Designed to be an interactive toy and/or a slower bowl, the licking mat is a tray, with different reliefs/surfaces, on which different creamy foods are spread . The animal must lick the food on the mat, which stimulates it mentally while soothing it.
For both dogs and cats, this enrichment game has many benefits. First, it is important to know that the action of licking is soothing for the dog ¹. Just think of the mommy licking those puppies; it's a way of reassuring them, not just cleaning them up. Instinctively, this behavior follows them throughout their lives.
In burst, the benefits are;
- Reduces stress, anxiety, boredom & bad behavior;
- Promotes good breath & good oral health;
- Excellent alternative to the speed bowl;
- The licking action is soothing & natural.
HOW TO CHOOSE WELL?
There are several mat models on the market, we ourselves have more than a dozen available! Each model has its own distinct features that adapt to different morphologies, the different needs of the animal as well as the use you want to make of it! Here are some things to think about in order to choose THE right mat for your animal.
For brachycephalic dogs (aka bulldogs, boxers, pugs, etc., that have short noses), the lick mat is a great option! More often than not, speed bump bowls are too deep for their "crushed" snout. Lick mats and enrichment trays (we also talk about this a little later!) are therefore perfect for dog breeds with this physical characteristic.
If your goal is to serve raw feed meals (and/or softened kibble meals), we recommend deeper enrichment mat/tray designs. Soda Pup's Mandala Etray Enrichment Tray & Circular Lick Mat (OUR BIG BIG BIG CRUSH!!!!!) is a great choice. With this in mind, we also recommend our filling toys which can be found HERE .
Does your dog have any " particularity " at this level? Be aware that lick mats are products designed in a standard format that can be suitable for everyone! Go with the one that appeals to you the most! After all, who knows your dog better than you?
WHAT TO PUT ON MY LICK MAT?
For sure, meals can be used to fill the mat. The vintage extends very well through the reliefs of the different carpets. If your dog is on a dry kibble diet, we suggest you let them soften in water. Thus, the croquettes will be soaked and they will be easy to spread on your carpet. Mealtimes are great opportunities to mentally stimulate your pet!
Mealtimes aside, there's a lot of talk about "creamy treats"...but what creamy treats can we actually put on our lick mats? In a rush, here is our top 7 creamy treats that are probably already in your fridge ; natural peanut butter, fat-free yogurt, honey, crushed fruits & vegetables, egg yolk, pumpkin purée & cheese spread.
At Finfido we have several toppings that form a perfect duo with the rugs . We present to you our 5 favorites and why you should try them:
1. PetKind® wet food ; Consisting of (very) few ingredients, this complementary food spreads wonderfully on all carpet models. You can easily put this product in the freezer afterwards to make the level of difficulty more difficult.
2. “ Bark Bistro” peanut butter ; Some peanut butters contain xylitol , which is a sweetener that our digestive system digests very well unlike that of our animals. How to know if the one at home is ok? Generally, peanut butters with a layer of oil on top are natural and safe. We have in store Bark Bistro peanut butter, made with 100% natural peanuts and a little touch of magic.
3. Patch Up! » ; Little digestive problem? Pumpkin puree is your superhero. If your pet has an upset stomach, why not feed them this superfood on a lick mat? He will only be better after practicing a natural gesture of appeasement.
4. Purebites creamy toppers ; Creamy Chicken Flavor Toppings from Purebites are a must! We really like the " everything poutch " format, which reduces the risk of waste and forgetting in the fridge!
5. Animora dental gel ; Make the useful to the pleasant! Naturally, the action of licking stimulates the salivary glands, which allows the production and rotation of saliva in the mouth of the animal. Add dental gel from the Quebec company Animora to maximize the maintenance of your pet's oral health.
PSSSSST: Want to make your lick mat last longer? As we like to say; #FROZEN PASSION ! All the lick mat models we have in stock can go in the freezer! Once the creamy treats are frozen, it will be much more difficult for him to access its contents!
In short, we firmly believe that a lick mat is a must have at home! For these benefits, for its great versatility of use & to amuse our animal! :)
¹ NB It is important to be attentive to the context. A dog who compulsively licks himself can experience skin discomfort. A dog who licks the objects around him in an extreme way can experience discomfort. The action of licking, like any other instinctive action, can become revealing of any problem if it becomes abusive.