Dog lick mats have become increasingly popular among pet owners as a way to keep their furry friends entertained and happy. These innovative mats are designed to stimulate a pet’s senses and promote natural behaviors, providing mental stimulation and stress relief. In this article, we will explore the science behind Lick Mats, the benefits of using them, the different types available on the market, how to use them effectively, and how to clean and maintain them.
What is a dog lick mat?
A Lick Mat is a mat made from food-grade rubber with unique grooves and textures. You can fill these grooves with soft or pureed food, or even nutritious liquids like bone broth or goat’s milk. The idea is to encourage your dog to lick and work to get all the tasty food out. The best selling line of lick mats in the US is a company called LickiMats.
Check out our review of the top dog lick mats here.
But what exactly are the benefits of using Lick mats? Let’s find out!
Understanding the Science Behind the Product
Lick Mats work by stimulating a pet’s senses and promoting natural behaviors. The textured surface of the mat encourages licking, which is a natural behavior for animals. The repetitive motion of licking also has a calming effect on animals.
In addition to promoting natural behaviors, Lick Mats also encourage slow feeding. When pets have to work for their food or treats by licking them off the mat, it slows down their eating pace. This can be beneficial for pets who tend to eat too quickly, as it helps prevent digestive issues such as bloating and vomiting.
Stress Relief and Endorphin Release
The act of licking helps dogs release endorphins, which are feel-good hormones. This can provide stress relief and make your dog feel calmer and happier. Whether your dog gets anxious during thunderstorms or experiences separation anxiety, using a LickiMat can help soothe their nerves. The repetitive licking motion can be incredibly comforting for your furry friend.
Boredom Buster and Mental Stimulation
Does your dog get bored easily? LickiMats are a great boredom buster and provide mental stimulation. The challenge of licking and working to get the food out of the grooves keeps your dog engaged and entertained. It’s like a puzzle for them to solve, which can prevent destructive behaviors caused by boredom.
Slow Feeder and Dental Health
If your dog tends to gobble up their food too quickly, a LickiMat can act as a slow feeder. The grooves and textures make it more difficult for them to consume their meal rapidly. This can help prevent digestive issues and promote better portion control. Additionally, LickiMats can be a tasty treat for dogs with dental issues. The licking action can help clean their teeth and gums while enjoying a delicious snack.
Crate Training Aid
Are you crate training your dog? Lick Mats can be a valuable tool in this process. By providing a LickiMat filled with their favorite food or treat, you can create a positive association with the crate. This can help alleviate separation anxiety and make crate time a more enjoyable experience for your pup.
How to use a Dog Lick Mat?
Using a Lick Mat is simple and straightforward. Start by spreading a thin layer of your pet’s favorite wet food or treat paste onto the mat. You can also use yogurt or peanut butter as a base. Make sure to choose a food or treat that is safe for your pet to consume.
Once the food or treat is spread onto the mat, present it to your pet. They may be hesitant at first, especially if they are unfamiliar with the concept of a Lick Mat. Encourage them to investigate by placing the mat in front of them and using verbal cues such as “lick” or “find it.”
What to put on a dog lick mat?
What to put on a dog lick mat?
There are several options for what to put on a dog lick mat, depending on your dog’s preferences and dietary restrictions. One popular choice is to spread a spoonful of peanut butter or any other dog-friendly nut butter on the mat.
The sticky texture will keep your dog busy as they lick it off. You can also try spreading some wet dog food or yogurt on the mat for a different texture and taste. Another option is to freeze some broth or pureed fruits and vegetables in the mat, creating a frozen treat that your dog can enjoy for longer periods of time.
Remember to choose ingredients that are safe for dogs and consult with your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your dog’s specific dietary needs.
Different Types of Lickimats
Now that we understand the benefits of Lickimats, let’s explore the different types available.
Different Types of LickiMats: Which One is Right for Your Pet?
There are several different types of Lick Mats available on the market, each with its own unique features and benefits. The most common types include silicone mats, rubber mats, and plastic mats.
Silicone mats are flexible and easy to clean. They are often dishwasher safe, making them convenient for busy pet owners. Rubber mats are durable and long-lasting, making them a great option for heavy chewers. Plastic mats are lightweight and portable, making them ideal for travel or outdoor use. Below are some popular types of lick mats.
- Slowmo: This Lickimat functions as a slow feeder with larger grooves. It can accommodate both kibble and fresh food, making it suitable for various feeding preferences.
- Playdate and Buddy: These mats from the Lickimat brand’s classic series offer different grooves for smearing fresh food. They’re perfect for treats like peanut butter and banana, oiled up chicken with carrot puree, or sardine pate.
- Soother: The LickiMat Soother mat features a tighter 3D texture that requires more licking to extract the food. It’s designed to provide maximum soothing and stress relief for your dog. This mat best with runny treats like liver pate, peanut butter, or cream cheese. When your dog licks at the Soother, it stimulates them to relax, making it a great activity to wind down their energy levels at the end of the day. Additionally, if your dog is anxious about something, licking can help reduce anxiety.
- Wobble: If you’re looking for an interactive toy that challenges your dog mentally, the Wobble Lick Mat is the perfect choice. It wobbles around, requiring your dog to figure out how to extract the food.
- Splash: The Licki Mat Classic Splash lick mat is ideal for bath time or grooming sessions. With its suction cup design, you can attach it to your bathtub and distract your dog with tasty food while they get cleaned up.
Cleaning and Maintaining LickiMats: Tips for Keeping Them in Good Condition
Proper cleaning and maintenance are essential for keeping LickiMats in good condition and ensuring their longevity. After each use, rinse the mat with warm water to remove any leftover food or treat residue. Use a soft brush or sponge to gently scrub the mat if necessary.
To deep clean the mat, you can soak it in warm soapy water for a few minutes before rinsing it thoroughly. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as they can damage the mat’s surface.
It is important to regularly inspect your LickiMat for any signs of wear and tear. If you notice any cracks, tears, or loose pieces, it is time to replace the mat. Continued use of a damaged mat can pose a choking hazard to your pet.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dig Lick Mats: What You Need to Know
1. How often should I use a LickiMat?
LickiMats can be used daily or as often as you like. They are a great tool for providing mental stimulation and stress relief for your pet, so using them regularly can be beneficial.
2. What types of food can I use with a LickiMat?
You can use a variety of foods with a LickiMat, including wet food, treat paste, yogurt, and peanut butter. Just make sure to choose a food that is safe for your pet to consume.
3. Can I freeze a LickiMat?
Yes, you can freeze a LickiMat to make the food or treat last longer. Freezing the mat can also provide additional relief for teething puppies or pets with sore gums.
4. What are some creative uses for a LickiMat?
Using a lick mat for dogs in creative ways can provide additional mental stimulation and engagement. Here are some creative ideas:
- Freezing Treats: Spread a layer of wet dog food or yogurt on the lick mat, then freeze it. This creates a tasty, frozen treat that takes longer for your dog to lick and enjoy. It can be especially useful during hot weather or as a longer-lasting enrichment activity.
- Mealtime Extension: Instead of feeding your dog from a regular food bowl, use a lick mat as a food dispenser. Spread their regular meal or a mix of wet and dry food on the mat. This not only slows down their eating but also engages them in a fun and rewarding way.
- Medication Delivery: If your dog needs to take medication, you can hide the pill or liquid medication on the lick mat. Smear it with a flavorful spread, ensuring that your dog licks it clean and ingests the medication without resistance.
- Grooming Distraction: Many dogs may dislike certain grooming activities like nail trimming or brushing. Use a lick mat as a distraction during these moments. By applying a tasty treat on the mat, it can divert their attention and make the grooming process more enjoyable.
- Bath Time Soother: Bathing can be stressful for some dogs. Before and during the bath, place the lick mat with a favorite treat or spread on the wall at eye level. This creates a positive association and distraction, helping to make bath time a more relaxing experience.
- About the Author
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Sara is a passionate writer and an avid lover of Havanese dogs. With several years of experience in dog training, breeding, and care, she has developed a deep understanding and admiration for the Havanese breed. Sara’s mission is to provide valuable insights, resources, and tips to help Havanese dog owners provide the best possible care and nurturing for their beloved pets.