing alcohol. Always clean the tweezers with disinfectant and keep an eye on the bite area of the coming weeks in case it becomes irritated or infected.
Regardless of whether your dog shows symptoms of more serious poisoning, you should always call your vet to report the discovery of a tick and ask whether they should be physically assessed, as this is usually a good idea and highly recommended. Take the tick in it to your vet so it can be identified.
We recommend you have a discussion with your vet to assess the risks versus benefits of tick prevention options. Unfortunately, most natural methods such as need oil and scalar collars are unlikely to be appropriate for protecting against paralysis ticks found in Australia. If your dog is showing signs of tick poisoning seek immediate attention from a vet.
Never remove a tick with your fingers as this method may cause more poison to be released into your dog’s skin.
If you don’t feel confident removing the tick call your vet and arrange for them to remove it for you. This is a good opportunity for a professional lesson on how to do it yourself.
Lyka: fresh, whole food recipes to energise your pup
Our 5 signature recipes are vet-formulated by Lyka co-founder and our in-house Integrative Vet, Dr. Matthew Muir, alongside a veterinary nutritionist. Each drool-worthy recipe contains a mix of high-quality protein, vegetables, superfoods, vitamins and minerals, and all are complete and balanced for all life stages. The optimal mix of ingredients will help to provide your pup with the energy they need to run around and explore, and live their best, healthiest lives. Are you ready to make the switch to fresh?
At 7.5 months old, Maisie is a ball of sunshine and happiness with a super soft and shiny coat thanks to Lyka’s fresh dog food. She loves the beach and is so curious and cheeky – just how we love our puppies – and can’t get enough of her favourite toy, a squeaky rubber chicken.
A long-haired Mini Dachshund, Maisie is the best furry friend of her fur mama, Dawn, who said it was love at first sight when she first laid eyes on her.
“I met some friends a few years back who had Mini Dachshunds and I instantly fell in love with them. My friend, Leonie, then added a Mini Dachshund to her family and I just knew it was a sign that I needed a little pup of my very own – a Mini Dachshund to be precise! As soon as I saw Maisie, I knew she was the one for me.” – Maisie’s fur mama, Dawn
Joining the Lyka pack
Maisie was eating a raw diet when she arrived at her forever home, but Dawn found it to be a very challenging diet to feed her. As a proud pupper parent, Dawn wanted the best for Maisie when it came to taste and nutrition, whilst also wanting something that was easy and convenient. When her friend Leonie recommended, Dawn didn’t hesitate in placing an order.
“The raw food diet was a lot of work, so when my friend Leonie recommended Lyka – as her puppy was thriving on it – I knew I had to give it a go. I ordered a Starter Box and we haven’t looked back!” – Maisie’s fur mama, Dawn
Four months since joining the Lyka pack, Maisie is thriving.
“She absolutely loves all the recipes and gets so excited for mealtime, and the pre-portioned pouches make my life so much easier. Oh, and she can’t get enough of the Pig Twigs!” – Maisie’s fur mama, Dawn
A proud fur mama
As well as helping her to maintain a healthy weight, Dawn is so impressed by the health of Maisie’s coat.
“She constantly receives compliments on her beautiful soft coat. People can never get over how soft and super shiny it is – she looks a picture of health, I am always so proud!”
– Maisie’s fur mama, Dawn
Lyka: bursting with Omega 3s for a super soft coat
Your pup’s coat is one of the first things that people notice when meeting them – besides their cute faces, of course – and is often a good indication of their health. To help keep your pupper’s coat soft and shiny, and their skin in prime condition, we ensure that each of our signature recipes are bursting with Omega 3 fatty acids, including a mix of fish oil, flaxseed oil, chia seeds and sardines. This is to help maintain their skin barrier and restore moisture, and keep their skin and coat nourished – just like Maisie’s! Are you ready to experience the Lyka difference today?
You may add them to your breakfast or smoothie, but did you know that chia seeds are also great for dogs? In fact, chia seeds are considered a superfood for dogs, too, and help to add an extra dose of goodness to their diet.
So, what are chia seeds?
Chia seeds are edible seeds from a flowering plant in the mint family and are a great way to supercharge your pup’s diet.
They are rich in antioxidants that can help to neutralise free radicals in the body, and contain a powerful mix of phosphorus, iron, calcium, zinc, potassium, magnesium, as well as several vitamins for optimal health.
How can they help your pupper?
Whilst they may be teeny tiny, chia seeds certainly pack a punch when it comes to keeping your pup in tip-top shape due to their high nutritional value. They can help with many elements of your pup’s health, including:
Constipation relief Being a great source of fibre means that chia seeds can help to regulate your pup’s digestive system, and can be a helpful remedy for constipation and keeping their poos in good shape.
Glucose and sugar levels Chia seeds can help to regulate blood sugar levels, as well as support insulin function, so are a great options for all puppers – especially those with diabetes.
Supporting healthy cells Chia seeds are bursting with ALA omega-3 fatty acids, which can help to improve heart health by supporting metabolism in the muscle cells. They can also help to improve brain function and eyesight. These fatty acids also assist with keeping your pup’s skin and coat in great condition.
Increasing satiety: A single chia seed can absorb water up to 12 times its weight. This will help to hydrate your pupper and make them feel full for longer. Because of this, chia seeds are great for helping to maintain optimal body weight.
Lyka: putting the super in food
Each of our recipes are carefully formulated by our co-founder and in-house Integrative Vet, Dr. Matthew Muir, alongside a Veterinary Nutritionist, and are designed to provide maximum impact when it comes to health and nutrition. If we won’t eat it, we won’t include it. Your pupper deserves to live their best, healthiest and happiest life, so to ensure they are in optimal health, we use a variety of superfoods including chia seeds (of course!) as well as turmeric, blueberries, kale, shiitake mushroom powder, spinach, spirulina, psyllium seed husk and hemp seeds – all human-grade, all great for your pupper!
Diabetes is a chronic disease that can affect your pup and their body’s ability to function normally. Whilst diabetes in dogs can’t be cured, with the help of a healthy diet and lifestyle, you can play your part to ensure that your pup lives their healthiest, happiest life.
What is diabetes?
There are two forms of diabetes: insulin-deficiency and insulin-resistance. Diabetes occurs in puppers when the connection of glucose-insulin fails to work as it should.
Insulin-deficiency: This is when your dog isn’t producing enough insulin due to a damaged or incorrectly functioning pancreas – the organ responsible for insulin production.
Insulin-resistance: This is when some insulin is being produced, but isn’t playing the role it should, and cells aren’t effectively getting a hold of glucose and other nutrients to produce the energy that your pupper need. This type of diabetes is more common in older dogs.
What is insulin? Insulin is a hormone that is created by your pup’s pancreas and helps to control their blood sugar levels and metabolism – the process that turns the food they eat into energy. Dogs with insulin-deficiency require shots to compensate for the lack of insulin they produce.
What causes diabetes in puppers?
Diabetes in pups has been linked to several factors including old age, obesity and genetic composition. Chronic inflammation in your pupper can also trigger autoimmunity, pancreatitis and/or obesity, and either directly or indirectly lead to a diabetes diagnosis. Avoiding a high-carbohydrate diet is important to prevent inflammation in your dog. We are proud to offer a low-GI diet to help keep puppers healthy.
We always recommend speaking with your trusted vet if you notice your pupper suffering from any of these signs or symptoms. They will perform a simple blood and urine test to correctly identify the issue.
How to treat diabetes in pups
Whilst incurable, diabetes is treatable and can be managed with veterinary advice, a healthy diet and exercise. It’s important to note that the method will depend on which type of diabetes your pup has, as they may require insulin injections.
Lyka: maximum nutrients for optimal health
A pup with diabetes will need to eat high-quality protein, alongside plenty of fibre and complex carbohydrates that will help the slow absorption of glucose. Complex carbohydrates, including chia seeds, carrots, leafy greens, purple sweet potato, psyllium seed husk and quinoa, are beneficial for diabetic dogs as they take much longer to break down and do not result in dramatic fluctuations in blood sugar levels. The use of phytochemical rich foods like turmeric, spirulina, blueberries and raspberries can help reduce oxidative stress associated with diabetes and underlying metabolic syndrome. We are proud to offer recipes that are suitable for diabetic pups, but we always advise speaking with your vet when making any dietary changes.
A rescue pup with a heart of gold, Millie is now thriving on a fresh food diet, having been raised on a very limited diet. Her bad breath has gone, she sleeps more soundly, is less anxious and has one of the shiniest coats in town.
Discover how Lyka’s complete and balanced meals got Millie’s tail wagging again!
Say hello to Millie
Rescued by Melissa, her husband Andrew and their three boys when she was just two years old, Millie was adopted into their family when her elderly owner was no longer able to look after her.
Very quiet and timid, Millie had lived most of her life indoors. But after moving in with her new family, who spent most of their time outdoors, either at the beach, the park or whatever sporting event was happening that weekend, she found herself out and about and living a very active lifestyle for the first time in her life – and she loved it!
“We are a really active family and we weren’t quite sure how she would go, but she coped with the transition really well and was so happy to be wherever we were.”
– Millie’s fur mama, Melissa
Always happy, you can spot Millie by her constantly wagging tail – although, she’s still a little unsure about her feline sibling.
“Three years on, Millie is still trying to work out if she likes the cat as much as the cat seems to like her!”
– Millie’s fur mama, Melissa
From a fussy eater to a happy little chomper
For the first two years of Millie’s life, she was fed a very simple diet, which made her very selective about what she would eat when she moved in with her new forever family.
“Since changing her diet exclusively to Lyka, Millie has been thriving. The consistency of the portion sizes and the taste has made mealtimes far less stressful for Millie – and for us, as we know she is eating and getting all the nutrients she needs.”
“There have been many positive changes to Millie’s wellbeing since making the switch to Lyka. The most noticeable is that her bad breath has completely disappeared! Her coat is much shinier and less prone to matting. She also seems less anxious and sleeps so much better. Plus, the ease, consistency and convenience of knowing what she is going to eat every day is money well spent.”
– Millie’s fur mama, Melissa
Lyka: Fresh, human-grade ingredients for great overall health
Bright red and juicy, with a little zing, tomatoes are highly nutritious and incredibly beneficial for your pupper’s overall health. Find them in our Kangaroo Bowl!
What benefits do tomatoes offer your pupper?
Tomatoes contain large amounts of soluble and insoluble fibre, which assists with healthy and functional digestion, and helps to maintain optimal blood sugar levels. They are also linked to reduced risk of heart disease and can aid in the development of increased muscle strength.
Tomatoes are rich in potassium and Vitamins C and K. They are also packed with lycopene antioxidants, which become bioavailable when cooked. Incredibly, these antioxidants have been shown to assist in decreasing the risk of prostate cancer in male puppers.
What to watch out for?
Tomatoes are acidic, so can affect dogs with a sensitive stomach. It is best to start by introducing small amounts and observing how your dog reacts.
A substance called tomatine, which can be found mostly in the tomato plant leaf, flowers and stalk, can be toxic to your pupper if consumed in large quantities. Tomatine is more likely to be found in unripe tomatoes, so be sure to keep an eye on your pupper if you have a veggie patch!
It’s also important to note, that whilst great for puppers, tomato seeds and skins contain lectins, which some dogs may be sensitive to. Your dog’s health is paramount and we always do a thorough risk–benefit analysis of our ingredients, and only use ripe tomatoes as a small percentage of the diet – never the stems or unripe tomatoes.
On a hot summer’s day, there’s no better way for your dog to cool down and keep active than by taking a (safe!) dip in the water.
But, it’s important to note that not all puppers are natural swimmers. Pups should be introduced to the water very slowly and you should always go at their pace. We recommend only introducing your pup to water once they are trained and know basic commands.
With summer in full swing, here are our top tips to help keep your pupper safe in the water!
How to teach your pupper water basics
Start by choosing a quiet, shallow swimming area. There are plenty of dog friendly reserves and beaches, but always do your research to ensure the water is safe and suitable for your dog’s swimming ability.
Keep your dog on a leash and begin by taking them along the shoreline, let them get their paws wet and become used to the sensation of the water.
As your pup moves deeper into the water, go with them. This will help keep them calm and feel supported.
Once your pup begins to paddle, you can lift their hind legs to show them how to float.
Important tip: If your pup doesn’t want to go in the water, never force them. Pushing your pupper to do something they don’t want to, can make them fearful and therefore reluctant to try again in the future. Always be guided by their behaviour and watch for reactions and cues.
Puppers at the beach
Always keep an eye on the ocean and be particularly careful of strong currents and unexpected rips.
Don’t let your pup drink ocean water. If they start to vomit, take them to the vet immediately, as this can be a sign of salt toxicity.
Always bring your own fresh supply of water to keep your pupper hydrated.
Monitor your pup to ensure they don’t try to eat any marine life that may be on the sand, including pufferfish and blue bottles.
Puppers in the pool
Do a temperature check to make sure the water isn’t too cold.
Teach your pup how to get in and out of the pool safely with the help of stairs or even a ramp.
Always keep an eye on your pup and make sure they cannot enter the water when you aren’t around, and always supervise them as they go for a paddle.
Invest in a flotation jacket or device. Flotation devices for puppers are particularly important when going boating, where the water is much deeper and could be dangerous if they fall in.
Know the signs and symptoms of heatstroke and never ignore them. Rapid breathing, dry or sticky gums, abnormal gum colour, bruising of the gums, lethargy or disorientation can all be signs of heatstroke. In very serious cases, puppers can have seizures.
If your pup has lighter skin or areas with less fur, keep them sun-safe by applying a non-toxic sunscreen.
Lyka: Putting your pup’s health first
Lyka’s recipes are complete and balanced for all life stages. Each recipe contains a mix of high-quality protein, veggies and powerful superfoods to help keep their sugar levels stable and give them all the energy they need to run, jump, play and swim. Your pupper’s meals are customised to suit their breed, weight, lifestyle and activity level, with five signature drool-worthy recipes to choose from. Make the switch to fresh today!
Growing up in the country surrounded by animals, Lyka co-founder Matthew Muir, knew from the tender age of three that he wanted to be a vet.
Resources and access to veterinary medicine was limited in his hometown, which meant there was a huge focus on nutrition when it came to caring for his animals. Little did he know that this early insight into nutrition and experience in natural feeding, would completely shape his future and set Matthew on a path that he continues to carve out to this day.
Education and experience
Graduating from Charles Sturt University in 2010 with a double degree in Veterinary Science and Veterinary Biology, along with first-class Honours, Dr. Matthew Muir has practiced as a vet in both Australia and the U.K. He has travelled extensively exploring animal health around the world, and prior to graduation, even completed a one-year field research project on the microbiome. Always eager to learn and develop his skills, he undertook further studies in Sustainable Food Development and completed a volunteer program at Taronga Wildlife Hospital, and to this day, continues to advocate for animal conservation at Planet Decent.
A practicing Vet for 11 years now, Dr. Matthew – or Dr. Matt as he is affectionately known by his clients – is taking it upon himself to educate pet owners around Australia and the world, on the benefits of natural feeding and a healthy diet.
“In a world where we are putting so much emphasis on our own health, and looking for ways to eat more naturally and holistically, it makes sense for pet guardians to want to do the same for their furry family members,” says Dr. Matthew Muir.
A Clinical Director at his own veterinary practice, All Natural Vet Care, in Sydney’s Inner West, Dr. Matt’s clients travel far and wide for his knowledge and proven success in holistic pet health.
“The power of good food cannot be underestimated. So, it’s really amazing to see that pet owners are embracing the world of natural feeding by working with nature and not against it; implementing preventative measures rather than always needing to be reactive.”
Then there was Lyka
As a passionate advocate for animals, the decision to join forces with Lyka founder, Anna Podolsky in 2018, was an easy one for Dr. Matt. Sharing the same passion for dogs and dog nutrition, Dr. Matt has been able to use his veterinary expertise and incredible life experiences to help formulate Lyka’s whole food recipes and guide the Lyka pack on their journey to a fresh and more natural way of feeding.
“Each day in my clinic, I see the results that a fresh food diet can bring, and I am so pleased to see that so many Australian pet guardians are embracing whole foods and seeing those incredible changes firsthand, thanks to Lyka’s human-grade recipes,” Dr. Matt enthuses.
Big things are happening
Dr. Matthew continues to make waves in the world of natural feeding, and in 2021, made his debut on the cover of Vet Practice Magazine and was even recognised by renowned Integrative and Wellness Veterinarian, Dr. Karen Becker from Healthy Pets.
Listen to Dr. Matt discuss his passion for pet nutrition, conservation and the valuable mentorship of up-and-coming veterinarians below.
Interested in the fresh food life and how Dr. Matthew Muir’s experience in natural feeding can help your pup?
Turkey is low in calories and high in Selenium to help your pup’s immune system function at an optimal rate.
Meanwhile, the Tryptophan can help to reduce anxiety and calm your pup This study found that the amino acid Tryptophan, a precursor of serotonin, could possibly have an affect on aggression and stress resistance in dogs.
Vitamin B6 and Riboflavin can also both be found in turkey, which support your pup’s body in metabolising essential amino acids, carbohydrates and fats, and converting them into energy. It also plays a part in the production of red blood cells, which are vital to the overall health of your pup as they carry oxygen and nutrients around their body.
Lyka: where it’s all about the gobble gobble
Free from hormones and antibiotics, our turkey is barn-raised in the scenic wine region of the Hunter Valley. We are extremely passionate about supporting local family businesses, so are proud to source this nutritious protein just a few hours from our kitchen. One of our five signature recipes, turkey is one of the newest additions to our line-up and contains nutritious goodness including turmeric, psyllium seed husk, kelp, celtic sea salt and butternut squash. A must for any hungry pupper, our turkey is easily one of our Lyka pack’s top picks!
Dogs that have been over-exposed to the sun run the risk of developing skin cancer.
Sunburn usually affects body parts that don’t have much hair cover, which can lead to itchy and scaly skin, as well as hair loss.
Too much sun can also result in heatstroke as body temperature rises. Heatstroke symptoms include weakness, confusion and in extreme cases, organ failure.
Avoiding the hottest times of the day is one of the best ways to keep your pet sun-safe, but for some breeds, sunscreen may be necessary due to them suffering more than others whether it be due to shorter hair and lighter skin. For more susceptible breeds you should limit their time in the sun, particularly during hot temperatures to prevent overheating and dehydration. We recommend taking particular care if you have a Bull Terrier, a Pit Bull, Dalmatian, a French Bulldog or even a Boxer.
On those hot and sunny days, always watch out for any signs of sunburn. If you notice anything, apply a cool compress and if it worsens or starts to become more severe, always consult your vet.
Dogs tend to lick themselves and because of this, may accidentally ingest the sunscreen. Therefore, the sunscreen you choose should not contain zinc oxide or para-aminobenzoic. These two ingredients are toxic to dogs if ingested.
The ideal sunscreen is waterproof, unscented and has an SPF of 30 or higher.
Do a patch test to make sure your pupper has no reaction.
Once no reaction has been detected, rub sunscreen on areas most exposed to the sun. This includes the nose, tips of ears, the skin around their lips, groin, inner thighs and any areas where your dog has sparse skin or light pigmentation.
Monitor your dog for 15 minutes after application – this will give the sunscreen time to absorb and you can make sure your pup hasn’t licked it off.
Re-apply regularly, especially if your dog is swimming or is in the sun for a long period of time.
Lyka: nutritious whole food recipes for skin health
Formulated by our in-house Integrative Vet, Dr. Matthew Muir, our meals are complete and balanced for all life stages, and contain a mix of antioxidant-rich ingredients that can help to protect against damage caused by the sun’s harmful UV rays. These powerful ingredients include leafy greens, blueberries, chia seeds, flaxseed oil, hemp seeds and of course, carrots, with your pup’s body converting the beta carotene into Vitamin A for optimal skin health. You can find a drool-worthy mix of these ingredients across our five recipes.
When it comes to being a dog parent, poop talk is part and parcel of the role. But for Marcelle, her pups’ poop was becoming a huge problem, with both Emma and Buddy suffering from debilitating diarrhoea. That was until fresh dog food changed the game.
Read on to discover how Lyka’s fresh, vet-formulated, human-grade recipes helped their poop and changed the lives of these two adorable pups.
The story of Emma & Buddy
A puppy fairy godmother, Marcelle came to have Buddy and Emma in her life by pure chance – although, some may call it fate.
“A very good friend of mine was looking for a Golden Retriever and found a wonderful litter of puppies to choose from. Unfortunately, she fell in love with two but had to go home with only one. She was so upset about leaving the other, she called me in the hope that she could convince me to take her second choice, and that is how Emma came to be my beautiful girl.”
– Emma & Buddy’s fur mama, Marcelle
Emma was two years old, the fabulous duo that was her and Marcelle, quickly became
a fabulous trio when Buddy the Staffy X joined their clan.
“A good friend of mine was making a delivery to a farm in New Zealand. Noticing that all of Buddy‘s brothers and sisters were being fatally harmed, he grabbed the last little pup and took him away to safety. That adorable little puppy then ended up with me of course, because how could anyone say no!”
– Emma & Buddy’s fur mama, Marcelle
A Golden Retriever that doesn’t really like to swim unless it’s a quick paddle in warm water, Emma is very relaxed. Known as Princess Emma to Marcelle, she must sit in the front seat of the car when she goes out every day.
Buddy on the other hand, is a ball of energy and loves as much attention as you can possibly give him, and he’s quite literally glued to his ball.
“He has a glow- in -the dark ball that he is attached to. Like children have screen time, Buddy has ball time with his favourite glow-in-the-dark ball. If I don’t implement ball time, he would honestly play ball all day.”
– Emma & Buddy’s fur mama, Marcelle
Struggling with diarrhoea
Emma and Buddy had been struggling with severe diarrhoea for over two months. Marcelle removed kibble from their diet, she gave them medication as instructed by her husband who is a vet, and she fed them plain white chicken. No matter what Marcelle did to try and help her pups, nothing worked – even blood tests showed nothing. Marcelle was at a complete loss.
“I even kept Buddy and Emma inside with no walks for a week to see if perhaps it was a plant that was making them sick. But, the diarrhoea did not stop and it was so awful and impossible to pick up as it was literally just liquid with blobs in it!”
– Emma & Buddy’s fur mama, Marcelle
Both pups were also incredibly lethargic, unhappy and they’d even stopped playing with each other, which they’d always loved to do.
Discovering Lyka’s fresh recipes
“One of my wonderful friends is one of the best researchers and a big fan of Lyka. He advised me that after a long time of looking into every dog food company, Lyka’s fresh, human-grade meals came up the best by a long shot, so I didn’t hesitate in placing an order.”
“I saw a major improvement within 48 hours and by day 5, both dogs were 100% recovered – no diarrhoea at all and they’ve never had it again. I had made no other changes, so I knew it was definitely Lyka that had made all the difference.”
– Emma & Buddy’s fur mama, Marcelle
Emma and Buddy are now full of energy and back to their playful selves and living their best, healthiest and happiest lives.
To celebrate, we’ve teamed up with our friends over at How We Roll Co. to give away a planet-friendly sustainability pack.
The prize includes: A 1 month Lyka subscription, including a pouch of Sardine Snaps! A 1 month supply of How We Roll Co. 100% Compostable Dog Waste Bags plus 2 x Corduroy Dual Dog Waste Bag Holders. To enter, head to our Instagram. Competition closes on Wednesday 1st December, and the winner will be announced on Thursday 2nd December.
Meet How We Roll Co.
Like us, How We Roll Co. was born out of a passion for sustainability and the want to create a high-quality product that not only delivered, but also helped the environment.
How We Roll Co. are focused on regenerating the world we live in, and similarly to us, are planting trees in a bid to help secure our planet’s future.
Here at Lyka, good poos are paramount and they go hand in hand with good, sturdy poo bags and we’re so excited to partner with How We Roll Co. and help to make poop pick-up time that much easier for our Lyka pack.
PLUS! Between 22 November – 5 December, all boxes delivered containing treats (single treats orders are fine, too!) will receive a FREE roll of Compostable Dog Waste Bags from How We Roll Co. There’s truly never been a better time to chew and poo!
The benefits of fresh food on your pup’s poop
Fresh dog food is key to optimal gut health thanks to it’s high moisture content, which helps to keep your pup hydrated and prevent constipation.
Soluble fibres promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut and also assist in absorbing water, which helps with the formation of your pup’s stools. Meanwhile, the insoluble fibres help to increase stool bulk and stimulate movement within the gastrointestinal tract, which helps constipated pups. A low carbohydrate diet also means smaller, more manageable poops.
When it comes to your pup’s poop, it’s good to be fussy and more like Goldilocks – not too soft and not too hard, but just right.
Between 2 and 3 is ideal. You want it soft enough that it slides right on out, but not too soft that it leaves behind residue and is too squishy to pick up.
So, which is your pup’s poop?
Chowing down to a greener future
Green in name and nature,
we work hard to reduce our carbon footprint across our entire supply chain.
We support Aussie farmers and always source our veggies from the Ugly Bunch – that’s right, we use the produce that has been deemed too ugly for supermarket shelves to help avoid waste.
We are installing solar panels on the roof of our Sydney kitchen to generate our own green energy, and we’re also following in the footsteps of How We Roll Co. by significantly reducing our consumption of single-use plastic. We are proud to be doing our bit to help our planet whilst also fuelling pups with the food they need to live their healthiest, happiest lives.
Lyka: made for good poos
All of Lyka’s recipes are minimally-processed and jam-packed with
fresh, digestible gut-friendly, human-grade ingredients that will not only have your dog drooling, but have them
looking and feeling their best, and getting their poop-game on point.
It may come as a surprise to you, but the humble green cabbage is a superfood and super good for your dog.
A new addition to our ingredient line-up thanks to its inclusion in our Roo Bowl, green cabbage packs a punch when it comes to being a nutrient-rich option for your pup. A cruciferous vegetable that has one of the highest levels of antioxidants of any veggie, green cabbage is high in fibre and a good source of sulforaphane, a sulphur-rich compound that is known for its powerful heart health benefits and cancer-fighting properties.
A real all-rounder
Significant research has been conducted to determine the health benefits of green cabbage. Cruciferous vegetables are high in antioxidants and has been shown to help reduce the incidence of cancers in dogs. These antioxidants include vitamins C and K, as well as carotenoids and flavonoids such as anthocyanins and kaempferol. This type of vegetable protects cells against oxidative damage, and may therefore prevent other chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Green cabbage is completely safe for your dog to eat, but it’s important they chow down in moderation to avoid any digestive issues and gassiness.
Lyka: roll into good health
Locally sourced in Sydney, green cabbage is a simple but powerful superfood that can be found in our new Rip-Rollickin’ Roo Bowl. This recipe is ultra-low in fat, high in protein and easily digestible. Your pup will have a chow chomping good time thanks to the delicious and nutritious ingredients that include green cabbage (of course!) as well as button mushrooms, raspberries, chia seeds and tomato. Are you ready to join the fresh dog food revolution?
Some salt is good for puppers, as it plays a part in maintaining bodily fluids and supporting the functioning of their organs and nervous system. However, there are many risks associated with overconsumption and increased levels of salt in dog food. If your dog has heart disease, heart failure or cardiovascular issues, you should be particularly mindful of this aspect of their diet. Here at Lyka, we carefully balance the salt content in our meals to ensure your pup is getting just the right amount.
Why too much salt is bad for your dog
There are several reasons why too much salt can be bad
Overdoing the salt can make your dog extremely thirsty and can even cause sodium poisoning. If a dog is thirsty, they will instinctively find water to alleviate it, however if there is no water available and your dog has ingested an extreme amount of salt in a short period of time, they will access water from their body cells to balance out the blood salt levels. This causes damage to brain cells and can create neurological symptoms like dizziness, headaches and even seizures.
Kidney disease in dogs is often associated with a high salt diet. Symptoms include significant weight loss, vomiting, pale gums, mouth ulcers, blood in the urine, lethargy and seizures.
Too much salt can also lead to increased blood pressure
and aggravate the signs of heart disease. Common signs of heart problems in
dogs include exercise intolerance, weakness, coughing, difficulty breathing,
increased breathing rate and abdominal swelling.
Many dog foods, in particular dry kibble, contain a very high salt content which makes it palatable for your dog but extremely unhealthy. The recommended salt allowance in dry dog food for adult dogs is 0.07% but most dry dog food contains 0.1-0.6% sodium. Lyka’s fresh, lightly cooked meals are the perfect antidote to the risks associated with a dry diet.
We work with leading holistic vets, as well as a
veterinary nutritionist, combining the best of natural medicine and scientific
research to help optimise your pup’s health for a longer, happier life.
Salt and dogs with heart disease
Congestive heart failure is associated with the retention of sodium, chloride and water. Monitoring the salt content of your dog’s food is a critical part of managing this disease. Dogs with this condition should be given a diet that restricts salt intake to a range of 0.08% – 0.25%. Whilst a lower sodium content in your dog’s food will not prevent heart disease, you should most definitely restrict their salt intake if they show any signs of heart disease.
Why Lyka is good for dogs with heart disease
Whilst a restricted sodium diet is advised for dogs with heart problems, Lyka co-founder and Integrative Vet, Dr. Matthew, advises that all dogs will be healthier on a low salt diet. At Lyka we have formulated our meals in line with the AAFCO requirements for sodium (0.3%) and chloride (0.45%). Along with a delicious array of fresh ingredients, a small amount of Celtic Sea Salt is added to our recipes to meet these requirements, whilst also keeping the sodium content low. Our complete and balanced whole food meals are also rich in omega 3s and antioxidants, which provide extra heart health benefits. Lyka’s meals are low glycaemic, which helps to reduce inflammation that can affect circulatory health. If your pup has severe heart disease, we recommend you consult a cardiologist to determine specific dietary requirements, which may include an ultra-low salt intake.
Love at first sight, Aish knew that Ira the Maltese Shih Tzu would be the perfect companion for her when they first met almost 7 years ago.
And whilst this gorgeous little pup offered a tremendous amount of love and support, Ira was fussy and didn’t enjoy mealtime. That is until her fur mama discovered the benefits of fresh dog food.
“I was on the lookout for a dog for nearly 18 months after my doctor recommended a furry friend to help reduce my stress levels. I didn’t want to go to a breeder or a pet shop, but finally after many months of searching for a dog that was apartment-friendly and anti-allergenic, I found her. All of six weeks old, she leapt onto my shoulders and I have known only happiness since.”
– Ira’s fur mama, Aish
Named after the mother of the royal elephant in the Hindu mythology, Iravathy – or Ira as she’s more commonly known – was the perfect addition to her new forever home.
Just like a little snowball, she was perfect in every way – she didn’t even bark, with so many people thinking she was a stuffed toy as she was so well behaved. To this day, she loves running around the park, playing fetch or having a quiet day in front of the TV watching Netflix. She’s very sassy and also a very clever pupper, with the ability to respond to her fur mama’s commands in both Tamil and English!
But, as much as Ira was the perfect pup, mealtime was not a fun experience for Ira or her fur mama.
A fussy eater
“Both my husband and I were raised vegetarian, so we don’t know how to cook meat, but this has never stopped me from feeding meet to Ira, which she eats in the form of kibble. However, she was never interested in it, and my husband and I would have to sit next to her and nudge her to eat. No one could move an inch as she nibbled her food or that would be the end of dinner. ”
– Ira’s fur mama, Aish
Aish even tried giving Ira raw meat, but she turned her nose up at it. Mealtime was becoming increasingly frustrating and Aish worried that Ira wasn’t getting all the nutrients she needed. But, this all changed after Aish received a sample of Lyka from a friend who was a longstanding Lyka pack member. For the first time in her life, Ira finish her food within minutes.
To a food-loving pup
“We haven’t looked back since that day and come 5:30pm, Ira demands dinner. She has gone from being a very fussy eater to being a food-loving pup.”
– Ira’s fur mama, Aish
Not only is Ira eating again and actually enjoying her food, but both Ira and Aish are enjoying the amazing health benefits that come with being on a fresh food diet, including good digestion, solid poop and healthier teeth.
“Ira’s coat is smooth as silk now and her poop is consistent and stink-free. Her dental health is so much better and overall, she’s just so much happier!”
– Ira’s fur mama, Aish
Lyka: bursting with goodness and variety for fussy pups
Small but mighty, raspberries are low in calories, high in dietary prebiotic fibre and Vitamin C, and are an amazing source of antioxidants for dogs of all ages.
The benefits of raspberries
In human nutrition, we have been praising the virtues of raspberries for a long time. There’s evidence that eating raspberries could play a role in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome, which is similar to Alzheimer’s in humans.
In fact, Dr. Matthew Muir, our in-house Integrative Vet, eats berries every day as part of his health routine, and we’d love for our puppers to reap the benefits of this colourful fruit.
They may be sweet, but surprisingly, raspberries only contain around 4% sugar. This makes them the perfect snack or mealtime addition for pups on a reduced calorie diet – but of course, they should always be eaten in moderation due to their high level of xylitol, which can cause liver problems and hypoglycaemia when consumed in larger amounts.
And even though raspberries are low in calories, they still contain a high amount of dietary prebiotic fibre, manganese and vitamin C.
Studies suggest that raspberries and raspberry extracts have anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects that may reduce your pup’s risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer.
Researchers have discovered a relationship between polyphenol content and anti-influenza viral effects of berries, which this study finding that antiviral effects differed between berry species.
Have you heard? We got roo & raspberries
Our Roo Bowl is fast-becoming a crowd favourite. Ultra-low in fat, high in protein and easy to digest, our Rip Rollickin’ Roo Bowl is complete and balanced for all ages and especially good for pups suffering from pancreatitis, diabetes and obesity. We’re so excited to have added new ingredients to this recipe, including green cabbage, chia seeds, tomatoes and of course, raspberries. All offering a healthy burst of nutrition and a taste bud tingling extravaganza for your pup! Are you ready to join the fresh dog food revolution?
Did you know that the powerful combination of Vitamin A, B6 and Zinc is essential to support your dog’s health needs? Yes, it’s true. These unseen power players play a pivotal role in your dog’s overall health, wellbeing and functionality.
An optimal synergy
When combined, vitamin A, vitamin B6 and zinc can help your pup to build a strong immune system and metabolism, as well as improve their vision and cell growth, and promote healthy skin and bones.
Singularly, each of these nutrients offer significant benefits, but when working together, they have a much greater impact, including keeping deficiencies at bay. Nutrient and mineral deficiencies can lead to a range of issues, including hair loss, cracked skin and ulcers.
Let’s take a look at each one…
Vitamin A is essential for your dog’s health and helps to support optimal vision, bone growth, reproduction and immunity, as well as a healthy coat, skin, muscles and nerves.
Powerful sources of vitamin A include spinach, beef liver, butternut squash, kale, basil and carrots – because yes, just like in humans, carrots can help your dog’s vision. Certain red and orange vegetables contain beta-carotene, which is absorbed by the intestine and transported to the liver. When combined with fats in the diet, it is then converted to vitamin A and released through the bloodstream, making its way to the retina of the eye where it works its magic to assist with vision.
When consuming vitamin A, balance is key. Extreme levels of vitamin A in dogs can lead to poisoning. And although uncommon, an excess can lead to vomiting, drowsiness, irritability and peeling of the skin.
Mostly found in chicken, turkey and cauliflower, vitamin B6 supports your pup’s nervous system function, hormone regulation and helps to maintain coat health, heart health and support the growth of red blood cells. It also assists in balancing your dog’s potassium-sodium supply, which manages water regulation to keep your pupper fit and healthy. A lack of vitamin B6 can lead to a deficiency resulting in severe anaemia.
Zinc is an important mineral needed for skin health, immune system function, vision, cell growth and replication, and in breeding dogs, sexual function. Just like us, dogs do not produce zinc naturally, so it must be sourced from the foods they eat, including fresh red and white meat, fish and root vegetables.
Unfortunately, it’s common for highly processed commercial dog foods to exceed the maximum authorised limit of zinc, which can cause gastrointestinal issues. This can happen when food is produced without nutritional value in mind.
Conversely, a lack of zinc can also cause problems such as zinc-responsive dermatosis, an abnormal production of skin. At Lyka, to ensure your dog is receiving the right amount of zinc, we use fresh produce as well as a small amount of chelated zinc.
Lyka: balanced recipes for your pup
Finding the right balance of nutrients for your dog is vital, as overexposure and underexposure can cause serious health problems. Thankfully, providing your dog with well-balanced meals doesn’t have to be complicated.
Our in-house Integrated Vet, Dr. Matthew Muir, works alongside a Veterinary Nutritionist to ensure that each of our recipes contain an optimal dose of vitamins and minerals to avoid any deficiencies or excess supply. Complete and balanced all life stages, our recipes are a great source of vitamin A, B6 and zinc, with each ingredient combination formulated to meet or exceed minimums set by AAFCO and FEDIAF. Put simply, here at Lyka, your dog’s health always comes first. Are you ready to join the fresh dog food revolution?
With news of a cluster of dogs sadly passing away or being hospitalised due to liver disease this year, with the common link being that they had all eaten raw food from a knackery in Victoria, it’s highlighted the importance of human-grade food to ensure tragedies like this do not occur.
Unlike pet grade food, each of our ingredients are safe for human consumption. Our kangaroo meat is 100% human-grade and sourced in Australia, wild-caught in both South East Queensland and Victoria. We share our reputable and trusted kangaroo supplier with some of the country’s most prominent butchers and wholesalers, and they undertake regular health and safety testing to ensure the protein is safe for both human and dog consumption:
All field harvesters implement strict personal hygiene practices.
Once harvested, the kangaroos are refrigerated within two hours and swiftly moved to ensure they are not affected by rain, dust or other animals – different movement rules do apply depending on when the harvest takes place.
To help minimise the risk of E.coli and contamination post-harvest, our roo meat is transported in a way that maintains its natural integrity, with sufficient space provided to allow for safe and effective cooling.
Only meat that is meant for human consumption travels in the same vehicle, so you can feel confident that your pup’s food never touches contaminated surfaces.
We care about where our ingredients come from, and finding ethical food sources are a top priority for us.
Research suggests that kangaroos need to be culled, as their large population prevents other animals finding shelter and that the kangaroo population has not been negatively impacted by harvesting. Kangaroos are also detrimental to Australia’s ecosystem due to overgrazing and have even contributed to erosion in some areas, so letting the kangaroo population continue to grow unchecked poses significant environmental concerns.
Lyka: caring for pets and our planet
At Lyka, we love to feed your puppers with ethical and sustainable produce, and we are proud to support local Aussie farmers on our mission to provide dogs with the highest quality human-grade food to help them live happier, healthier, longer lives.
Jam-packed with nutrients, our brand-new kangaroo recipe is ultra-low in fat but high protein, and the perfect option if your dog has pancreatitis, diabetes, allergies or needs to reduce their fat intake due to obesity. Our kangaroo meat is ethically sourced from South East Queensland and Victoria, Australia and this novel protein is a great way to add variety to your pupper’s diet.
Why choose Roo?
Our Roo recipe has been developed by our in-house Integrative Veterinarian, Dr. Matthew Muir, alongside a Board-Eligible Veterinary Nutritionist, to provide the perfect option for dogs needing a carbohydrate-restricted, low-fat and high protein meal. It is complete and balanced and meets the AAFCO nutritional requirements for dogs of all life stages.
The highly digestible, human-grade kangaroo meat in this recipe has been combined with an optimal blend of fibres and prebiotics. Designed to be microbiome-friendly and hypoallergenic, it has undergone extensive digestibility trials to ensure it is safe for your pupper, and we’re proud to say that it got the all-important lick of approval!
This bowl is brimming with phytonutrients from real raspberries, chia seed and tomatoes. Phytonutrients offer significant antioxidant effects that can help with many canine health problems, from age-related issues to chronic diseases like cancer.
Whilst this recipe is ultra-low in fat, we have still enriched the diet with bioavailable omega 3 oil, providing essential fatty acids from fish oil and cold-pressed flaxseed oil for skin, coat and joint health.
By including kangaroo in your pupper’s diet, you can be assured that they are receiving an optimal balance of vitamin C, vitamin K, lycopene, pterostilbene and other polyphenolic antioxidants that can be found in the recipe that also includes spinach, cabbage and butternut squash.
What are the benefits of eating Roo?
Kangaroo meat is a great food choice for dogs with health conditions. If your pupper is suffering from pancreatitis, the below 10% fat content in roo is hugely beneficial. Dogs with diabetes also do well on roo due to the low carbohydrate and moderate fibre content.
Kangaroo meat is particularly suitable for some breeds, such as large or giant dogs, to ensure slow, steady weight gain as they grow. Highly active, senior, and sporting dogs, especially those who cannot tolerate higher fat diets, also do well on this protein.
If your pupper needs to lose a few kilos, the high protein, low carbohydrate and ultra-low fat of roo, make it a great option.
When to avoid eating Roo?
Be sure to keep an eye on your pup to see how they tolerate kangaroo meat. Some dogs can develop diarrhoea on a high protein diet, and less active pups may do better on our other low-fat chicken option, which is lower in protein. Small breed puppies may also need a higher fat recipe such as our lamb or beef bowl, to ensure healthy growth. If your dog is suffering from cancer, we also recommend staying away from roo and opting for a higher fat, low carbohydrate diet. Roo is our highest protein diet, and is not recommended for dogs with urinary, liver or kidney disease.
Ethical, sustainable and safe
At Lyka, we use only the highest quality human-grade ingredients that are safe for your pupper to eat. Our ingredients are always sourced as sustainably and ethically as possible, and locally where available. Wild caught, our kangaroo is not only sustainable but also humanely sourced following the national code of practice for ethical harvesting. The kangaroo meat in our recipe is 100% human-grade, and stringent ethical meat production standards are always followed to ensure that it is safe from potential bacteria, pathogens and other contaminants.
Discover our new ingredients
Our new Roo Bowl contains a variety of new ingredients not found in Lyka’s other signature recipes.
Button Mushrooms Our button mushrooms are Australian-grown and free from genetic modification. Pesticides are only used in the initial stage to ensure the mushrooms remain contamination-free and fit for human-grade consumption. Human research has shown that button mushrooms have cancer preventing properties. This little fungus is a great source of nutrition for your pupper and can play a role in modulating a dog’s immune system. They can also prevent and treat allergies and autoimmune diseases.
Button mushrooms contain essential minerals such as selenium, zinc and potassium and they are vitamin packed with B complex, folic acid and vitamin D. The healthy fats, proteins and digestive enzymes found in button mushrooms are highly beneficial for your pup, too.
Green Cabbage Our cabbage is Australian-grown and sourced from a local farm. Pesticides are applied once when the cabbage are young to prevent worms and our cabbage is declared fit for human consumption. Cabbage is a rich source of vitamins and is high in fibre. This cruciferous vegetable is well known for its high antioxidant levels and cancer-fighting capabilities.
Kangaroo meat Our kangaroo is sourced from within Australia and our supplier meets the standards set by the code of practice outlined by the Victorian government. This ensures humane animal production methods are always adhered to.
Raspberries Our locally-sourced raspberries come from a sustainable Australian farm that guarantees the high-quality of their produce. Raspberries are high in several powerful antioxidant compounds, including vitamin C, quercetin and ellagic acid.
Tomatoes We use high-quality tomatoes sourced from Italy. Tomatoes greatly assist digestion and blood sugar levels. They are also associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and contribute to improved muscle health.
Vitamin B5 We use 100% Vitamin B5, which is sourced from the UK and assists the body in converting fats, proteins and carbohydrates into energy, whilst also helping your pup to maintain a healthy digestive system.
Choline Neither a vitamin nor a mineral, Choline supports Vitamin B and is an essential nutrient that assists with cell function and helps to regulate key bodily functions, as well as stabilise the overall health of your pup.
You’ve had the discussions, you’ve made your home dog-friendly, you’ve worked out who will walk, feed and train the furry new addition, and now you’re ready to bring a new pup into your home. To make the process as seamless as possible, we’ve pulled together a few tips to help you in choosing the right dog and finding the perfect match for you and your family.
Like humans, dogs and dog breeds have varying temperaments, and different personalities and behaviours. Depending on what you are looking for, you can research breeds based on the way they typically behave. For example, if you are seeking a dog with an easy-going temperament, Golden Retrievers, Labradors and Beagles are known for being calm and good for families and children.
To decide on the type of temperament that would best
suit your home, consider the following:
Is everyone in your household comfortable with having a dog?
What type of personality would fit best with everyone in your home?
Are there any other pets in the home and how will they respond to living with a dog?
If you have other pets like cats, rabbits or chickens, it is important to consider the prey drive of the breed you are considering
Top tip! Even though certain breeds are known for their temperaments, behaviour is often shaped through training. Consider how much time you can invest in training your dog. A puppy requires a high level of care and time, whereas an older dog may already be trained and socialised.
Energy & activity level
A key consideration is the level of activity your dog needs and the level of activity you can or are willing to give. Some breeds require high levels of exercise, whereas others, such as Bulldogs, are not known for being overly active. Alternatively, you may be after a dog with high levels of energy, in which case, you may consider German Shepherds, Border Collies or Australian Shepherds.
Physical activity can also serve as mental stimulation, and puppies will generally have more energy than adult dogs with their own unique exercise requirements.
Do you have access to a dog park, or streets that are dog-friendly and safe to walk in?
Exercise for dogs is not only important for their health, but it plays a large role in engagement and keeping them happy. If this is ignored, it can lead to a range of behavioural issues including hyperactivity, that can be difficult to correct.
The size of your dog doesn’t necessarily correlate to how much energy they have. You may think that a larger dog would be full of energy, however some large breeds such as Great Danes, are not known for being overly active.
The size of your dog can, however, impact their dietary requirements. Larger dogs will require different amounts of food than a smaller dog. Dietary requirements can change as your puppy grows, and some breeds will experience varying degrees of growth. Here at Lyka, we are passionate about sustainability and health, so we recommend thinking about your food budget before deciding on which dog you will bring into your home, particularly when considering large breeds.
It’s also important to know of any health conditions your puppy may be subject to, as some breeds are more prone to health-related issues than others.
Where to find your new pup?
Chatting with other dog owners about their experience is a great way to find out if certain breeds are for you. If possible, we recommend exploring rescuing before deciding to take a puppy on board, we also recommend reviewing how to avoid puppy farms.
If you’re still unsure of which breed will best suit your family, you could try taking a quiz!
Our meals contain high quality human-grade ingredients, including protein, veggies and superfoods to help your pup look and feel their best from the inside out. We also ensure that our meals contain calcium and phosphorus maintained at low levels to help support your puppy’s healthy skeletal development.
This month, we’re putting the spotlight on safflower oil – an excellent source of Omega 6s, it contains over 70% of linoleic acid as well as an optimal dose of soothing Vitamin E. This, combined with the oil’s unsaturated fatty acids, make it a great inflammation fighter and essential to the overall health of your dog.
Why we love safflower oil
With over 70% linoleic acid, safflower oil is an excellent source of powerful Omega 6s. These essential fatty acids are vital for your dog’s cell membrane structure and cell function, and needed for healthy reproduction, growth, a strong heart and immunity. Dogs who don’t get enough linoleic acid in their diet can develop problems, which may include skin issues, abnormal growth and a weakened immune system.
Safflower oil contains a nice dose of Vitamin E, which helps with dermatological health and to ease inflammation, promoting nourished skin and a soft and shiny coat.
The correct ratio of Omega 3 and Omega 6 acids is incredibly important, as a controlled amount of inflammation is needed for healing, making it a balancing act to ensure your pup receives the optimal balance of Omega 6s against Omega 3s.
At Lyka, we use chemical and pesticide free, non-GMO, organic safflower oil in our Beef and Lamb Bowls.
Safflower oil is used in-conjunction with other nutrient-packed ingredients including fish oil, flaxseed oil and psyllium seed husk, to ensure our drool-worthy bowls support your dog’s health and nutritional needs.
Are you ready for your pup to enjoy the benefits of safflower oil? Order a Starter Box today!
Raised in a family of dog lovers, 11-year-old Lola was chosen by Sandy’s daughter, and the best decision they ever made. But, poor Lola began suffering from skin issues that just wouldn’t go away no matter what her fur family did to help.
Read on to find out how fresh food and a complete and balanced diet helped heal Lola’s painful skin.
Lola has a very dry personality and her family find it hilarious that her expression never changes, no matter what she’s doing. But like any doting mother, her fur mama, Sandy, can read all her moods.
“Lola’s excited face is exactly the same as her sad face, and she is the best kisser I’ve ever had!” – Lola’s fur mama, Sandy
Fabulously sassy, Lola is very particular when it comes to how she likes things arranged around the home.
“Lola has a rug on the lounge and will demand you move it one inch before she’s satisfied. Oh, and don’t sit in her spot. You will die from her death stare!” – Lola’s fur mama, Sandy
Red, raw & painful skin
For a long time, Lola suffered from nasty skin rashes and painful red welts. They were all over her body, made her incredibly anxious and caused so much distress that her fur mama, Sandy, even had to buy baby socks to put on her paws to try and stop Lola from chewing and biting them. It was awful to witness. Sandy then spent a fortune trying different types of food, even resorting to home cooking fresh meat and rice for Lola, but nothing changed.
“Lola doesn‘t normally show excitement for anything, but she now gets so excited for mealtime and eats all her food – she LOVES her Lyka treats! I’ve even noticed that the movement in her hips has improved, as prior to eating Lyka, she would often limp in discomfort.” Lola’s fur mama, Sandy
Treat your pup & their skin!
Our Skin & Coat Treats Trio is the perfect way to reward your pup and give their skin and coat the healthy boost it needs. Containing three signature treats, including Tripe Straps, Mussel Munchies and Sardine Snaps, all housed in biodegradable pouches, this vet-selected trio is filled with a powerful dose of Omega 3s, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties to help soothe your pup’s skin and keep it soft and shiny – just like Lola’s. Healthy and delicious, what’s not to love!
Spirulina is a type of algae and has been identified as a powerful superfood that can benefit your dog. Nutrient-dense, it contains high levels of antioxidants as well as anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to enhance immunity in humans and other animals.
But, it doesn’t stop there.
Spirulina contains iron for haemoglobin and red blood cells, as well as magnesium for energy production, and potassium for the nervous system and normal bodily function. Recent research in animals indicates that it may also reduce allergies in dogs.
What is spirulina?
Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae, a freshwater plant which grows in tropical areas in Asia, the Americas and Central Africa.
It is safe for consumption by humans and animals, and became well-known after NASA used it as a supplement for astronauts going on space missions. Cool, huh?
What are the benefits of spirulina?
Spirulina packs a punch thanks to its powerful nutrition profile. High in protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and essential fatty acids, it has been shown to be successful in reducing inflammation and enhancing immunity, whilst high doses in humans demonstrated protective effects toward allergic rhinitis.
Spirulina & immunity
Recent research has highlighted that like humans, dogs can also receive immune benefits from consuming spirulina.
A study measured the response of dogs to a rabies vaccine with one test group supplemented with spirulina and the other having none. The group with spirulina supplementation showed a higher vaccine response and immune status and enhanced gut health.
Can spirulina help with dog allergies?
Incredibly, research in mice is indicating that spirulina provides enhanced defence against infectious diseases and reduces allergic inflammation.
Based on the results of the study into the immune benefits that dogs received from spirulina, it is hoped that the anti-allergenic response in mice may well apply to dogs, but more research is necessary. Lyka is encouraged by this and will watch with interest.
Lyka: Find spirulina in our Grass-Fed Beef Bowl
Our high protein spirulina is sustainably harvested using a low energy harvest system to ensure as little impact on the environment as possible. Dried at low temperatures to ensure the maximum amount of amino acids and nutrients are retained, the spirulina is free of toxins and regularly tested for continual safety. You can find spirulina in our Grass-Fed Beef Bowl.
At Lyka we are committed to staying up to date with the latest research in dog nutrition and natural feeding, so that we can continue to deliver the very best food for your favourite furry friend.
Are you ready to start your fresh food journey and experience the benefits of spirulina? Order a Starter Box today!
With their unique elongated bodies and cute little legs, there’s good reason why Dachshunds are such a firm favourite when it comes to choosing the perfect pet. But, it’s their distinctive body shape that leaves these gorgeous pups pre-disposed to Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD). The good news, though, is that there’s plenty you can do to help manage the symptoms and lower the risk of IVDD, to ensure that your adorable Dachshund lives their best, healthiest life.
What is IVDD?
There are two types of IVDD, with Type I being more common in Dachshunds. The intervertebral discs sit between the vertebrae, protecting the spinal cord. In a healthy dog, the discs are made of a gelatinous substance with a thick outer layer that absorbs shock. In IVDD Type 1, the outer layer of the discs harden, which allows it to break easier.
Limit jumping. Train your Dachshund as early as possible that cuddles on the sofa are by invitation only
Avoid stairs where possible. Some owners install ramps or smaller steps in their houses to help their pups avoid the repetitive moment and leaping or jumping unnecessarily.
There’s still some way to go with the research, but our in-house Integrative Vet, Dr. Matthew Muir, suggests using general strategies that are known to help senior dogs and assist with arthritic pain. These include, building core muscle strength and eating a diet rich in Omega 3s. And it’s always a good idea to keep on top of your pupper’s knee and hip health with your vet.
Intuitively, it makes sense that unprocessed, healthy fresh food is better for your dog. But, since the development of kibble, there haven’t been many studies into how the highly processed food can affect the health of dogs. DogRisk is changing this through their groundbreaking work into how nutrition, the environment and genetics, can affect disease in dogs. Findings indicate that dogs fed kibble have elevated levels of metabolic stress and systemic inflammation.
Who are DogRisk?
The DogRisk team,
based at the University of Helsinki in Finland, are dedicated to
interdisciplinary research on dog health. They have been collecting data since
2009, looking at diet, disease and habitats.
Their research studies specific dog diets for long periods of time and observes changes including metabolism, blood nutritional profile, gene function and other molecular changes.
What have the DogRisk studies shown so far?
In an interview with Dr. Karen Becker, a leader in natural feeding, Robin Moore from DogRisk explains how they look at changes in dogs on a molecular level and study how different diets affects dogs.
DogRisk research has specifically investigated the levels of metabolites associated with different diets. Metabolites are regarded as the immediate bi-product of the metabolic process. Primary metabolites are those that are directly involved in the growth, development, and reproduction of an organism whereas secondary metabolites are those that are not. Thus, primary metabolites are critical to the survival and the fecundity of an organism. Secondary metabolites may not be as crucial but the lack or insufficiency could lead to the impairment of the organism.
Before assigning dogs to either a raw or a kibble diet, the team looked at the levels of metabolites and no significant patterns were found.
After assigning the diets, dogs eating dry food experienced changes in their metabolites, which suggested higher levels of biological stress on their body.
Dogs fed dry food also had higher levels of homocysteine, which is the marker for disease in dogs. These diseases include skin, kidney, and heart disease as well as cancer.
Why we believe in fresh dog food
As humans, we all know that a less processed diet is better for us. The more natural our food is the better – the same goes for dogs.
Kibble undergoes a process called extrusion, where the food requires high levels of carbohydrate and is cooked at temperatures exceeding 200 degrees Celsius. Natural vitamins and minerals are lost during the heating process, so typically artificial ones are added in their place. Evidence suggests that moving away from a dry food diet can reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases.
Lyka: fresh, balanced & nutritious
At Lyka, we aim to change the norm of feeding kibble by providing fresh food to Australian dogs. Lyka meals are minimally processed to preserve nutrients, but lightly cooked to make it more gentle on tummies and stop pathogenic contamination. Each ingredient has been hand-picked for its nutritional value, with our in-house Integrative Vet, Dr. Matthew Muir, overseeing each formulation alongside a veterinary nutritionist. Order a Starter Box today and experience the fresh food difference for yourself!
Vitamin E is an essential dietary requirement and important for your dog’s overall health, as well as disease prevention. This is why we add Vitamin E oil to all our meals and use ingredients rich in this powerful vitamin.
Why does your dog need Vitamin E?
Vitamin E is essential for cell function and can help prevent the progression of age-related issues like cataracts, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and decreased immune function. It also helps to metabolise fats. So, if your pupper is having higher amounts of fats, generally they should be having higher amounts of Vitamin E, too!
Adequate Vitamin E consumption can prevent problems with eye, muscle, and reproductive function, and has been shown to reduce joint inflammation in dogs with osteoarthritis. And lastly, Vitamin E supports healthy skin and coats – an incredibly powerful ingredient that helps your pup achieve optimal health from the inside out.
Whilst Vitamin E deficiency is rare in dogs, it can cause poor vision, neurologic abnormalities, reproductive dysfunction and an impaired immune system.
It’s important to know that Vitamin E requirements vary based on the dietary omega oil content. Whilst omegas are health-providing, supplementing one without the other can do more harm than good.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant
Vitamin E is a natural antioxidant and, together with selenium, is important for maintaining the stability of cell membranes.
Vitamin E protects against oxidative damage caused by free radicals that can damage cell membranes, proteins, DNA, as well as the potentially damaging effects of toxic oxygen radicals, whose major source is lipid metabolism.
Free radicals are produced as a normal part of the metabolic process, however if your dog is sick, exposed to toxins or ageing, they may start to produce too many. These free radicals have a missing electron, which means they can react with other molecules in your dog’s body by ‘stealing’ electrons causing a process that can lead to heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Antioxidants have an extra electron which can neutralise free radicals and stop this process.
Lyka: complete and balanced meals bursting with Vitamin E
We add Vitamin E oil to all of our meals and use ingredients high in this essential vitamin, including spinach, broccoli, and butternut squash. Lyka meals are specially formulated with boosted Vitamin E levels, which is recommended when consuming high doses of Omega 3 fatty acids. Subscribe today and give your pup’s diet the boost it needs for optimal health!
From a pup with constant lifelong tummy troubles to now being a happy, pain-free bundle of fur, Gucci the Pomeranian is enjoying the incredible benefits of a complete and balanced fresh food diet.
The last one left of her litter, Gucci was exactly what Stacey and her partner, Ryan, needed.
“Ryan and I have had Gucci since she was 8 weeks old. She was the last of her litter, as the person who was meant to have her, changed their mind. I always think this was fate, as we had been looking for a dog for quite a while and we happened to see her just at the right time.” – Gucci’s fur mama, Stacey
Gucci may be small, but she’s certainly mighty and she’s got Stacey and Ryan wrapped around her little paw.
“She’s a typical Pomeranian – a small dog with a big personality! She’s so sassy and funny, and makes us laugh every day, and she absolutely rules the house. If she’s upset, you’ll know about it, as she always has to have the last bark or grumble. She’s very entertaining and has such a human-like personality – we swear she was a person of importance in a past life!” – Gucci’s fur mama, Stacey
very beginning, Gucci suffered from painful tummy issues, as well as regular
bouts of vomiting and diarrhoea, which went on for most of her life. Stacey and
Ryan also found out that Gucci cannot digest red meat, which made mealtime extremely
“We went to the vet numerous times about Gucci’s digestive issues – we even saw an expensive allergy specialist. But, even after thousands of dollars had been spent, no one was able to pinpoint the issue, it was so stressful.” – Gucci’s fur mama, Stacey
The start of home cooking
Commercial dog food from the supermarket was not an option for Stacey and Ryan, as they couldn’t control what was in it, so they started home cooking all of Gucci’s meals.
“Despite my very best attempts to research what was good for her, the vomiting continued. A few years ago, it got so bad that Gucci ended up staying overnight at the emergency vet, as there was blood in both her vomit and urine – it was terrifying.” – Gucci’s fur mama, Stacey
The emergency vet advised Stacey and Ryan that Gucci had a serious gastrointestinal issue, which had caused her stomach lining to become inflamed, and that this was where the blood had come from.
To help her stomach heal, Gucci was put on a very basic diet of plain boiled chicken, whilst Stacey and Ryan looked for a long-term solution that would be both nutritious and delicious.
Then there was Lyka!
During their hunt for healthy meal options for Gucci, Stacey and Ryan found Lyka and the world of natural feeding.
“This sounds dramatic, but it’s true – Lyka really changed everything for us! We had resigned ourselves to that fact that we would just have a dog that constantly vomits, but thanks to Lyka, Gucci is a completely different dog!” – Gucci’s fur mama, Stacey
No longer are Ryan and Stacey cleaning up vomit or watching Gucci struggle in pain. Instead, they are enjoying seeing her happy and healthy and loving mealtime.
“She turns the big 10 in January, yet she’s the healthiest and happiest she’s ever been! It really shows what a difference a good diet can make. And she loves her Lyka too, which is a miracle for a fussy Pomeranian. She used to slowly pick at her food and wasn’t ever really interested in it, but she gobbles her Lyka right up! Thanks to Lyka we hope to have many more happy years with Gucci in our lives.” – Gucci’s fur mama, Stacey
Butternut squash or butternut pumpkin – whatever you call it, this brightly coloured yet humble winter warmer, packs a punch for your dog when it comes to taste and nutritional benefits.
The benefits of butternut squash
Rich in Vitamin A
Just like its orange cousin, the carrot, squash contains plenty of Vitamin A. This essential nutrient is key to healthy eyes and good eyesight, and also plays a starring role in fetal development and immune and cell function.
Filled with prebiotic fibre
Dog ownership is filled with poop talk, but no one likes picking up sloppy poop! The amount of prebiotic fibre in squash can really help your pup’s poop texture and the overall health of their gut and microbiome.
Brimming with beta-carotene
This powerful antioxidant helps with maintaining youthfulness and has been scientifically shown to restore immune responses in older and senior dogs that had previously shown signs of a slower immunological response.
A great source of Vitamin C
Dogs can produce Vitamin C themselves, but a booster in their diet is a good thing, especially for sick or stressed puppers, and can help to reduce inflammation and prevent free radical damage.
The time has come and you’re ready to bring your new puppy home, but before those paws hit the floor, there’s a few things that you need to do to help ensure your pup settles in and is happy and comfortable in their new abode.
Preparing your home – and furniture!
Puppies love to explore and will often do so with their teeth – not ideal when it involves your nice new couch. It’s important to be aware that fabrics including velvet and chenille, attract hair and will retain smells and stains, and can become easily scratched.
Top tip! Choose upholstery that is a similar colour to your dog, so any shedding is less obvious. Tightly woven fabrics (such as microfibre) or leather, are easier to clean and are more durable. If you’re concerned, search for dog-friendly furniture that is especially designed to be more resilient. Avoid furniture that splinters easily or has hanging threads, as these can be choking hazards.
When it comes to toilet training, there will always be an adjustment period for puppies as learn the ropes on where they can and can’t go. Carpet and rugs can be hard to keep clean, so it might be easier to restrict your pup to areas that have non-porous surfaces such as tiles or floorboards. Alternatively, opt for indoor-outdoor rugs, that have a tighter weave and are less absorbent.
A good odour neutralising spray will come in handy if (or when!) your pup urinates inside. Neutralising sprays discourage pups from going back to the same spot and repeating the behaviour.
Before your pup arrives home, be sure to do a full audit and remove any hazardous items. This includes moving cleaning products and food, making sure that anything toxic or dangerous is stored as high up as possible or packed securely away in a cupboard. Dogs are very clever and can be persistent, so be sure to remove anything that could give them a paw-up such as a step or ladder.
Ensure your bin has a lid that seals properly. A tall bin or one stored in a cupboard is ideal. Aside from the mess, food scraps and chemicals can be dangerous. Dogs love to explore, and as much as bins aren’t appealing to us, they can be very appealing to your pup, so keep this in mind when tossing things out.
With areas that you do not want your pup to enter, use child locks or baby gates, at least until your dog is trained and knows not to access those spaces.
Always keep small or breakable objects out of your pup’s reach.
Check your home for gaps behind appliances such as washing machines and television sets, and block them off. Even if it looks like a space they wouldn’t fit, block it off anyway. Puppies love to explore and may attempt to enter and become trapped.
Keep loose wires packed away or safely secured to avoid chewing.
A few other things to keep in mind…
Keep the toilet lid closed at all times so that your new pup doesn’t drink out of it, or attempt to climb in.
You may also want to keep shoes and laundry packed away. Offering your pup plenty of safe toys will keep them engaged and less likely to chow down on your favourite pair of shoes.
Many common plants and flowers are toxic to dogs, so be sure to do your research and keep your pup out of your garden or away from your houseplant gang if you aren’t sure.
Safety measures are important, but so is training, so always use positive reinforcement to make sure your dog is aware of the way that they should behave and aware of where they can and can’t go, do and don’t do within your home.
If you have a small dog, senior dog or a dog with joint issues, you may want to invest in some small steps to help them get up onto the couch or the bed – provided they are allowed on there, of course!
Create a safe and inviting space for your dog
When it comes to creating a safe space for your pup, we advise investing in quality bedding, blankets and toys. By creating an area in your home that is just for your new addition, it will help them relax and settle in and encourage them to do the right thing.
Mealtime is bound to be one of your pup’s favourite times of day, so to ensure it goes as smoothly as possible, implement a routine. Always feed them in the same place and at around the same time each day. Always have fresh water available and use a rubber mat under their food and water bowls for easy clean-ups.
Bringing a puppy home is such an exciting moment, and preparation is key to making their arrival and transition into your home fun and stress-free – good luck!
Fiona is a dedicated fur mama to two golden oldies: Grace,
who is 14, and Walden, who is 12. She had always fed them a raw-food diet,
which she thought was the healthiest option, especially considering that Grace
has had severe stomach issues since she was only 1. After seeing numerous vets,
holistic and Chinese medicine practitioners, Fiona was still no closer to
finding a solution to Grace’s on-again, off-again bouts of sickness and weight
loss. Walden had always had a healthy gut, but began to have problems with his
raw food much later in life. After years of searching for a solution, Fiona
found Lyka, and her pups are back to their healthiest selves.
Meet Fiona and her loving Labradors, Grace and Walden
Fiona has had both of her pups since they were just 8 weeks
old, and describes them as oh so different:
“Grace is exceptionally sweet and
has always only wanted to please me. Our bond is very strong, and we are rarely
apart. Waldy, as his friends know him – we call our bad boy of rock and roll.
You name it, he has done it. Only yesterday, I left him inside for half an hour
and came back to nutritional yeast all over the kitchen and living room floors.
He is extremely naughty, but in equal parts, beautiful.”
Their different personalities mean that Fiona gets the best
of both worlds, with no shortage of funny tales to share:
“Waldy has so many funny stories,
I could write a book about his exploits. From eating his new R.M. Williams
collar at age six months, to escaping into a creek at the ten months to chase a
duck. My poor husband spent about two hours swimming in that creek trying to catch
him! Gracie has spent her life being so perfect, that I really have no funny
stories as such. Just many, many tales of extreme love and devotion. She has
been my constant, my mate, and my very, very best friend.”
Fiona’s search for healthy food
Fiona raised both her pups on a raw diet which she prepared
herself, feeding pulverised fruits and vegetables, raw meat and bones in an
effort to keep Grace’s ongoing stomach issues and reflux under control:
“Since she was about one year old,
she has had many digestive issues, which we just could not get to the bottom
of. She has been to many vets, holistic and Chinese medicine practitioners,
naturopaths, acupuncturists, etc; however, this has been an on again off again
problem her entire life.”
The search for a new diet began around a year ago, when
Fiona was struggling to find any food that Grace would eat. She tried special
raw foods, cooked foods, roast chicken, sweet potatoes, salmon, eye-fillet
steak – even Grace’s favourite sourdough toast. Then, she started looking for
someone who prepared fresh, lightly cooked meals with helpful superfoods which
could help to soothe Grace’s digestive tract and get her eating again:
“I couldn’t believe it when I
found Lyka. The Lyka food sounded so good, and I felt it was perhaps the best
chance of getting Grace eating again. Grace took to Lyka immediately, and
started eating reliably again.”
Walden had always had a healthy
stomach, and had been able to tolerate raw food along with his habits of
sneaking into the kitchen cabinets and eating anything and everything! However,
he started to experience issues with his raw diet too, which left him vomiting
after meals. He had also suffered from skin allergies and coughing for most of
his life, so Fiona decided to see if Lyka could help him too, and immediately,
Walden stopped throwing up.
These Labradors are loving Lyka!
Since finding Lyka, Grace and Walden have experienced more
benefits than just keeping their meals down:
improved Grace’s quality of life immensely, and I am so very grateful for this
high-quality food that is clearly made with such dedication to the health of
our loved ones. Lyka is keeping Grace eating, and this is everything. Her coat
is also even softer than it was, she seems to have more energy, and she is
maintaining her weight well. Within a
couple of weeks of being on Lyka, Walden’s itching reduced dramatically, as did
his coughing. I was astounded. He also,
of course, loves it!”
For these two senior pups, these
health improvements are great to see for Fiona, who can’t get enough of no
longer having to spend time in the kitchen preparing their meals:
“Words cannot capture the
gratitude I feel to Lyka for being instrumental in keeping my beautiful dogs
going. Grace and Walden think they are the bees’ knees now that they also have
a food subscription service: they think
it is such a win/ win. They get the best
possible food, and their Mum gets a well-earned holiday!”
Lyka: complete and balanced food for all life stages
Designed by our in-house vet and veterinary nutritionist, our Lyka meals have all the nutrients your pup needs, no matter whether they’re puppy or a golden oldie. To see the effects of Lyka for yourself, head to our website and build your customised Lyka box today.
Prevention is better
than cure. We all want our puppers to stay happy and healthy. By implementing
some basic checks as part of our routine, you will become familiar with your
pooch and be more likely to notice when something needs attention.
Skin & coat
Grooming time is the perfect opportunity to check in on the condition of your dog’s skin and coat. Regular brushing will keep your dog’s hair healthy and shiny by removing dirt and spreading the natural oils.
Keep eye out for any lumps and bumps. If your pupper has any abrasions make sure they are healing and check for redness and irritation.
Also watch out for new bald patches – some breeds are naturally hairless in certain areas keep an eye out for changes.
The colour of your dog’s fur can alter as they age but it can also be the result of medications, sunlight exposure or a sign of skin disease.
It is essential that you check for ticks and fleas and ensure they are up to date with their parasite protection.
Mouth & teeth
Check approximately 3 x week
Just like humans, dental health is important for dogs – you should brush your pupper’s teeth three times a week to prevent plaque accumulating. If you really can’t face the idea of brushing, then make sure you give them a chewing aid.
When checking their mouth, be aware that a dog’s breath should be fresh, gums should be pink and free of bumps and ulcers. Your pupper’s teeth should also be white – not yellow, brown, or broken. Keep an eye out for foreign objects or fur stuck between their teeth.
The outside of your dog’s jaw should also be symmetrical and bump free.
The best way to check for any swollen lymph nodes is to give pupper a big hug and a scratch. This will give you the chance to check under their jaw and behind their knees.
Lymph nodes should be very small and barely detectable unless you have a very large dog. If you notice they have become enlarged, then you should book an appointment with your vet as this can be a sign of infection.
Eyes, ears & nose
There’s nothing like the unconditional love in pupper’s eyes – have a good look into them and check they are clear and bright. The whites should be white, rather than yellow or red and any sign of cloudiness or discharge can indicate a problem. Both pupils should be the same size too. If you notice any squinting or swelling you may need to take a trip to the vet.
Take note of any abrasions or sores on the ear flaps. Check for redness, excess wax, or discharge. If your dog is consistently tilting its head to one side or shows discomfort when you are checking this can be a sign of an ear infection. A funny smell can also be a sign of ear mites.
A runny, dry, or cracked nose is a sign your pupper is unwell. Also keep an eye out for changes in colour – most dogs have black noses.
A careful inspection of your dog’s paws is important to ensure there are no cracks or redness on their pads or between their toes.
Keep an eye out for prickles – often associated with limping.
Keep nails well-trimmed as they can become uncomfortable if they get too long.
If you notice a bad odour, it can be a cause of an ingrown toenail which has become infected. Just as they are in humans, these are very painful!
As often as possible
Take note of any changes in pupper’s poo, especially if making modifications to their diet – any sudden changes that can’t be explained can be a sign pupper is sick and you need to check in with the vet.
Their poo should be soft enough to go without a struggle, but it shouldn’t leave residue and should be easy to pick up. It should be between light brown and dark brown.
notice anything out of the ordinary, make an appointment.
dogs should visit the vet every 6 months for a wellness check, blood tests, vaccines,
and parasite care – 12 months is considered too long.
12 months are growing quickly – their care plans such as worming tick and flea
prevention need to be adjusted as they develop. 3 monthly visits are
recommended at this age to ensure everything is on track.
dogs may also need more regular visits to monitor any pain or quality of life
For Marianne’s family, Bailey was the light during a very hard time. It was June 2017 and they had recently and very tragically lost their precious Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Daisy, due to heart failure – just one week shy of what would’ve been her 9th birthday.
“Losing Daisy was just so heartbreaking, she was such a huge part of the family and the house felt so empty without her.” – Marianne, Bailey’s fur mama
But life works in magical ways, and like it was meant to be, Bailey and Marianne’s family found each other in August 2017, just as they were coming to terms with Daisy’s devastating loss. The family had always intended on getting another furry friend to fill that dog-shaped hole in their hearts, and as it turned out, that was Bailey the Spoodle. He was just what the family needed – a furry ball of adorable puppy love.
“This time, my husband wanted a boy so that he wasn’t outnumbered, as there are already three girls in the family. Bailey had three sisters, who were all super active and barking and biting our ankles, but Bailey was so calm and docile. Once we held him in our arms and he nuzzled in and put his head on my chest, we instantly fell in love with him – how could you not!” – Marianne, Bailey’s fur mama
The perfect addition
Bailey fitted in seamlessly and immediately became a very entertaining member of the family.
“Bailey is incredibly playful as well as clumsy. He trips over stairs and walks into fly screens – we’ve often wondered if it’s possible to get glasses for dogs! But when it comes to playing with the ball, he has amazing defence skills. I think he must’ve been a champion soccer goalkeeper in a previous life because there is no way that ball is getting past him, and boy can he run!” – Marianne, Bailey’s fur mama
And like most dogs, Bailey loves his food and is a dream when it comes to learning new tricks.
“When we are eating, he loves to nudge his nose into your thigh and look at you with his adorable eyes that just scream “Feed Me!”. But seeing as he is very much motivated by food, he’s very easy to train. He can spin around in circles, sit, lay down and even shake hands with his left and right paws!” – Marianne, Bailey’s fur mama
A very involved member of his family, Bailey likes to howl sing when Marianne’s daughter, Jessica, plays the flute. He’s also a great security guard, regularly protecting his house and family from the courier in a yellow fluro jacket to any bird, possum or water dragon that dares to cross his path.
In between running into doors, playing hide and seek and even watching TV with his fur mama, Bailey is a very caring soul and loves to bombard his family with lots of cuddles and wet licky kisses.
“Whenever someone is feeling down or not well, Bailey is very receptive to this, and makes sure to show his love by sitting on your lap and putting his head on your chest. He is a very special boy.” – Marianne, Bailey’s fur mama
“I saw a video on Facebook where Lyka’s employees were eating the pet food and explaining that the food was of such high-quality that even humans could eat it – I was sold.” – Marianne, Bailey’s fur mama
Visiting the website, Marianne was impressed by all of the nutritional ingredients found in each of the Lyka recipes and immediately placed an order.
“I loved reading Lyka’s marketing material and discovering that the recipes were anti-inflammatory and great for Bailey’s heart, digestion, cell function and growth. I was keen to get him started as soon as possible, as he had suffered from an unsettled digestive system for a long time and always had soft and runny poop. I was getting so fed up, constantly having to change is food and adopt various diets but getting no results.” – Marianne, Bailey’s fur mama
Happier and healthier after finding Lyka
Marianne has only seen positive changes in Bailey since he started on Lyka, and she’s quickly become a devoted customer ever since his first box arrived on their doorstep.
“Since converting to Lyka, the change has been phenomenal. Bailey’s coat is soft and shiny, he is so much more energetic, and his sugar levels are balanced, so he’s not snappy and cranky. His poop is regular and more solid, and he’s in a very healthy weight range, receiving a big tick of approval from our local vet. Transitioning across to Lyka has honestly been the best decision I’ve ever made, and like Bailey, I look forward to our delivery every month!” – Marianne, Bailey’s fur mama
Lyka: when good food means good poop and a happy pup
Lyka’s vet-approved recipes are complete and balanced for all life stages. Each ingredient has been carefully handpicked for its benefits to your pup. From improved digestion to solid poop, shiny coats, whiter teeth and bowls licked clean, our Lyka pack members are reporting significant changes in their furry friends.
Curious to see the difference a fresh food diet can make to the life of your pup? Order a Starter Box today and you could be our next Lyka Story!
That tin gathering dust in the back of your cupboard? Its contents could be the answer to all manner of doggy health issues, from itchy skin to helping reduce the risk of cancer. What is this miracle ingredient you ask? Sardines! More often associated with cats, these small but mighty fish make sense in your dog’s bowl for a myriad of reasons.
Should you feed your dog sardines?
Oily fish, such as sardines, are good for us humans and can also be a tasty and nutritious treat for dogs. They provide a very healthy dose of vitamins B3, B12 and D as well as omega 3s, protein, calcium, iron and the all-important coenzyme Q10.
What makes sardines so good for your dog?
Omega-3s Unlike other fatty acids that can be produced in the body, omega-3s can only be obtained as part of your dog’s dietary intake. They’re an important part of a dog’s diet because they help with brain development, allow for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, maintain eye health, help inflammation in joints and contribute to healthy skin and fur. Omega-3s have even been found to help reduce the risk of some forms of cancer.
Coenzyme Q10 A true powerhouse, coenzyme Q10 helps to support your pup’s heart function and promote optimal blood circulation, as well as boosting the health of their gut, liver and brain. The goodness doesn’t stop there, coenzyme Q10 can also help with dental health, making it an excellent supplement for growing puppies.
Protein Lean protein, which sardines are rich in, supplies the amino acids that are necessary for muscle, hair, skin, tendon, ligament and cartilage development. It also plays an important role in hormone production.
Calcium Sardines contain lots of calcium, which is necessary for bone development. Lyka’s in-house vet has designed all meals with a ratio of 1.2-1.3 calcium to 1 phosphorus, as per the latest AAFCO (the industry nutritional standards for dog food) guidelines. It’s the lower end of the scale, which means there’s room in your dog’s diet for a little extra calcium (in the form of sardines, or the odd bone), without putting your dog at risk of overconsumption of calcium, which could increase your pup’s chance of developing hip dysplasia. You should however, always check with your vet before giving your dog any bones to gnaw on.
Iron Iron is a mineral that’s necessary for all kinds of important functions in your dog’s body, including carrying oxygen in the haemoglobin of red blood cells throughout the body so that cells can produce much-needed energy – and you guessed it: sardines are swimming with it.
We are all about supporting the little guys, and we are proud to say that our sardines are sustainable as possible, caught off the waters off the South Australian Coast via an MSC-certified family-owned and run business.
Experience the benefits of adding sardines to your pup’s diet, try a Starter Box today!
On top of being a great way to bond, walking your pup gives them exercise, engagement and the opportunity for socialisation. As always, safety should be the top priority. To ensure it’s a positive experience each time those paws hit the pavement, consider the following tips to keep your dog safe when out walking:
Know your dog
All dogs have different requirements. Puppies, some smaller breeds, senior dogs and dogs with health conditions, may only be able to tolerate very short walks. If your dog stops, sits or shows signs of fatigue during a walk, they have most likely had enough. Don’t forget that puppies still having their vaccinations may not be ‘walk-ready’, so ensure that they have completed their quarantine period first and always follow your vet’s advice when it comes to getting the greenlight to walk your puppy on the ground outside. If your vet has not advised that your pet is safe to walk on the ground, consider carrying them around during the socialisation period of 9-12 weeks to get them used to the sights and sounds of other people, cars and daily life.
Use the right leash
When it comes to leashes, there isn’t a one size fits all. However, the leash should be 1-2m in length and sturdy. If you are training your dog, a shorter leash may be better initially to keep them close and safe. For long walks, a leash that you can wrap around your wrist can be more secure and to stop your hands from getting tired. Retractable leashes may be suitable for quick toilet breaks, but they are less sturdy and can be unsafe when in crowded areas, as your dog can get further away from you too easily, so we don’t generally support their use. You may need to test out a couple of leashes before you find the right one.
Pro tip: attach your poo bags in a little pouch to your leash, that way you’ll never leave them at home and be stuck in a bad situation!
Choosing when to walk your dog
Taking walks in off-peak periods can make walkies easier as you’re less likely to encounter distractions. However, remember the darker hours will mean poorer visibility. Other pedestrians and traffic won’t see you and your pup as easily. Clip-on leash lights and/or high-vis vests are a great idea to keep you both visible and safe.
That is you! Even if you’re going on a short walk (and regardless of the weather), always bring a water supply. A good rule of paw is to offer your dog water whenever you’re thirsty. Collapsible bowls and doggy water bottles are easy to bring along to keep your dog hydrated. When it comes to food, dogs are like us and need it as a source of energy – a good diet is essential for exercise and healthy movement, so be sure to feed your dog quality ingredients to keep them feeling full and energised.
Protect your dog against the elements
Dogs with light fur or exposed skin can be susceptible to sunburn. Use dog sunscreen (never human sunscreen) and other sun protection gear including sun shirts, vests, dog visors and doggy goggles. On particularly hot days, test the temperature of the ground, including concrete and sand, by placing your hand on it. If you can’t keep it there for more than ten seconds, it’s not safe for your dog to walk on. In this case. dog booties can help to protect paws from heat and unwanted nasties like splinters, scratches or even outdoor allergies. During wet weather, there’s no need for a raincheck! Doggy raincoats and booties are great for keeping fur warm and dry.
Parasite and toxin protection
Make sure your dog is completely up to date on their parasite prevention, especially if walking in areas with high flea or tick populations. Always search your dog for ticks after exercising, particularly in humid weather, even if they are on preventative medications, checking around their ears, under their tail, between their paws and around their eyes. This is a great habit to get into as it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Spring and Summer are primetime for snakes, particularly red belly black snakes, so if you’re walking in wetlands or bushy areas, definitely keep your eyes peeled and keep your dog close. NEVER let your dog off in national parks, as they bait regularly with 1080 poison for foxes, which is almost 100% lethal if your dog were to ingest it.
Always follow instructions in park areas and be mindful of local wildlife, especially breeding areas and where vulnerable species live. Dogs love to sniff and explore, and we don’t want to disturb any animals.
Lyka: fresh food means more energy
Fresh food gives your dog the energy they need to walk, run and play. Lyka’s recipes contain powerful omega 3s to help your dog’s joints, whist the antioxidants and phytonutrients help to enhance their exploratory senses. Experience the difference for yourself – order a Starter Box today!
Protein is not just for gym junkies, it also forms the building blocks of our puppers’ diet and at Lyka, we have a variety of recipes to tantalise all taste buds.
Why does my dog need protein?
In humans, protein is an essential macronutrient, and the same is true for our pups. Protein builds and repairs muscle, hair and skin cells, and plays a starring role in hormone production.
Your dog can get their protein from plant sources, but animal protein has a much higher level of amino acids. Amino acid deficiency can lead to serious health problems such as dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).
How much protein does your dog need?
Over time, the pet food industry has seen the lines blurred between the minimal protein requirements of AAFCO, and the optimal amount of protein our dogs need to thrive, and the scientific evidence does not substantiate that lower protein diets are better.
To support the health and wellbeing of Australia dogs, our recipes at Lyka contain an optimal mix of high protein, moderate fat and low GI carbohydrates.
Our protein explained
We believe in offering a wide variety of protein choices, because some dogs have allergies or intolerances to certain proteins, and there’s also the matter of personal preference. With four protein choices on offer, we are proud to be able to cater to the many adorable pups out there!
Our grass-fed beef, ethically sourced in Queensland and WA, is a great choice to help your pupper thrive.
It contains high levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a fatty acid with many benefits for your pupper.
It contains a lower omega 6:omega 3 ratio than grain-fed beef. An excess of omega 6s can cause chronic inflammation.
We also use beef heart, packed with Vitamin B12, which is crucial for enzyme function.
To boost your dog’s immunity and help with their vision, our recipes contain beef liver – one of the richest available sources of Vitamin A.
Our chicken bowls contain lean, free-range chicken breast, which is also hormone and antibiotic-free. And let’s not forget the eggs, also packed with multiple benefits for our puppers.
High in iron, we also use chicken hearts in our recipes.
Our recipes contain a good serving of chicken liver, abundant in Vitamin A.
Our free-range eggs are high in choline, which is essential for brain function, and another great source of protein.
Like our chicken, our barn-raised Hunter Valley turkey is hormone and antibiotic-free. Turkey has made waves in the human world for its many health-boosting properties and the same can be applied to your pupper’s diet.
It’s a great source of tryptophan, which can aid dogs who are experiencing high stress by helping to increase serotonin levels.
Your pupper may not have tried lamb in other food sources but it’s a delicious protein that can help your dog in many ways. As lamb is higher in fat, it might not be the best option if your dog has a sensitive tummy.
Bursting with iron, chowing down on our lamb recipe promotes healthy red blood cell development.
Lamb is rich in B-vitamins like niacin, which helps with healthy skin and energy.
Just like our other proteins, lamb’s liver is high in immunity-boosting Vitamin A.
Lyka: healthy food for your dog
Here at Lyka, we believe that whole ingredients, not just individual nutrients, matter – that’s why our recipes contain an abundance of fresh and purposeful vet-approved ingredients. With four recipes on offer, each are nutritious and delicious, and complete and balanced for all life stages. Discover first hand the benefits of high quality, biological-appropriate proteins in your dog’s diet – order a Starter Box today and say hello to the Lyka way!
While Hippocrates, the ‘Father of
Modern Medicine’, may not have exactly had your pup in mind when he said, ‘All
disease starts in the gut’, the principle applies to them too. What we feed our
pups impacts their overall health, as compromised digestive health makes them
susceptible to disease. So, it’s good to know that fresh, human-grade food is
considered to be key to a happy, healthy gut.
Why is your dog’s gut health important?
The gut refers to your dog’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract, plus the trillions of microorganisms that make up their microbiome. The GI tract works to process your dog’s food, but gut function goes beyond just digestion. Your dog’s gut is also involved in immune function and metabolism and helps to eliminate toxins. It’s vital that their gut is functioning properly, as this powerhouse indirectly affects almost every part of your pup’s body.
An imbalanced microbiome or GI tract inflammation can result in dysbiosis, which may lead to health issues like food intolerances, increased competition for nutrients and gut hyperpermeability. New research has even discovered a link between dysbiosis and disorders like anxiety and aggression. Thankfully, with the right food, it’s easy to keep your dog’s GI tract and microbiome healthy, supporting their overall health and wellbeing.
How does human-grade food support gut health?
Human-grade food is a phrase you may have heard frequently, but it’s not one we use lightly. While human-grade food is subject to strict safety and quality controls, unfortunately, pet-grade food remains unregulated in Australia. This means that it’s often unclear what’s in your dog’s food or how it’s made. Earlier this year, a study showed that dogs digest human-grade food better than non-human grade fresh food or dry food like kibble. The study also revealed that dogs who ate human-grade diets had more diverse and healthier microbiomes. The fact is that human-grade food helps keep your dog’s gut healthy and functioning properly.
Why does processing matter?
Highly processed dog foods, in particular kibble, are cooked under extremely high temperatures, which means that much of their natural nutrients are removed and have to be artificially replaced. Because of the way kibble is processed (a method called extrusion), it needs to have a high carbohydrate content, which typically comes in the form of beet pulp, wheat or legumes. This sounds healthy, but the lower animal protein content in dry food has been linked to a heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy (also referred to as DCM). The high heat used in preparing kibble has also been shown to produce Maillard reaction products, including Acrylamides, which reduce the diversity of your dog’s microbiome and can contribute to many chronic illnesses.
Lyka’s fresh food is lightly cooked at a much lower temperature than dry food, which means our deliciously fresh ingredients retain their natural nutrients without the need for high carbohydrates or harmful Maillard reaction products.
Lyka’s top 3 gut-health boosting ingredients:
Turmeric is a superfood with anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants. Emerging research suggests that it also acts as a prebiotic, supporting gut microbiome health.
Purple sweet potato is a high-fibre, low-GI carb packed with phytonutrients for disease prevention.
Psyllium seed husk is an excellent source of fibre that helps keep your pup’s stools healthy.
Fresh is best
Because your pup’s health is important to us, all of Lyka’s recipes are jam-packed with fresh, gut-friendly ingredients. For minimally processed and easily digestible, human-grade food that helps to keep your dog’s gut healthy and moving along smoothly, try a Starter Box today!
Much loved and much wanted, Freddie was a surprise almost twenty years in the making! Now, we have to warn you – your heart may melt reading this story, just saying….
Welcoming Freddie to the family
“We hadn’t had a dog in our family for over twenty-five years, and after years of continual hounding from our youngest son, Stephen, we decided it was the right time.”
Freddie’s fur mama, Jackie
It had always been Stephen’s dream to have a Golden Retriever – who can resist that gorgeous golden fur, long licky tongue and loving nature – so, whilst Stephen was on holiday overseas with his girlfriend Brooke in February 2020, his family put their plan into action.
Freddie joined the family as an eight-week old pup, and just one week later, Stephen arrived home to the shock – and surprise – of his life.
“On the afternoon Stephen arrived home, we hid Freddie in the backyard with our other son Mitchell whilst Stephen came inside to tell us about his trip. Mitchell then carried Freddie around the side of the house and up to the front door. He rang the doorbell and we asked Stephen to answer, telling him it was the dinner delivery. Stephen opened the door to Mitchell and Freddie, and just burst into tears. It was priceless. We actually videoed the moment and it makes me cry every time I watch it, it was such a gorgeous reaction.”
Freddie’s fur mama, Jackie
As a super friendly, food-driven Goldie, he was very easy to train, with his new family teaching him the tricks of the trade – sit, down, come, heel, roll over, shake, high five, and all the rest.
“If I do a training session and he’s really hungry, he gets so excited and does three or four tricks all at once even before I ask him to, just so he can get a treat – he’s such a funny fellow.”
Freddie’s fur mama, Jackie
The antics of fun, friendly Freddie
Life is never dull with Freddie around, and you can catch him pulling all the iconic Goldie moves, including sleeping on his back with his legs spread apart, sitting on the edge of the couch with just his front legs on the floor, leaning on a wall or available leg, putting his face on someone’s knee when he wants a sneaky treat, playing with his favourite soft toys, or enjoying a good old belly rub. And he loves the water, whether it’s swimming in the family pool or at the lake near their Forster holiday house, Freddie can’t get enough.
“He has a habit of trying to ‘save’ us if we swim with him. He’ll swim over and grab your hand or arm in his mouth and try to pull you to safety.”
Freddie’s fur mama, Jackie
This gorgeous boy
also knows how to entertain his family and often has them in stiches with his
“We were at our holiday house in Forster, and as we were feeding the ducks from the jetty, Freddie came running down from the house, jumped straight into the canal, and swam around chomping up all the bread – it was absolutely hilarious!”
Freddie’s fur mama, Jackie
From kibble to raw
Freddie spent most of his puppyhood eating kibble, as well as a little meat and veg, before moving onto a raw diet after his fur mama read about it on a Golden Retriever Facebook page.
“Unfortunately, Freddie was unable to tolerate raw food – it was causing him to vomit and suffer from diarrhoea. As I’ve learnt, Goldies are notorious for having sensitive tummies and sensitive skin, so I started home cooking his meals, but it was very time-consuming at dinner when I was trying to get the family meal organised as well, and the smell of the raw food being cooked was just awful.”
Freddie’s fur mama, Jackie
At one of Freddie’s vet visits, his fur mama was told about Lyka and the lightly cooked meals on offer.
“I tried Lyka on recommendation from my vet after discussing the issues Freddie was having on a raw diet. He suggested I look at Lyka because it was a lightly cooked diet and had all the necessary vitamins and nutrients.”
Freddie’s fur mama, Jackie
Jackie learnt that although a raw diet is popular amongst many dog owners, it’s not always a healthy choice, and it wasn’t working for her beloved Golden Retriever.
“The vet explained that a raw diet can make dogs very sick from the bacteria levels in the raw meat. So, he gave me Lyka’s details and I signed up for a Starter Box and haven’t looked back, Freddie loved it from day one. I have since recommended it to a friend with a five-year old Labrador named Zac, who was having trouble with his weight – she said he loves the food and is at a great weight now, too!”
Freddie’s fur mama, Jackie
Freddie’s desexing appointment, he had been on Lyka for a few months, and his
fur mama was thrilled when she was told that he was in peak condition and an absolute
picture of health for a Goldie.
“He has fantastic muscle tone, his teeth are beautiful and white, and I hardly have to worry about trying to clean them. His skin is healthy, never any dryness, which a lot of Goldie owners complain about. His coat is beautiful and shiny, and he never gets that ‘doggy’ smell.”
Freddie’s fur mama, Jackie
At fourteen months old, Freddie is full of beans, a great weight and living his best Goldie life.
“Freddie’s digestion is great, he’s had absolutely no issues whilst he’s been on Lyka and his poos look great. He has so much energy and eats all the recipes with gusto – he loves the new Turkey Bowl!”
Freddie’s fur mama, Jackie
Curious about how Lyka can help your pup?
A convenient dog food subscription service, Lyka is made for all life stages, and contains all the necessary nutrients needed to live a healthy, happy life.
With four recipes on offer, all of which contain powerful and purposeful ingredients, you can completely customise your pup’s meals based on their breed, weight and activity level. The meals are delivered straight to your door and frozen for freshness. Our pups are like family it’s only fair that they eat like it, too!
Click the link below and start your Lyka journey today.
They may be small, but hemp seeds sure are mighty when it comes to keeping your dog healthy. Packed with protein and boasting an optimal balance of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids to help keep your pup’s skin, coat and joints in tip-top condition, hemp seeds get our tick of approval.
Why are hemp seeds good for your pup?
Hemp seeds are rich in protein Like us, pups need protein to form new skin cells, grow hair and build muscle tissue. But it doesn’t stop there. Protein also helps create hormones and enzymes that are needed for normal bodily functions. Not all protein is the same though, and it’s the quality that’s important when it comes to your pup’s food. Protein is made up of different amino acids, and our furry friends need 22 of these essential building blocks. Some amino acids can be made by the body, but approximately half need to come from the food that your pup eats. Deficiencies of any of the essential amino acids over time can lead to health problems, for example low levels of the amino acids, cystine and methionine, can lead to low levels of taurine, which is linked to canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).
Hemp seeds have a balanced omega 3:6 ratio Omega 6s are inflammatory, so it’s important that they’re kept in balance alongside anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. At Lyka, we keep the omega 3:6 ratio between 3:1 and 2:1 – it’s much lower than the 30:1 ratio recommended by the AAFCO dog food standards, but we do this to avoid the pro-inflammatory risks, such as joint inflammation, which is associated with high levels of omega 6. Also good to know – omega 3s are especially great for skin and bone health!
Hemp seeds are a source of magnesium Magnesium is a key nutrient that’s involved in energy production at a cellular level – the heart can’t function without it, and it’s also needed for muscle movement and nervous system signalling.
Hemp seeds contain phosphorus Apart from being a component of your pupper’s DNA, phosphorus plays a major role in bone health. The latest AAFCO guidelines (they’re the nutritional standards for dog foods) recommend that the ratio of calcium to phosphorus should fall within 1:1 – 1.6:1. At Lyka, our in-house vet has designed all of our meals so that the ratio sits at the lower end of this scale (at 1.2 -1.3 calcium to 1 phosphorus). This leaves room for giving your dog additional bones now and then, without exceeding calcium limits which would put your dog at risk of hip dysplasia. You should check with your vet first before giving your dog bones.
So, you’ve got your dog sitting, staying and rolling on command. Their puppy park etiquette is excellent and their off-leash behaviour is a dream. So, why is bath time still a disaster?! If the thought of trying to give your dog a bath makes you both want to run and hide under the bed, never fear. Lots of dogs are naturally scared of baths, but with a few handy tips, you can turn the whole ordeal into a fun time for you and your pup.
Are dogs scared of bathing or something else?
Whilst many parts of your home may be the perfect nook for your pup, chances are, the place you’re trying to give them a bath in was not designed with them in mind. Look around your bathing environment for things other than the bath that might be scaring your pup. The younger you start familiarising them with the space, the better. If you can, try to get them comfortable with their bath time surroundings as a puppy, starting with short bursts and very low pressure scenarios, so they get used to the area without any associated stress. We do advise against bathing within the first week of adoption though, as it can be fear–provoking when the two of you are still bonding.
The slippery slidey surfaces of a wet bath may be a major reason your pupper is freaking out, and we don’t blame them! Try putting down a rubber mat so your pup can stand securely and feel safe. Loud noises also often translate to danger for a dog, so reduce scary sounds of loud running water from the tap or showerhead, and use pre-filled buckets to rinse off instead. If you’re washing your pup off outside, remember that tap water can be shockingly cold. Try bringing buckets of warm water from taps inside instead. Extreme hot water can scald and make your dog uncomfortable as well, so remember to keep water lukewarm to avoid any nasty surprises for your pooch.
Still no luck with bathing your dog?
For an especially reluctant dog, you can try easing your way into bath time:
Create positive associations with the bath by giving them food or toys just for spending time in the dry bath. Build up this association before trying to actually give them a bath or introducing water. Pro tip: Smear a bit of Lyka on the side of the bathtub to get them in and exploring!
Once they’re comfortable being in the bath, wet one paw a little bit and see how they react, slowly easing into getting more and more of their body wet. Take your time with this process and keep it relaxed and low pressure.
Try quickly turning taps on and off to get them used to the sounds of running water, rewarding them all the time with treats.
If your pup doesn’t respond well to getting their paws wet, try slowly introducing a wet sponge or loofah; let them smell it, rub it gently on their body, and then smell it again, stopping whenever they show signs of discomfort. You can even start this with a dry sponge and slowly introduce water for a nice, slow transition.
Reinforcement is key with all of these bath time behaviours, so give lots of treats, toys and cuddles (if your dog is comfortable being touched) to let them know they are safe, and to create a positive association with the bath and running water. Remember to be patient, and approach bath time knowing it may be a very slow process. Our furry friends can sense our stress levels, and can be resistant to situations that we feel tense in, so don’t push through if you’re starting to resent the process. Going slow will mean a greater chance of success in the long run, so go at a pace that feels comfortable for both you and your pupper!
If you consistently aren’t making any progress, or feel that your dog is becoming visibly stressed and anxious, chat to a vet or behaviourist about what other steps you can take.
Bathing your dog isn’t everything
Your dog still needs other grooming outside of bathing, including brushing their fur and teeth to ensure they’re as healthy as can be. For more handy tips, check out our guides to grooming and taking care of your dog’s teeth.
Lyka: Caring for your pup in every way
At Lyka, we care about your pup’s overall health, from the inside and out. To discover the difference Lyka meals can make, why not try a Starter Box today and see how a customised approach to your pup’s diet can improve their life.
The last 12 months weren’t exactly stress-free. Communities were locked down, routines flipped on their head and diaries thrown out, but thankfully, there was one faithful there to remind us of the upside of spending more time at home – our pups. Many households previously without furry friends, recognised the golden opportunity to introduce a new family member, with shelters seeing record numbers of adoptions and in turn, helping to give pups around the country a second chance at a happy life.
Now, as kids head back to school and offices reopen their doors, you might find your puppies, and even older pups, start to show symptoms of separation anxiety. It’s one of the most common behavioural issues seen in dogs.
What is separation anxiety?
Separation anxiety is when pups show signs of distressing behaviour when they’re left alone. These behaviours can range from mild (only displaying symptoms when left alone for a long duration) to severe (can’t be left alone in a room even for a short period of time). Your pup’s separation anxiety might show up in different ways, with symptoms including:
Excessive barking, howling or whining
Urinating or defecating inside when trained not to
Attempting to escape
What causes separation anxiety?
The causes aren’t fully understood, and it remains unclear why some pups experience separation anxiety, and others don’t. Some possible causes include:
Sudden change in schedule
Lack of training and socialisation
Being abandoned in the past
Changes in the people around them
Moving to a new house
Puppies adopted during lockdown may be prone to separation anxiety, as they have likely become accustomed to you being at home and know no different.
How can you manage your dog’s separation anxiety?
If you think your dog might be taking your absences particularly hard, there are a number of strategies you can try to help relieve their stress:
Offer lots of exercise and playtime when you’re home
Remain calm when leaving and returning to the home
Practice leaving your pup for long and short absences
Associate anxiety triggers with a positive experience
Leave pups with high-value treats and toys
Create a comfortable environment
Consider doggy daycare, a pet sitter or dog walker
Remember, you can always speak to your vet or a behaviourist if you’re still having trouble solving these issues on your own, as it can be challenging. An integrative vet can look at your dog’s health through a holistic lens and check if the anxiety is affecting other aspects of their physical health, as well.
Ideally, you want to reinforce positive behaviours when your dog is still a puppy, but rest assured, with a little patience and understanding, it’s still possible to help older dogs suffering from separation anxiety, too.
How can your dog’s diet help?
Studies have shown that dogs with high stress levels can benefit from diets containing L-tryptophan, an amino acid that helps to increase serotonin levels. Turkey, chicken, eggs, lamb and beef all contain this amino acid.
It might also help to avoid feeding your pup foods with high-GI carbohydrates, as they can cause blood sugar spikes and affect their overall mood.
Why Lyka is great for dogs with separation anxiety
Lyka’s recipes have the key ingredients that not only meet nutritional requirements, but also support serotonin levels, helping to keep your pupper happy and healthy.
It’s also reassuring to know that Lyka meals don’t contain any high-GI carbohydrates like potatoes, rice and corn.
Lyka’s healthy, freshly cooked meals are crafted to give your pupper exactly what they need to live their best life.
It’s every dog owner’s worst nightmare to be caught mid-poop (your pup, that is!) without a poop bag – even worse if it’s sloppy and emitting a stench that sends those around you running for cover.
But, it’s a new year and the perfect time to perfect your pupper’s poop game. If you’re brave enough to get up close and personal with your pup’s poop, it is an easy way to determine their overall health, particularly their diet and digestive function. So we say, hold your breath and take a poop peek….
What texture should you look for?
Plain and simple, between 2 and 3 is ideal. You want it soft enough that it slides right on out without your pup flinching, but not too soft that it leaves too much residue behind when picked up – oh, and you definitely want to be able to pick it up in one piece!
What colour should it be?
Poop ranging from light to dark brown is ideal.
If your pup’s poop is black, this could indicate bleeding from the upper
digestive tract, whilst reddish streaks could mean bleeding from the lower digestive
If your pup’s poop is yellow or has a grey-ish tinge, it means there is bile
in the poop, which may be from a liver, pancreas or gallbladder issue. White
spots may be a sign of intestinal worms,
whilst white chalky poop can be caused by too much calcium, so ease up on those
Green poop on the other hand, may be a sign of
gallbladder issues or that your pup is consuming too much grass. If you can
rule out grass-eating, you may want to pay a visit to your vet to get your
pupper checked out.
Your pup’s poop isn’t a 2 or 3?
There are many reasons for your pup’s poop being less than ideal.
Dry, rocky, small poop can indicate dehydration, so if that’s the case, try moving your pup onto a fresh food diet to increase their water intake.
Too much or too little fibre can affect the texture, so it’s important to pay close attention to their diet and portion sizes.
Switching to a new food too quickly can cause diarrhoea, so it’s important to slowly transition onto a new diet or introduce new ingredients.
In the same way that stress affects you, stress can affect your pup, resulting in diarrhoea.
important to note that if your pup’s poop changes suddenly with no explanation or
reason at all, this could indicate that your pup may be getting sick or suffering
from an infection. In this instance, it’s best to see your vet for a check-up as
soon as possible.
How can a fresh diet help?
Fresh food is high in water content, which helps with hydration to
prevent constipation. A low carbohydrate diet also means smaller, more manageable
Healthy fibre sources such as ancient grains, purple sweet potato and
butternut squash are not only delicious for your pupper, but they also help to
maintain the correct texture of poop – it’s a win win!
Soluble fibres promote the growth of good bacteria
in the gut and also assist in absorbing water, which helps with the formation of
stools. The insoluble fibres help to increase stool bulk and stimulate movement
within the gastrointestinal tract, which helps constipated pups.
It’s important to remember that every dog is different,
and making the move onto a fresh food diet may see your pup experience runny
poops or a different texture than what you are both used to. This transition
period is completely normal, with your pupper’s gut microbiome just taking time
to adjust to the new food.
Lyka is great for number twos
We’re all about that fresh food diet here at Lyka, and offer a great
combination of insoluble and soluble fibres in our recipes, with every single one
of our ingredients performing an important task in helping to keep your pup fit
So many of our furry customers have seen incredible results upon making the
move to Lyka.
Odin for example, suffered severe gastro-intestinal issues ever since he
was a pup, with his fur papa constantly having to monitor his bowel movements.
Ever since starting on Lyka, Odin’s poops are more consistent and are better
than they’ve ever been – such a relief for both him and his family!
Fletcher on the other hand has always been very fussy when it comes to mealtime,
and has a very sensitive stomach, making the transition on and off different
foods a challenge. He was also very prone to sloppy poop. All of this is now a
thing of the past for Fletch, having made a seamless transition onto Lyka. Mealtime
is now his most favourite part of the day and he no longer has to feel
self-conscious about his runny poops – his bowel movements are now as solid as
Other happy furry customers include Millie and Freddy, who at long last, are both enjoying hard poops; whilst Bentley has gone from constant inconsistent poops in both size and texture to smaller poops with an ideal texture.
Why not get your pup’s poops in prime position to take on 2021 – order a Starter Box today and see the smooth results for yourself!
After the craziness of 2020, it’s safe to say that we are all pretty excited to be ringing in a new year. Your pupper on the other hand, may not be quite as stoked.
Our furry friends hear a lot better than we do (4 to 5 times better!) and they can detect high and low levels of sound that are not audible to us, so it’s no surprise that a fireworks display or a summer thunderstorm may inject a sense of fear into their usually peaceful routine.
“A dog has the cognitive ability of an 18-24 month old child and as such, will never understand its external environment in the same way we do. Noise and movement are the two main stimulants for dogs, and these can very easily overwhelm dogs, resulting in reactivity and anxiety.”
Noise phobia is a serious issue, because whilst some puppers may just hide under the bed or bark, some will do anything to escape the noise, including breaking windows or jumping the fence to try and get away.
So, what can you do to help your furry friend feel and stay safe around loud noises this New Year’s Eve?
Set up a cosy spot: whether it’s under the table or desk, inside a wardrobe or just in a quiet corner of your home, creating a safe dark space that is filled with your pupper’s favourite toys, blankets and a few treats will help them to feel secure. If your furry friend is crate trained, they may find this small space very comforting with a blanket draped over the top. Depending on your pupper’s behaviour, you can leave them here to self-soothe or just sit quietly beside them. It might also be worth investing in some Mutt Muffs to help with noise reduction and lowering your pup’s stress levels.
Play calming music: play some soothing tunes or download a meditation or white noise app and use these sounds to distract your pupper from the scary noises outside.
Apply pressure to your pupper: just like a baby feels content when swaddled, dogs are the same. Without patting or stroking, try gently leaning on your pup and applying continuous pressure – not too much of course, but you should start to feel their muscles relax if this method is working.
Distract with toys and treats: depending on your pupper’s behaviour, you may be able to distract them with some of their favourite treats or toys and play around with them until the noise subsides. Just be careful not to encourage or reinforce anxious behaviours.
Consult your vet: your vet may be able to advise of some natural remedies to keep your pupper calm and anxiety-free this fireworks season.
In addition, try to make sure your pupper is microchipped and your doors, gates and fences are locked.
Here’s to you and your pupper safely and calmly enjoying those long-awaited fireworks – Happy New Year!
Lyka: fresh food delivered
With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, take one less thing off your mind and order a Lyka box for your pup. We take the hassle out of feeding your dog fresh, healthy food – with portion sizes tailored to your dog, there’s no need to worry about any holiday weight! Delivered straight to your door, all you have to do is defrost and watch your pup dig in. For a meal which you know they’ll love, click below to build your Starter Box today.
If you’ve noticed your dog seems a little stiff as they move or is reluctant to jump or play like they used to, then they might have arthritis – especially if they’re getting older. The main thing to remember is though arthritis is common in senior dogs, that doesn’t mean your pupper has to put up with it. Though there’s no cure, there are ways to manage arthritis – and diet is a major one. In fact, arthritis is one of the most frequent issues mentioned when people first approach us about Lyka meals for their puppers.
So, what is arthritis in dogs?
Arthritis is a degenerative joint
disease. Basically that’s usually wear and tear that occurs over time which results
in pain and inflammation around the joints.
Where? Arthritis can affect any joints,
however hips, knees, shoulders and elbows are the most common joints affected
Why? Most healthy joints have a layer
of cartilage that acts as a cushion between the bones of the joint, providing a
smooth surface so that the bones either side can move freely against each
other. This is also helped by synovial fluid that lubricates the joint – which
is a bit like oiling a door hinge to help it move more smoothly!
With arthritis, the cartilage
wears down and the synovial fluid can’t lubricate as it should – and as the bones
lose their ability to move smoothly against each other, this leads to
inflammation and pain.
Is it just senior dogs that get arthritis?
certainly more common in our older puppers, but don’t rule out arthritis in
younger dogs too. Some injuries can lead to arthritis, and factors such as genetic makeup, infection
and immune disease can also affect how quickly arthritis develops
and symptoms progress.
How can I tell if my dog has arthritis?
Our puppers aren’t always very good at telling us what’s wrong with their health, but with arthritis there are some tell-tale signs. Things to look out for are:
Do they seem to be reluctant to jump, play or climb stairs?
Are they limping or do they yelp when touched?
Are they licking their joints?
Are they moving slowly or with stiffness?
Has their mood changed, from happy to easily irritable?
How can your dog’s diet help manage arthritis?
Maintaining a healthy weight is important. Weight control is key, as excess weight can put pressure on the joints. Therefore, food needs to be calorie controlled – with healthy ingredients and meals at an appropriate portion size. Senior dogs can be more prone to weight gain, so this is especially important for them.
Anti-inflammatory nutrients support joint health. Omega 3 fatty acids are found in foods like mackerel, sardines and flaxseeds, and can help reduce the inflammation associated with arthritis. The two omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA are particularly important in helping keep joint cartilage healthy.
Nutrients like antioxidants help protect against arthritis. Whole food antioxidants and phytochemicals can reduce damage to joint fluid by decreasing free radicals – helping to prevent arthritis in the future.
Some supplements have specific qualities that may help manage arthritis. Supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin may help, as well as foods like green-lipped mussels – so discuss supplements with your vet.
How else can I help manage my dog’s arthritis?
Remember that rather than avoiding exercise, for pups with arthritis, gentle exercise like walking and swimming can help keep them mobile and ease their symptoms. Short frequent exercise is often better than longer sessions.
Also make it easier for them
around the home:
Provide a ramp so they can avoid climbing stairs
Make sure they have a comfortable bed in a warm
Help your dog when getting in and out of cars
Arthritis should be managed with input from your vet, so make sure to consult them to get the best treatment plan for your dog. They may suggest long term medication like NSAIDS (non steroidal anti-inflammatories) for pain and inflammation, and acupuncture can also be a helpful option.
Your dog will love Lyka
At Lyka, we believe every pup deserves the best diet to support a healthy, active life – especially if they are prone to health issues that affect their mobility, like arthritis.
Lyka recipes are specially
designed by our own vet to include key minerals and nutrients such as omega
fatty acids which support ageing joints. Made from fresh, human-grade ingredients, Lyka meals are portion
controlled to help maintain a healthy weight, and are deliciously tempting for
even the fussiest fido.
Delicious, nutritious Lyka – delivered direct to your door.
It’s not just us who can suffer from an irritable bowel. Our pups can too, and when they do, it can really affect their wellbeing. Inflammatory bowel disease, (or IBD for short), has no cure, so managing symptoms and avoiding triggers you think may be causing them is key to keeping your pupper healthy.
What are the symptoms of IBD?
Symptoms vary from dog to dog, but generally come and go. Often there are periods of time where the symptoms are severe followed by periods where they may decrease in severity or even disappear before returning again. Signs your pup may have IBD include:
Chronic vomiting if the stomach is involved, or diarrhoea if it’s the intestines that are affected – both can happen at the same time
The vomit may contain small amounts of blood or bits of undigested food
IBD can affect appetite, up or down – your dog may be off their food and losing weight, or super hungry if their body isn’t absorbing nutrients from their food
Your dog may also be unusually lethargic
Why does my dog have IBD?
name suggests, IBD involves inflammation. High numbers of inflammatory immune cells
in your pup’s digestive tract affect their ability to absorb nutrients from
their food. Like many digestive issues, what actually causes this is a little
fuzzy. All sorts of factors may be involved, including a dog’s genetics, food
allergies or sensitivities, bacterial overgrowth or infection in the gut, an
abnormal immune function and issues with the microbiome.
confirm that your dog has IBD, they’ll need a biopsy – but as this is quite
invasive, your vet may decide it’s best simply to manage symptoms regardless of
Why is my pup’s microbiome important?
Your pup’s gut, like ours, contains
trillions of micro-organisms that should be balanced and
living in harmony together. It’s what we call their microbiome, and it not only plays a very important
part in their gut health and digestion, but can also benefit their immune
system and wellbeing overall. It takes the right sort of quality ingredients
and nutrients to keep the microbiome healthy, which is why it’s so important
what we feed our puppers.
How do I treat my pup’s IBD?
Diet and medication are the key ways to manage your dog’s IBD. Sounds tricky? It isn’t if you speak to a holistic vet – they’ll help guide you. They might recommend:
an elimination diet – this involves feeding a bland diet for 12 weeks, and then
slowly reintroducing ingredients one by one and observing changes in symptoms
to determine which foods trigger symptoms
easily digestible, gut-soothing ingredients, plus prebiotic foods to support
the microbiome – this can result in significant, long term benefits
herbal or pharmaceutical medications, sometimes for the long term
to be plenty of trial and error in finding the right solution for your dog’s
IBD, so you’ll need to be patient. Keep a diary and note down any changes in your
pup’s diet so that you can track symptom changes. That way you’ll be able to
see which foods work or don’t work for your dog!
Watch out for any reactions!
and electrolyte balances resulting from vomiting or diarrhoea can be life
threatening, so if a flare up occurs, see your vet immediately.
Try out Lyka if your dog has IBD!
If you’re concerned about your pupper’s digestion, then we’ve got some recipes for you! Our Chicken recipe is low in fat, in particular saturated fat, which makes it gentler on sensitive tummies, while maintaining a full range of fresh-food nutrients. It also doesn’t have any fish, and provides omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil. Our Turkey recipe has low-moderate fat that is hypo-allergenic and is great for gastrointestinal health. It has a limited set of ingredients, while still having plenty of antioxidants and fibre.
Go slow with the change!
If your dog has sensitivities and a history of gastrointestinal issues, it’s best to take any food transition slowly. Rather than the usual 1 week transition period when changing to a new diet, for dogs with digestive concerns, we generally recommend taking 2-4 weeks to transition to a more varied Lyka meal plan.
Here’s what we suggest:
Start with about 10% Lyka
Add 10% increments every 3 days until fully transitioned
If your pup’s stools start to look unusual, wait until it’ back to normal before continuing to change their food.
As Charlie got older, he started experiencing severe stomach issues and arthritis, which had his fur papa Alex worried. After spending thousands of dollars on medicated food and seeing no improvement in his health, Alex decided to try Lyka. Now at 12 years old, the spoodle Charlie has more energy than he’s had in years, and his diarrhoea and vomiting have completely stopped.
Meet Alex and his spunky spoodle, Charlie
Alex has had Charlie since he was just 10 years old, and he’s had big personality since he was just a puppy:
“My Dad put him under the Christmas Tree (not in a box). The first few years of him being a pup he was crazy and super energetic!”
Charlie’s fur papa, Alex
Although he suffers from some anxiety, Charlie still knows when to put his foot down:
“He also is quite an anxious dog and stays up all night listening at noises and protecting his owner. He sleeps mostly during the day.
There are so many funny stories but the best one is when I take him to the vet. If you say the word “Vet” to him he will put weight on his body and intentionally not move like he is super scared. When he gets into the vet he tries to hide under seats! When I take him for walks around my local area and we go past the vet he tries to pull me away from it.”
Charlie’s fur papa, Alex
Charlie’s health challenges
Charlie’s health problems started with arthritis, which he started to develop when he was around 9 years old and required medication to manage. Then, other issues took a turn for the worst:
“Charlie went to emergency hospital about 2 years ago as he was vomiting really badly and struggling with diarrhoea. We spent over two thousand dollars on medicated diet food and all this stuff to get him better but not much changed. We found that he was super thirsty when eating it due to increased sodium.”
Charlie’s fur papa, Alex
After seeing no improvements even when spending so much on food and treatments, Alex decided to try home cooked food, which was great since Charlie is so picky. Then, he found Lyka.
Healthy, fresh food made all the difference
After starting on Lyka, Alex noticed improvements in Charlie almost immediately:
“Before Lyka he would never run around, and about 3 days after starting on Lyka he started running around like a crazy puppy again! He also was less thirsty all the time.”
Charlie’s fur papa, Alex
His stomach and joint issues have also improved, and Charlie’s now looking better than ever:
“His diarrhoea and vomiting completely stopped, and hasn’t been an issue since. Since starting Lyka, he hasn’t had his arthritis medication at all and has no issues! His coat is super shiny too!”
Charlie’s fur papa, Alex
Lyka: fresh food to keep seniors on the go
Many dogs experience health issues as they get older, so the food you give them is key. Lyka is high in anti-inflammatory omega-3s, which are great for keeping joints healthy, and the high moisture content helps keep senior dogs hydrated. To see how Lyka can help your pup, head to our website and build your Starter Box today.
When Louie developed IBD after some separation anxiety, his lack of appetite led to serious weight loss, lack of energy and a poor coat. Wanting to get him off his bland diet of boiled chicken and pumpkin, his fur mama Gemma decided to try Lyka. After wolfing down his first bowl and demanding more food ever since, Louie is now back to a healthy weight.
Meet Louie, the gorgeous Italian Greyhound
After spending a lot of time researching breeds and breeders, Gemma decided an Italian Greyhound was the perfect dog for her and her family. She brought Louie home two years ago, and calls it the best decision she’s ever made:
“He is my shadow, never not by my side or on my lap (safe to say he is in absolute doggy heaven during the Covid working from home phase).”
Louie’s fur mama Gemma
his funny personality, and tells us he has some unusual characteristics which
make him extra unique:
“We also call him cat-dog as he likes to be perched up high, ALWAYS seeking the sun just like a cat. As Italian Greyhounds have little to no hair and low body fat, they LOVE laying in the sun and being under blankets (even if it’s a 40 degree summer day). There is not a daily walk that goes by where Louie gets away without being called a ‘prancer’. Due to his (extra) long legs he truly prances and bounces around when he walks and he makes everyone passing by smile, laugh or comment on his extravagant walking and fashion style. We love how he can make someone’s day so easily!”
Louie’s fur mama Gemma
Louie’s diet dilemmas
gave Louie a raw, BARF diet. When Gemma went overseas for a couple weeks, Louie
experienced separation anxiety, which led to him experiencing nausea and diarrhoea
almost daily, with a complete loss of apetite.
“After months of research, trying different vets, specialists, traumatic vet visits, nausea injections, testing/trialling and eliminating different foods recommended by the vet, Louie was diagnosed with IBD.”
Louie’s fur mama Gemma
While taking antibiotics to treat an infection in his gut, Gemma decided to stick to a home-cooked diet of boiled chicken and pumpkin, as it was the only meal he could eat and mostly keep down. This bland diet did not offer all of the nutrients Louie needed, so Gemma slowly started adding in sardines and offal. This did not help Louie’s fussiness, as he was still not enjoying dinner time and would ignore meals until he became desperately hungry. Then, Gemma came across Lyka:
“I was super impressed with Lyka’s website, quality of ingredients, the ability to cater for dogs with dietary issues and great customer service. Sceptical at first (as Louie was now an expert as turning his nose up at everything I served him), I purchased the Starter Box. To my surprise he scoffed down his first ever Lyka bowl and the rest is history. He now DEMANDS mealtime!”
Louie’s fur mama Gemma
Since starting on a Lyka diet, Louie looks and feels much better than before, and has gained 2kg. He is now a healthy 7kg!
“The major change we saw was the weight gain. Louie had lost just over 1kg during his illness (this is a large percentage for an Italian Greyhound with naturally low body fat and only being 5kg). As you can see in the after photo, he is looking great now! His skin and coat have also improved a great deal. You’ll notice in his before photo, the hair was thin and dull and has now come back nice and thick.”
Louie’s fur mama Gemma
around other dogs has also improved, and he’s even been able to make some new friends:
“His energy levels have increased massively at the dog park and in social settings (still sleeps most of the day at home, as all Italian Greyhounds do). During Louie’s sickness, he became anti-social around other dogs as he evidently didn’t have the energy to burn, but seems he has a lot more energy now when socialising with other doggos and more inclined to make new friends.”
Louie’s fur mama Gemma
Love your Lyka like Louie
For Italian Greyhounds like Louie, keeping weight on is especially important, and can be difficult if they face even the most minor health conditions. Enter Lyka: with pouches customised to your dog’s weight, activity levels and body shape, you can be sure your pup is getting all of the nutrients and energy they need to be their best selves. Try a Starter Box today, and see the fresh food difference for yourself.
When Sarah’s boxer Annalie began to face health issues, she started home cooking her meals for her, which offered improvements in her health, even though it was time consuming. However, when Sarah needed to head overseas, she knew she couldn’t ask her friends to cook Annalie’s meals, and fortunately she came across Lyka on Instagram. When caught in Peru during the coronavirus lockdown, Sarah never had to worry about Annalie’s nutrition thanks to Lyka, which gave her one less thing to worry about. Even after returning home, Sarah has never looked back.
Meet Sarah and her bouncy boxer, Annalie
Sarah bought her lovely boxer Annalie from a breeder in Charlton,
QLD. Her name was originally Anna, after the character in Frozen, but Sarah
added the ‘-lie’ to the end to make name recognition easier, as well as adding a
new meaning: “Annalie means freedom!” She also has an adorable nickname: Chops, short for ‘Cheeky
Annalie is known for her cheeky behaviour, and loves
learning and showing off new tricks – she can roll over, fist bump, perform a
trust fall, and even open a sliding door by herself!
Sarah describes her dog as “too smart for her own good”:
“She’s ball obsessed, and a bit of an addict – when you’re on the phone she sometimes treats this as a cue to get the ball ready and demands you throw it for her, whether you’re inside or outside. She’s a Leo, so she’s very persistent: everything’s always about her!”
Annalie’s fur mama, Sarah
Annalie’s health woes: her start on a fresh diet
While on a dry food diet, Annalie started to develop head tremors, and was gaining weight rapidly even though she was always hungry. Sarah changed her onto a different dry food, but her head tremors got more severe, and Annalie was still hungry.
Around 3 years ago, Sarah started cooking all of her pup’s
meals from scratch, preparing chicken, rice and vegetables for Annalie. Even
though this was time consuming, Sarah continued because Annalie’s tremors
finally stopped. Sarah also added on supplements such as kelp to boost the nutritional
value of her home-cooked food.
Getting fresh food delivered: trying Lyka
When Sarah was embarking on her travels through Europe and
South America, she asked some friends to take care of Annalie, but knew that it
was too much to ask for them to home-cook her meals too. Still wanting to give her
pup the benefits of freshly cooked meals, Sarah decided to try Lyka, and Annalie
was able to transition with no issues:
“The recipes really resonated with me, and I loved the use of ingredients such as slippery elm. Her coat is still very shiny, and the portion control really helped with keeping Annalie’s weight down at her ideal size.”
Annalie’s fur mama, Sarah
When the coronavirus lockdown began, Sarah was in Peru, and
was stuck there for 3 weeks.
“It really helped that Lyka was available to contact over Facebook, as I had really poor internet connection in Peru and needed to change the delivery address.”
Annalie’s fur mama, Sarah
After finally being able to return to Australia, Sarah had to quarantine in Melbourne for another 2 weeks, but she never had to worry about Annalie running out of fresh food.
Sarah still feeds her pup Lyka instead of preparing her meals herself, as it saves her all those hours of cooking and ensures that Annalie gets vet-designed nutrition to keep her looking and feeling her best.
Lyka: getting your pup the nutrition they need
Our recipes are designed by our in-house vet, Dr Matthew Muir, to ensure that they are complete and balanced for all dogs. We design our portions based on each dog’s weight and activity level, and our customer service team is always available to offer a helping hand, wherever you might be. Head to lyka.com.au to read more about the fresh ingredients that go into our pouches, and order your Starter Box today.
When we think of keeping our pups healthy, great nutrition and plenty of regular exercise quickly leaps to mind. But it’s plain old water that’s really fundamental to life, and keeping your pupper properly hydrated is essential to their health and wellbeing. Dog dehydration is more than just thirst, and can lead to serious health problems if left untreated.
Why is hydration important?
Like you, at least 60% of your dog’s body is water, so being well hydrated is essential to helping keep their bodies functioning properly, in almost every way – including their brain, nerve and muscle function, digestion, keeping joints lubricated and regulating their body temperature.
So, how can dog dehydration happen?
You’ve got the water bowl filled, so how can your pupper still become dehydrated? It’s important to remember that dog dehydration is not the same thing as thirst. Feeling thirsty is your pup’s natural reminder for them to rehydrate – but dehydration doesn’t always have thirst as a symptom. A number of factors can cause it:
Active exercise and hot weather will naturally dehydrate your pup, or they may become dehydrated simply by not drinking enough (some puppers just won’t drink much water without active encouragement)
Senior dogs tend to drink less water as they age, so they’re more at risk
Puppies, smaller dogs and nursing mummas are also more prone to becoming dehydrated
Dog dehydration can be linked to other illnesses such as kidney disease, urinary tract infections, diabetes and even gluten intolerance if it causes diarrhoea
Dehydration can also result from sicknesses like vomiting, diarrhoea, heat stroke or any kind of illness which causes a fever
The science behind dog dehydration
It may sound complicated, but the reason dehydration happens is quite simple. When your dog loses fluid and becomes dehydrated, important electrolytes including sodium, potassium and chloride are also lost. This upsets the body’s finely tuned balance of electrolytes that normally help muscles and nerves function. At its most serious level, dehydration can lead to failure of the kidneys or other organs, so staying hydrated is really important for your pup’s health.
How can I tell if my pup is dehydrated?
If a day has passed and your pup has refused to drink, then suspect dehydration. There are a couple of easy ways to check:
Gently pinch the loose skin between the shoulder blades to make a ‘tent’, then release it. If your pupper is well hydrated, the skin should spring back almost immediately (in older dogs this may happen a bit more slowly). If it takes a few seconds, your pup may well be dehydrated.
If you gently press your dog’s pink gums above their teeth, you’ll see the gums momentarily turn white when you remove your finger. They should, however, return to pink almost instantly. If this takes more than a couple of seconds, your pup could be dehydrated.
Dry nose, panting and thick saliva are other obvious signs of dog dehydration, and always check if your pup appears unusually lethargic.
How should dog dehydration be treated?
Encouraging your pup to drink – cool, fresh water is best, or you could try adding ice cubes or a little meat broth. If they are showing symptoms of dehydration and are refusing to drink, vomiting after drinking or you suspect heatstroke, take your pupper to the vet immediately. It’s vital to get them rehydrated as quickly as possible, and if necessary, your vet can administer electrolyte fluids, usually through an intravenous drip, to help get things back to normal.
Tips for preventing dog dehydration
Keep a bowl of fresh water out for your pup at all times – remember your pup may need more to drink during hot weather
Most dogs will drink whenever they feel thirsty, but if your pup is a fussy drinker, try changing the water more frequently, or offer a different type of drinking bowl
If you feed your dog dry kibble (which can contain as little as 6% moisture), additional water is especially vital, but you can avoid that concern by feeding your pup a fresh diet with a higher water content – like Lyka!
Moisture-rich, delicious nutrition
Lyka meals contain around 70% moisture which makes them an easy source of hydration, especially for dogs that don’t drink regularly. Hydrated, healthy and happy – it’s all part of helping your pupper live their best life.
When a dog goes through a traumatic experience, it can be difficult to get them back to good health, both mentally and physically. Bono’s fur mama Christina learnt this first-hand, when after being mauled by another dog, her Staffy x Australian Cattle dog Bono became suspicious of many things, including his food. When his pickiness and lack of appetite led to weight loss and dangerously low blood sugar, Christina decided to try Lyka. Now, Bono is energetic, happy and healthy, and finally has healthy blood sugar and iron levels.
Meet Christina and her Staffy x Cattle dog, Bono
Bono is a Staffy x Australian Cattle dog who loves sleeping (especially on people) and long car rides. Christina came across a photo of Bono on a rescue Instagram page, and knew he was perfect for her straight away:
“My last dog had passed away a couple of months prior and I wasn’t coping with the loss very well. I follow a lot of different rescue pages on social media and a photo of Bono came up with his foster carer where he was laying across her lap and she was holding him like a baby. I instantly fell in love with him, so I adopted him.”
Bono’s fur mama, Christina
Although he loves being inside the car for long
drives, Christina learned that he only loves the back seat:
“One day we put him on the back of the ute and strapped him in thinking as a cattle breed, he would just know how to do it. Within seconds, he jumped off and was dangling there in his harness like a pendulum wagging his tail, looking at me like MUM where are you going? We hadn’t even got into the car to go yet!”
Bono’s fur mama, Christina
Bono’s health troubles
Last April, Bono was a victim of a vicious mauling attack from another dog, and had to have surgery, which led to a long recovery period. He became distrustful of his food and of other dogs. His pickiness became severe, with Bono refusing all vegetables, and eventually not eating at all unless Christina hand-fed him mince. Visits to the vet and blood tests revealed that his iron and blood sugar levels were low, and Christina felt overwhelmed by the amount of possible causes for his health problems, which were making Bono lethargic and have very little appetite:
“The next day I researched ‘hypoglycaemia’ which is what the vet kept saying on the phone. The disease is so difficult to diagnose and manage in dogs, not to mention expensive. Feeling disheartened and not knowing whether to jump in and go ahead with more testing or not, I ended up deciding to try Lyka to see if I could help him without medications.”
Bono’s fur mama, Christina
Finding the right food
After doing some research, Christina was shocked at
what she found out about the dog food industry:
“While waiting for Bono’s results, I think I spent all night one night researching every possible thing you could give your dog for a diet and the science behind it. There is so little science and statistics about dog food, it was unbelievable. Eventually I found Lyka on a Google search and read absolutely everything on the website and it looked like the best thing I had found yet so I ordered the Sensitive Chicken Bowl.”
Bono’s fur mama, Christina
The first time Bono tried the Sensitive Chicken Bowl, he loved it, but within a couple days he refused the eat even that. Christina then decided the try the other Lyka recipes, and there she finally found something that Bono loved:
“His first normal Chicken pouch he was unsure about and I had to stand with him while he ate it, but he ate most of it without me hand feeding him! Then he tried the Beef pouch… I could tell he didn’t want to like it, but he ate the whole thing and licked the bowl clean. When he tried the Lamb is when I really knew Lyka was the best decision I ever made for him. He INHALED it and then begged for more. I had never seen him beg for any food other than cheese!”
Bono’s fur mama, Christina
Bono’s bouncing back
Bono’s first blood test after trying Lyka came back with great results, and Christina was happy that he was finally getting healthy again. Bono has steadily gained back the weight he lost from not eating, and has more energy to get active again:
“He enjoys his walks, even the long 5-10km ones I take him on, and no longer is sore or has to sleep for a long time after.”
Bono’s fur mama, Christina
Christina has seen a huge
difference in his mood, and no longer has to hand feed him his food:
“He eats his Lyka now every night with zero fuss on the Lamb days and little fuss on the Beef days. I rarely give him the Chicken as he just doesn’t seem to like it as much (maybe brings back memories of his old bland food). I do however rotate through the different types to keep his variety there. He also has so much more energy, wags his tail like he used to and when I look at his face, I just think he is so much happier. Even without those added personality advantages I would keep using Lyka because it means I don’t have to cook his meals and then hand feed it to him!”
Bono’s fur mama, Christina
Lyka: something for every pupper
Our variety of recipes at Lyka means that your pup is bound to find a Bowl that they love. For picky puppers, we recommend starting with as many of our recipes as you can, and letting your pup discover for themselves what they like.
While we don’t offer our Sensitive Chicken recipe anymore, we still have recipes which could be great for pickier pups like Bono. For some dogs, the simplicity of the limited ingredient range in our Turkey Bowl is a great starting point to get them to be more adventurous. For other pups like Bono, the big flavours in our Grass-Fed Beef or Lamb Bowls are what they need to start getting excited for their mealtimes. Head to our website to find out more about our recipes, and order your Starter Box today.
We’re all spending a lot more time at home right now, and while your pup will be loving the extra attention, you might be noticing just how gassy they are! If your dog’s diet is working for them, you shouldn’t be noticing nasty smells – at least not on a regular basis. A healthy diet should work with your dog’s digestive function and not result in an unpleasant smelling by-product.
If you’re starting to say ‘That’s just normal’ when your Friday
movie evenings on the sofa are interrupted by a strong pong coming from your pupper,
then stop right there – regular flatulence can even be an early sign of gastrointestinal
disease. Rule number 1: Assume it is not normal!
My dog’s farting: how much is too much?
To a certain extent, flatulence is normal. After all, air swallowed when gulping food has to make its way out somehow! This gas, however, tends not to be smelly.
Occasional wind can also be normal in dogs who eat higher amounts of dietary fibre. However, if you notice your dog farting regularly, or it’s malodorous, there is probably some sort of gastro disturbance going on.
It starts with the microbiome
Your pup’s gut, like ours, contains
trillions of micro-organisms that should be balanced and living in harmony
together. It’s what we call their microbiome, and it not only plays a very
important part in their gut health and digestion, but can also benefit their immune
system and wellbeing overall. It takes the right sort of quality ingredients
and nutrients to keep the microbiome healthy, which is why it’s so important
what we feed our puppers. With a balanced microbiome and healthy digestive
system, it’s unlikely your dog will have bad-smelling flatulence.
So what can cause bad smells?
While some healthy foods like vegetables can cause a little flatulence, others such as legumes (including beans and chickpeas), are well known for causing gassiness. Scientific evidence is rapidly emerging to indicate the negative impact that the type of proteins called lectins in these foods may have on the cells of the lining of the gut. Wheat (which contains the lectin gluten), corn and certain food additives can also cause wind, as can certain treats. Some supplements and medications can also cause flatulence, so ask your vet about side effects if your pup is on these.
Could it be allergies?
Food allergies are incredibly rare, and usually cause distinct symptoms that are part of the immune system going into overdrive – like hives where the skin is really itchy, for example. However, a food intolerance is different. It occurs if your pup is sensitive to a particular food and it’s very common. Integrative vets believe that flatulence and other digestive disorders may be the first signs of food intolerances and sensitivities and they’re now able to scientifically test saliva to help find out.
When should you talk to your vet?
There’s always the possibility that even symptoms that you might think are minor, like bad smelling flatulence, could have a more serious cause. Issues with the liver, pancreas and the intestinal tract can all have digestive symptoms, some of which are more serious, so your vet may want to screen for specific health conditions. These include food intolerances or sensitivities, dysbiosis (where their gut microbiome becomes disrupted, after antibiotic therapy for example), liver and pancreatic dysfunction, parasites and irritable bowel syndrome. Sometimes it can even be a symptom of generalised anxiety.
What symptoms should you look out for?
Keep an eye out for behaviours such as persistently eating grass, eating dog poop, vomiting, diarrhoea, poor appetite or having more than 2 bowel movements per day. If your dog farting is accompanied by any of these, it’s definitely time to do something about it and let your vet help you get to the bottom of the problem.
Is diet important?
Today’s dry dog foods are often highly processed, and contain high amounts of plant protein and inappropriate fibre profiles, both of which can lead to flatulence. With less meat protein and more plant-based proteins, they also tend to be too easily digestible and that can impact your pup’s gut health. Your pupper’s best health and wellbeing depends on eating a moderately-digestible diet that feeds the gut-friendly organisms of their microbiota.
If you successfully transition to a diet that supports your pup’s digestion, you should see that flatulence resolves within about the first six weeks.
Top tips to help my dog stop farting
As well as
ensuring they get plenty of exercise, it’s important to ensure your pup follows
a healthy eating routine:
Try feeding twice a day, serving half-size portions for breakfast and dinner
Many pups rush their meal, so consider ways of slowing this down, with multiple bowls, interactive puzzles or by using an indented feeding bowl
Allow an hour after each meal before exercising your pup
Don’t forget the impact of stress – about 15% of all gastrointestinal issues are related to stress and behavioural triggers in our dogs.
If a change of diet hasn’t reduced the dog farting, your pup could have an underlying medical condition or unhealthy bacteria in their gut. You might suspect this especially if your dog has had courses of antibiotics or immunosuppressive medications. Check with your vet, or seek a second opinion from an integrative veterinarian or a holistic practitioner.
Consider a change to fresh dog food
If it sounds
(and smells) like your pup’s current diet isn’t working for them, it could be a
great time to try switching to a natural diet that is designed for digestive
At Lyka, we believe every pup deserves the best diet to support a healthy, active life – and they will definitely look forward to meal times! Our complete and balanced meals are free from plant-based proteins like lectins and are made from delicious human-grade animal protein, with the correct balance of fibre and omega fatty acids.
How do I switch to Lyka?
For most windy pups, a slow transition over 14 days into our Lyka Bowl range should work well. This is done by slowly adding a higher proportion of Lyka to your pup’s meals until they’re up to 100% fresh food. Order your Starter Box today, and see how our fresh food can help reduce your dog’s farting. Your pupper (and your nose) will thank you for it!
Our dogs are vital parts of our households. And as beloved family members, it’s only natural that more people are asking: are pets at risk from coronavirus? And could they be implicated in the spread of this infection?
The good news is that the answer to these questions is “no” and “no”, and there is no reason to change daily routines with pets while people remain healthy and symptom-free.
The term “coronavirus”
defines a broad family (type) of viruses which have been around for a long
time, some of which only affect dogs and cats. Dog and cat coronaviruses are
different from COVID-19 and cannot infect people. Unfortunately, due to the
similar name, these terms may appear in historical articles or online forums,
and this can cause unnecessary confusion, panic or concern.
Being prepared and informed is one
of the best things you can do in any situation – for your dog, for you and
everybody. There’s a lot of misinformation circulating about COVID-19 and dogs
at the moment. Here, we’ll address common concerns to ensure you have all the
essential information on COVID-19, and what this means for you and your pupper.
Q1- Can my dog get the coronavirus?
When it comes to your pets, according to the World Health Organization and veterinary experts, you likely don’t have to worry about spreading it to your furry friends.
Although there is no current
evidence that suggests the coronavirus can be transmitted to or from companion
animals, it’s always a good idea to follow basic hygiene practices around
animals. This includes washing your hands thoroughly throughout the day and
before and after direct contact with your pets, their food or their supplies.
Recently in Hong Kong, there were proactive and precautionary measures to quarantine the pets of people who were diagnosed with COVID-19. In February, one of these pets, a healthy dog, had a small amount of viral genetic material that was detected in the dog’s mouth and nose. The dog did not get sick and did not have COVID-19 illness or sickness, but this single case sparked discussion across the globe. There have been no further cases reported via the World Health Organisation (WHO) or the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) to date.
If you haven’t tested positive or
been asked to self-isolate, then continue to interact with your dog as usual,
but adopt good hygiene practices including washing hands thoroughly with soap
and water before and after walks, touching them, their food, toys and bedding.
Essentially, it’s about exercising
caution depending on your situation. If you decide to take your dog on a walk,
be mindful to stay away from busy areas and practice the social distancing
guideline of 1.5 metres away from the next person.
Q3- If I have the coronavirus or am exhibiting symptoms, can I still interact with my dog?
Although there have not been
further reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with the virus, it is
still recommended that people infected with COVID-19 limit contact with animals
until more information is known about the virus.
If you are exhibiting symptoms, tested positive or you’re waiting to hear back results, experts recommend you should avoid interaction with your dog to prevent virus spreading to others. The Centre of Disease Control in the USA recommends the following: “You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people.” This is especially important if you live with other people who are interacting with your dog, as you might spread the virus through your dog’s fur if you’re playing with them, even though the dog cannot pass on the virus directly.
If possible, arrange for another
person to care for your dog during self-isolation. Think about designating an
emergency caregiver – someone who could help with short or long-term care in
the event you are unable to care for your dog. Consider a relative, friend,
neighbour or even a dog hotel. If you must care for your pet or be around
animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with
pets and wear a face mask.
If you have any concerns about your
dog or if they show signs of ill health, do not visit the vet but phone for
advice. As you will be unable to take your pet to the vet yourself, have a plan
so that someone else can do this on your behalf.
Q4- How could I prepare for a possible lockdown?
The ASPCA advises “emergency kits” that include a 30-day supply of pets’ medications, as well as at least two weeks’ worth of food and other supplies, including hygiene products. Make sure all pets wear collars and tags with up-to-date identification info: pet name, telephone number and urgent medical needs.
As businesses start to close or
shift to work-from-home schedules temporarily and local governments encourage
social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19, more pet owners are
finding themselves inside for long periods with their dogs and without the
usual access to doggy daycares, dog walking services and more.
But just because you and your dog are social distancing, that
doesn’t mean your canine has to lose mobility. Here are a few things you can do
to pass the time and help your dog from getting cabin fever at home.
Get them sniffing. Scent work can be a great way to keep them busy for ages. Hide treats around the garden or the house and send them off in search of them.
Learning a new trick or command is excellent mental stimulation for a dog. Get out their favourite treats and try teaching them how to wave their paw, ‘sit’, ‘lie down’, or ‘roll-over’.
Spotify has recently launched My Dog’s Favourite Podcast which has a range of carefully selected spoken word, sound and original music designed to encourage relaxation.
Play! Dogs love to play, so set aside some time to have a good game of fetch or tug with your pooch.
As for Lyka, we’ll be keeping things business-as-usual online so that you can have a gentle and much-welcomed normality-break between the news updates that are flooding our screens and homes.
You can rest assured that we are business as usual and we’re still delivering our food boxes as normal, whilst our team is following strict hygiene practices. Lyka has convenient home deliveries, so you don’t need to worry about going to supermarket. Build a box today!
Lastly, keep healthy, love your people, love your pets and most importantly, stay kind to one another.
When your pupper faces health difficulties, it can be difficult to sit back and watch ineffective treatments offer little improvement. When Stitch’s fur mama Eneida noticed that his injections for his stomach problems were giving unwanted side effects, she decided to try Lyka. Now, his stomach is healthier than ever, he’s got more energy and his coat is feeling amazing.
Meet Eneida and her friendly pup, Stitch
Stitch is a whippet who loves
exploring nature and getting out and about with his fur mama, Eneida. He came
into her life through a stroke of luck at the shelter:
“I was looking for a Whippet but wanted one from a rescue. On Sunday night I thought, what are the chances a Whippet will come into rescue (because they’re so sought after!), and Stitch came online Monday morning. I picked him up on Tuesday evening – it was love at first sight. He came straight up to me like he knew I had chosen him already!”
– Stitch’s fur mama, Eneida
He turns heads everywhere he goes due to his beautiful coat, and loves cheering up children he meets at the park. His love for exploring and getting involved in nature, while impressive to some, has left Eneida with more than a few funny stories about her adventurous pupper getting a bit carried away:
“Stitch loves Jubilee Park and always heads into the mangroves next to the little beach area. One day he went into the mangroves, and bolted straight out with a fish in his mouth. The funny thing about this was, people assumed he came out of the water and caught a fish. There were “oooo’s” and “aaah’s” and people commenting what a clever hunter he was to have caught a fish in water. I didn’t have the heart to tell them the fish was long dead and found in the mangroves! I had to chase after him and dispose of that nasty fish”
– Stitch’s fur mama, Eneida
Stitch’s stomach worries
Since Stitch was a pup, he’s had stomach issues, with uncomfortable gurgling, diarrhoea and even vomiting. Eneida took him to multiple vets, who all said he had inflamed bowels, and needed regular injections. These injections left poor Stitch feeling drowsy and not himself, so Eneida decided to try a natural vet, who not only cost $450, but gave poor service and advice that offered no help. Then, a shop assistant at a pet store recommended that she should try fresh dog food from Lyka, and according to Eneida that has made all the difference:
“Stitch’s stomach improved within a week after I started feeding Lyka to him. No more diarrhoea, gurgling of the stomach, his poos are fantastic and have little odour”
– Stitch’s fur mama, Eneida
Not only did Stitch’s stomach see benefits , but his coat improved too:
“His wiry coat is now soft! Best thing ever!”
– Stitch’s fur mama, Eneida
Lyka also helped Stitch get
back to his normal, energetic self, and Eneida thinks he now has even more
energy than he did before the injections:
“He also has way more energy. It’s good to see him bouncing around”
It’s no secret that the way to your pupper’s heart is through their stomach. But the older they become, the harder it will be to burn off those yummy treats.
Although they’ll retain the same special personality, as a dog ages they tend to slow down, both physically and mentally. And when your dog’s activity levels decline, their dietary needs will change.
When is your pupper considered a golden oldie?
While there’s no hard
and fast rule, the average age of a dog entering their senior years is seven.
This varies between breeds. A larger breed like a labrador may show signs of
ageing a little earlier, and toy breeds are likely to reach senior status later
Adult dog food vs senior food – is there a difference?
In most cases, no.
You might be surprised to learn that when it comes to nutritional requirements for senior pet food, manufacturers are not bound by any specific regulations. And while you may see plenty of commercial senior food brands on the market, if you take a closer look at the ingredients you’ll find they’re often the same as their adult food counterparts.
For weight management in senior dogs, less is more
Less activity and low metabolism can add up to unwanted kilos. That’s why older dogs need a lighter diet. The risk of illnesses like heart disease and diabetes in dogs can be reduced when they’re a healthy weight.
Portion control is an easy way to manage your pupper’s weight. Smaller portions not only give structure to mealtime, healthy homemade dog food like Lyka pouches are tailored to your dog’s size, and can be adjusted at any time.
Fresh whole foods rich in nutrients can also help maintain a healthy weight. Lyka’s ingredients are similar to what you’d find in a healthy family dinner, with added antioxidants and superfoods like spirulina, chia seeds and kale. To lock in the natural nutritional value, all Lyka formulations are cooked at a low temperature.
Low GI carbs keep the kilos off too
Many dry dog foods use high levels of high-GI carbohydrates, such as wheat, rice and potatoes, in order to give them their biscuit-like consistency. These carbohydrates are converted to glucose, which cause blood sugar spikes that can lead to diabetes. This glucose also gets stored as fatty tissue, which can lead to easy weight gain, particularly as your dog’s activity levels decrease. That’s why Lyka includes low GI ingredients including carrot, broccoli, butternut squash, spinach and cauliflower. Low GI carbohydrates give your pup the energy they need without being stored in fatty tissue. They also maintains blood sugar levels and decrease the risk of diabetes.
Support those stiff joints
Just like us, our four-legged senior citizens are susceptible to arthritis, which causes joint pain, inflammation and stiffness. Omega-3 and fish oil have been proven to ease symptoms of osteoarthritis and joint inflammation. A 2010 study showed that dogs suffering from osteoarthritis which were given a diet higher in omega-3 had a significant improvement in the ability to walk and play, and could also rise from a resting position much easier than dogs on a lower omega-3 diet.
Lyka’s recipes include sardines in our Grass-Fed Beef Bowl and fish oil in our remaining recipe range, both of which are bursting with omega-3 goodness.
It’s a little known fact that the benefits of omega-3 can only be found in fresh food. That’s because it goes rancid once it’s exposed to oxygen, which means the fatty acids simply can’t survive in bags of dry kibble.
Fresh food can also reduce the risk of cancer
The high omega-3 concentration in Lyka is not only good for your pupper’s joints, but can also reduce the risk of cancer as they get older. Studies have shown that omega-3s extend survival times for dogs with cancers, and decrease the risk of certain cancers in dogs, including colon, breast, and prostate cancers as well as lymphomas found in white blood cells.
The low cooking temperature of Lyka also prevents the formation of carcinogenic proteins, which are present in many dry foods that can be cooked at temperatures upwards of 200 degrees Celcius. Check out our post on how nutrition can combat the risk of cancer for more on how a fresh food diet can reduce the risks in your pup.
Being a senior dog is thirsty work
Older dogs tend to drink less water as they age, so they’re more likely to suffer from dehydration. It can also be harder to spot dehydration symptoms in senior dogs, as some symptoms such as loss of skin elasticity and lowered activity levels can be easily mistaken as signs of ageing. If left untreated for too long, dehydration can cause serious illness, organ failure or even death.
Sometimes, leaving out water for your pup is not enough, especially in the heat of summer. One easy way to make sure your pup is getting more water is by feeding them a fresh diet. Dry kibble can contain as low as 6% moisture, while Lyka contains 70% moisture, making it an easy source of hydration. Along with fresh bowls of water, a moisture-rich food can help quench their thirst, so you’ll see fewer tongues out and a more healthy, active pup.
Senior puppers are what they eat
Lyka homemade senior dog food offers many health benefits for your older pupper. Made from 100% whole foods, each Lyka recipe is packed with natural, bioactive nutrients, and is high in protein and low in GI.
Along with a personalised portion size, Lyka’s natural ingredients can help promote brain and memory health. It can also reduce your dog’s chances of acquiring pancreatitis, and renal and liver disease, which can be common in older dogs.
To prove that Lyka is truly human-grade food, have a look at our newest Lyka family member, James, try it for himself. It goes to show that if we wouldn’t eat it, we wouldn’t serve it to your pupper.
Transition your pupper to a healthy, nutritious diet such as Lyka, and you’ll soon discover there’s plenty of life in your old dog yet.
If you’re reading this, your pup is probably one of your best friends. And just like our human friends, our pupper companions need to be both mentally and physically healthy to live their best lives. If you feed your dog a healthy diet, you know what it takes to make sure he’s physically healthy – but do you know how to boost pupper’s mental health and wellbeing?
As a pet owner, you make every single one of your furry friend’s health decisions. Here are 9 easy ways to improve your dog’s mental health.
Foods that can improve your dog’s mental health
One of the easiest ways to boost your dog’s overall health, including their mental health, is by incorporating certain foods into their diet. Whether it’s a small snack or a part of their daily dinner, the following foods are great for both humans and pups. Lyka uses many of the below ingredients in their bowls, providing for a well-rounded meal. Be sure to speak with a trusted veterinarian before changing your dog’s diet and/or introducing new foods.
1. Mackerel and sardines
We know these tinned, fatty fish are chock-full of omega-3s. You may have even heard your doctor recommend incorporating them into your own diet! Good news–you can feed them topupper, too. Fatty acids (AKA omega-3s) work hard to help prevent cancer, reduce inflammation, and aid in healthy brain development. This reason, along with their naturally small size, make these fish an ideal snack for puppies. But be careful when buying them–there are many different options at the supermarket. Choose fish that are wild-caught, NOT farm-raised, and packed in water, NOT oil or sauce.
2. Beef liver
Beef liver is a surprisingly nutritious choice for pupper’s mental health. It’s an excellent source of protein, B vitamins, iron, and fatty acids. B vitamins are especially important when it comes to mental health, for both humans and dogs. They help to activate neural tissue and regulate energy levels throughout the day, helping to ensure a happy yet energized pup.
3. Sweet potato
Sweet potatoes are a nutritional powerhouse. An especially important nutrient in the sweet potato is vitamin B6, which is incredibly helpful for dogs in more ways than one. It regulates theirhormones, immune system response, and overall nervous system function. The smooth functioning of all these bodily systems help guarantee a mentally healthy pup.
Blueberries are one of the best food sources of antioxidants, which are important in eliminating free radicals from the body, slowing the ageing process, and helping to prevent cancer. This also goes for pups! Some animal studies even suggest that blueberries may support areas of the brain that are essential for intelligence.
It might be worth considering feeding pupper kale, especially if he is the anxious type. Some fresh vegetables act as a remedy or preventative measure for anxiety and stress – and kale is one of them! Experts say that it’s the antioxidant properties in kale that make it such a wonderful stress-reducer. But be careful – the high fibre might upset your dog’s stomach. Start with extremely small amounts to make sure he is comfortable.
6. Pumpkin seeds
You might’ve heard from your veterinarian that pumpkin itself can help boost pupper’s digestion, but don’t throw those seeds away! Just like the sardines and beef liver that we discussed earlier, pumpkin seeds are full of brain-boosting omega-3s. Omega-3s help support healthy cognition in both humans and dogs alike!
Other ways to improve pupper’s mental health
Now that you’ve read about a handful of the many mentally-healthy snacks for pup, we’ll introduce a few other simple ways that you can maximize pupper’s overall wellbeing.
1. Puzzle treat dispenser/feeder
The one thing pupper might love more than playing fetch is having a job to do. That’s right – completing tasks makes dogs happy. And happiness is a key factor in your pup’s mental health. Especially for dogs who get bored easily and resort to chewing furniture, shoes, and remote controls, puzzles and other mental stimulants are a great way to keep them both distracted and satisfied. Today, there are many different puzzle options out there for your dog. Try starting him off on an easy, lower-level puzzle before you introduce something too difficult.
2. Obedience training
Obedience training isn’t only for overly excitable dogs. It can help any pup–especially when it comes to mental health! To be healthy overall, any dog needs mental stimulation, and obedience training is a great way to do this on a daily basis. Again, your dog will be at his happiest when he feels like he’s completing a job, and what better way to reward him than through simple, learned behaviour? Remember, all dogs can learn, but some might take longer than others. Don’t give up – obedience training is the perfect opportunity to form an even stronger bond with pupper.
3. Anxiety clothing
For your pup, being stress-free is the first step to positive mental health. It’s natural for many dogs to feel frightened in unknown situations, like during a storm or when a car alarm goes off, for example. Even something as simple as you leaving the house may trigger anxiety in your dog. Fortunately, there are a few ways to combat your dog’s stress and anxiety. An anxiety vest might be just what pupper needs to remain calm and feel secure during a scary situation. There are hundreds of anxiety vest brands available today, so speak with a trusted veterinarian to see if they have a go-to.
Improving your dog’s mental health is easy!
Keeping pupper mentally healthy is just as important as keeping him physically healthy. All it takes is introducing new foods into his diet, in addition to some mentally stimulating activity. Lyka’s complete meal bowls are tailored to your dog’s unique needs, and they’re full of nutrients that will make sure pupper is properly enriched and thriving! Try out our Starter Box today.
Finding a way to feed your pupper nutritious food can be difficult when they’re a picky eater. For Zuzu’s fur mama, Jade, this meant getting him on a grain-free diet to help her manage his skin condition. Jade was then left with the time-consuming task of home cooking meals to get him to eat anything at all. With Jade discovering Lyka, Zuzu is happier and healthier than ever, and has even been able to travel the world.
Meet Jade and her loving pupper, Zuzu
Zuzu is an adorable pug who loves snoring on the couch and exploring the world with his dog parents, Jade and her husband. “He is very calm, quiet and barely noticeable in the house as he blends into the top our black couch where he spends many hours of the day snoring”, says Jade. He is a happy, loving pupper who’s able to bring a happiness to everyone he meets with his gorgeous smile.
Zuzu became a part of their lives in May 2013, where he was ecstatic to meet his new family.
“The first time we saw him he ran straight up to us with his tiny little paws, wagging his tail. He was so excited to see us, as if he were already ours, and that’s the day we took him home and our household changed forever!”
Zuzu’s fur mama, Jade
Helping Zuzu manage his skin condition
When Zuzu was about a year old, he developed some skin issues, but after several tests a direct cause could still not be found. Believing his diet to be a potential cause, Jade decided to try a grain-free diet, which the fussy Zuzu wasn’t a fan of, meaning Jade was having to home cook all of his meals: “After trying many grain free dog foods and a lot of hunger strikes, we were really struggling to find anything he would eat. I found myself having to cook him homemade dog food in order to get him to eat at all.”
After searching for something more convenient, Jade then started feeding Zuzu Lyka, which he fell in love with immediately: “It was exactly what I was looking for and a massive game changer for us! Our first order arrived and Zuzu absolutely devoured his first Lyka pouch. It was a huge relief for us, and we have been very happy customers ever since.”
When Zuzu’s parents decided they wanted to go travelling overseas, it was a no brainer for them to bring their pupper along for the trip. Jade explained: “We didn’t want to leave Zuzu behind as he is very attached and dependent on the two of us and is considered a member of our family.” Zuzu was able to travel to Singapore, Dubai, England, Scotland, France, Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Germany and the Netherlands during a 6-month holiday and got to smell many new places and experience several different treats.
His parents purchased a car in England so that they could drive around to different destinations. He was able to have many amazing experiences, including posing for photos in front of the Eiffel Tower, climbing through mountains in Switzerland and eating sausages at German markets.
Although he made many memories, one that stuck out for Jade was his eventful trip to the vet:
“We had to attend a very important vet appointment in Germany for Zuzu where he had to take a tablet and have an injection in order for him to fly home with us in time for Christmas in Australia. Being the stubborn pug he is, he refused to eat the tablet for the vet… It got to the point where the vet was closed, and we were still there! I ended up having to sprint down the road in the dark and freezing cold to a supermarket to buy ham and cheese, run back and hide the tablet in the combined ham and cheese snackball to get him to eat it… It was safe to say that the German vet thought we were some very insane Aussies with a spoiled pug!”
Zuzu’s fur mama, Jade
Still wanting to give Zuzu nutritious food for as long as possible, Jade was able to get Lyka to him right up until he left Australia, getting it shipped to them in Sydney during their transfer, and then immediately when he returned home, even having fresh Lyka food during his 10-day quarantine period in Melbourne.
Keeping Zuzu healthy with Lyka
Since giving Zuzu his first ever Lyka pouch, Jade had seen improvements in skin and general wellbeing, and has been a loyal customer ever since:
“Zuzu is medicated for his skin issues but I have noticed a huge improvement in his coat and less itchiness and infections to his facial folds and ears since he has been on Lyka.”
Zuzu’s fur mama, Jade
Jade also noticed Zuzu being much softer, having more of a shine to his coat and having good teeth since being on Lyka.
“We also receive a lot of compliments from vets about Zuzu’s dental health which I believe is due to his healthy diet with Lyka.”
For dogs who live with chronic pain or are
recovering from an injury, hydrotherapy can be used as a method of occupational
Just as is the case for humans, hydrotherapy for dogs has many benefits for pups, too! But there’s much more to hydrotherapy than simple movement in water. Let’s learn more.
What is hydrotherapy?
Hydrotherapy, or “water exercise”, has been used to treat humans, and even horses, for centuries. To put it simply, it is the use of water to treat certain conditions where weight-bearing exercises may be less beneficial, or even harmful (for example, conditions involving the hips, knees, and other lower joints). After horse trainers began seeing successful results in hydrotherapy, racing Greyhound trainers started to rely on these methods to keep their dogs in shape.
Now, hydrotherapy for dogs is available all
over the world. It allows painful joints to move more comfortably while
stimulating the cardiovascular and lymphatic symptoms without overexertion.
does hydrotherapy for dogs work?
Hydrotherapy works because it makes a dog
weightless. Try as he might, pupper won’t be able to move as quickly in water
as he would on land, eliminating the negative effects of gravity on painful
the difference between hydrotherapy and swimming?
Swimming could be a form of hydrotherapy, but hydrotherapy doesn’t always involve swimming. It involves performing certain exercises that aim to improve the patient’s condition.
Types of hydrotherapy
There are three common types of hydrotherapy: Underwater treadmill therapy, swimming, and in-pool assisted hydrotherapy.
Underwater treadmill therapy
This method is the most common, and involves a moving treadmill at the bottom of a water-filled glass chamber. It allows dogs to walk with additional buoyancy, reducing the pressure put on painful or healing areas. Intensity and speed varies for each pup depending on their condition, weight, age, and other factors. Veterinarian Carol Helfer, DVM says, “Most dogs use their front limbs significantly more than their rear limbs while swimming, and since I see far more problems with the rear limbs, walking on an underwater treadmill is an effective therapy for most patients.”
Unlike treadmill therapy, swimming combines range of motion with strengthening and endurance, alongside circulation improvement. Because swimming is a more vigorous activity, a dog undergoing hydrotherapy may start with a different type first.
In-pool assisted hydrotherapy
This method of hydrotherapy is usually reserved for dogs with very severe injuries or in cases where they are not mobile, whether that has occurred from injury or a neurological disorder. These dogs are typically not able to swim unassisted if at all, so they will have a human companion’s help as they move around in the water.
Which conditions in dogs can benefit from hydrotherapy?
If your dog lives with any of the following
conditions, he likely experiences mild to severe discomfort and may benefit
Joint stiffness (whether from old
age or from prior injury)
Ligament ruptures or tears
Benefits of hydrotherapy for dogs
In conjunction with veterinary treatment,
hydrotherapy can provide both immediate and long-term relief to your pup.
Whether your dog is healing from an injury or surgery, living with a general
ailment, or has a developmental condition, hydrotherapy can help in more ways
than one. Benefits include:
Pain, swelling, and stiffness
Improved and increased tissue
Improved heart and lung fitness
More efficient and quicker
Improved blood circulation
Greater range of motion in joints
Reduced muscle spasms
Muscle maintenance and
Because hydrotherapy exercises are done in very warm water (hovering around 30 degrees Celsius), the warmth can also help accelerate healing and relief.
Where in Australia offers hydrotherapy for dogs?
Thankfully, there are many options in Australia for those seeking hydrotherapy for their dogs. If you have a veterinarian you trust, ask him or her for their best recommendation.
Dogs in Motion Canine Rehabilitation
Open since 2002, Dogs in Motion is Australia’s first Canine Physiotherapy and Hydrotherapy Clinic. They offer workshops and courses for both dog owners and canine professionals, physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, and many different products to improve your dog’s quality of life right at home.
Check out their website to read their many success stories–maybe yours will be next!
Aquapaws Canine Rehabilitation & Fitness Centre
Aquapaws has been offering hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, acupuncture, and soft tissue therapy since 2004. For dog owners seeking hydrotherapy services, Aquapaws features a heated 12m canine swimming pool and underwater treadmills. Aquapaws is also the only Australian manufacturer of canine wheelchairs, and has been since 2008.
Aquapaws also has a DIY dog shampooing and
Small Animal Specialist Hospital
SASH vets offers a wide variety of services that all aim to improve their pupper patients’ quality of life. Their Sports Medicine and Veterinary Rehabilitation Centre hosts supervised hydrotherapy sessions. There might be “small animals” in the name, but they offer hydrotherapy to pups of all sizes!
Sydney: Level 1, 1 Richardson Place, North Ryde, NSW 2113
You can also click here to make an enquiry via their website.
Is hydrotherapy right for your dog?
Hydrotherapy is quickly making waves
throughout Australia and beyond. If your pup is living in pain or discomfort,
traditional therapeutic methods alone might not be as helpful as combining them
with alternative methods like hydrotherapy. Speak with your preferred
veterinarian for their take, and pupper will be on the road to a comfortable
recovery in no time.
Can you believe it’s the first week of 2020? And a new decade? As we begin the new year, Team Lyka is taking a trip back in time, to explore key research of the 2010s that taught us more about the optimal fresh dog food diet.
This decade has been an eye-opener, with many studies leading us to believe that a carefully crafted, fresh dog food diet is the best nutritional choice for pupper. Over the last 10 years, we learnt about the dangerous grain-free buzz-word, carcinogenic mycotoxins in kibble and why pupper gets less “bang for their buck” on a kibble diet.
Our prediction on the 2020s? We believe this decade will bring millions of fur-parents switching to a fresh dog food diet, making kibble a thing of the past.
So, come travel back in time with us and let’s dig in!
2010: Mycotoxins: a carcinogenic chemical found in most kibble
Back in 2010, a study from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna uncovered the presence of toxic chemicals, mycotoxins, in bags of commercial kibble. The researchers found carcinogenic mycotoxins, such as deoxynivalenol (DON), zearalenone and fumonisins in most of the kibbles they sampled. In fact, the DON mycotoxin was found in 83% of the kibble brands they investigated.
Although the levels of mycotoxins were considered low, we have limited understanding of impact of long-term, low-grade mycotoxin exposure on dog health. We do know that low-grade exposure in humans has been linked to immune diseases and even cancer. All in all, feeding pupper kibble throughout their life may increase their cancer risk, and the safest way to avoid the exposure to this chemical, is to avoid kibble entirely.
2017: Feeding pupper fresh foods boosts their nutrient absorption
Jump forward 7 years, and a research team in New Zealand undertook the exciting task of investigating the poos of dogs fed a fresh diet vs those fed a kibble diet. We don’t envy them!
As unpleasant as it may be, fecal health gives us an insight into digestibility, and therefore the quantity of nutrients being absorbed by pupper’s body. High digestibility tells us a dog is using a large portion of the food it eats to nourish their body. Low digestibility means that most of the food eaten simply travelling through and out, so to speak.
The study showed that the apparent digestibility of energy, fat and protein was higher in dogs that were on a fresh food diet than those on a kibble diet. The dogs on a kibble diet had higher amounts of protein and fat content in their feces, that their bodies didn’t absorb and use. This means thatpuppers eating a fresh dog food diet can get more out of their food and use the nutrients for important bodily functions such as producing energy, growing and repairing their cells.
What’s more is that dogs fed the kibble diet also had a lower fecal health score and produced more poos. Many of our Lyka fur-parents tell us that once they make the switch to Lyka, their puppers have smaller and less stinky poos! That’s a win-win for pupper and for fur parents!
2018: Australian Senate inquiry: essentially anything can be sold as dog food
A year later, a spiral of dog deaths in Australia linked to commercial dog food led to an inquiry by the Senate into Australia’s pet food industry. Unlike USA and Europe where the pet food industry is government-regulated, pet food in Australia is self-regulated. It is hard for consumers to trust the food they’re serving their puppers, as essentially anything can be put into and sold as dog food.
The inquiry resulted in several recommendations, including enforcing mandatory pet food standards in Australia. There has still been no action from the government nor the industry.
Because of the unclear standards in Australian dog food, we at Lyka choose to hold ourselves to higher, human-grade standards. Our recipes consist of 100% human-grade ingredients and we produce our meals in a HACPP-certified, human grade kitchen.
Grain-free doesn’t necessarily mean healthier. This is because even grain-free kibble still relies on high amount of carbohydrates, mostly for the kibble to maintain its biscuit shape. High carbohydrate ingredients such as peas, legumes and potatoes often make up over 50% of grain-free recipes. Some of these ingredients, such as legumes, are known to deplete the taurine in the dog’s body, and taurine deficiency is thought to be the main link to DCM heart disease.
There are still a number of US dog food brands linked to DCM that are on the shelves in Australia. Based on what we’ve learnt, the safest (and healthiest) option for pupper is to minimise the level of carbohydrates in their diet, which just isn’t possible on a kibble diet. This is why our Lyka recipes contains less than half of the carbohydrate content of kibble, and we focus on animal proteins, good fats and superfoods.
2019: Omega 3 decreases risk of TZ lymphoma cancer
In this same year, a study from the College of Veterinary Medicine in Colorado, showed that high omega-3 content in a dog’s diet may decrease the risk of certain cancers, in particular TZ lymphoma. TZ lymphoma is a type of cancer found within the white blood cells of dogs. There is no known cure and certain breeds, such as Golden Retrievers, are at a greater genetic risk.
So, what’s so special about omega-3? Omega-3 is a fatty acid well known for its anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects. The study showed that inflammatory conditions in pupper’s body increase the risk of TZ lymphoma. By adding omega-3s into their diet, the dog’s bodily inflammation was reduced, making it harder for the TZ lymphoma to grow and spread.
This is why we at Lyka are obsessed with packing high amounts of omega-3s into our recipes. The benefits of omega 3 can only be reaped in a fresh food. This is because omega-3s quickly go rancid when exposed to oxygen, so the fatty acid just doesn’t survive in bags of kibble.
Fresh decade, fresh diet for pupper
Based on what we’ve learnt in the past decade, carefully crafted fresh dog food is the way forward to bring only the best nutritional value to pupper’s diet. As the old saying goes…out with the old, in with the new! Now is the time to start pupper on a journey towards living their best life, which begins with a happier and healthier tummy.
Has your pupper suddenly become a picky eater? A change to healthy dog food is what Bowie’s fur mama, Libby, needed to make sure that Bowie was receiving the right nutrients to his diet. From being a picky pupper to licking the bowl clean, Bowie is on a journey to a happier and healthier tummy!
Meet Libby and her handsome pupper, Bowie
Bowie is a fluffy Cocker Spaniel who loves a cute snuggle next to his fur mama, Libby. “He also has a habit of jumping into bed with me as soon as my husband leaves in the morning and flopping his little body down beside me for a snuggle and a beauty sleep, so cute!” said Libby. Bowie was happily introduced into Libby’s life as an early Christmas present.
There were many hints that Libby was noticing such as a dog bed and some toys. “The next thing I know, my husband walks through the door with baby Bowie, with a little blue scarf around his neck! I was absolutely speechless at the sight of this tiny little bean! I couldn’t believe that this little bundle of love was mine! Best day ever!” said Libby.
Since then, Libby brings Bowie on many adventures, in particular, the beach. “Bowie has developed selective hearing, especially when we go to the beach. He pretends he is deaf until he reaches the water and only then will he turn around with a wagging tail and look back as if to say ‘sorry, were you calling me?'” said Libby.
From a picky eater, to a lick-the-bowl-clean eater…
Bowie was initially kept on dry food that was recommended by his breeder. “Then about 4 months in he became really picky and wasn’t interested in his food anymore… Which, for Cocker Spaniels, is unheard of!” said Libby. Since having Bowie, Libby has always wanted the very best for Bowie and that also meant for him to live his best life. After some discussion with her husband and some research into healthy dog food, they decided that Lyka was a stand-out option and opted to give it a go.
“I was so happy that something existed that was literally no fuss and little time on my end, but was also inclusive of everything I would want my dog to consume without having to pay an absolute fortune and spend hours in the kitchen.”
Bowie’s fur mama, Libby
Bowie wolfed down his first meal and licked the bowl clean until every little piece of food was gone. Libby saw a bounce to Bowie’s step for the rest of the day and when she gave him another half of the pack, Bowie inhaled it all down. Libby found that Bowie’s energy was back to being a funny and excitable pupper. Bowie would whimper at the same time every morning and evening, knowing that he was in for the best healthy dog food that his tummy couldn’t resist.
“His poos became quick, easy and a great colour instead of straining out little pellets, and his hair grew like anything! I’ve never seen a happier boy! “
Bowie’s fur mama, Libby
Every single day, people ask or comment on Bowie’s coat especially on how healthy and handsome he is. “I owe it all to Lyka! His teeth are perfectly white, his eyes are clear, his skin is healthy and he literally shines.” said Libby.
“I know that Lyka is a little more expensive than store-bought food, but it’s 100% worth it to have such a happy and healthy doggie and to know that he’s getting all the nutrients he needs. “
Bowie’s fur mama, Libby
Giving puppers a bounce to their step…
Here for pupper now and always. Our recipes and bowls aim to give pupper that extra bounce to their step every day so that they can live their life to the fullest. To find out more head to our website at lyka.com.au.
As we approach Christmas, we are surrounded by goodies that make us feel like we’ve had way too much to eat. It may be tempting to share some of that foodie love with pupper during this festive season, especially when they’re under the table during Christmas lunch, staring at you with those puppy eyes.
But did you know that over-indulging pupper with our Christmas foods can trigger them to develop pancreatitis? And that vets typically see a spike in pancreatitis in dogs, around the Christmas holidays period?
We’re here to give you a run-down on what we call Boxing Day Disease – the risk of pancreatitis in dogs, after that jolly Christmas lunch.
Not all Christmas leftovers will have pupper’s tummy feeling festive…
A dog’s pancreas is the organ for regulating insulin. Its role is to release insulin and other digestive enzymes to regulate blood sugar levels in pupper’s body. Most dogs who eat a commercial diet already have a pancreas that’s extremely hard at work.
This is because the typical commercial dog food, such as kibble, is rich in high–glycemic index (G.I) carbohydrates, which may put the pancreas under chronic stress, as it is forced to consistently produce large amounts of insulin to balance the high glucose levels in the food.
And what is the perfect trigger for an already
over-worked pancreas? High amounts of fats, usually saturated fats.
Although most human wholefoods are extremely nutritious for pupper, Christmas leftovers tend to be particularly high in saturated fat. Crispy fried bacon and buttered meat loaf, we’re looking at you. If we share these high-fat Christmas foods with pupper, their pancreas will be forced to work extremely hard to break down the fats, enough to tip a chronically-stressed pancreas over the edge and cause an acute pancreatitis in dogs.
Pupper deserves to feast on the good stuff
Not all fats are bad for the pancreas, and in fact, the right types of fats are beneficial for pupper, as long they are fed in moderation and built up gradually over time. A study done by Dr. Greg Olgivie revealed that diets moderately high in protein, higher in fats and lower in carbohydrates appear to not have the same risk factors for pancreatitis as diets that are high in carbohydrates, fat and protein. Dr. Olgivie also found that high amounts of Omega 3 fats were even successful in pro-longing dog patient life. This is why higher fat diets, such as Lyka, that are packed with polyunsaturated Omega 3 good fats can be anti-inflammatory to the pancreas, as long as they are correctly balanced.
Christmas foods that will have the little elves in pupper’s tummy dancing!
Here at Lyka we truly believe that puppers will always
be part of the family and that means they deserve to feast with us during
Christmas. We have curated a list of Christmas foods for pupper: some not-so
good foods to avoid, and healthier options to opt for instead.
Foods to avoid:
High glycemic index carbohydrates:
White mashed or roasted potatoes
Glazed BBQ meats
Foods to opt for:
Dishes that contains fruit &
vegetables (in moderation)
Fruit salads, without sweet
Lightly cooked vegetables, without
Dishes that contain lean cuts of
meat and/or seafood
Lightly cooked ground beef or
A fresh bowl of Lyka!
Encouraging pupper’s tummy to jingle all the way!
Celebrate a happy and healthier tummy for pupper during
this Christmas holiday. You can find out more about the ingredients in each
individual bowl that will keep pupper’s tummy jingling all the way on our
website at lyka.com.au!
If your dog has had a history of pancreatitis it may be worth considering a diet change (under veterinary supervision) in the new year, follow us on social media, subscribe to our newsletter for animal health inspiration or just give us a buzz for help.
Sometimes all it takes for pupper to have that extra bounce to their step is through a happier and healthier tummy. Django’s fur papa, Ian, founder of Bondi Behavourist, found that a diet that provides natural foods for dogs was exactly what Django needed. From a life of neglect to a life full of energy and an even happier tummy, Django is on a quicker and better way to living a healthier and happier life that he truly deserves.
Meet Ian and his handsome pupper, Django
Django is an 8 year old Maltese-cross who takes everything in his stride. Ian adopted Django from Sydney Dogs and Cats Home. “When I first brought him home he was a little more jumpy and skittish but even back then he was remarkably relaxed.” said Ian. With a friendly face and everywhere he went, Django would fit in like he’s done it his whole life. He was always known to be relaxed and easy-going.
Before Ian adopted Django, Django was so unhealthy from neglect and had flea bites everywhere. He was almost unrecognisable as Ian thought he was a wiry terrier mix. But this made no difference to Ian or to his relationship with Django. “I couldn’t love him any more and he gets treated the same by me no matter what he looks like.” said Ian.
A natural foods diet to improve Django’s behaviour
From being the skinny, flea-bitten, balding dog with a bad liver and kidneys, to being the energetic and enthusiastic pupper, Django had come a long way. People were beginning to notice how fast Django was getting better because of a change to his diet.
“But then when I changed to Lyka things went to another level. Within three days his energy levels went up, and they have stayed there since. Not in a hyper active way but in an enthusiastic way. “
Django’s fur papa, Ian
Django is still coming out of his shell but since moving to Lyka, Ian found Django to be more trainable since he is more food motivated. It gave Ian the opportunity to engage, communicate more and strengthen their relationship even further. “I believe that Lyka is helping him be the healthiest and happiest version of himself.” Ian shared.
Since Django has been on Lyka, Ian was seeing Django’s energy levels and willingness to engage with people increase so much. “I hadn’t seen him play or run until he had been on it for around a month. So I really believe that Lyka has had a huge part to play in his behaviour…” Ian said.
Here for all fur parents and puppers, now and always
Apart from natural foods for dogs, what drew Ian to Lyka was the quality of the ingredients and the convenience of it being delivered to his home. He was drawn to the idea that the food is meant for consumption rather than shelf life, but once he looked into Lyka more, Ian was really surprised. “I found that it worked out cheaper than what I was currently feeding him, not by much ($0.10 a day) but still cheaper none the less, that was a real shock to be honest, I thought it was going to cost me a lot more than it does.” said Ian.
Here we are all about helping puppers live their best life and one way is through a happy and healthy tummy. Want to find out how you can bring out the best in pupper’s life? Head on over to our website to find out more about our meals and bowls at lyka.com.au.
Did you know that your dog has a 1 in 4 chance of developing dog cancer in their life?
Just like in humans, the incidence of dog cancer has been increasing over the past few decades. As a society, we have normalised dog cancer, to be an inevitable part of our furry friends aging. I’m sure you know of a dog, or have heard of a dog who’s battled cancer in their life.
November marks Pet Cancer Awareness Month across the world. This year, we are here to challenge the normalisation of dog cancer. Our goal at Lyka is to keep our furry friends in our lives for as long as possible, and we believe that optimising nutrition is an important tool to do so.
Cancer is an extremely complex topic. Although further research is still needed, cancer is being increasingly thought of as a metabolic disease in both the human and canine medical fields.
Evidence is suggesting that switching pupper from kibble to minimally processed food can decrease their cancer risk. So why don’t we get down to the nitty gritty of potential dangers of processed dog food and cancer, and what fresh foods can bring to the table…
High temperatures can change the chemical structure of food
One of the dangers of processed dog food is the high temperatures that go into making kibble, typically upwards of 200 degrees Celsius. Scorching foods not only affects the natural nutritional value of the food, but also has shown to cause free radicals to form and carcinogenic chemicals to be released.
Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are chemicals formed when muscle meat is cooked at high temperatures. Acrylamides are chemicals formed when certain starchy foods are heavily processed. Both are mutagenic, meaning that they can change the structure of DNA and research has emerged to suggest that these chemicals increase cancer risk in both rodents and humans, and we suspect the same is true for our dogs.
The blow with high-temperature processing is two-fold, as it also reduces the natural antioxidants in the food. Anti-oxidants are the substances that help protect pupper’s body from those very free radicals. Because of this, processed dog food such as kibble can cause oxidative stress and lead to an unbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in pupper’s body, thus increasing their risk of dog cancers.
Glucose isn’t as sweet as you think…
We’ve known for almost 100 years that glucose is linked to cancer cell growth thanks to Otto Warburg’s research from the 1930s. Warburg won a Nobel Prize for his discovery that cancer cells exhibit a greater rate of glycolysis than normal cells, meaning they generate energy to grow from the breakdown of glucose to energy.
The scary part about kibble? Dry food typically contains over 50% carbohydrate ingredients, in order to create its biscuit-like consistency. When pupper digests kibble, the high levels of carbohydrates are broken down into glucose. Cancer cells metabolise this sugar through a process called anaerobic glycolysis, fuelling their growth.
The main carbohydrate culprits in kibble are grains such as rice, corn and wheat. But what about grain-free kibble? Even grain-free kibble needs high starch content to form the biscuit consistency, and most have high levels of non-grain carbohydrates such as potatoes, chickpeas, legumes or peas. Although the magnitude and biological implications of this metabolic response are not yet quantified, with the current increases in inflammatory disorders seen in dogs, we hypothesise that avoiding high-GI carbohydrates, and therefore avoiding kibble, is a key driver of pupper’s health.
Chronic inflammation could be a root cause
Our understanding of the role of inflammation in the human body has increased greatly, and inflammation is now recognised as a common root cause of many chronic diseases across the Western population, including cancer. It is thought that the relationship between inflammation and cancer is also mirrored in our furry friends. How exactly is chronic inflammation linked to an increased cancer risk?
develop due to changes in the structure of the cells. There are two types of
cell changes– genetic alterations or epigenetic alternations. Genetic alterations
are permanent mutations of the DNA. On the other hand, epigenetics alternations
change the gene expression, rather than the DNA sequence itself, and are largely
driven by lifestyle factors.
Factors such as nutrition, lifestyle, exercise and toxins are all capable of changing the gene expression, either in a positive or negative way. Chronic inflammation induces epigenetic alteration and has shown to increase the risk of developing cancers in humans, and we hypothesise this is likely the case for dogs too.
Although there is still further research required to determine the extent of the link between kibble and cancer, there are many concerning signs. It appears that the combination of high carbohydrate, free-radicals, low anti-oxidants may cause pupper’s body to work more aggressively to metabolise the food, leading to metabolic stress and chronic inflammation, which ultimately fosters a higher risk environment for cancer to develop.
What can real foods bring to the table?
Although research is still evolving, there are some promising signs pointing to the power of feeding pupper a fresh, natural diet to reduce their cancer risk and, in some cases, even reverse it. As Hippocrates once said, ‘let food be thy medicine’.
Let’s start with the basics of cooking. Minimally processed dog food such as Lyka is lightly cooked at temperatures below the levels required for carcinogenic chemicals to form. The other positive, is that the bioactives, such as vitamins, antioxidants, phytonutrients, remain largely intact, meaning pupper’s body can take full advantage of the natural nutrition offered by the ingredients.
One of the key cancer-protective benefits that minimally processed ingredients can offer is antioxidants. The wholefood antioxidants from ingredients such as shiitake mushrooms, ginger and blueberries have shown anti-cancer and chemo-protective mechanisms. Other ingredients such as broccoli have even been shown to reduce growth of bladder cancer in dogs.
It’s not just about the fresh ingredients. A recipe formulation focused on reducing the risk of cancer is just as important. Dr. Greg Olgivie has led research into the optimal “The Cancer Care” diet. He concluded that a diet of low simple carbohydrates, moderate protein and high-quality unsaturated fat is most effective for dog cancers in patients.
Dr. Olgivie found that high amounts of Omega 3 fats were successful in pro-longing dog patient life. But it’s important to balance the anti-inflammatory Omega 3s with the pro-inflammatory Omega 6s. For example, we at Lyka believe that AAFCO’s minimum Omega 6:3 ratio of 30:1 may be pro-inflammatory, and instead have opted for a much lower Omega 6:3 ratio of 3:1 in our recipes. Another recipe consideration is high GI carbohydrates. We are philosophically against adding higher glycemic index carbohydrates, such as potatoes, rice and corn, due to risk of blood sugar spikes and therefore the increased cancer risk of serving these foods to pupper. Lyka recipes focus on low GI carbohydrates such as leafy vegetables, butternut squash and purple sweet potato.
Lyka, striving to design the optimal diet for dog health
Our Lyka recipes have fresh wholefood ingredients that are packed full of bioactive nutrients. They are gently cooked at low temperatures and below durations for the carcinogenic chemicals to form. Our recipes are packed with ingredients containing the beneficial nutrients such as antioxidants, that can help fight free radicals, and anti-inflammatory omega-3s .
There is no “one diet fits all”, but our Lyka recipes aim to provide optimised natural nutrition for the vast majority of dogs. Our recipes are based on the solutions employed by prominent Integrative Veterinarians with clinical experience in nutritional counseling and diet design.
Make a change in pupper’s diet and try out our sampler box so that pupper can live out their best life.
Many senior puppers can develop health complications as they age. That includes becoming pickier with their diet. We’ve teamed up with Peter Sharp from Tame & Wild Studio, an ambassador for Sydney Dogs & Cats Home (SDCH), to tell Betty’s life-changing story from being rehomed and getting her health back on track with healthier senior dog food.
Peter is an award-winning pet photographer who volunteers at SDCH. He strongly believes in the importance of photography to unite puppers with the right family. His passion lies with giving back to the community by capturing touching stories of neglected or sick pets who have gone on to find loving new homes. One of these stories is none other than our Lyka pupper, Betty.
Meet Lucy and her super loving pupper, Betty
Betty, also known as Betty White, is a Maltese-cross who was neglected by her previous owners. At the age of 12, health was not on her side. She required treatment for many health issues and major surgery to remove most of her teeth and multiple mammary tumours. Betty’s fur was matted and needed a new makeover. Betty was part of SDCH’s Senior Pet Project and that’s where she caught Lucy’s eye. Betty White was so excited that she was jumping up and down until Lucy approached her. It was from that day on, Lucy knew Betty was the one she was going to adopt.
Betty White is the star of the show everywhere she goes. She loves a good cuddle and the attention from everyone. As Lucy works from home, she spends all day together with Betty and they even go for walks in Sydney Parks. It was clear Betty’s got a favourite! Since Betty White has been in Lucy’s loving care, Betty is like a new pupper living her best life!
Betty’s got an itch for a fresh diet
Like some senior puppers, Betty White was a fussy eater. She also had sensitive itchy skin. Her fur mama Lucy needed to find senior dog food to suit Betty’s fussy nature.
“I was at a fundraiser for SDCH when I met Ian at Bondi Behaviourist. I was speaking to him about Betty’s fussy nature when it comes to food, he mentioned giving Lyka a try and we haven’t looked back since! It’s been a real turn around for her.”
Betty’s fur mama, Lucy
After Betty’s first week on Lyka, Lucy was noticing positive changes in Betty’s energy levels. “She was always excitable when people would come to our house, but she’s definitely stepped it up a gear!” said Lucy. Betty’s sensitive and itchy skin was also stopping her from living her best life, but a fresh bowl of Lyka helped stop that. “As spring/summer approaches, she is always extra itchy…but that has not pretty much stopped completely.” Lucy shared.
Boosting senior dog’s energy levels with Lyka
Betty is and has always been a friendly pupper, and since switching to a fresh diet with Lyka, Lucy noticed incredible changes in all aspects of Betty’s life. “I couldn’t imagine not having her now, adopting her was the best decision we’ve made.” said Lucy.
Every pupper deserves a chance to live their best life and that includes providing them with happier and healthier way of living. It is so important that puppers in need of a home go to the right family and that’s what Peter aims to do through his lens.
To find out more about Betty’s story and other rescue puppers, Peter from Tame & Wild Studio has released “Lost but Found“, a book that captures touching and inspiring stories of neglected or sick animals through his beautiful photography. All of the royalties from the sale of this book go to Sydney Dogs & Cats Home to help puppers find loving homes.
You can also find out more about our Lyka meals on our website at lyka.com.au
It’s National Pet Obesity Awareness Month and we’re here to give you the scoop on the affects of canine obesity! Canine obesity is a very real problem among our furry family members—In fact, 41% of puppers in Australia are considered overweight dogs, according to the Pet Food Industry Association of Australia Incorporated. Aside from predisposing pupper to various illnesses like osteoarthritis, heart disease, reproductive disorders, diabetes, and more, obesity can dramatically affect their quality of life, and ultimately yours too.
Canine obesity can be prevented if you make the right decisions for your pupper. Let’s learn more.
What causes canine obesity?
It’s common for fur parents to struggle in achieving perfect
nutrition for their pupper. Overfeeding or providing incorrect nutrients can
lead to obesity, especially when combined with too little exercise. Just like
in humans—when food intake is greater than the energy your pupper burns, the
excess food energy is stored as fat.
This situation could prove to be more dangerous than just giving pupper a few extra pounds. According to our in-house veterinarian, Dr. Matthew Muir, we now know that fat cells don’t just sit around doing nothing. They produce a range of pro-inflammatory chemicals in the body, known as adipokines, that can contribute to metabolic inflammation, including within the joint and nervous system—a phenomenon known as neuro-inflammation. But—the good news? Canine obesity can be easily reversible once you know exactly what you’re feeding your pupper, and exactly how much to feed them.
How can you tell if pupper is overweight or underweight?
Of course, a pupper’s ideal weight depends on their breed and other factors, so it’s helpful to rely on a standardised scoring system to help measure our puppers’ health.
The score scale ranges from 1 (emaciated—the most
underweight) to 9 (grossly obese—the most overweight). A BCS score of 4.5,
right in the middle, is ideal, but a score of 5 can also be considered healthy.
Dr. Muir endorses a score of 4.5.
At an ideal weight, your pupper’s ribs should be easily felt to the touch with minimal fat covering. You should be able to distinguish their waist when looking at your pupper from above. If you can see your pupper’s ribs and pelvic bones from a distance, they are likely underweight. If you can’t distinguish your pupper’s waist and if there are fat deposits over your pupper’s spine and base of their tail, this may be common in overweight dogs and your pupper may be likely overweight or obese. Here’s a quick visual guide, according to The World Small Animal Veterinary Association Committee:
Dry kibble-based foods are typically calorie-dense and of higher glycaemic-index (GI) carbs. Portion sizes can depend on the calorie-density of foods, so dry kibble-based foods can be harmful to puppers since they break down into sugars to be used as either energy or fat.
Not all fat is bad fat. Just like humans, puppers need a balance of good fats, too. It’s all about choosing the right ones! omega-3s are one of the best choices for your pupper. Animal foods high in omega-3s, like many oily fish, for example, have less saturated fat than other proteins.
Our Lyka bowls have a maximum omega-6 : omega-3 ratio of 3:1, that’s 10 times more omega-3 than the required amount according to AAFCO standards! omega-3 works inside the body to reduce cellular inflammation, potentially protecting your pupper from diseases like osteoarthritis and cancer.
Each Lyka product is low-lectin and legume-free. We don’t want to add higher-GI carbs, like white potatoes, rice, and corn, to your pupper’s food. These types of foods have been shown to cause glucose spikes in puppers, which could lead to diabetes and metabolic inflammation, like we mentioned earlier. Fortunately, there are healthier carbs that are low-GI, including many fresh vegetables. These carbs do not cause blood sugar spikes—instead, they provide healthy micronutrients to boost pupper’s overall diet. A proper balance of healthy oils, and fresh vegetables gives pupper a healthy dose of antioxidants that help promote good health.
Choosing the right ingredients isn’t enough – accurate nutrient levels and portion sizes are equally important!
Here at Lyka, we customise serving sizes to help ensure your pupper maintains a healthy weight. Each meal is prepared using a veterinary algorithm that considers your pupper’s breed, size, weight, age, activity level, and body shape.
Our bowls aren’t just for puppies either! Our food has helped support puppers of all ages, including senior dogs like Noodle and Baxter. Throughout all stages of pupper’s life, it’s important to maintain good health while preventing disease.
Canine obesity is a serious but preventable condition. If your pupper needs a little extra help maintaining their weight, it’s never too late to make a positive change. Try our Starter Box and see for yourself—pupper will look and feel healthier than ever!
Raw dog food is becoming a popular choice amogst dog owners, although it can pose a risks to puppers and their humans alike. For Cooma, some raw chicken on his birthday led to him becoming completely paralysed. Cooma’s fur mama, Louise Grant, wanted only the best for her pupper to live his best life. Louise and her pupper, Cooma have shared their powerful Lyka journey and how Lyka’s natural dog food has been the support for Cooma in his road to recovery.
Meet Louise and her amazing pupper, Cooma
Cooma was a happy-go-lucky 7 year old pupper who loves his long 8km walks, hours of play at the beach and running after his toys. Louise cooked his food most of the time and would give Cooma treats just like other fur mamas.
Going from energetic to lethargic was just a matter of time
A few days prior to Cooma’s 8th birthday, Louise gave him raw chicken necks for breakfast and a juicy steak for dinner to celebrate. A day later, Cooma was feeling lethargic on his walk, and Louise had planned a big week for Cooma going on a lot of walks and many visits to the beach. The next day, Louise noticed his voice was squeaky and soft, and thought it was just a cold. When she got home from her night shift the next morning, instead of her usual energetic pup greeting her at the door, Louise found her pupper laying on the kitchen floor, unable to walk and bark, lying in his own drool as he looked up at her.
Louise scooped Cooma up off the ground and carried him straight to the vets. He was shaved in the hunt for ticks, blood test galore, snake anti venom, antibiotics and fluids, but none of these helped her pupper. The next week, her beautiful Cooma was inexplicably paralysed in all four limbs.
Louise brought her pupper home to look after him. Cooma needed feeding every two hours, carried to the toilet, his position needed to be changed to stop bed sores and needed hand feeding, one spoon of broth at a time. “By Thursday he could barely lift his head, drooled constantly and he was officially diagnosed with Idiopathic Polyradiculoneuropathy – ‘coonhound paralysis’” Louise said.
Switching from a raw to a lightly cooked diet was just the beginning
Studies with the RSPCA and the University of Melbourne have linked raw chicken necks and raw meat with the condition – a disease that disables a dog’s ability to move, but keeps their senses intact. “The good news is, the dogs recover with the right time, the right rehabilitation and the right nutrition. For some this recovery is months, for others well over a year. Thankfully our journey was faster.” Louise said whilst still staying positive about Cooma’s recovery.
Once Cooma could chew again without any help, Louise was determined that her pupper was going to get only the best natural dog food filled with muscle building goodness and health restoring vitamins. She knew she needed to look into lightly cooked food to help Cooma with his recovery. And so began Louise and Cooma’s Lyka Journey!
Now 5 months down the track, Cooma is back to his energetic self, running around the beach and chasing after toys. With a positive outlook on Cooma’s recovery, Louise said “All because his body has had the right fuel to rebuild his muscles, joints and functionality…well, except for maybe his funny little bunny hop he does while he runs now haha.“
To Louise, Cooma is part of the family. “He is my best friend and companion in this crazy thing called life, and all of that almost disappeared because I gave him what I thought was good raw food.” Louise said feeling lucky that Cooma defied all the odds and recovered months faster than other dogs in the same situation.
“And honestly, I put this down to three things: his spirited nature, my stubborn nursing and the right nutrition. And I have Lyka to thank for that.”
Cooma’s fur mama, Louise
Louise became the hero in Cooma’s eyes the moment she switched to Lyka. She was very determined to get Cooma back on track so that he can live his best life.
Here for pupper now and always
Lyka puppers deserve to live their best life and you can help them achieve that! Lyka uses fresh ingredients to give pupper the most optimal health and to support them living their best life. That’s why Lyka is here for pupper, now and always. Looking for natural dog food to give pupper? Give our Starter Box a go and see pupper have that extra bounce to their step!
Masses of dogs across Australia are developing food intolerances throughout their life. Itchy skin, chronic ear infections, and constant scratching are the daily norm for these poor pooches. These symptoms can be traced back to what is commonly known as “leaky gut syndrome” in dogs.
Nothing is more permanent than a temporary fix
Single-source protein pet foods are the industry’s “solution” to the growing problem of intolerances in dogs. A single protein rabbit dog food, is ideal for a dog that can’t tolerate beef, right?
Yes, but not for long. We’ll use a fictional Cavoodle, Harley, as an example. As a puppy, Harley ate a beef diet. Everything was well for a few months, until he started reacting to beef, and had to switch to chicken. When chicken no longer worked, he turned to pork. Eventually, Harley needed novel protein sources, like crocodile, to sustain his diet. But it’s almost inevitable that he’ll become intolerant to those too! And what happens then?
But removing the trigger protein from a dog’s diet is nothing more than a quick fix. It doesn’t answer the question, “Why are dogs becoming intolerant to these foods?”
Let’s talk root cause: “leaky gut syndrome”
Leaky gut syndrome, medically recognised as “gut hyperpermeability” is a condition where a dog’s gut lining doesn’t function correctly, allowing food particles and toxins to “leak” into their bloodstream. Leaky gut in dogs is caused by an imbalance of gut bacteria or dysbiosis. The gut doesn’t produce enough good bacteria to balance out the bad, leading to overgrowth.
Leaky gut in dogs is often the root cause of other conditions. “Ear and skin problems can often be linked to gut problems via increased gut permeability, and even fussiness can be a subtle sign of bacterial imbalance,” says Dr. Matthew Muir, Lyka’s in-house veterinarian.
If leaky gut is not prevented and treated early, the immune system goes into overdrive. It attacks itself as it attempts to fight foreign substances, which can lead to inflammation and autoimmune diseases.
Addressing your dog’s leaky gut
The core of treating a leaky gut is regulating your dog’s gut microbiome. Diet is the most important factor that affects gut health, so it’s crucial to address your dog’s eating habits.
Your first course of action should be to remove foods that cause reactions in your dog’s diet. This will give their gut time to rest and repair.
If you’re currently feeding your dog processed food, it’s time to stop. High-GI, processed dog foods trigger the growth of bad bacteria. The best option for your dog’s gut health is a diet full of fresh, real food, packed with pre-biotic nutrients. This will help provide the right gut conditions for their good bacteria to flourish.
If your dog’s condition is serious, see a veterinarian immediately. Consider an Integrative Veterinarianlike Lyka’s Dr. Matthew J Muir, who runs Sydney’s All Natural Vet Care. Integrative vets utilise more natural approaches to treatment, such as herbal medicine, alongside more traditional methods of care to minimise the usage of drugs and chemicals.
Lyka can help
At Lyka, we believe that a healthy gut microbiome can lead to benefits for your pup from the inside out, from better poos to healthy skin. For dogs with more sensitive tummies, our Chicken and Turkey bowls are two great options. Both of these recipes are low in fat and easily digestible, and are complete and balanced to offer all of your pup’s required nutrients.
Unlike other pet food companies, we label every single ingredient that goes into our pouches. You won’t find any mystery proteins on our ingredients lists, so you can be sure you’re not giving your dog anything which has caused them a negative reaction in the past. For dogs with GI concerns, we recommend a slower transition to new food, so try a Starter Box today to get your dog onto a fresh, healthy diet.
As your pupper gets older, their health and diet requires more special attention. This means ensuring they are getting the healthiest ingredients and nutrients in their diet so you and your pupper can thrive together. Virginia and her two gorgeous yorkies, Noodle and Baxter have shared their positive Lyka journey and their experiences with switching to a fresh diet for dogs.
and her gorgeous puppers, Noodle and Baxter
Noodle and Baxter moved to Australia 10 years ago from the East Coast of New Zealand. “Baxter loves bags, any bags from shopping bags to hand bags, he will jump in and make himself at home no matter how big or small the bag is. Noodle loves food and craves a good meal or snack.” Virginia shared on both her pupper’s different personalities.
They are both 11 years old and are moving into their golden older years. With old age, Noodle was diagnosed with a heart condition, Cushing’s disease and cancer.
Supporting senior dogs with health concerns
Noodle and Baxter’s health was the main concern for Virginia, “Noodle and Baxter both suffered bouts of diarrhea and constipation.” Virginia said and this meant their stool was not looking normal. Apart from diarrhea and constipation, Noodle’s heart condition, Cushing’s disease and cancer were health concerns that Virginia wanted to help combat. So she opted for healthier options with Lyka.
Since making the switch to Lyka, she has seen both puppers thrive and Noodle coping with her health conditions better than Virginia had expected. Similarly, Noodle and Baxter are now producing healthier and regular stools. A fresh diet for dogs that is human-grade, lightly cooked with fresh ingredients and no preservatives was exactly what Virginia was looking for. With a relief, Virginia said “I truly don’t think we would be in this position with her if she wasn’t eating Lyka.”
the balance with maintaining weight
Both Noodle and Baxter were having slight issues with maintaining their weight. Noodle, loving food so much, gained weight easily. On the other hand, Baxter was underweight and would easily turn away his dinner. Virginia switched to Lyka in order to help maintain both Noodle and Baxter’s ideal weight, as well as provide them with fresh nutrients.
Since moving to Lyka, Noodle has lost weight while simply eating two Lyka meals a day. Similarly, Baxter now eats two meals a day, twice the amount recommended for his weight, and has gained weight whilst also increasing his nutrient levels. Now with their new and improved diets, both Noodle and Baxter have transformed into more energetic and healthier dogs.
Thrive with Lyka
Your pupper deserves only the best, real food ingredients to help them thrive in life every day. That’s why our recipes are carefully crafted to provide the optimal balance of natural nutrients, for their health to thrive. Give our sampler box a go and see your pupper’s overall health improve!
Properly feeding your pupper isn’t just about giving them food at the same time each and every day. It’s also about making the right food choices to let them thrive and develop as well as they should. Clare, one of our loyal customers, shares her positive experience switching her puppers from dry food to real, fresh food for dogs. They now have even more energy and even shinier coats!
Meet Clare and her adorable puppers, Theophilus & Ernie
Clare wanted a Newfoundland for twenty years before she got her first one, who she named Theophilus. She is now nearly two years old. “Her cheekiness and her sweetness are equal first,” Clare tells us about Theophilus’ most unique personality trait.
Theophilus has been one of the greatest joys of Clare’s life, along with her brother Ernie, a six-and-a-half-year-old rescue Newfoundland. Clare recently adopted Ernie in March and she says, since then, he’s like a new dog. He loves snuggling and has a super-loving nature.
Their relationship is one of a kind. Ernie loves Theophilus, and Theophilus pretends not to love Ernie, but when Clare isn’t watching, they sometimes sleep “holding hands”.
Theophilus tries to play with Ernie but he hasn’t yet been well socialised. Because he gets nervous, Ernie will just give her the ball or whatever it is she’s trying to tempt him with. But he’s coming along, and now they sometimes wrestle over a stick.
Want more adorable photos of theirs? You can follow their adventures on Instagram at @theophilusandernie
Taking the “mainstream” approach: Just because it’s the norm doesn’t mean it’s right!
Initially, Theophilus was on packaged dry food. But Clare was worried about the toll it may have taken on her energy levels. “I thought dry food had too many additives,” she admits. Additives are commonly used in dry food or processed food for different purposes, like extending the shelf life, enhancing the flavours and appearance… the ‘seems-to-be-necessary’ list goes on.
Some additives are sourced from natural sources, but some are derived from manufactured ones. The latter is often thought to be responsible for any adverse reactions or intolerance symptoms in some dogs. And since it’s possible for dog foods to contain synthetic additives without being advertised on the ingredient list, it’s natural for dog owners to worry about feeding this food to their dogs.
Clare knew that she needed to switch Theophilus to fresh food, but time was her only issue. “I don’t have time to prepare fresh food myself,” Clare said. And with good reason! Making pupper homemade food starts with learning about what pupper needs, which often involves consulting vets, making your way to find all the ingredients you need, and finally prepping and cooking them. It’s arguably more work in making fresh food for dogs than cooking for a human family!
Why not give Lyka a chance?
Clare then found Lyka online and decided to give it a go. After three weeks with a Lyka subscription, Clare saw that Theophilus had so much energy. “She used to be quite lethargic and now she loves to run and run. She is very shiny too,” Clare says. “She was like a new dog!”
When Ernie joined the family, she subscribed him to Lyka too. “When we got Ernie, he was skinny and anxious and he couldn’t finish his dinner as he’d get distracted and afraid,” Clare says, “But now he barks at me to get up and feed him in the morning and chomps his jaw while I am preparing his food. It’s hard to separate out the food from being with us [that makes him that excited], but [we know that] he loves his Lyka! He’s also come out of his shell and now he is an enormous loveable goofball.”
Lyka is the easiest way to provide a real, fresh diet
Lyka disrupts the pet food industry by preparing all meals on demand and delivering them directly to our customers. Lyka is built on the premise that dogs should be as choosy as we are when it comes to food. We redefine pet food by producing minimally processed wholefoods in a human-grade kitchen.
Order your Starter Box now and get ready to see real changes in your pup, brought by real, fresh food for dogs. Hassle-free for you, better for pupper!
With so many studies published revealing the link between processed dog food and chronic diseases, many dog owners choose to feed their puppers homemade dog food. And since many of the things we eat are also pupper-friendly (the list is here!), there’s a big chance that you have all the ingredients you need for healthy, tasty dog meals just right in your kitchen. But what if you can get the homemade diets delivered? Our loyal customer, Visca, shares with us how Lyka keeps her commitment to only giving the best for her lovely Aqua and Felix, especially when she’s away for holidays.
Meet Visca and her puppers, Aqua and Felix
Visca’s journey with puppers started when she fell in love with a grumpy looking pug back in 2016. She adopted him the following year as her birthday present and named him Aqua, short for Aquarius. Aqua grew up as a healthy, adorable pupper who loves all humans and dogs he meets.
One and a half year later, Visca fell in love the second time with a squishy face Frenchie that she adopted and named Felix. It means “lucky” as she thought she would never be able to afford another pupper. They love walking in the sunset together, the perks of living next to the golf course and having the ocean as their backyard. You can see their adorably heartwarming pictures here.
The commitment to only providing the best food
Reading plenty of articles about the natural way of feeding dogs, Visca was determined to avoid any commercial dog food for Aqua, her first-ever pupper. “I don’t believe in kibble,” she says. Since his gotcha day, Aqua had homemade dog food as 95% of his food.
Visca also decided to only consume food that Aqua can eat, meaning there is no more onion, grapes, and macadamia nuts in her diet. Chocolate is her only weakness (understandably!). It’s a different kind of serotonin-boosting food. “Who can say no to chocolate when Aqua my endless love is around?” she askes.
Real food, real benefits
Visca used organic chicken, lamb, or beef, nutrient-dense vegetables like broccoli and kale, super seeds like flax seeds and pumpkin seeds, healthy roots like turmeric, medicinal herbs like parsley, and beneficial oils like coconut oil for Aqua’s meals. She also made sure the ingredients used were gluten-free. Visca has always wanted Aqua to get the nutrients he needs to thrive and develop into a healthy, happy dog.
Her commitment paid off. “Aqua has been a very healthy boy. He never goes to the vet for illnesses,” says Visca. But one day, Visca’s feet were itchy for an overseas holiday, meaning she’d be away for more than a week. So, she was hoping to find ready-to-eat food for Aqua so he can stay in the boarding kennel and eat healthily.
“Lyka is the answer to my prayers”
Visca was taking Aqua to the dog daycare Centennial Bark when she encountered Lyka. She was thrilled to discover it. “Lyka is the answer to my prayers“, she says. She brought some samples home and gave it a try, with a great result: Aqua loved it! This was in early 2018 when Felix had not yet joined the family. After doing her own research about Lyka and its ingredients, she decided to subscribe to Lyka without any hesitation. “I’m so lucky to find Lyka, otherwise the kitchen is my third office!” Visca says.
The two things Visca loves the most about Lyka? “It gives me the convenience of not cooking all the time, and still offers consistent quality in each batch,” says Visca. Aside from the obvious convenience factor, she has noticed that Lyka helps keep Aqua in tip-top shape. “Lyka is one of the keys to Aqua’s excellent health. It’s just like my homemade dog food. Aqua’s trips to the vet are only and only for vaccinations,” says Visca.
“Things never happen the same way twice” – C. S. Lewis
Felix is also following Aqua’s pathway to the same goal after he was adopted, but it is not without challenges. After undertaking two surgeries in less than 6 months, his weakened immune system took the toll. Felix developed skin allergies. Visits to the vets and dermatologists have alleviated the acute phase, but they have not fully resolved his skin conditions. Visca determines to take the natural step to support his healing process using the “food to heal”‘ principle. Her trust in human-grade ingredients quality and consistency that Lyka bowls offer is still taking part in Felix’s journey to fully recover.
Meet Lyka, your number one supporter for your puppers’ best life
At Lyka, we develop vet-approved recipes that cover the nutrients your pupper needs, and tailor the serving size to ensure their portion is just right. Just click “order” and leave the rest to us. Kick start your dog’s healthy eating plan with a Starter Box, and get ready to be impressed by Lyka’s convenience and quality.
We’ve been aware of yoga’s health benefits for decades now. But did you know your pupper can reap these benefits too from doga, the yoga for dogs?
Gone are the days where your pup sits idly by, head tilted in confusion as he watches you bend and twist in front of your yoga video on TV. Now he can join you!
As we celebrate the International Day of Yoga today, we want to take this opportunity to discuss some of the many benefits of yoga for dogs. We interviewed a few dog yoga studio owners in the area for their take on best doga practices.
What is doga?
Dog yoga is so much more than bringing your pup along to your yoga classes. It allows him to join in on the fun! Doga, when done in the right environment, calms both you and your dog. Doga is a combination of “yoga for dogs” and “yoga with dogs”. Therefore, it allows both pupper and his owner to benefit.
Think about it—many of us go out to run errands, including a yoga class for example, and worry about our dog being at home. When you go to a doga session, there’s no need to feel guilty because he’ll be right there with you the whole time. He may even want to go for a walk afterward!
Common misconceptions about doga
The dog is doing all the work. A common misconception, according to Adele from Rancan Sisters Fitness, is that owners envision themselves sitting back while their dog performs yoga poses, finding it hard to believe that any dog would be able to stay still while ignoring other pups in the room. They say that, while you’ll feel great afterwards, the perfect doga session will make you feel more connected to your dog rather than feeling like you got an excellent workout.
Elyse from Studio 3 Australia notes that their canine participants enjoy the chance to climb on people and play during class. Both humans and dogs get their social exercises in!
Doga is only beneficial for small dogs. Though it may seem like tinier dogs are more nimble, Michelle from Hot Tropical Yoga notes that there are many poses and adjustments available for dogs of all sizes. “The smallest dog we’ve had is a Chihuahua and the largest a Wolfhound.” A Wolfhound doing yoga—imagine that!
The top benefits of doga
Anxiety relief for humans and pups. Elyse puts it perfectly—“Who doesn’t get super excited when they see a dog? … The dogs are more like therapy dogs, making people happy as they come to the class.”
Adele also agrees, adding that dogs help reduce our stress by allowing us to live in the moment. Dogs react very positively to physical touch, especially around the ears, so focusing on these areas during a doga session can make for a happier pup.
A fun alternative to exercise. For Michelle, doga is a “sneaky” way to get in some exercise, for both the owner and their dog. If your dog is the type to scoff at the idea of a walk but loves joining you at social gatherings, doga might be the answer you’ve been looking for.
Reduced blood pressure. Did you know our blood pressure drops when we pet a dog? Rancan Sisters lets us know that dog/human interaction has so many benefits for both us and our dogs. They help boost our immune systems by satisfying our natural need for touch, and the same goes for our pups. All of this combined with a relaxing atmosphere makes doga one of the best ways to boost a dog owner’s emotional and physical health. You can feel even better knowing you’re doing the same for your pup.
Thinking about attending a doga session? There are a few things you should know before you start.
Not every doga session is bring-your-own-dog friendly. For instance, Studio 3 conducts yoga sessions with rescue pups of all sizes. This is an excellent way for these dogs to get the exposure and love that they need. Depending on their age, all of the puppies in Studio 3’s sessions are up for adoption. This is ideal for someone who isn’t yet ready to commit to having a dog, but still loves spending time with them!
Just like regular yoga, it’s crucial that you relax. Rancan Sisters assures us that each doga session is different from the last, so you can never know what to expect. They discourage their attendees to aim for a “perfect” session, and instead just try to enjoy the experience.
Exercises will be modified depending on the breed size. Don’t expect to carry a Great Dane like you would a Chihuahua! Every dog can benefit from stretching, but the way their owners interact with them during a doga class depends on the breed’s size. Hot Tropical Yoga says that smaller dogs are more fun for balance-based poses, but it’s easy to interact and stretch with dogs of all sizes.
What if you can’t find a doga class in your area?
Don’t get discouraged—owners can do doga themselves at home! If you’re new to yoga, develop a routine at home and your dog will quickly associate yoga time with quality bonding time, according to Rancan Sisters. And if you’re no stranger to doing yoga at home, your pup has likely already tried to join you!
More information about these doga studios
1. Rancan Sisters Fitness, Sydney They are yet to open up a regular schedule of doga classes as they just relocated their studio. But they do run pop up doga events every now and then so make sure you follow them on Instagram and Facebook to check the dates and place. They are also working on a book, DVD, and training program to satisfy the increasingly high doga demand!
2. Hot Tropical Yoga, Coolangatta They run monthly doga classes on a Sunday morning at Queen Elizabeth Park Coolangatta. Check their Instagram and Facebook page for updates on when it’ll be next.
Nearly every dog owner has been in the frustrating situation where his or her dog is in the yard and will not stop munching on the greenery. Perhaps when you have asked your dog to stop eating the grass, your pooch has only run around the yard biting at grass blades, as if to mock you. Why do dogs eat grass, and is this behaviour safe? Here, the reasons dogs eat grass will be discussed.
When dogs are bored they find interesting ways to entertain themselves. One theory for why dogs eat grass is that they are searching for worms in the ground, either out of boredom or due to a hereditary hunting trait. While searching for in-ground creatures, grass is sometimes ingested as a result. If you believe your dog is eating grass simply because he or she has nothing better to do, limit your dog’s time spent alone outside or purchase interactive toys for your pet.
2. Seeking attention
Dogs love attention, and do not discriminate in the type that they receive. If you have ever yelled at your dog or brought him or her indoors because of the grass eating, you have unknowingly reinforced the behaviour. Therefore, one possibility for eating grass is that your dog is seeking the same type of attention that has been given in the past because of this behaviour.
3. Poor diet
Sometimes, dogs eat grass because they are experiencing nutrient deficiency. This is especially true when dogs are not receiving enough fibre in their diet. If your dog has started eating grass (in addition to feces and/or dirt) after switching to new dog food, consider whether his or her diet may be to blame.
4. Gastrointestinal distress
Perhaps the most common reason that a dog eats grass is to make itself throw up to relieve any type of gastrointestinal discomfort. When a dog eats something that does not agree with his or her stomach, gorging on grass or water is a surefire way to induce vomiting. If your dog frequently eats grass until vomiting, schedule an appointment with a veterinarian to determine if your dog has an underlying illness.
5. Gastric reflux/irritable bowel syndrome
Interestingly, chronic grass eating has been linked with irritable bowel syndrome and gastric reflux in dogs. Veterinarians performed a study see if there were any abnormalities among dogs whose owners complained of bouts of eating grass in conjunction with symptoms such as licking the air, gulping, and anxiety after meals. What veterinarians found is that these dogs often have more acid in their stomachs, which can lead to the aforementioned symptoms as well as irritable bowel syndrome. One remedy is to slow down your dog’s eating by use of a slow-bowl, and to ask for a prescription for a canine antacid for your pet.
Finally, the answer to this question may simply be rooted in science and evolution. Researchers have observed both wolves and wild dogs indulging in greens. A prevailing theory among evolutionary biologists is that the high fibre content of grass helps to keep parasites out of the intestinal tract by making bowel movements more regular. While today’s dogs do not need to de-worm themselves thanks to modern preventative medicines, some canines have retained this habit.
Is eating grass safe for dogs?
The short answer is yes, as grass is highly unlikely to cause a bowel obstruction or any other negative side effects. However, the behaviour is unsafe if the grass has been treated with any chemicals, particularly fertilizers or pesticides. If your dog is a known grass eater, keep him or her away from treated areas in your yard by utilizing temporary fencing. Additionally, grass eating is generally safe so long as grass is the only greenery being consumed. For instance, plants such as daffodils, azaleas, lilies, aloe, jade, and tulips are all toxic to pets. Contact a veterinarian immediately if you believe your dog has consumed an indoor or outdoor plant and is showing signs of pain, weakness, excessive drooling, rapid heart rate, vomiting, diarrhea, or pale gums.
Additionally, sometimes grass eating can result in a grass-filled stool. Occasionally, long pieces of grass are difficult for dogs to pass. It is important that pet owners never pull these pieces of grass from their dogs, because doing so can result in intestinal harm in rare cases. Instead, it is best to allow the dog to pass the grass naturally.
Should dogs that eat grass see a veterinarian?
If eating grass is a habit that your dog has always enjoyed, there is little need to schedule a visit to a veterinarian, However, if grass eating marks a sudden change in behaviour, it would be warranted to talk to a professional. Additionally, if grass eating is accompanied by other symptoms, such as licking the air, gulping, or discomfort after meals then you should ask your vet whether your dog is showing signs of acid reflux or irritable bowel syndrome. In some instances, the veterinarian can prescribe medications to relieve these symptoms. Finally, if grass eating has begun after a change in diet, consider switching back to your old dog food to see if the behaviour disappears. In this case, your dog may simply be seeking more fibre in his or her diet, which you could discuss with your veterinarian if you are in doubt about the right foods for your dog.
Overall, there are many reasons for dogs to eat grass with little cause for concern. This behaviour is likely rooted in evolution, but should be addressed if the dog’s behaviour drastically changes, or if your pet begins to eat grass frequently until vomiting. Care should always be taken to ensure dogs are not eating fertilized or chemically treated grass. In addition, dog owners should know which indoor and outdoor plants are strictly off-limits to pets.
Dogs in Australia and around the world are facing more and more health problems. Cancer, diabetes, pancreatitis, and kidney diseases are examples of these nasty yet common diseases in dogs. But did you know that many of these health issues are diet-related? And they often can be improved or even prevented with the right diet? This World Health Day, we have curated a list of the top 5 most common diet-related health issues in dogs and provided tips on how they can be prevented by your pupper’s diet.
It is estimated that almost 1 out of 2 dogs in Australia are overweight or obese. That’s right, 50% of dogs in Australia have excessive body weight usually due to over-feeding.
Different dog breeds have different body shapes and sizes, so it can be tricky to know exactly what pupper’s ideal weight is. A rule of thumb is to check your dog’s body shape, which is usually a better indicator than the number of the scale. Your dog is at their ideal body shape if:
You can see your dog’s waist from above and feel their ribs with some fat covering when gently touching their sides.
Their belly tucks up and in from the side.
Obesity puts the health of your dogs at serious risk, as your dog’s natural functions and processes are altered. The activities of many organ-systems are affected including respiratory and digestive organs, and joints and bones. If it is not treated early, it can lead to other health issues like heart failure, diabetes, high blood pressure.
Obesity affects dogs of all breeds and ages but occurs mostly in dogs between 5 and 10 years of age. Dogs that stay indoors are at a higher risk of obesity. There are also some breeds that are more prone to over-eating than others (Labradors and Beagles we’re looking at you!).
Dietary tips to prevent obesity
Calculate your dog’s calorie intake and stick to it. How much energy they need depends on factors such as their age, body shape, activity level, and weight.
Implement portion-control so that you have a precise way of making sure they receive their required calories, and no more, every day
Avoid giving pupper high-calorie treats and limit the frequency of treat feeding
2. Skin and coat conditions
Your dog’s skin is the largest organ in your dog’s body, and because of this their skin and coat is an overall reflection of their health condition. If your dog is consuming low quality of food, or is lacking certain nutrients, their skin and coat is often the first place you’ll notice the effect.
The skin consists of flat cells that are closely packed. If these nutrients are not supplied in the adequate amounts, the cell membranes will get weaker, giving access to viruses and bacteria, while providing an escape route for water. On the other hand, your dog’s coat is made up of protein. And so, if your dog does not have good quality protein in his diet, or does not have enough of it, it is likely that the hair will dry off, become weak, and brittle.
You can tell if pupper has an unhealthy skin and coat if it appears:
Dull, dry or greasy coat, with flaky skin
Clumpy hair loss, large amounts of shedding
Itchy, red skin
The first two signs can be caused by nutritional imbalances or deficiency. Itchy, red skin can also be caused by food allergies.
Dietary tips to prevent skin and coat issuesMake sure you feed your dog with properly balanced diets from natural ingredients that contain protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins (A, B-complex, E) and mineral (zinc).
Essential fatty acids in particular omega 3 is extremely important for a healthy, nourished coat. Omega 3 is most bio-available from natural sources such as seafood (sardines and fish oil) and plant foods (flaxseed, spirulina and coconut).
Rotational feeding can help prevent dogs from developing food allergies. It’s better to vary the protein they are consuming every few days rather to sticking on a single protein.
There are times when your dog may refuse to eat, or throw up. In most cases, this is a passing phase and can be caused by minor every day events, such as pupper eating something off the street they shouldn’t have. But in some cases, these could be signs of pancreatitis.
Pancreatitis is a condition characterised by an inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas lies close to your dog’s stomach and helps in the regulation of blood sugar levels, and digestion. Pancreatitis may occur as an acute condition, or as a chronic condition.
Symptoms may vary but common ones include lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain. If your dog exhibits any of those symptoms for more than a day, or there is a recurrence of any of the symptoms, you should see a vet.
Reasons remain unclear but some potential risk factors can include obesity and drugs or medication. This is why overweight dogs are more prone to pancreatitis. On the other hand, it may also be the side effect of a medication or surgery. Hypercalcemia (vitamin D toxicity) can also be another risk factor.
How to reduce the risk of pancreatitis through diet
What’s most concerning about dental issues is that it’s not just the teeth that are affected. Poor dental health and can also directly lead to other health conditions when not treated, related to heart, liver and kidney.
Similarly to human dental problems, tartar is the major cause of dental problems in dogs. Tartar erodes the gum and exposes the root of the teeth. Bacterial flora then grows, and subsequently, causes ill effects in your dog’s body. The longer the tartar progresses, the more likely pupper is to develop gum disease.
How to reduce the risk of dental disease through diet
Think twice to feed your dog kibble. Though it is often promoted as helping to clean your dog’s teeth, kibble tends to have the opposite effect. Kibble is starchy and high in refined carbs. When your dog chews it, the carbs get broken down into sugar, which encourages the growth of bad bacteria. The bacteria then produce acids that cause decay of the teeth.
Your dog’s gut has three main jobs in the body: digest its food, absorb nutrients and prevent any toxins from entering its bloodstream. These three functions are extremely important to the foundation of your dog’s health, and without a healthy digestive tract, your dog becomes highly susceptible to disease.
What pupper eats each day directly effects it’s gut permeability. Essentially, “you are what you eat” holds true, and their diet either increases or decreases their gut permeability, thus directly impacting how they can absorb nutrients in their food. Leaky gut syndrome occurs when the gut is so permeable, bacteria and viruses can pass through the gut lining and into pupper’s body.
The good bacteria is your dog’s gut is also critically important, and has important jobs such as breaking down fibre and toxins. Out of balance gut bacteria has been linked to diseases such an auto-immune responses, dermatitis, pancreatisis and IBD.
Farting, burping, vomiting and stinky poos are all sign of a potential gut imbalance.
How to maintain your dog’s healthy gut with their diet
If your dog displays signs of potential gut imbalance, they will need to slowly build their gut resilience through a careful balance of pre- and probiotic, nutrient-dense whole-foods that are easily digestible, soothing and cleansing to the gut and the liver before building the complexity of the diet. Note that fussiness can be a subtle sign of a bacterial imbalance or vitamin B12 deficiency.
Create a fresh diet for your dog long term diet that includes a wide range of superfood ingredients that are easily digest and absorb for optimal health
In a nutshell, your dog’s health tomorrow starts with your choice of food today. Get your Starter Box today and nourish your puppers with a 100% wholefoods, balanced diet for optimal health.
Australian dog owners are, once again, being advised to check their dog food as more dog food is recalled today due to potentially excessive amounts of vitamin D. In the US, where the recall was firstly issued, some dogs have been reported to have died from the condition after facing serious health issues in a short period of time. This brings the question – how much vitamin D should your dog gets from their diet? Is there a high risk of vitamin D toxicity from dog food?
Vitamin D toxicity vs deficiency in dogs
The danger of vitamin D toxicity in dogs has seen repeated coverage due to the recent dog food recalls. However, vitamin D deficiency in dogs can be just as dangerous and perhaps more common in dogs. Both conditions can pose your dogs to a number of serious health conditions, which can be avoided by feeding them the right diet.
Vitamin D toxicity, or hypervitaminosis D, is a rare occurrence in dogs but it can be fatal when happens. As vitamin D is categorised as fat-soluble vitamin, it will keep building up instead of being excreted out of the body if your dogs consume more than they need. Over the time, this can lead to a high level of calcium in the blood, called hypercalcemia.
Initial symptoms can include gastrointestinal disorder like nausea and vomiting, and they may progress to other symptoms like loss of appetite, joint issues, weakness, frequent urination, and increased thirst. If it is not treated immediately, it can lead to serious kidney problems, and potentially death.
While vitamin D toxicity is relatively rare, cases of dogs lacking vitamins more and more common, and studies suggest that vitamin D deficiency in dogs have been linked to the increased risk of a number of diseases and health conditions, ranging from rickets to cancer. In addition, studies show that vitamin D at moderate therapeutic doses may improve cancer survival in dogs and be an important risk factor. There is even a study involving 99 consecutively hospitalised cats that finds that cats with a low level of vitamin D in their blood are less likely to recover from hospitalisation.
Our vet, Dr Matthew Muir, has been measuring and supplementing dogs with suboptimal vitamin D in his Integrative Hospital, All Natural Vet Care, where he finds that patients with chronic skin disease and cancer are often having low level of vitamin D. This finding is similar to what Dr Erin Bannink, a board-certified oncologist in the US, finds in her practice. She estimates that 90% of her patients diagnosed with cancer have suboptimal vitamin D levels. In general, research is showing that dogs need to have a sufficient level of vitamin D for their optimal health.
The surprising link between vitamin D poisoning and commercial dog food
Having a diet that contains too much amount of vitamin D can lead to vitamin D toxicity in dogs, though accidental ingestion of rodent bait products is believed to be the most common cause of it. In the recent heart-breaking cases of vitamin-D poisoning-related deaths in dogs, consuming certain commercial pet food products has been claimed as the cause of their death.
In general, most commercial pet foods need to be enriched with synthetic vitamins to replace the natural ones lost due to high-heat processing. Heat treatment is very common in commercial dog food production to avoid spoilage and extend the shelf-life of their products. it is a trade-off between achieving a longer shelf-life and keeping the real nutritional value of food.
The question now: how can your dog get vitamin D safely?
Dogs still need vitamin D for their optimal calcium and phosphorus balance in the body. As dogs can’t synthesise their own vitamin D, they must obtain it from their diet. With the recent dog food recall, it makes it even more clear that only a fresh, natural diet with balanced and complete nutrition is the best and safest diet option for your dog. Find foods that contain natural ingredients high in vitamin D, like fatty fish (mackerel, tuna, salmon), egg yolks, and beef liver.
Can your dog overdose on vitamin D from having a fresh diet? It’s almost impossible, and we’ll show you why. Let’s do a calculation here. In general, clinical signs of vitamin D toxicity can be seen at a dose of 0.5-3mg/kg body weight, while a lethal dose requires 10-20mg/kg body weight. If your dog weighs 20-kg, consuming 10mg vitamin D would be considered a lethal amout of vitamin D .
Now, let’s take sardines as an example of natural sources high in vitamin D. A can of sardine in brine contains on average 0.046 mg vitamin D per kilogram. This means that a 20-kg dog would have to consume 217kg of sardines at once to recieve a lethal level of vitamin D. It is essentially impossible for your dog to be intoxicated with vitamin D when having a fresh, 100% wholefoods diet, such as Lyka.
Meet Lyka, your safest choice to have just enough vitamin D in dogs
At Lyka, we focus on achieving the right balance, ample vitamin D for health beyond the bare minimums required by regulatory bodies such as AAFCO, but no-where near the levels that can cause chronic or acute vitamin D poisoning. We can do this because we lovingly prepare our foods in our own human grade kitchen and do not use synthetic vitamins. We believe that synthetic vitamins may overwhelm the system compared to natural food-based vitamins because they can be missing important cofactors or phytonutrients that help regulate bio-absorption and transportation in the body.
Get your Starter Box now and worry no more about your dog’s vitamin D intake in their diet.
If you are concerned of your dog being on a food involved with the recall, consider seeing an Integrative Vet in hospitals like All Natural Vet Care with access to Vitamin D testing or at minimum have there blood calcium levels tested (an early clue for vitamin D excess).
Gut issues in dogs is a common problem and can present themselves in many forms including diarrhea, pancreatitis, and colitis. It’s not surprising that dog owners are seeking to find the perfect diet for their furry ones to balance their dog’s gut bacteria and keep their digestion in tip-top shape. This is exactly the journey Natalie went on with her Lyka puppy, Ruby. Natalie shares her story about Ruby’s past gut issues, trouble with a raw diet and ultimately finding the perfect fresh-food diet that has stopped Ruby’s gut issues from coming back.
Meet Natalie and gorgeous pupper Ruby
Ruby, a 7-year-old Cockapoo, is Natalie’s cheeky dog. “She likes doing things on her own terms”, says Natalie, when asked about Ruby’s unique characteristic. And how she got her name? As a puppy, her colouring was a very rich red, so Natalie was inspired to name her Ruby.
The struggle to find the right diet
Having a long history of gastro issues, it’s important for Ruby to maintain her gut health by eating the right diet and sticking to it consistently. Prior to Lyka, Natalie was determined to feed Ruby with something that was not overly processed and without corn or fillers. “[I] tried raw but that was too rich for her and I was too time poor,” says Natalie. She eventually found Lyka and took a chance. Since then, she has not looked back.
Ruby’s fight with HGE
Ruby’s journey to digestive health hasn’t always been smooth sailing. Over the Christmas, Ruby was hospitalised for a week due to a condition called hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE). This disease is typically characterised by some clinical signs such as sudden vomiting and/or bloody diarrhea, which can become life-threatening if left untreated. Natalie believes that it could have been brought on due to stress caused by Ruby’s environment over Christmas, though the exact cause still remains unclear. During the Christmas break, Ruby also was not having her consistent Lyka diet as she normally had.
The diet that Ruby can always rely on
“The one thing that gave me peace when she came out of the hospital was her food [Lyka],” says Natalie, “I knew I could rely on it [for Ruby] not to suffer another episode again.” What makes her Natalie even happier is the fact that Ruby does not have any awful trouble with her tummy anymore. Ruby’s stool has also improved since her transition onto Lyka. The taste factor is also a huge plus.“[Ruby] just loves it,” says Natalie, “Being a fussy dog, it’s so easy to feed her on it.”
Lyka, your natural choice for pupper’s optimal gut health
Lyka redefines pet food by producing a 100% whole foods, minimally processed diet. Lyka meals are the perfect bowls of lightly cooked food that is gentle on your dog’s sensitive tummy but still tastes amazing (.. that’s what we hear anyway!).
A healthy gut is essential for your pupper to live it’s best life. Ready to improve your dog’s digestive health? Get your Starter Box and know you are doing the best for their gut.
Imagine if your pup was sick, and even your vet wasn’t able to help! What would you do? This is exactly what happened with Eryn and her dog, Donnie. Read on to see how a Lyka diet transformed Donnie’s life.
Meet Eryn and her Kelpie, Donnie
Eryn’s dog, Donnie, had suffered from a persistent skin condition that made him lose fur clumps at a time. “I realised that even medication wouldn’t help his coat”, says Eryn, who studies design in Sydney.
Donnie has been Eryn’s best furry friend for nine years. She believes Donnie has a special sixth sense that makes him unique compared to other pups. “I always have to trick him into taking baths, and every time I try, he turns around and runs into the backyard. And trust me, I’ve tried so many ways; even treats don’t work anymore”, Eryn says.
The shift to real food
One day, Eryn’s brother introduced her to Lyka and suggested she let Donnie try Lyka’s fresh food. But before making any decisions about altering Donnie’s diet, Eryn decided to conduct her own research into the company. “Knowing that it’s human-grade food and freshly made, it was something I’d definitely provide for Donnie”, Eryn says. For today’s modern dog owner, it’s imperative to know what goes into the pet food you’re buying.
Real results beyond expectations
After feeding Donnie Lyka for about one month, Eryn started to notice real changes in her dog. Not only did his skin look better, but his coat was also fuller and shinier. The improvements didn’t stop there: Eryn also noticed that Donnie’s energy levels had become far higher than they were before introducing Lyka into his diet. He seemed so much happier and more excited to go for walks and outings.
“The benefit that I experienced was the content in seeing Donnie transform. I found amazing progress after [Donnie started] eating Lyka foods”, Eryn says. “This is an experience that I would’ve never expected, and I’m grateful to have this product have a life-changing benefit for Donnie”.
Lyka, the best choice for your dog’s health
Built on the premise that dogs deserve the best quality of life, Lyka is redefining Australia’s pet food industry with their one-of-a-kind wholefood subscription.
The secret to a healthy glow is a diet of fresh, nutrient-rich foods. Are you ready to improve your dog’s nutrition? Kick-start their healthy eating goals with a Starter Box now. Build a solid foundation for your dog’s health, and let worrying be a thing of the past.
Every year, November 14 marks World Diabetes Day (WDD). It’s important we use this day not only to raise awareness of human diabetes, but also the increasing common diabetes of our furry loved ones. Diabetes in dogs is a concerning global trend. The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that one in 400-500 dogs develop the disease in their lifetime. Not only is diabetes a debilitating, chronic condition, when left untreated, it also raises the chance of the dog developing complications such as cataracts or ketoacidosis.
In good news, it’s becoming evident that simple preventative measures such as improving your dog’s diet can reduce the risk of them developing this nasty disease. After all, they are what they eat.
Diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, characterised by the inability of the dog’s body to regulate blood sugar levels. Sugar levels in the dog’s blood are controlled by a hormone called insulin, which is produced in the pancreas.
Why is diabetes increasingly common in dogs?
There are several factors that can increase the risk of a dog developing diabetes, including older age, obesity and genetic factors. But as with humans, it appears that the growing prevalence of the Western Diet, high in carbohydrates and low in antioxidants, is significantly linked to the increasing number of diabetes cases in dogs.
It is widely known that the high level of carbohydrates in dog diets is likely to be contributing to diabetes. Unfortunately, dry dog food, tends to be extremely high carbohydrates in order to create the right texture for manufacturing kibble. Biomedically, consuming large amounts of high GI carbohydrates tend to show up in a dog as insulin resistance, as well as chronic inflammation and endothelial (vascular) dysfunction. In fact, many pets that are diagnosed with diabetes also tend to demonstrate hand in hand signs of inflammation, gastrointestinal or metabolic syndromes, all of which can be linked back to the diet they were eating.
Lack of dietary antioxidants is also increasingly associated with diabetes in dogs. An inadequate intake of nutritional antioxidants typically leads to oxidate stress, which is an imbalance of free-radicals and antioxidants in the body. Oxidate stress can damage the health of both organs and DNA repair processes, increasing the risk of a dog developing diabetes. Consuming shelf-stable pet foods may contribute to this factor due to extended shelf storage and the use of non-functional food ingredients.
How can you lower the risk of your dog developing diabetes?
There are several ways you can decrease the risk of pupper getting diabetes. In particular:
Reducing carbohydrate content in your dog’s diet is a great starting place. Minimise the high GI carbohydrates they are eating, such as processed grains, rice and potatoes. Instead, opt for low or zero glycaemic foods as they are more slowly processed which lead to a slow, gradual rise in blood glucose. Low GI foods, are the types of ingredients you’ll find Lyka, such as vegetables, fruits, beans and legumes.
Adding omega 3 to your dog’s diet is also helpful as it is pancreoprotective, in other words, it can have a protective effect on their pancreas. Look to add high omega-3 ingredients into their diet like fish, seafood, flaxseed and chia seeds.
Maintaining a healthy weight is also important. You should control the food portion size your dog is getting, as well as ensure they get adequate exercise every day.
Another way to decrease the risk of diabetes is re-considering your dog’s vaccination schedule. Leading immunologist, Dr. Jean Dodds, suggests avoiding unnecessary vaccinations as they can disrupt your pet’s immune and hormonal systems, increasing the risk of diseases such as diabetes.
Finally, consider taking your dog to a holistic vet, and starting a wellness monitoring program. Chronic inflammation is increasingly linked to many diseases, not only diabetes. Monitoring whole body inflammation through regular check-ins and organ function tests are a great way to set pupper up for a long and healthy life.
Now For A Bit About Us:
We’re Lyka Pet Food and we’re on a mission to help puppers live their best life here in Australia. We create a joyful life for your dog through a custom plan of nutritious, fresh dog food, delivered to your front door.
Do you sometimes think that your pupper, is actually a human-being trapped in a furry (and sometimes drool-excessive) body? Well, there may be some truth to that. A recent study concluded that human and dog genes have been evolving together for thousands of years. So pupper really is a mini you – well almost.
A team of scientists from the Kunming Institute of Zoology in China performed genome sequencing of wolf and dog genes, comparing the results to our human genomes.
Their first finding was that the genomes of wolves and dogs began to diverge over 32,000 years ago. Incredibly, humans began domesticating wolves a much longer time ago than previously thought.
Their second finding was that that human and dog genes have been evolving in parallel ever since. They uncovered that dogs share 32 positive selected genes with us. Positively selection genes are the ones that change most rapidly and drive our evolution (humans have a total 1708 positively selected genes and dogs have 233).
The scientists hypothesised that our parallel gene evolution was influenced by the similar environmental conditions that humans and dogs experienced throughout the years. In other words, man’s best friend has stuck by so closely with us, that their natural selection patterns closely mirror ours.
Most of our overlapping genes fall into three categories: 1) Digestion and metabolism genes 2) Neurological process genes and 3) Cancer genes
Digestion and metabolism genes
An example of a digestion gene that has evolved in both humans and dogs alike is MGAM: a gene that assists the digestion of starch. The evolution of this gene was most likely caused by our shift to an agricultural based lifestyle, which also impacted the diet our of dogs. This doesn’t mean that you should feed pupper a diet high in nutrient-empty carbohydrates, such as corn, wheat or soy. More so, it means that dogs can thrive with small amounts of nutrient-rich, high-carb vegetables and legumes in their diet, such as carrots, peas and chickpeas.
Neurological process genes
There is striking overlap in the neurological process genes of dogs and humans, which may have been by influenced by the history of complex and intimate interactions between dogs and humans. Interestingly, this means that dogs can experience similar neurological conditions as humans, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression and autism. Perhaps this explains the obsessive ball-chasing or tail-chasing behaviour that you may see in your pupper. Dogs have even been shown to respond similarly to the drugs that are used to treat these conditions in humans.
Many cancer-related genes also overlap between humans and dogs. One example is MET: a gene that if amplified, leads to the growth of cancerous tumours. This finding implies that some of the lifestyle principles you follow to decrease cancer risks can also apply to your pupper. Keeping your pupper at a healthy weight, exercising them regularly and feeding them a fresh, natural diet can all contribute to a healthy, cancer-free pupper.
Read the full genome sequencing research report here.
Source: Wang, GD. et al, The genomics of selection in dogs and the parallel evolution between dogs and humans, Nature Communications, 2013.
Using food to promote good health and treat medical conditions in humans has been a widespread practice for centuries. It goes all the way back to Hippocrates, who coined the phrase: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. Nowadays, we still reach for a cup of ginger and lemon tea when we’re sick, and we are excited follow the scientific research on eating superfoods, adaptogens and the like, to promote a healthy body.
It turns out, we can and should be doing the same for our dogs. There are many ways we can embrace the healing power of natural wholefoods to keep our dogs healthy and vibrant. Using food as medicine for our dogs is also a compelling way to manage or treat certain illnesses instead of relying on pharmaceutical medications.
So how can we use natural remedies to prevent our dogs from disease and keep them as healthy as possible, for as long as possible? We teamed up with Dr Matthew Muir, from All Natural Vet Care, a holistic veterinary hospital in Sydney, to look into the three key ways we can be using food as medicine, for our dogs.
Eat in harmony with dog’s ancestral diet
At All Natural Vet Care, we recommend natural, real-food diets low in starch and carbohydrates. We tend to recommend minimally processed foods, raw, freeze dried or gently cooked as they retain the most bio-available nutrients including vitamins and minerals as well as enzymes.
Some specific checks you can do on your dog’s ingredient list:
Protein-first. Fresh, animal meats, including offal, should make up the majority of your dog’s food. An extra plus if these are grass-fed or free-range meats, as typically, grain-fed livestock contain different levels of micronutrients, to your dog’s ancestral prey. Also, watch out to steer clear of any meat “meal”. This is a tell-tale sign the meat is highly processed and therefore lack natural nutrients.
Essential Fatty Acids. If you are able to source grass-fed meats, they will have higher levels of omega 3 fatty acids, however, if this is not completely achievable, it is recommended to look to marine or plant sources of omega fatty acids, such as oily fish lower in the feedchain such as mackerel and sardines, oysters and mussels, as well as plant based sources such as hemp, coconut and flaxseed oil. Ultraclean sources of fish oil can be used but be aware that they can become rancid with extended shelf life.
Low carbohydrates and starch. Steer clear of high starch foods such as rice, potatoes, corn and soy, particularly in large portions. Instead, opt for green veg such as spinach, kale and celery. All vegetables should be finally chopped, as this mimics the stomach contents of ancestor’s prey and increases digestibility of the food (dogs aren’t great at digesting large chunks of vegetables).
Variety of natural micronutrients. Dog’s ancestors were foragers and scavengers, so look for ingredients that resemble those on the forest floor, such as a variety of seeds and herbs.
Use foods that target pathways for chronic disease in dogs, namely insulin resistance and inflammation
Feeding your dog bio-available foods is like providing them with the right fuel to run their internal engine smoothly. Minimally processed nutrient-dense foods can allow your dog the chance to heal at the cellular level while building strong defences to enable them to combat illnesses and toxins.
At All Natural Vet Care, after years of clinical experience in concert with a review of the latest scientific literature, we are confident that a higher animal protein, high healthy fat (omega 3), moderate fibre, low carbohydrate diet that agrees with your pet, seems to reduce incidences of chronic disease, enhance immune function and overall vitality.
In particular, insulin resistance and chronic inflammation in dogs is thought to be a predecessor in many of the diseases faced by dogs today. Feeding a whole food, anti-oxidant-dense diet low in carbohydrates with a high omega 3 to omega 6 ratio is key, as this promotes reduced inflammation and cellular damage in your dog’s body.
Understand that each dog is biochemically unique
Each dog is biochemically unique, and improving science and nutritional knowledge, it’s becoming feasible to better understand which foods and nutrients vibe (or don’t) with your dog.
Nutrigenomics explores the interface between the genome and the diet. It is based on the notion that food provides information to our genes and triggers messages that foster health or disease. It is an emerging science that we are very excited about.
At All Natural Vet Care, we pride ourselves the advanced nutritional and gut health techniques we are offering and researching in our clinic. We work closely with global leading immunologist Jean Dodds, author of “Canine Nutrigenomics” and building a microbiome donor bank of animals that have been comprehensively screened for physical and psychological problems.
We are utilising the Nutriscan Saliva Test to identify food intolerance and sensitivities and are excited to announce that in addition to the many patient success stories we have experienced here in Australia, this has recently been scientifically validated in Germany and the USA.
Holistic Veterinary Care is a somewhat new, but increasingly popular, style of veterinary service, rooted in thousands of years of tradition. It is not too dissimilar from conventional medicine and is designed to enhance, rather than be an alternative to, regular veterinary care. Modern Holistic, or “Integrative” Medicine is bridging the gap between science and tradition and is an exciting space for all animal lovers to be watching and getting involved in.
Holistic Vets aim to see the bigger picture and integrate natural methods into both diagnosis and treatment. Their goal is to find the root cause(s) of pet’s barriers to great health and suggest meaningful solutions that meet with your family’s philosophy, resources, and abilities. They design individual care plans for your pet considering their particular environment and offer the most current, evidence-based approach to your pet’s future wellness or disease treatment, across both traditional and conventional medical systems.
So, what is the rationale for opting for holistic care for your dog?
We teamed up with Dr. Matthew Muir, from All Natural Vet Care, a holistic vet practice in Sydney, to uncover what kind of services holistic vets offer and why they may benefit your dog over regular veterinary care.
Blood titer testing
What is it: Blood titer testing is performed at accredited laboratories to check the antibody levels in your dog’s body and establish whether your dog needs booster vaccinations. In many cases, your dog might have sufficient antibodies in their blood from their previous vaccinations, and not require another booster vaccination until later down the track. Wellness Checks and Disease Risk assessments replace the trip to the vets for their “annual jabs”.
Benefits: By titer testing instead of vaccinating, your dog will receive vaccines only when required, and their immune system won’t be disrupted unnecessarily. This is particularly useful at a time where we are seeing allergy, hormonal imbalances, and cancer epidemics, which are increasingly thought to be related to immune system dysfunction.
Diet and nutrition programs
What is it: Holistic vets can use principles of Western Clinical Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda to formulate individualised diets for dogs prone to allergies, dogs with digestive sensitivities, and dogs needing assistance in managing specific diseases. Programs for overweight dogs to lose weight are also common.
Benefits: By using food as medicine, a wide range of chronic conditions, even epilepsy, arthritis, and anxiety, may be actively resolved or managed, sometimes without needing medications. Nutritional Therapy can also be used preventatively. Focusing on improving the quality of your dog’s diet to meet their individual needs before they get sick, for example, for future disease risks and even aging has obvious positive flow-on effects for your dog. By working with a holistic vet, you’ll also be confident that you’re providing a complete and balanced meal for your dog, which is crucial if you plan on preparing your dog’s food at home.
What is it: Acupuncture treatments for dogs very much mirror the treatment for humans. Fine needles are inserted in specific places over your dog’s body to manipulate the flow of blood, nerves signals and energy. It is tolerated very well by most dogs. Additionally, a huge natural surge in endorphins has been scientifically demonstrated and noted by many pet parents, who see their pets in a post acupuncture session relaxation daze. Long-term acupuncture can also be achieved by surgical gold wire implantation, an emerging therapy that is a crossover technique between western medicine and acupuncture.
Benefits: Just like for us humans, acupuncture is a tool that can relieve many conditions and improve overall health. It can be used to release problems such as sore muscles and joints, digestive problems and support kidney function in pets with kidney issues. The relaxation response experienced by pets can help avoid future vet phobia, which is important, as stress when visiting the vets can be detrimental to healing. The most common use of acupuncture is for mobility issues, as it can reduce a dog’s required medications. This is particularly beneficial when side effects are seen or expected, or where dogs cannot receive anti-inflammatory medication due to other illnesses. It is also used during general anesthetics to manage complications such as low blood pressure.
What is it: Herbs have been used historically in humans, to maintain and even improve our health. Recently there has been increased research and innovation in the application of herbs to aid medical conditions in dogs. Most pharmaceutical medications in existence have been derived from botanical sources. Herbal medicine leverages these natural sources by combining minimally processed substances to achieve treatment synergies. Herbs can be used alongside medications, to minimise doses or address medication side-effects. They can also be used instead of medications, when opting for a completely natural approach or when there are limited conventional medication options.
Benefits: There is an astonishing array of uses and benefits from herbal treatments in modern veterinary herbal medicine. Herbal formulas are prescribed based on the individual needs of a pet, factoring information from their holistic exam: a western and eastern diagnosis that creates an accurate herbal prescription. Some herbs assist in weight loss. Others are used to help digestive issues and upset tummies. They can be used to treat many other conditions, ranging from pancreatitis and epilepsy to allergies and hormonal imbalances.
Physiotherapy and chiropractic care
What is it: Rather than relying exclusively on medicine and drugs to improve muscular skeletal or neurological problems, dogs can undergo physio or chiropractic treatments. The treatments themselves consist of a combination of massages, exercises, and stretches, which often require some at-home care.
Benefits: Just like for humans, these muscular-skeletal therapies aim to solve your dog’s condition from the root cause, rather than simply improving the symptoms. They are a great option for dogs recovering from injuries, or senior dogs who are experiencing muscular pain. Improving athletic function, strengthening and maintaining muscle mass also improves the immune system. Building physical therapy into current exercise adds more behavioural enrichment and mental stimulation to your dog’s daily life.
There are many other modalities that your pet may benefit from. For more information on Holistic Veterinary Medicine reach out to the All Natural Vet Care team here. For reading, check out Matthew Muir’s holistic vet care blog Achieve Animal Wellness. Matthew also works as a steward for animal conservation with Planet Decent.