We dog owners know how much our pets love to lick our feet, legs, and even faces. But maybe your dog’s licking isn’t something you enjoy. Does your dog suffer anxiety or boredom? Well, do you know there is a product that may be able to help with this – namely, lick mats? In Licking Mats for Dogs: Essentials You Need To Know, we discuss what a lick mat is, its benefits, the different types, how to use them, and some FAQs. So keep reading.
What Is A Lick Mat?
Dogs love to lick, but their licking can sometimes get a little out of hand. That’s where lick mats come in!
These mats are designed to help dogs lick in a safe and controlled manner.
All you have to do is spread a tasty treat like peanut butter on the mat and allow the dogs to lick away.
Not only is it good for their dental hygiene, but a lick mat is also a great way to add fun and excitement to your pet’s life!
What Are The Benefits Of Lick Mats?
There are several benefits of a lick mat. Below you can read about some of them.
Lick mats are a great way to keep your pup entertained and distracted while you do other things.
A lick mat will provide him with something to lick, chew (though probably a better idea to use a chew toy for that), or play with – all of which will help him expend energy and stay occupied.
As the famous quote goes, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop” much of the same can be said of idle paws.
Boredom in pets can lead to problem behaviors.
Consider getting a lick mat to keep your pets busy and amused.
Lick mats will help reduce boredom and chew-related incidents and can reduce problem behaviors.
Keeping your dog distracted while being groomed is another use. Grooming your dog can be a lot of work, but it’s worth it if you want to keep them looking good.
One way to make the process easier is by keeping them still and distracted while grooming by placing a mat on the ground.
They also make lick mats that can be suctioned to the bathtub/shower wall. So when bath time comes, your dog will be kept busy, making for a more stress-free experience.
Slow Down Mealtime
Some dog owners use mats as a slow feeder. If you have a dog that eats faster than a hurricane going through Kansas, a lick mat can slow his eating down.
As dog owners know, dogs can get anxious at times. Some common anxiety inducing situations include being separated from their owners, loud noises, and unfamiliar environments.
For pets that suffer from anxiety, providing your dog with a lick mat can help soothe their anxiety by calming them down physically as well as psychologically.
This is because the activity of licking releases pleasure endorphins in your dog’s brain. In stressful situations, endorphins may help dogs relax.
Lick mats are great for dogs because they help keep your dog entertained and provide mental stimulation.
Food-motivated dogs will become determined to lick up the last bit of the treat, offering both mental stimulation and, for some dogs, a physical calm.
They also help to prevent licking behavior that can be destructive or harmful.
What To Look For In A Lick Mat?
When selecting the right mat for your dog, there are many options to choose from that fit varying needs.
Some factors you may want to take into account when choosing a lick mat include:
Is the design of the mat something you find pleasing to the eye? Will it fit into the decor of your living space? Is purple a color you love, then see if you can find that color. Do you hate red, then pass on by the reds.
Ease of Cleaning
Some mats are top rack dishwasher safe while others you need to hand wash.
Keeping the lick mat clean is important as you don’t want bacteria to make its way to your dog.
The size of the mat should be conducive to your living space. If you live in an apartment or a smaller home, then consider the space that you have in mind for the mat.
Also, the mat size should correspond with your dog’s size. A small dog won’t need as large a mat as a large dog.
The mat should be durable and resistant to wear and tear. If your dog tends to chew on things, find a mat made from tough materials that won’t tear easily.
It’s helpful to read customer reviews.
Do the majority of the reviewers seem to find the product was described correctly?
A few less-than-favorable reviews are to be expected, so be sure to read both favorable and unfavorable reviews to get a more rounded opinion.
It’s important to read all labeling before buying a mat, so you know what ingredients are used and if there are any risks associated with them for your pet or yourself.
Do you want the mat to have a suction cup or even multiple suction cups? Suction cups are used to secure the placement of the mat, as shown with the Ecour mat (image to right). If so, read the description, as not all mats come with a suction cup.
How Do You Use A Lick Mat?
There are a few simple steps that you need to follow to get the most out of your lick mat.
Prepare your dog treats by mixing them with some water or gravy, or use prepared treats like peanut butter. Once ready, evenly distribute across the mat.
Keep in mind that smaller dogs lick slower than big dogs, so with a smaller pup, you won’t need to use as much of the provided treat then you will with a large dog.
Place the mat on the floor in an area where your dog can comfortably access it.
Some mats require mounting using cable ties or suction cups, so be sure to read the instructions before using them.
Have your dog come over and start licking!
If everything goes according to plan, your dog should be thoroughly enjoying himself and hopefully spending plenty of time with the mat!
Most times, your dog won’t take much time at all to learn to love his mat.
Tips For Keeping Your Pet Entertained With The Lick Mat
There are a few simple tips that you can do to keep your dog entertained and safe while he’s licking.
Rotate the treats, so they’re always different (and interesting). This will help keep your dog guessing and engaged.
Keep plenty of fresh water available for your pet, licking a mat can be thirsty work!
FAQs About Lick Mats For Dogs
Lick mats are becoming increasingly popular as they are seen as a way to keep dogs entertained and healthy. Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about lick mats:
How do I clean a lick mat?
It’s essential to clean the mat regularly to prevent the build-up of bacteria or saliva on the mat and causing problems for your pet.
Before cleaning a lick mat, be sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions over instructions given here. However, most recommend the cleaning methods below.
Some mats are dishwasher safe making them easy to clean. However, if the one you have isn’t, be sure to clean your lick mat well.
Start by wetting it down with warm water. Then soak it in soapy water for 20-30 minutes.Then use a brush, cloth or sponge to wipe down any dirt or dried saliva.
What are the best foods for lick mats?
Some of the best food options for lick mats are a tasty treat like ground chicken or peanut butter.
When choosing food for your pup’s lick mat, be sure they are healthy and limit sugar and chemicals. Provide foods that have a good amount of nutrients and moisture, which is essential for keeping licking habits healthy and satisfying.
Also, be aware that some foods can upset your dog’s tummy, so start out slowly.
One last thing to keep in mind. The food used on the lick mat should be used as a supplement to your dog’s healthy diet.
What are some foods to use with a lick mat?
There are many foods you can use with a lick mat. A few of them are:
Dog-Friendly Fruits and Vegetables
Can lick mats be harmful to my pet?
In most cases, lick mats seem to be harmless to dogs and do not appear to cause any significant issues.
However, if your dog does lick the mat incorrectly or ingests any of the material, there is a slight chance that it may be harmful.
Also, a lick mat can collect bacteria, potentially leading to health problems down the line.
If anything seems out of the ordinary after use, take him to a veterinarian right away.
Supervise your pet when using since small parts can present a choking hazard or internal blockage. Discontinue use if the lick mat is damaged.
As long as your dog is supervised while using a lick mat, and you clean the mat properly after each use, it should be safe for him.
Can I freeze my dog’s lick mat?
Most mats can be frozen but always read the manufacturer’s recommendation before doing so.
Whether freezing the lick mat is effective or not is up for debate, but some people do believe that it can be effective in keeping the mat fresh and usable.
The mat should be placed in a freezer bag before being frozen so that it retains its shape and doesn’t become mushy when thawed out.
For the longest lick time possible, apply something like peanut butter to the lick mat and place it in your freezer. Once the peanut butter has frozen, give the lick mat to your dog for a long-lasting treat!
Another benefit of having the mat frozen is that it will extend licking time and also be an added treat on a hot day.
Can my dogs share a lick mat?
When you have two dogs, or even more, it’s best to provide each with its own mat. This will help alleviate fighting over the treats.
There are some companies that sell their mats in bundles for ease of use with more than one pet. These are usually less expensive than buying multiple single mats.
Video: Lick Mat
Where To Buy
Now that you’ve learned about lick mats and are interested in purchasing one, they can be found at:
Now that you know the ins and outs of these mats, it’s time to get yours! Whether your dog suffers from anxiety or boredom or needs mental stimulation, these mats can be very useful.
It may take some time for them to accept the new toy, but with patience, they will start enjoying it right away. Most dogs love lick mats, given the time.
Thank you for reading! We hope this post, Licking Mats For Dogs, has been useful.
Do you have any recipes for a lick mat you want to share? Please comment below.