A dog lick mat is a textured silicone mat that encourages a dog's natural desire to lick. The raised texture allows you to spread foods or liquids in the grooves, making it more challenging for your dog to lick it all out.
So why is it so important for your dog to use a lick mat regularly?
The benefits of lick mats are amazing! Licking is a natural mood enhancer for your dog. When dogs lick they release endorphins, making them happier and less stressed.
It is also a great way to provide mental stimulation. Mental stimulation is essential for a healthy and happy dog. It can be achieved in many ways but a lick mat is a very affordable, time friendly, and easy way to give your dog daily mental enrichment. Mental stimulation alleviates boredom, reduces stress, works the mind keeping them sharp, and lessens hyperactivity.
Lick mats are a great way to keep your dog busy if you need to get some stuff done around the house or are working from home and can provide a little activity for them. They are also great if the weather isn't great and they can't get their physical stimulation in for the day. Mental stimulation is never a replacement for physical but it can tire them out just the same!
So, what does a lick mat look like and what ingredients can be used on a lick mat?
This is the great thing about them. They are so versatile that you can put just about anything your dog loves on them! Use up those bananas before they go bad or blend up a combination of fruits once they get squishy. Below are 10 ideas for your lick mat - ranging from super simple to combined ingredients.
1. Plain Greek Yogurt - Serve it as is or add it to the freezer for a harder challenge
2. Mashed Banana
3. Peanut Butter
4. Pumpkin in a Can - Use 100% pure pumpkin, NOT pumpkin spices or pie
5. Vegetable Mix - Blend an assortment of veggies together with a little coconut water. This can be broccoli, cucumber, peppers, carrots, zucchini. Pour on the mat and freeze
6. Steamed Carrots - Steam some carrots until soft and mash them into the mat
7. Unsweetened Applesauce
8. Egg- A raw egg is great if your dog is used to a raw diet, scramble them if not
9. Wet Dog Food - This is a great option if your dog eats canned food. Replace their bowl with a lick mat and spread their dinner across the mat. If it's a treat for your dog, make sure to adjust their meals for the day to accommodate the extra calories.
10. Broth - Pour any type of dog friendly broth on the mat and freeze
Lick mats are a great and easy way to have a positive impact on your dog! Check with your vet before adding new foods to your dog's diet.