What are lick mats?

A Lick Mat is a unique tool designed to encourage dogs to engage in the natural behaviour of licking. It is typically made of TPR rubber or silicone and features grooves and textures that create a grazing maze for the dog’s tongue. Unlike traditional feeding methods where dogs quickly chomp and gobble their food, lick mats promote a more mindful and slower eating experience.

Why use a Lick Mat?

Lick mats are a wonderful tool for dog owners looking to provide mental stimulation for their furry friends. Not only do they serve as a tasty distraction during stressful situations such as grooming or vet visits, but they also help alleviate anxiety and boredom in dogs. The repetitive licking action required to clean the mat provides a soothing effect that can help relax anxious pups and keep them occupied for extended periods of time. This not only benefits the dog’s mental well-being but also allows pet parents to complete necessary tasks without interruption.

In addition to reducing stress and anxiety, lick mats offer an engaging activity that challenges your dog’s cognitive abilities. The act of figuring out how to effectively lick the mat clean requires problem-solving skills and concentration, keeping your pup mentally engaged and entertained. Just like physical exercise is essential for maintaining a healthy body, mental stimulation is crucial for promoting a happy and well-balanced mind in dogs. Overall, the benefits of lick mats extend beyond just keeping mouths busy; they contribute to overall mental wellness in our beloved four-legged companions.

Benefits of Lick Mats

Lick mats provide numerous benefits for dogs, making them a must-have accessory for pet owners. See below some of the benefits:

Reduce stress: Licking releases endorphins in a dog’s brain, promoting a calming and relaxing effect. This natural process helps dogs to unwind and feel more at ease in stressful situations and can improve their mental health.

Dental health: By encouraging dogs to lick and clean their teeth. The textured surface of the mat promotes the removal of plaque and tartar, which can prevent dental issues such as gum disease. By incorporating lick mats into their routine, dog owners can take a proactive approach to maintain their pet’s oral health.

Licking not only calms your pet, but also helps reduce cortisol levels and promotes healthy gums and teeth by increasing saliva production.

Slow feeding: These mats slow down eating patterns, preventing dogs from quickly gulping down their food. This controlled feeding helps to prevent indigestion, bloating, and obesity. Slow feeding also engages the dog’s natural foraging instinct, making mealtime more satisfying and enjoyable.

Promoting Salivation: Saliva is important for digestion as it helps break down food and aids in swallowing. Licking stimulates saliva production, which can prevent gastrointestinal issues. Using a lick mat for treats provides mental stimulation and supports digestive health.

Entertainment and mental stimulation for pets: They serve as a stimulating activity that challenges dogs to explore and investigate. Certified trainer and behaviour consultant, Sarah Hodgson, explains that the repetitive licking motion on the mat engages the dog’s senses and helps them focus, reducing anxiety and boredom.

In conclusion, lick mats provide several advantages for dogs, including stress reduction, improved oral health, slower feeding, and increased entertainment and mental stimulation. Dog owners can enhance their pet’s well-being and quality of life by including lick mats in their daily routine.

Types of Lick Mats

One of the largest distributors of Lick Mats is by the LickiMat company, who’ve created multiple types of lick mats for different occasions and needs.

See below the types of Lick Mat's that we stock at Dec's Pets:

Suggestions for items to put on a Lick Mat

Peanut butter or almond nut butter.

Peanut butter on a lick mat can be a healthy and tasty treat for your dog. Make sure to use regular peanut butter or almond nut butter without xylitol. It provides protein, healthy fats, and vitamins, but be careful not to overfeed your pup. Just like humans, too much can lead to health issues. Limit their intake to once a week to prevent problems like diabetes or pancreatitis. Try other healthy and delicious toppings for the lick mat like frozen peanut butter, and be mindful of the calories from treats to extend playtime.

Cream cheese

Cream cheese is a tasty and healthy option for topping your dog’s lick mat. It is a low-fat cheese that is safe and delicious for dogs to consume. Simply spread a small amount of cream cheese on the mat for your pup to enjoy. Remember to give it in moderation due to its high-fat content.


Bananas are considered a healthy snack for dogs due to their high potassium content, but it is important to give them in moderation as they also contain a lot of sugar.

Sweet potato

Planning to cook sweet potatoes for dinner? Remember to save some for your dog’s lick mat! Cooked sweet potatoes are safe for dogs to eat as they are a whole food and less likely to cause any issues. They are commonly used as a carbohydrate source in commercial dog foods. To introduce sweet potatoes to your puppy, spread a small amount onto their lick mat and see if they enjoy the flavour before covering the entire mat.

Wet dog Food

Spreading Wet Dog food is is one of the most common things to spread on a lick mat and at Dec’s pets have a huge variety to choose from.

Choosing the Right Lick Mat for Your Dog

Choosing the right lick mat for your dog is important for their safety and happiness. Consider factors like material, size, texture, and design when selecting a lick mat. In this guide, we will help you choose the best lick mat for your dog based on their preferences, needs, and safety requirements. Whether you need a durable, dishwasher-safe option or one to help with anxiety or boredom, we’ll help you find the perfect lick mat for your furry friend.

Consider various factors when choosing a lick mat

When selecting a lick mat for your dog, it is important to consider factors such as material, texture, and design. Choose a mat made from non-toxic, food-grade silicone that is durable, easy to clean, dishwasher safe, and freezer-friendly. The texture should be textured or ridged to provide a more challenging experience for your dog when they are licking the food. Choose a design that appeals to your dog and is easy for them to interact with, like a maze pattern or grooves that hold the food in place.

Different bases and recipes can enhance your pet’s diet by offering a variety of textures, flavours, and nutritional benefits. Bases like yogurt, pureed pumpkin, or wet dog food, combined with ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, and protein sources, can provide a well-rounded meal for your pet.

When selecting a lick mat for your dog, take into account factors such as material, texture, and design that will best suit your dog’s food preferences. If your dog enjoys runny foods like broth, opt for a lick mat with high walls to contain liquids effectively.

In summary

Lick mats provide various benefits for dogs, including promoting mental relaxation, improving digestive health, and enhancing dental hygiene. They are popular for their ability to provide calming effects in stressful situations, keep dogs entertained, and control overeating.

Different types of lick mats are available for dog owners to choose from based on their dog’s preferences and needs. By considering factors such as material, texture, design, bases, and recipes, owners can provide their dogs with mental stimulation and nutritional benefits.

Lick mats are now recognised as important tools for enhancing dogs’ physical and mental health in a convenient and enjoyable way.