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ROADTEST: 'My 2-year-old Cavoodle tried a fresh pet food delivery service for 14 days. Here's his verdict.'

Lyka
Thanks to our brand partner, Lyka

I've received a lot of packages during Sydney's lockdown.        

So many boxes have arrived at my apartment that my two-year-old Cavoodle, Darcy, no longer gives them a second glance. 

But a few weeks ago when a green box arrived, Darcy immediately knew there was something a little different about this package. 

He knew it was for him, and he ran around the box sniffing it, his tail wagging excitedly, as he impatiently waited for me to open it up. 

"IT'S FOR ME!" Image: Supplied. 

The box contained two weeks' worth of Lyka: fresh, lightly-cooked dog food made with human-grade, free-range wholefood ingredients right here in Sydney. And it was delivered directly to my apartment, ready for Darcy to eat.

Darcy's meal plan was developed specifically for him, taking into account his breed, age, weight, level of activity and any food intolerances or allergies he may have. 

With all this in mind, Lyka sent Darcy 300 grams of fresh, customised food for each day in the fortnight. Being a little fur man who thinks he's a human, Darcy likes to have both breakfast and dinner, so I split his pouches into two for him to eat 150 grams for each meal. 

As soon as we opened the box, I was impressed by the variety in this subscription delivery service. He had mix of different meals including the Free Range Chompin' Chicken Bowl, Grass Fed Lip Lickin' Lamb Bowl, Barn Raised Tail Tappin' Turkey Bowl, Grass Fed Big Boppin' Beef Bowl, and the brand new Wild Caught Rip Rollickin' Roo Bowl. 

SO. MUCH. VARIETY. Image: Supplied. 

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The meals are delivered frozen, and you just pop them in the freezer to defrost overnight. You can serve them fresh, or warm them up on the stove or in the microwave. 

Darcy tried them both fresh and warmed up and loved them both ways. 

Now Darcy is a dog who knows good food when he sees it. If he was a human, he would probably be rating local restaurants on his Instagram account. 

Before we discovered Lyka, Darcy's favourite food was freshly-cooked chicken. He would do what I called his 'Chicken Dance' as I boiled it up on the stove for him. 

He's been known to run across the dog park, into the lap of a stranger, if he caught the slightest whiff of chicken in the air. 

Given that he's such a chicken guzzler, I decided to try him on the Free Range Chompin' Chicken Bowl first. 

CHICKEN! Image: Supplied.

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He whoofed it down. 

HE. 

LICKED. 

THE. 

BOWL. 

And then he ran around the apartment doing what I now refer to as the 'Lyka Happy Dance'. 

The next day he had tried Lyka's brand new Kangaroo recipe, the Wild Caught Rip Rollickin' Roo Bowl. Again, he whoofed it down and did his happy dance. This particular meal is high protein, microbiome-friendly and brimming with phytonutrients coming from real raspberries, chia seed and tomatoes.

Darcy has never had kangaroo before and honestly, I think he was a little annoyed with me that I had been hiding this culinary experience from him for his entire life. 

"GIVE IT TO ME!" Image: Supplied. 

He then tried the Grass Fed Lip Lickin' Lamb Bowl, the Barn Raised Tail Tappin' Turkey Bowl, and the Grass Fed Big Boppin' Beef Bowl. 

Again, whoofed them down. 

HAPPY DANCE. 

Okay, this is the bit where I go into great detail about Darcy's poos and... farts. (No one tell him, he'd be horrified, he won't even let me look in his direction when he poos.)

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Apart from fresh chicken, Darcy has mostly lived on "premium" kibble, which he would tolerate for a few weeks and then... demand more chicken. 

And occassionally when I would have to pick up an emergency tin of food at the supermarket on the way home from work, he would turn his nose up at it and then begrudgingly eat it once he realised there was nothing else on offer.

But honestly, the farts weren't worth it.

"No Darcy, of course I'm not telling the whole of Australia about your farts." Image: Supplied. 

Darcy, like most Cavoodles, has always had a bit of a sensitive tummy. If he tried something new or ate something that wasn't the best quality, I would pay for it for weeks after with sloppy toilet time that would make even the bravest amongst us blush. 

Anyone who's been a dog owner before knows you quickly become well-versed on your dog's toilet habits and their... gas. 

They can't tell you how they're feeling or whether anything is wrong, so you have to look for the signs yourself – how's the consistency of that toilet break?! Does he have itchy skin? How healthy-looking is his coat? 

For Darcy, it's always been the sloppy toilet time and it's VERY whiffy on the nose. 

Since trialling Lyka, I'm relieved to report that Darcy's poos have been spectacular. Firm but not too hard. Regular but not too regular. 

And I haven't been woken up by any rogue gas near the face in weeks. 

This isn't a coincidence. Lyka was developed a few years ago after a dog named Lyka experienced several health issues including itchiness, fur loss, joint pain, and smelly farts. 

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After researching Lyka’s diet, her owner, Anna, was shocked to discover that “premium” kibble was highly processed and could last on a shelf for years. She started home cooking Lyka’s meals and witnessed the dramatic improvement a fresh, lightly-cooked diet could have.

Then she started the Lyka delivery service so other dogs (like Darcy) could also benefit from these nutrient-packed meals using whole food ingredients sourced from the same suppliers as restaurants and supermarkets.  

We're two weeks into our Lyka experience now, and Darcy is happy, healthy, full of energy, and he's never been more excited about meal times. 

And I'm living a sloppy poo and smelly fart-free life. 

Plus I can't go past the convenience. The meals are delivered, vacuum sealed, to my home every few weeks at scheduled intervals, and perfectly portioned to the serving size specific to Darcy's needs. Honestly, no prep (or thinking) required.

Darcy's exciting green box delivery – addressed to him by name of course – and his favourite kangaroo meal are definitely going to become a regular part of our apartment life. 

"CAN WE... KEEP IT?" Image: Supplied. 

Lyka is Australia's freshest dog food, delivered. Create a joyful life for your dog through a custom subscription plan of nutritious, freshly cooked dog food, delivered to your front door.

Feature Image: Supplied.

Lyka
Lyka Pet Food Australia's freshest dog food, delivered. Create a joyful life for your dog through a custom subscription plan of nutritious, freshly cooked dog food, delivered to your front door.