A lick mat, or often called a licki mat, after the Australian trademark brand, are flat mats designed for your dog to lick over and over again. They are usually covered in ridges and bumps that encourage licking.
Because they are flat, the dog is unable to grip food with his teeth and must use his tongue instead. Result: it takes much longer to eat all the food!
But there are many more advantages to the licking mat and we will now explore them.
When should I use the licking mat and what are the benefits for my dog?
Lick mat can be used in many ways and each has its advantages!
Soothing and calming : licking is a very pleasant experience for your dog. It releases endorphins, the happiness hormone, helping to soothe and calm your pet and redirects bad licking habits. Lik mat becomes a great pastime when given a moderately stressful situation, for example when you leave the house or when strangers visit you.
Beats boredom and enriches your dog's life : while most lick mats are designed to provide a fun and stimulating activity for your dog, some are made specifically for boredom. The ones that change position or sway while eating challenge your dog when he tries to lick the treat spread out inside. This keeps you entertained for a long time.
Slows down eating : the longer your dog eats, the better the digestion! We all know how we feel after greedily eating our dinner (hello bloating!). The licking action of the lick mat stimulates the production of saliva, which helps break down food. Slowing down your eating reduces the risk of bloating and improves digestion.
Supports Oral Health : The grooves and soft bumps on the lick mat scratch your dog's tongue, cleaning it and removing particles and bacteria. This ultimately helps improve your dog's oral health. Licking and salivation keeps gums and teeth healthy.
How to care for the lick mat?
Most lick mats are dishwasher safe. Some will require hand washing. Just use a sponge and dishwashing detergent, or soak in warm soapy water if you used a sticky spread like peanut butter.
Lick mats are most often made of natural rubber, food grade and non-toxic. You should always supervise your dog when using the lick mat, at least until he gets used to it. Some dogs may be tempted to use it as a chew toy!
Which one to use?
All lick mats have been designed with a theme in mind, but ultimately you'll get the same calming and licking effect with everyone.
Using the back of the spoon, you can spread on the lick mat, for example:
- Wet food
- Minced meat
- Peanut butter
- Canned fish (sardines, salmon)
- Vegetable puree (pumpkin, sweet potatoes, carrots)
If you want a longer effect, choose a product that has a more viscous consistency, such as peanut butter, or place the mat in the freezer.
We recommend our Don't go Nuts peanut butter with added cannabinoids