Lick mats or licky mats are great. They help your dog in many ways including relief from anxiety, mental stimulation, providing a comfortable distraction, and slow feeding, among others. All these benefits are much-needed especially for city dogs living in apartments as their lifestyle is starkly different from, say, farm dogs.
In this guide, we are going to talk about all things licking mats while providing review summaries of the 5 best lick mats for your canine friend.
Why Are Licky Mats Good For Dogs
Lick mats come with a plethora of benefits. Here are some of the benefits common to all of the lick mats we have reviewed below:
- Lick mats come with textured bases and/or ridges. This helps clean the tongue of your dog with every lick. Consequently, over time, this helps freshen the breath of your canine companion.
- Lick mats are predominantly used for slowing down feeding. Slow feeders though exist in many forms such as bowls, we highly recommend lick mats for the additional benefits they come with. Eating slower improves digestion in dogs.
- Controlling portions is easy with these lick mats as they come with compartments or borders that can also help you track cravings or plan a balanced diet.
- Stressful times can make canines uncomfortable or stressed. These lick mats work great for such situations as baths, thunderstorms, or nail trimmings and help you provide effective and rapid relief from anxiety. Anxiety is a big problem with dogs, with a 2020 study finding that over 72% of dogs suffer from it. Lick mats can provide much-needed relief here.
- Lick mats last significantly longer than puzzle toys including a stuffed Kong.
The act of licking releases endorphins in your dog’s brain which in turn reduces stress and encourages calm behavior.
There are also other advantages to using lick mats but those largely depend on what kind it is. See our review of the best 5 lick mats below and you will understand what works best for you.
The Best 5 Lick Mats for Dogs
Let’s go over the top 5 lick mats that we have found and reviewed for you.
Frisco is well-known for its Silicone Treat lick mat. This package comes with two – a square and a hexagonal mat. Nearly 8 inches long on both sides, these mats provide all the typical benefits of slow feeders while working as effective distractions for times when you need some quiet.
Whether you intend to reward your dog or just provide spreadable treats in a better way, the Frisco Silicon lick mat is more than sufficient for any application in any situation. As a result, this lick mat is a welcome addition to any canine-friendly household.
The height/depth of this mat is 0.4”. The lick mat is good for both, wet and dry food. Though wet food usually goes well with any lick mat. This lick mat is non-skid and dishwasher-safe. The material is BPA-free. Just place the mat on the top rack of your dishwasher for easy cleaning.
Where To Buy: This textured mat used for spreadable treats is only available on Chewy.com .
Hyper Pet’s IQ series of lick mats are meant for both, cats and dogs. Based on our expert analysis as well as thousands of user reviews and ratings, we have determined that these are the best of the series.
The Reward and Calm pack of 2 on Amazon is great to switch things up a little.
We like the quality, durability, and functionality that these lick mats provide to dogs. All in all, these treat mats are a great alternative to slow feeder bowls and allow your dog to exert more mental power to get to the bottom (literally) of it.
Recommended for all breeds and ages of dogs and great for anxious pets, these are plastic-based lick mats that are microwavable and dishwater-safe. You can also control portions with these mats.
Commonly advertised as an interactive stimulation toy that helps dogs release stress, this lick mat is good for all types of stress-busting. LumoLeaf generally manufactures products on the lower end of the price spectrum but they are one of those brands, if not the only one, which we can’t recommend enough even over costlier competitors.
Keeping things simple and neat, this slow feeder lick mat is good for treating boredom and anxiety in your dog. It is also the perfect tool to spread peanut butter. You can mount it vertically on a bathroom wall for bathing or grooming. It can also be used for dog training in specific cases.
The mat has a strong suction quality and it adheres to nearly every flat or smooth surface in a home. What’s more, you can also freeze it or stack it for easier storage.
Made out of food-grade BPA-free silicone material, the lick mat is remarkably easy to hand-clean while also being dishwasher-safe.
Where To Buy: Whether you are in the UK or in the US, it’s likely that your local Amazon stocks LumoLeaf Bathtime Slow Treater.
Another lick pad for bath time but with a dog bathing tool. So, if you don’t already have a hand shower style sprayer to clean your furry friend, this might be the right choice for you.
Aquapaw has been making some great products lately and we would be remiss to not talk about their quality. Sure, pet owners can be a little apprehensive about going for a low-rated (smaller number of reviews, not a lower star rating) brand especially when so many more popular brands are available.
But we would like to recommend Aquapaw to any dog owner. They rank behind mostly because they are a fairly new brand in the industry. Their product quality and durability are both top-tier.
Where To Buy: Grab this inexpensive dog lick pad deal on Amazon.com.
Mighty Paw’s green dog lick pad is made of BPA-free food-grade silicone. Designed for easy grooming and slow feeding, this lick pad is extremely easy to clean and dishwasher-safe.
The Mighty Paw lick pad comes with four different textures with each focusing on a different aspect. Clockwise from top-left, they are for distraction, anxiety relief, ease of feeding, and fun, respectively.
Each quadrant brings a different use case with it and that is precisely what we love the most about this lick mat. It also has a great hold thanks to very powerful suction cups.
Where to buy: You can grab your feeding mat from Amazon.com.
3 Dog Licking Mat Recipes Your Pup Will Love
You can get as creative as you want to get with your lickmats, try new things and have fun with them.
A great treat idea for filling a licking mat is - pumpkin cheesecake.
For this recipe you'll need pureed pumpkin, 1 tsp. of honey, a sprinkling of cinnamon, and a small amount of low-fat cream cheese. Mix it all well, spread it on the lick mat and freeze it until it's ready to be served!
Smoothies are for dogs too and a great way to introduce more fruits into their diet. A simple yet drool-worthy licking mat recipe - Banana Smoothie.
Ripened mashed bananas and natural plain yogurt are all you need. Mix them well and spread them on the lick mat. Go ahead and add small chunks of any other fruit and veggie you want before you freeze them. A licking-friendly smoothie best served on a hot day!
BARF Home Made Mix
Turn dinner time into a game and make mealtimes more enjoyable! If you're feeding your dog a raw diet and are looking for some filling ideas check out Superfeedy's Sunday dinner suggestion.
Mix your choice of veggies, fruit, meat and organs and top it with a variety of fresh fruit, herbs and yogurt along with any extra supplements (e.g. coconut oil, salmon oil etc.)
You can also use regular canned dog food on the licky mat if you don't feed your dog a raw BARF diet.
Here's a great visual for you.
Yogurt, Sweet Potato, Applesauce and Fruit Licking Mat Filling
We're loving this simple yet delicious filling idea.
Divide up your licking mat in four different flavor compartments, use plain Greek yogurt in one, mixed berries and 1/2 tsp of honey in another, sweet potato baby food (just read the ingredients to make sure they are pup-approved) and unsweetened applesauce with pumpkin for the last filling.
Freeze and serve when ready.
What (Else) to Put on a Lick Mat for Dogs?
The typical peanut butter, yogurt, or your dog’s favorite food can become boring quickly. Here are 10 more things that you can put on a lick mat for your dog:
How To Clean and Use a Lick Mat For Dogs?
Cleaning and using a lick mat is a fairly straightforward process.
- Most lick mats are dishwasher-safe. Put them on the top rack on low setting and you are good to go.
- Lick mats are also easy to clean manually. For best results, soak the lick mat in warm water along with some dish soap to loosen the residue. A following gentle scrub will easily take care of it.
- Use the lick mat by applying a paste of the recipe base with a butter knife at any angle or shape you want.