While traditional dog bowls are great for feeding your dog large, chunky, and food, they are not the be-all-and-end-all when it comes to feeding. If you’ve never come across a lick mat before, though, you might be wondering what to put on lick mat for dogs. And this is very understandable!
In this guide, we’ll take you through all things lick mats, including what they are, how they benefit your dog, and what sorts of foods are a great choice for giving your dog a balanced, healthy diet, especially with a slow feeder.
First Things First: What Is A Dog Lick Mat?
“What is a dog lick mat?”, you ask.
Lick mats are flat mats, often made from silicone, with patterns that hold food for your dog to lick over and over. They're usually coated with ridges or bristles that encourage licks.
Because they're flat, dogs cannot grasp their food with their paws and must use their tongues instead. As a result, it usually requires them much longer to finish eating all the food or tasty treats.
You can mix wet food, soft food puree pumpkin, dry food, liquid foods like yogurt or any other spreadable treats (dog safe), raw foods, and canned dog food on a lick mat. Be sure to mix things up with dry and wet dog food and try different pureed vegetables to keep your dog's diet interesting.
It is through the textured surfaces and patterns that food is locked in, so your dog actively licks it instead of chomping and gobbling like he usually would.
Dog Lick Mat Benefits
Using a dog lick mat can help with digestion, reduce boredom, and even improve oral hygiene. Plus, it's a great way to keep your pup occupied and mentally stimulated.
Because your dog’s food isn’t readily available from the get-go, they will have to do some mental work before getting their meal. In this way, a dog lick mat benefits your pooch by keeping them engaged, especially while you’re busy working or out of the house.
What To Put In Dog Lick Mat
Just about anything liquid or semi-solid can go on a dog lick mat. You can fill it with peanut butter, plain yoghurt, or other yummy spreads and let your furry friend lick away.
This means it works for purees, raw food, wet food, pureed vegetables or fruits, a soft tasty treat, and anything else you can think of! Try cream cheese, sweet potato, or almond nut butter for a particularly scrumptious dog licking experience. Download our free e-recipe book here.
Buy A Dog Lick Mat From Super Feedy
The vet approved 4-in-1 slow feeder dog bowl and reversible dog lick mat is ideal for providing options for your dog to eat from, meaning there’s something for every type of food you want to provide. So, you’ll be able to use it as a lick mat, or a bowl, prep your dog’s food in advance or store food and use it as a travel bowl, to suit you and your dog’s lifestyle.
Take a look at our 4-in-1 bowl and ensure that your dog enjoys every meal today! Alternatively, if you have any more questions about feeding your dog on a lick mat, check out this informative article that should be able to provide you with all of the answers you need!
Why use a Lick Mat?
By using a lick mat, you're encouraging your dog to lick, which releases pleasure endorphins. When dogs are stressed, these endorphins can help calm them down. Lick mats, provide:
- Stress relief.
- Mental stimulation.
- They can be great for calming/positive reinforcing activities like nail trimmings and baths
- Encourage slower eating habits.
- Mental stimulation for dogs on restricted exercise.
It works by spreading a thin layer of dog food like wet dog food, peanut butter, yogurt onto the mat's surface.
Do Lick Mats Help With Anxiety?
In recent years, lick mats have become a popular tool for managing anxiety in pets. Lick mats help to provide some distraction, challenge, and comfort for anxious pets, making them great mental stimulation for nervous dogs.
It’s a bit like how the cheapest dog enrichment toys or simple chew toy helps your dog to focus on something. Similarly, licking mats stimulate your dog’s brain in a novel and unique way.
When your dog finally gets his or her food, it’ll be like an extra victory for them, which you might want to reward the first few times with dog treats to encourage extra effort.
You can put wet dog food on a dog’s lick mat, as well as any other type of semi-solid commercial dog foods, meaning it’ll be a breeze for your dog to chew down these substances.
If you want any other ideas about what to put on a lick mat for dog, simply get in touch with one of our team members today, or check out our blog for even more ideas.