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The 10 Best Lick Mats

A lick mat is a unique technique to relax or divert your dog while still serving them exciting goodies. A lick mat is often the size of a small plate and resembles a shallow bowl with little patterned nubs (silicone, plastic, or rubber) that stick out out of the mat. By putting a soft, spreadable treat onto the mat, your dog will have to lick around the obstacles several times to get all of it. Not only can licking provide soothing advantages, but it also takes longer to clear the mat and can occupy their interest for several minutes at a time.

"Lick mats can help a variety of dog breeds," says Dr. Laura Robinson, a veterinarian and Pawp's medical advisor. "Licking has an anti-anxiety impact on dogs, thus it can be beneficial for anxious dogs." It can also be utilized to divert from uncomfortable situations like visitors in the house, vet visits, and grooming appointments."

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has compiled a list of the best lick mats for dogs on the market.

What to Look for When Buying Lick Mats

When it comes to lick mats, there are many various sizes and styles to choose from. Some lick mats are more suited to tiny dogs than to large dogs. Some patterns are better suited to stressed dogs, while others are better suited to rapid eaters and food gobblers. There are plenty to pick from, and you’ll want to make sure you get the one that is best suited to your individual pup.

“You want one that won’t slide about when the dog is licking,” Dr. Robinson advises. “You should also choose a mat that is the right size.” You don’t want to give a giant hungry dog a tiny mat, for example, because he might eat the whole thing—treats and mat.”

Many of the patterns on a lick mat assist your dog in various ways. A intricate pattern, such as a sequence of “X” shapes, will challenge your dog to approach this task in a different way than a series of vertical nubs that are very close together. However, it is ultimately up to your dog to choose the type they prefer, so experiment with new varieties and try to be adaptable. Just because your dog is uneasy does not mean they will like using an anxiety-relieving mat.

Lick mats are popular because they serve a purpose that simply giving your dog a reward cannot. A lick mat performs better than a treat at making your dog feel less anxious or staying still during grooming or nail trimming.

Lick mats, on the other hand, can be utilized as a treat and reward motivator. You may undoubtedly use the lick mat as a reward every time your dog performs a trick or activity that you want them to do. As they associate the mat with tasty goodies, it can become a powerful stimulus for them to learn something new or rectify negative behavior.

Reviews

Best Overall: Dog Lick Pad Mighty Paw

What We Enjoy

  • Mat with four functions
  • Silicone that is food-safe
  • Simple to clean in between uses

What We Dislike

  • Puppies with teeth may chew on material.
  • The size is smaller than that of most other mats.

There are numerous patterns on dog lick mats that try to address a dog’s individual demands. Different patterns, for example, are intended to alleviate anxiety, provide a distraction, aid in play, or even facilitate simple feeding. Mighty Paw’s lick pad is our top option since it features four distinct quadrants that each address a particular requirement.

One part has a wide waffle design for easy licking, while another has densely packed nubs that require your dog to work harder and longer to lap up their food, providing a terrific distraction.

The mat is made of food-safe silicone and is 9 by 5 inches. It also has a slew of suction cups on the rear to keep it in place. You can try each quarter one at a time, or you can cover the entire mat in food and let your dog enjoy the challenge that each quadrant provides to mealtime.

Best for Anxious Dogs: 2 Pack Hyper Pet IQ Treat Mats

What We Enjoy

  • Assists in reducing anxiety
  • It keeps dogs and cats entertained.
  • Dishwasher-friendly

What We Dislike

  • There are no bottom suction cups.
  • Some dogs may lick their food too quickly.

A big part of choosing a lick mat is making sure your dog likes the pattern, so this two-pack comes in handy. It comes with two distinct patterns so you can see which one your dog prefers, or if you have two dogs, both puppies can participate.

This two-pack is 8 × 8 inches and is suitable for small and midsize dogs. If you have a larger dog, the large model, which measures 11 x 11 inches, is a good option. These lick mats are likewise constructed of FDA-grade TPE, a type of plastic that has a rubber-like texture. This sort of plastic also allows you to freeze or microwave the mat.

Best For Bathtime: Slow Treater by Aquapaw

What We Enjoy

  • Suction cups are used to secure it to the floor.
  • Excellent dog grooming entertainment

What We Dislike

  • Large canines may cause the suction cups to come away.

Wash time can be especially stressful for some dogs, so finding techniques to keep them blissfully busy during a bath will help you both get through it. This suction-cup mat allows you to stick it to practically any flat surface, including the tiles around your bathtub.

It not only keeps your dog active as they lick off their favorite treat, but it also increases the likelihood that you will keep them facing the right way during their bath.

This lick pad is available in two sizes: a triangle-shaped mat that is 6.7 inches across and a bigger square-shaped mat that measures 9 inches on all sides. These lick mats are simple to remove and may be moved practically anyplace.

Because of the depth of the pad, you can cram in more of their favorite treat and lengthen the time it takes them to finish licking. These lick pads are dishwasher safe and composed of silicone. You can also fill the lick pad and freeze it to make it even more difficult for your dog to lick the mat clean.

Best For Small Dogs: Pad Licking

What We Enjoy

  • Simple to clean and replace food
  • Can adhere to most surfaces

What We Dislike

  • Only a limited amount of food is stored.

If you have a smaller dog who doesn’t require as much food distributed on their mat as larger dogs, this may be the best option for you and your canine companion. It is constructed of silicone and adheres to the majority of smooth, solid surfaces without the use of suction cups.

The pad measures 9.5 inches long by 4.5 inches wide. While it is as long as most other large-sized lick pads, its narrower width results in a less overall surface area than comparable 8 by 8 inch mats. The small nubs are also more spread out and not as tall, which means they can be cleaned quickly and take less time to complete.

This pad is not ideal for larger dogs, who would likely finish fast and return to whatever activity you were attempting to divert them from, but it is ideal for little dogs.

Best Budget : Slow Dispensing Treater Mat by Boence

What We Enjoy

  • Inexpensive
  • Suction cups and a hole for hanging

What We Dislike

  • In comparison to other lick mats, it is small in size.

Picky dogs, as every dog lover knows, may be difficult to shop for because you never know what they will enjoy or dislike. Certain treats may not appeal to them, or a new squeaky toy may not scream loudly enough, resulting in your new purchase being abandoned on the floor.

As a result, if you’re trying anything new, such as lick pads, you might want to start with a lower-priced item to ensure your pup enjoys it before investing in a nicer model. This lick pad is available in red or blue, or in a three-pack with blue, red, and yellow. Even the three-pack costs less than most single lick mats. Each lick pad is a circle with a sophisticated pattern that helps slow down your dog’s licking time and measures 5.9 inches from end to end.

This lick pad also features 37 small suction cups on the back that help it stick easily to most flat surfaces. The most recommended places for a good stick are glass, windows, and tile, but it also includes a hanging hole at the top so you may hang it on a hook. This also works well if you use those quick sticky hooks!

Best Durability: Tuff LickiMat

What We Enjoy

  • Designed with tough chewers in mind.
  • Dishwasher safe and easy to clean

What We Dislike

  • Rubber nubs may be broken by aggressive lickers.

Perhaps you’ve tried various lick mats that didn’t hold up when your dog was very hungry. Perhaps you left an old mat on the floor dirty and discovered it ripped to shreds the next morning. This could be the finest mat for you and your more powerful dog.

The mat is made of durable human-grade rubber and is enclosed in a durable polypropylene casing. While you should always supervise your dog when using this product, it is designed to last longer and withstand teething puppies and heavy chewers. Some really aggressive lickers, however, were able to snap off some of the rubber nubs. While non-toxic, it is critical to inspect the mat after usage for any tears or pressure on the rubber.

The mat is 7.9 inches square on all sides and contains four non-slip rubber feet to assist keep it in place. This type is available in three different colors: green, orange, and turquoise.

FAQ

What foods are ideal to use with a lick mat?

The ideal meals to use on a lick mat are those that can be readily spread with a knife and do not upset your dog’s stomach. Use nothing too firm, such as dried dog food, or anything too runny, which can dribble out if hung on a wall.

“You want food that is moist and wet. “Peanut butter is delicious; just make sure it doesn’t contain xylitol,” Robinson says. Even in little amounts, xylitol, a sweetener used to substitute sugar, is extremely harmful to dogs. 1

So, before giving it to your dog, double-check the contents.

“You can also put canned dog food or nonfat yogurt on it,” Robinson advises. “Pumpkin puree, nonfat cottage cheese, or mashed bananas can also be used.”

Are lick mats harmful to some breeds?

If you’re thinking about getting a lick mat, consider your dog’s age, eating habits, and size. Overall, lick mats aren’t as much of an impact as breed, unless your dog’s breed is noted for being extremely large. Big dogs or active chewers can exert too much force, causing the mat to roll across the floor (thus contradicting the goal of keeping your pup motionless for grooming) or causing some of the nubs to come free.

Puppies are infamous for chewing on everything during their teething stage, which means they will most likely break chunks off the mat and ingest them. Wait till your puppy is a little older and has more control over their feeding.

Are lick mats a decent substitute for treats?

Lick mats are popular because they serve a purpose that simply giving your dog a reward cannot. A lick mat performs better than a treat at making your dog feel less anxious or staying still during grooming or nail trimming.

Lick mats, on the other hand, can be utilized as a treat and reward motivator. You may undoubtedly use the lick mat as a reward every time your dog performs a trick or activity that you want them to do. As they associate the mat with tasty goodies, it can become a powerful stimulus for them to learn something new or rectify negative behavior.

Conclusion

We sincerely thank you for visiting BestForPets (bestforpets.org) to read reviews. We hope that this post has helped you locate the best lick mats.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher

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