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Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

This article was written by TOBALIE in cooperation with Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

Have you heard about licking mats? If not, pay attention, because a licking mat for dogs offers a lot of advantages.

What is a licking mat?

These simple but ingenious mats are usually made of silicone or rubber and have different patterns that provide indentations on the surface. On the licking mat you can spread various food and thus offer your dog many benefits. When buying, make sure they are non-toxic (meaning food safe) and you choose the right size. Large dogs may become frustrated if the structures are too small and they don’t get enough out.

What is the licking mat for dogs good for?

The licking mat has many benefits for your dog:

1. Stress relief. Licking helps your dog relieve stress and has a calming effect. Often dogs that are too stressed to chew can take licking snacks well. For example, this can also help dogs with thunderstorm anxiety relax and make a positive association.

2. Employment. Getting the food out of the structures of the lick mat can be quite tricky, so your pet will be busy for a while getting the mat clean again. Usually they are licking for 10-20 minutes.

Tip: Frozen, you can quickly whip up a doggy ice cream, which will keep your dog busy even longer and cool them down at the same time.

3. Rituals. They’re great for building habits in everyday life. Puppies especially can benefit from having their familiar blanket and lick mat with them in new places.

4. Avoid snares. In principle, dogs are gorge eaters. So it is normal if the bowl is empty in no time. Sometimes it may be necessary to eat more slowly, for example if your pet throws up shortly after eating or swallows a lot of air.

5. Food supplements. If your dog gets supplements that he doesn’t like to eat so much, this can be well concealed in the licking mat. Mixed with treats, it is often eaten along playfully.

6. Tools. Some licking mats have suction cups on the underside. Thus, they can be attached, for example, in the shower and distract your quadruped while bathing or brushing something. Attention: Of course, the dog must be accustomed to body care gradually. The mats serve only as a support.

Note: Please watch your dog and use the licking mat in the beginning only under supervision. Some dogs try to chew off the corners, which should be prevented. Then you can put the mat in a pot or similar, so that your quadruped no longer comes to the edge.

What can you fill the licking mat with?

The possibilities are endless, there are no limits to your creativity. The easiest are soft foods that can be easily smeared. Pay attention to what your dog tolerates well and of course likes to eat.

Our favorite toppings:

– Banana or other fruit

– plain yogurt

– Peanut butter (no added sugar!)

– liver sausage

– wet food

– porridge

– and many more

Recipes for the licking mat

1. dog smoothie: Simply puree berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries), coconut flakes and psyllium husks with a little water and empty onto the lick mat.

2. quick & healthy: mash banana with natural yogurt and some peanut butter and spread on the lick mat.

3. iceLick: Blend watermelon and cottage cheese, spread on the lick mat and place in the freezer for one hour.

How do I clean the licking mat?

That depends on the material and the processing of your mat. It is best to read whether your licking mat can be put in the dishwasher. If you don’t want to risk anything, wash it with warm water, a soft brush and possibly dishwashing liquid. Be sure to use mild soaps if possible and rinse the mat well afterwards so that no residue from the detergent remains.

We have tested a licking mat closely, here you get to the test.

Summary

Licking mats are easy to use and offer many great ways to keep your dog busy and calm. Try your way through the recipes and make your dog happy.