Are you looking for new ways to enrich your pup’s life? Does your pup love food and homemade treats and meals, but you don’t want them to eat too fast? A lick mat for dogs is a great way to do just that! It provides a safe, edible activity that will help keep your pup’s mind active and engaged. Read on to learn the benefits of lick mats for dogs, Dog Child favorites, dog lick mat ideas and some Dog Child lick mat recipes!
What is a Lick Mat?
A lick mat is an interactive toy that can be filled with food or treats for your pup. The mat has ridges and nubs on it that allow the dog to lick and nibble away at the food or treats. This type of activity stimulates their natural instinctive behavior as well as providing mental stimulation while they figure out how to access their reward. It also helps keep them occupied while you are busy doing other things such as cooking dinner, cleaning up around the house, or running errands. The grooves in the mats allow you to smear food around, such as Dog Child’s Meal Mix, peanut butter, cream cheese, pumpkin puree, or other yummy homemade treats onto the mat and give your pup something tasty to savor! Plus, they come in various sizes and shapes so you can find one that fits perfectly in your pup's bowl.
The Benefits of Using Lick Mats
Lick mats can provide multiple benefits for your pup including mental stimulation, physical activity, better behavior, improved digestion, reduced stress levels and more. By providing mentally stimulating activities like licking peanut butter off of a lick mat you can help reduce boredom which can lead to destructive behaviors like chewing furniture or barking incessantly.
Using a lick mat also allows your pup to enjoy their meal without inhaling it. This is beneficial if they are prone to bloat or have an issue with eating too quickly. Lick mats also help improve digestion since they require dogs to take smaller bites while licking rather than scooping up large chunks. When making homemade meals for your dog this is especially great as you can spread out any fresh food.
Licking mats help release endorphins which can help reduce stress and anxiety in some pups. Also, the licking motion helps relieve tension in the jaw muscles which can help reduce stress levels in anxious pups. For those who struggle with separation anxiety or have difficulty at night-time, licks mats may be just the thing for them! It also gives them something fun to do when they need a distraction from any stressful situations around them.
Another great benefit of using lick mats is that it encourages natural foraging behavior in pups. When we think of foraging behavior, we usually think of wild animals searching for food—but this same behavior can be seen in domestic dogs as well! By providing them with something like a lick mat that allows them to search out tasty morsels hidden within its crevices, you are helping them engage this natural behavior safely within their own home environment. Not only does this provide physical enrichment but mental enrichment as well!
Our Favorite Lick Mats for Dogs
Doggy lick mats are a great way to keep your pup occupied, especially during meal times. When it comes to choosing the right brand, we have a few favorites that we highly recommend. Firstly, dexypaws is a Dog Child favorite thanks to its non-slip design and 100% silicone durability. The SodaPup brand lick mats are also great because they come with different heights and depths that imitate a natural foraging meal, making meal time more enjoyable and enriching for your pup. It is also great for flat-nosed dogs that may struggle with deep bowls. These are two of our favorite brands in the market when it comes to lick mats for dogs and we encourage you to try them out for yourself!
DIY Dog Lick Mat Ideas
If you’re wondering what to put on a lick mat for dogs, we have some ideas that we love to use. These ingredients are both yummy and have tons of health benefits for your dog’s diet.
Fruits & Veggies
- Berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
- Pumpkin puree (100% pumpkin)
- Canned tomatoes (no spice or salt!)
- Ground beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, pork prepared with Dog Child Meal Mixes
- Canned fish - tuna, salmon, sardines (no spice & in water!)
- Peanut butter (100% peanuts)
Sprinkles & Herbs
- Dog Child Essential Nutrient Mix
- Chia seeds
Our Favorite Lick Mat Ingredient: Dog Child Meal Mixes
Of course our favorite item to spread on a lick mat is our prepared Dog Child Meal Mixes. With 3 different flavors that can be combined with 6 different proteins the combinations are endless.
Our Meal Mixes can be made in less than 15 mins a week and 3 simple steps. Just combine with water, your dog’s protein of choice, plus oil and you have a home cooked meal for your dog. Developed by leading vets and nutritionists, our meal mixes elevate meal time and allow you to feed your dog the best meal possible.
Lick Mat Recipes for Dogs
Dog Child has also created some delicious and nutritious themed lick mat recipes for dogs that will be super tasty and great for your pup’s enrichment!
Canned tuna can be a great treat for dogs that add variety to their diets. Always be sure to choose canned fish without oils, spices, and other additives. This healthy and convenient protein source is full of essential amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, minerals and vitamins needed to keep pets in good health.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Lick Mat - Turning a childhood favorite into a delicious snack, it blends creamy protein-packed peanut butter goodness with a sweet berry twist.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Lick Mat - Pumpkin is a great ingredient for dogs when home cooking as it is high in fiber and low in calories. When buying pumpkin, always make sure to pick up natural pumpkin puree for dogs with no additives. Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants and fiber, great for your dog’s health.
Allowing your pup time on their lick mats not only provides physical benefits by slowing down their eating habits but also provides mental stimulation by releasing calming hormones which can help reduce stress levels. Whether you opt for simple homemade solutions or more complex commercial products, there are plenty of options available when it comes to enriching your pup’s life with lick mats! So go ahead – give it a try – and watch how much happier and healthier your furry friend will become!