Food

What Are Lick Mats and How Can They Help My Dog?

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lick mats

Photo Credit: mgstudyo / Getty Images

Feeding your dog with a bowl and some dry kibble is so old-school. The new way to feed your pup is with lick mats. These rubber or silicone mats are groovy – literally. They are textured and designed to encourage your dog to lick their favorite grub off ‘em, creating what Bindisbucketlist calls a “grazing maze.” But lick mats are helpful for more than breaking up the monotony of feeding your pup the same ol’ meal over and over. They actually help with several psychological and physical issues, in addition to being deliciously fun!

Love at First Lick

Lick mats serve myriad purposes. Not only do they diversify your dog’s eating habits, but the act of licking food off of a mat can help alleviate stress, ease anxiety, slow food consumption, improve digestion, provide mental stimulation, and be used as a positive reinforcement tool in training.

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There are several brands and types of these innovative feeding products, so you can find the perfect one to soothe or stimulate your dog. The different patterns on the lick mats aren’t just for aesthetic purposes; they serve to contain a variety of consistencies of food. Some are for liquids, others are for wet food. If your dog is rough-and-tumble or likes to tip things, you should look for a lick mat with a suction cup. This way, Fido won’t run off with it (and make a huge mess in the process).

Bon(e) Appetit!

Some examples of what you can put on your lick mats include peanut butter, veggie purees, plain Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, mashed banana, or gelatinous bone broth. You can even get really fancy and make one of many tasty lick mat recipes fellow dog lovers and lick mat enthusiasts have shared on the internet.

Perhaps the only downside of lick mats is cleaning them. After feeding, it’s recommended that you let a dirty lick mat soak in a sink of warm, soapy water. Then, clean out the crevices with a scrub brush.

Treat your pup to a fun feeding activity with lick mats! You have nothing to lose (except your peanut butter ’cause your pup is definitely going to eat it all).

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