Why Are Lick Mats Good for Dogs?

You may have recently come across dog lick mats which dog owners are raving about, and wondered what they are and if they’re actually any good. Dog lick mats are growing in popularity and have multiple uses, although, primarily, they are a grooved mat that encourages dogs to lick them (and what’s on them). Most mats have patterns and other textured surfaces that create a maze which helps to lock the food in place for the dog to actively lick a treat or meal.

So, why are lick mats good for dogs? There are many reasons why a lick mat is good for a dog. They alleviate stress, create mental stimulation for dogs if their exercise is limited or if physical exercise doesn’t always tire them out, they encourage healthy teeth and gums and can be useful to reinforce activities like grooming, bath time and nail trims.

Read on to find out the benefits of dog lick mats and which products you can use for your dog. 

Are Lick Mats Good For All Dogs?

Absolutely. With the range of benefits a dog lick mat has, it is a positive addition to any dog’s life! However, keep in mind the contents you place on your dog’s lick mat if they have any dietary requirements or health conditions. The benefits of dog lick mats include:

Alleviate Stress 

If your dog gets overwhelmed, the lick mat can be a positive distraction. Generally, slow feeders (which lick mats are) help soothe and reduce anxiety as your dog is distracted, their focus is redirected onto something more pleasant. When a dog licks, it soothes and calms your dog, releasing endorphins, which creates a sense of safety.

Mental Stimulation

Regular and concise exercise is the key to a dog’s heart. As well as physical exercise, dogs often need mental stimulation, which can come in different forms, such as: agility, solving puzzles, playing, chasing, smelling, chewing and scavenging. The lick mat is a great way to satisfy that mental stimulation, which ultimately will reduce their boredom.

Oral Health

Keeping your dog’s teeth clean is important. Dental/gum disease is incredibly common in dogs and can be incredibly uncomfortable for them. Where possible, oral hygiene should be introduced. Lick mats are great for your dogs mental health because the surface helps to scrape off any plaque on their teeth and gums.

Positive Reinforcing Tool

Lick mats make an enjoyable and fun training tool. They sometimes come with suction cups which means they can make bath time fun! Furthermore, they can be used as a distraction if your dog doesn’t like being brushed or getting their nails clipped. The Pet Retreat offers a tailored grooming service in order to help further when it comes to keeping your dog well groomed.

Health Benefits

Overeating can lead to conditions such as diabetes or pancreatitis. Lick mats can be known for being a positive slow feeder. They slow down your dog’s eating habits, which ultimately reduces risks of bloating and improves their digestion. 

If you are looking for a high quality lick mat for your dog, check out our enrichment collection.

What Can I Put on My Dog’s Lick Mat?

The ideas are endless when it comes to what you can put on your dog’s lick mat. Here are the things you can use for your dog:

  • Raw dog food
  • Peanut butter (xylitol free)
  • Natural Greek yoghurt
  • Fruit/Veg purees (you can make your own)
  • Meat broth
  • Egg
  • Cottage cheese
  • Mashed sweet potato

Can I Leave My Dog Alone With A Lick Mat?

Dog lick mats are a good product to use if you are intending to leave your dog alone at home. They are designed to be chew resistant and are virtually indestructible. If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, this is the perfect time for your dog to use the lick mat. We understand dog owners feel guilty leaving their dog at home, but this product is a helping hand for owners to not feel that sense of guilt, when they know their dog is enjoying their new treat!

How Else Can I Provide Stimulation for My Dog?

Engaging your dog’s brain with tasks other than exercise can be a real game changer when it comes to tiring out your dog. Social and mental stimulation for your dog can range in plenty of different activities.

We have outlined the benefits that come with a dog lick mat above, but have you ever thought about the social enrichment that comes with your dog visiting the groomers? Apart from the obvious of your dog looking and smelling amazing, your dog visiting the groomers comes with new environments, new challenges and works their brain to interact with the world around them.

The Pet Retreat offers grooming services which gives your dog the likely interaction with other dogs, along with the groomers themselves. As they are being washed and checked for common health issues, they are able to receive a gentle massage by our expert team, which helps them to relax and increases their mood. 

At The Pet Retreat, you can book your appointment with us today in order to help your dog with their social enrichment.

Lick Mats At The Pet Retreat

At The Pet Retreat, we understand the importance of keeping your dog fit and healthy, which is why we are introducing new products into our Bowdon salon soon. Check out our enrichment section for top quality lick mats or book a grooming session today to pamper your dog.