A few years ago, as her dog’s health failed, Sydney-based management consultant Anna Podolsky decided to ditch store-bought dog food, choosing instead to cook for her beloved Lyka from scratch.
To Podolsky’s surprise, Lyka’s health improved so much that she decided to launch her own start-up, designing a pet food subscription service inspired by what she’d learnt caring for Lyka.
Co-founded with renowned Integrative Veterinarian Dr Matthew Muir, Lyka Pet Food was established in 2018, and this month, Podolsky announced $30 million Series B funding for the company.
With investors like Craig Blair, Founding Chairman of Pet Circle and Paul Wilson, Founder and former CEO of Petbarn, onboard, the move points to pet wellness being the way of the future, with companies like Lyka leading the charge.
Podolsky says the funding will shine a light on the pet care sector, which is expected to grow to $500 billion globally over the next five years.
“Today, a significant majority of Australian dogs are being fed a heavily processed, kibble-based diet. Or as I like to refer to it – meat flavoured bread with a sprinkle of synthetic vitamins and minerals, where shelf life is considered more important than health life.”
As humans, we realise that a balanced, minimally processed, wholefood diet is critical for health, but don’t pause to consider that the same is true for our animal companions. Our dogs are so much more than family, so they deserve to eat like it,” says Podolsky.
“I’ve seen thousands of dogs in my years of practice and so many health issues I see can just be prevented with a better diet,” adds Dr Muir. “In fact, there are many studies validating the importance of this.
“Ingredients should be as fresh as possible, and contain a mix of high-quality proteins, omega fatty acids and low carbohydrates. Some of the benefits of these I see in clinic are softer coats, less skin irritations, improved digestion and stool consistency, and better mood stability with fewer sugar crashes,” says Dr Muir.
And a growing number of Australian pet owners agree, with the company going from strength to strength since it started. All Australian-made and owned, the business employs over 100 people and has prepared over ten million meals to date.
Each meal ordered from Lyka can be custom designed to accommodate a dog’s age, breed, weight, activity level and food sensitivities, and because the food is delivered fresh and is human-grade, there’s also no need to add preservatives to the custom formulations.
A single-use plastic and carbon-negative company, Podolsky and Dr Muir say sustainability is always front of mind for them, ensuring their team are not only doing their best for Aussie dogs, but the environment too.