Lickimats have become increasingly popular over the last couple of years. Not only are they made to slow your dog from wolfing their dinner, but they are recognised as a leading toy for enrichment and helping dogs with anxiety. Find out about these lip-licking mats and why we think they should be in every pooches toolbox.
What Is a Lickmat?
A Lickimat (also known as a lick mat) is usually a flat mat filled with small bumps and ridges to trap food and encourage your pooch to lick.
These clever little enrichment tools, were originally made by an Australian company as a way to help slow down the eating process, particularly for dogs who like to inhale their food!
Lickimats come in range of different sizes while others are used for different purposes. For instance some Lickimats can help dogs to eat their food slowly and so are suitable for kibble. Others are made primarily to provide enrichment and mental stimulation (like the Wobbler).
In its most basic form, you might want to just use it as a way to give your dog a treat. Spread a dog friendly treat on the mat such as peanut butter (no xylitol), soft banana, or fat-free plain yoghurt. Then encourage your dog to lick it up!
What are the benefits for my dog?
When a dog licks, it soothes and calms your dog, releasing endorphins and creating a sense of safety and calm. Helping dogs with anxiety or boredom. The Lickimat can distract your dog during a stressful situation (like when you’re popping to the shop, or when you have visitors). This way your dog will be getting plenty of happy hormones swimming to their brain, to help with the anxiety.
Creates mental stimulation
Lickimats provide your dog with a fun and stimulating activity. A lot of dogs spend most of their day sleeping, break it up by throwing a little fun with a Lickimat! For a long-lasting treat, we recommend freezing some peanut butter or cream cheese.
Slows down eating
Slowing down breakfast or dinner time is important when it comes to our pooch. The longer they take to eat, the better the digestion! Not only this, but it reduces the risk of bloat. By getting your dog to lick their food, it encourages more saliva which can help your dog to break down their food.
Supports oral health
A benefit of the Lickimat that isn’t celebrated from the rooftop, is that it helps to scrape bacteria from your dog’s tongue. This can result in a fresher, healthier doggie mouth, keeping gums, tongues and teeth healthy. They can even be used as a tongue brusher, just spread somme doggie toothpaste on the mat.
Some dog owners have also found that a Lickimat can help when it comes to nail trimming or bathing your pooch. Some mats have suction cups to wall mount in the bathroom!
Can It Replace My Dog Bowl?
Absolutely! The lick mat is a perfect replacement for small to medium dogs. Items like Lickimats, slow feeders and puzzle toys, require your dog to expend physical and mental energy to get their calories – providing tones of enrichment. You can use the Lickimat to serve raw, wet, dry and liquid food. Larger dogs may need a bowl to accompany their larger portions, or extra LIckimats to hold all the food!
Our Favourite LickiMats
Is Your Pooch A Lickimat Lover?
Let us know what you think of Lickimats in the comments below. Click here for more doggy enrichment ideas.