lick mat dog

Lick Mat Dog: Benefits, Choosing The Best, Tips and Tricks

Hey there fellow dog lover! If you’re like me, you want the best lick-mat dog for your furry friend. As dog owners, we know our pups love to chow down. But scarfing kibble can lead to upset tummies and other issues. 

So what’s the solution? Let me introduce you to the lick mat – the hottest thing in dog bowls! This genius slow feeder will transform mealtimes and provide mental stimulation. Your pooch will happily lick away as you relax, knowing they’re getting a healthy feed. 

In this article, I’ll fill you in on how lick mats work their magic and why they’re a must-have for dog owners. You’ll learn tips on choosing the right size and texture for your breed. I’ll also share genius ways to use lick mats beyond just meals. 

Get ready to discover the amazing benefits of this simple yet brilliant product. Your dog will thank you!

What Is a Lick Mat and Why Should You Use One?

lick mat dog

A lick mat is a specially designed mat or pad that you spread with treats, peanut butter, or other tasty snacks for your dog. As your pooch licks the mat to get the goodies, it keeps them occupied for a long time. Lick mats are a great tool for keeping anxious or bored dogs preoccupied in a positive way.

Provides Mental Stimulation

Lick mats give your dog’s mind something to focus on as they work to get every last bit of peanut butter or treat from the grooves and texture of the mat. This can help ease anxiety, boredom, and restlessness in dogs. The act of licking releases endorphins in dogs that have a calming, soothing effect.

Slows Down Eating

If your dog inhales their food in seconds, a lick mat can help slow them down at mealtimes. Spread some wet or dry dog food, pumpkin puree, or banana on the mat before giving them their bowl. This forces them to take their time licking and chewing, which is better for their digestion and health.

Provides Occupational Therapy

For senior dogs or those with limited mobility, lick mats offer occupational therapy. The act of licking exercises their tongue, jaw, and neck muscles. It also gives them a task to complete that provides mental stimulation without a lot of physical effort.

Lick mats come in a variety of textures from soft silicone to hard plastic. Choose a mat that will be easy for your dog to lick based on their age, mouth, and teeth. Always supervise your dog with a lick mat at first to ensure they don’t chew on or ingest pieces of it. With the proper introduction and training, lick mats can become an important part of keeping your dog happy, healthy, and occupied for years to come.

lick mat for dog

The Benefits of Lick Mats for Dogs

Lick mats, also known as slow feeders, provide mental and physical stimulation for your dog. They turn mealtime into an enriching experience and offer several benefits.

Improved Eating Habits

Lick mats naturally slow down fast eaters, which helps prevent choking, vomiting, and other issues caused by gulping down food too quickly. They force your dog to lick and nibble their meal over 10-30 minutes, allowing them to better pace themselves. This can be particularly helpful for breeds prone to bloat or gastritis.

Mental Stimulation

Lick mats provide mental exercise by challenging your dog to work for their food. They have to figure out how to maneuver their tongue to access all the little nooks and crannies in the mat. This helps combat boredom in between meals and prevents behavioral problems that can arise from a lack of mental stimulation.

Stress and Anxiety Relief

The repetitive licking motion required to clean a lick mat has a calming, soothing effect for many dogs. This can help decrease stress and anxiety, especially for high-strung or anxious dogs. Lick mats give them an outlet to focus their energy in a constructive way.

Improved Coordination

As your dog navigates the grooves and textures of a lick mat, they are exercising their tongue and jaw. This helps strengthen and improve coordination in these areas. For senior dogs or those with mobility issues, lick mats provide physical exercise and enrichment without the strain of intense activity.

Lick mats are an easy way to boost your dog’s wellbeing and turn mealtimes into a challenging game. They provide mental and physical exercise, help improve eating habits, decrease stress, and stimulate your dog’s mind. Adding a lick mat to your dog’s routine can have significant benefits for their health and happiness.

How to Choose the Best Lick Mat for Your Dog

When selecting a lick mat for your pup, there are a few factors to consider based on your dog’s needs and preferences. The right lick mat can provide mental stimulation and help relieve anxiety, but the wrong one may go unused.


Lick mats come in a variety of materials, including silicone, canvas, and plastic. Silicone mats are non-toxic, dishwasher safe, and long-lasting. However, some dogs don’t like the texture. Canvas mats are also popular, as they can be thrown in the wash. Avoid any mats with loose parts that could be a choking hazard.


The texture of the mat refers to the size and pattern of the ridges and grooves that hold the treats or peanut butter in place. Wider grooves are easier for dogs to lick, while narrow, winding grooves provide more of a challenge. Consider your dog’s tongue size and patience level. For example, a smaller dog may struggle with a mat designed for large breeds.


Lick mats range from small pads to large placemat sizes. For most dogs, a medium-sized mat around 8 to 12 inches in diameter is ideal. However, giant breed dogs will need a bigger mat, while a small mat is perfect for a Chihuahua or Yorkie. You want a mat that your dog can comfortably stand or sit in front of, with room for their tongue to move around.


Many lick mats can be used with a variety of treats and peanut butter. However, some are specifically designed for wet treats like yogurt or pumpkin puree. If you want to fill the mat with peanut butter, look for one with wider grooves that can hold the peanut butter in place. For treats, choose a mat with narrower grooves that will hold the treats securely until your dog licks them out.

With the right combination of factors for your dog, a lick mat can provide mental exercise and stress relief for years to come. Take the time to evaluate different products and choose one your pup will love. Their happiness and health are well worth it!

Our Top Picks for the Best Lick Mats

SlowTon Dog Slow Feeder Lick Mat

This popular lick mat is a great option for most dogs. It’s made of 100% food-grade silicone that’s non-toxic and dishwasher safe. The raised nubs and varied ridge patterns make it challenging for dogs to lick everything up quickly. You can spread peanut butter, wet dog food, yogurt or pumpkin puree over the mat to keep your dog engaged. It comes in three sizes so you can choose the right fit for your pooch. For the quality and price, this is our top pick for lick mats.

Hyper Pet IQ Treat Mat

This uniquely designed lick mat has lots of nooks and crannies to hide treats and prolong feeding time. Shaped like a dog bone, the ridged surface creates hills and valleys that make it tricky for dogs to lick up everything swiftly. Made of food-grade silicone, it’s easy to clean in the dishwasher. While a bit pricier, its intelligent design and durability make it a great choice for power chewers and smart pups.

Lickimat Classic Dog Slow Feeder

Simple but effective, this classic lick mat design features a textured surface with a variety of bumps and grooves. Made of high-quality, BPA-free silicone, it’s extremely durable and dishwasher safe. The non-slip backing prevents it from sliding around, even on hard floors. Available in two sizes, the smaller “Buddy” size is ideal for small to medium dogs. For a no-frills lick mat at an affordable price, the Lickimat is a great option.

Using a lick mat is an easy way to mentally stimulate your dog and make mealtime last longer. Our top picks provide durable, dishwasher-safe options at a range of price points. With the right lick mat, you can keep your pup engaged for 30 minutes or more and turn feeding time into a challenging game. Your dog will love the extra playtime and mental workout.

Tips and Tricks for Using Lick Mats

Choose the Right Lick Mat

With such a lot of options available, how do you pick? Think about your dog’s size and how much peanut butter or treat paste they can handle. For small breeds, a smaller mat with fewer and smaller compartments is good. For bigger dogs, get a larger mat so they can really go to town. You’ll also want to consider the material: silicone mats are easy to clean but can be chewed through, while hard plastic mats last longer but aren’t dishwasher safe.

Use Tasty Treats

To keep your dog engaged, fill the mat with something irresistible like peanut butter, wet dog food, pumpkin puree, or banana puree. You can also make your own treat paste from ingredients you have on hand. For extra fun, try freezing the filled mat for a few hours before giving it to your dog. The cold temperature will make the treat last longer and feel more satisfying.

Supervise Your Dog

While lick mats can provide mental stimulation for your dog, always supervise them while they’re enjoying it. Make sure they don’t chew off any pieces of the mat, and take the mat away if they start chewing on the edges. Also watch that they don’t gobble it down too quickly, as this could lead to an upset stomach. Take breaks as needed to prevent overeating.

Clean the Mat Thoroughly

After your dog has licked the mat clean, wash it with soap and water to remove any leftover residue and sanitize it before the next use. For stubborn stuck-on treats, you may need to scrub the mat. Be sure to rinse and dry the mat completely to prevent bacteria growth before storing. With proper care and cleaning, a high-quality lick mat should last through many treat-filled sessions.

Lick mats are a great way to keep your dog stimulated when you’re not home or can’t play. By choosing the right mat, using tasty fillings, supervising your dog, and thoroughly cleaning the mat after use, you’ll get the most out of this enriching toy. Happy licking!

Do You Need a Dog Lick Mat?

If your pooch tends to scarf down their food in seconds, a dog lick mat can be a great solution. These mats, also known as slow feeders, are designed to make mealtime last longer by spreading out the kibble or treats over a textured surface. Your dog has to lick and nuzzle the mat to get their food, which helps prevent them from gulping it too quickly.

A lick mat is ideal for dogs that inhale their food, but it can also be useful for anxious or bored dogs. The activity gives them a task to focus on and provides mental stimulation. Lick mats come in a variety of shapes, sizes and textures to suit your dog. You can find basic mats with raised bumps, grooves or ridges that hold the food in place. Puzzle mats feature compartments and mazes your dog has to navigate to access the treats.

To use a lick mat, simply spread your dog’s meal or some treats over the surface of the mat. At first, you’ll want to go easy and not overload the mat, as your dog is learning. Start with a portion of their regular meal and build up from there. Place the mat on the floor or in their crate or playpen. Supervise your dog at first to make sure they don’t get frustrated. You want them to see it as a fun game or challenge.

With regular use, a lick mat can help change your dog’s eating behavior and make them less prone to scarfing or anxiety around mealtimes. It also provides mental stimulation to keep them engaged. Lick mats are very durable and dishwasher safe, so they’re easy to clean and will last a long time.

If your dog eats too quickly, suffers from anxiety or boredom, or could benefit from extra mental stimulation, a dog lick mat may be a perfect solution. Turning mealtime into playtime, lick mats transform eating into an enjoyable game that can have lasting benefits for your dog’s health and behavior.


So there you have it, dog owner! Lick mats are a great way to keep your pooch mentally stimulated and physically engaged. The textured surface makes them work for their food, satisfying their natural foraging instincts. And the suction cups on the bottom keep bowls firmly in place, cutting down on messes. Try different flavors and freeze them for an extra challenge. Lick mats are affordable, easy to clean, and portable for use at home or on the go. Slow down mealtime and make it more enriching with a lick mat. Your dog will thank you! Start browsing lick mats today and find the perfect one to unleash your dog’s foraging fun.

Recent Posts


Are licking mats good for dogs?

Licking mats are beneficial for dogs as they provide mental stimulation, slow down eating pace, relieve stress, and promote healthy eating habits.

What can I put on my dog’s lick mat?

You can put various treats on your dog’s lick mat, including peanut butter, wet dog food, pumpkin puree, banana puree, yogurt, or homemade treat paste.

How often should I give my dog a lick mat?

You can give your dog a lick mat as often as you like, but it’s essential to supervise them during use and offer it as a treat or enrichment activity rather than a replacement for regular meals.

Why do dogs lick mats?

Dogs lick mats because it provides them with mental stimulation, engages their senses, and offers a rewarding activity that satisfies their natural instincts to forage and lick.

Do vets recommend lick mats?

Many veterinarians recommend lick mats as they can help improve a dog’s eating habits, provide mental stimulation, relieve stress and anxiety, and enhance coordination.

Should I freeze my dog’s lick mat?

Freezing your dog’s lick mat can be a great idea as it prolongs the licking activity, makes the treats last longer, and provides additional mental and sensory stimulation for your dog.

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