A lick mat offers an ideal solution for engaging energetic dogs and providing them with mental stimulation, especially if you have the right recipes. Lick mats serve as an excellent diversion to keep your dog entertained and focused when you are busy.
If you’re still getting familiar with lick mats, they are small, textured rubber or silicone mats with grooves designed to hold food. The tracks prompt the dog to lick and work to remove the food. These mats have gained significant popularity due to their various shapes and styles.
Dogs are particularly fond of them because they contain delicious treats and fulfill their need for mental stimulation and the satisfaction of earning their reward — food. Additionally, they are a fantastic option for puppies as well. So, here are ten lick mat recipes for dogs.
You can try many options for your dog, such as honey, peanut butter, yogurt, pumpkin cheesecake, etc. One thing you should remember when making a lick mat for your dog is to be aware of their allergies and health concerns. The best option is to consult a vet beforehand.
Before reading this guide, “Best Lick Mat Recipes For Dogs,” check out: How to Cook Salmon for Dogs: Easy and Healthy Recipes! (2023) and Homemade Peanut Butter Banana Dog Treats Recipe! (2023).
What Are Lick Mats?
Discover the fun and delectable way to feed your dog — lick mats! These mats feature dens and grooves to place your dog’s food or treats.
Your dog will enjoy using their tongue to lick around the mat and savor their meal. With various shapes and sizes available, lick mats are entertaining and among the most budget-friendly dog enrichment toys.
Moreover, these mats are a fantastic tool to help your puppy acclimate to their new crate. Add one of our tasty toppings to the mat, and leave it in your dog’s crate for five minutes while you step out of the room.
This simple practice will transform the container into a delightful and exciting place for your new puppy, reducing the likelihood of howling, crying, or barking for attention when you’re away.
Benefits of a Lick Mat
Lick mats, commonly referred to as lick mats or licking carpets, offer versatile applications, serving various purposes such as:
Keeping a Puppy Engaged While in Their Crate or During Quiet Periods
Lick mats can be invaluable for crate training. Placing a lick mat with tasty treats or a smear of peanut butter can make the crate a positive and comforting space for your puppy, reducing anxiety and promoting a sense of security.
Providing a Distraction From Gardeners, Maintenance Workers, or Other External Disturbances
Dogs can become stressed or anxious when exposed to unfamiliar noises or activities outside. Lick mats filled with delicious treats can help divert their attention and reduce reactivity to external stimuli.
Helping to Alleviate Stress or Anxious Behaviors in Dogs
The repetitive licking action on the mat releases endorphins, which can have a calming effect on dogs, making it an effective tool for managing stress or anxiety.
Slowing the Eating Pace of Fast Eaters, Promoting Healthier Digestion
Some dogs tend to gulp down their food quickly, leading to digestive issues like bloating or vomiting. Lick mats encourage a slower eating pace, allowing for better digestion and reducing the risk of gastrointestinal problems.
Offering a Rewarding Treat for a Task Well Accomplished
Lick mats can serve as a special reward after obedience training or completing a challenging task, reinforcing positive behavior in dogs.
Encouraging Relaxation Periods for Your Pet
After a long day of play and activity, lick mats provide a soothing and enjoyable way for dogs to unwind and relax.
Providing Essential Mental Stimulation to Keep Their Minds Active and Sharp
The need to work on extracting the treats from the mat engages a dog’s brain, stimulating its problem-solving abilities and preventing boredom.
Occupying Their Time With Enjoyable Licking Activities
Lick mats can be a savior for dog owners when they need to focus on other tasks or want to keep their dogs entertained without constant supervision.
Serving as a Valuable Tool to Hide Medication and Ensure Easy Administration
For dogs reluctant to take medication, you can conceal pills or liquid medicine in the lick mat, making the process much more enjoyable.
Keeping Them Occupied, Giving You a Well-Deserved Break as a Pet Owner
Lick mats provide mental and physical stimulation, keeping dogs busy and content, which can be especially beneficial when you need downtime or have other responsibilities.
Delicious Recipes for a Lick Mat
When preparing your dog’s lick mat, choose recipes that encourage them to lick or work to extract their food from the mat. However, it’s essential to be mindful of the calorie content in your treats, as lick mats can add extra calories to your dog’s diet.
When preparing the recipes, it’s crucial to exclusively use ingredients free from salt, sugar, and artificial sweeteners.
As sugar substitutes become increasingly common in various products, it is essential to carefully read the ingredients on anything labeled as sugar-free or unsweetened.
That is particularly important because the widely used sugar substitute xylitol (“birch sugar”) is highly toxic and potentially lethal to dogs. Ensuring the absence of xylitol in the ingredients will help keep your furry friend safe and healthy.
Create a delightful lick mat treat by layering peanut butter, fresh fruit, and yogurt. Begin by spreading a thin layer of peanut butter on the lick mat and then freeze it.
Next, top the peanut butter with your dog’s favorite smashed fruit, such as a mix of blueberries and a few tablespoons of yogurt, and freeze it again. You can serve it to your dog frozen for a refreshing treat or let it thaw slightly for a softer texture. Either way, your dog will adore this tasty and cooling indulgence.
Combine smooth, pureed pumpkin (not the pie filling), a small quantity of cream cheese, a teaspoon of honey, and a touch of cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Blend the ingredients well, ensuring a creamy and flavorful mixture.
Spread this delightful concoction into the lick mat and freeze it until it’s ready to be served. Your dog will relish the taste and enjoy the refreshing frozen treat.
Scent of Fish
Combine pate-style wet dog food with a few crushed canned sardines in water. Mix them thoroughly and spread the blend into the lick mat. Freeze the filled mat until it’s ready to be served.
Due to its strong aroma, you may prefer doing this savory treat outdoors to avoid any lingering odors indoors. Your canine companion will undoubtedly appreciate this flavorful and enticing treat.
Chicken Pot Pie
For a straightforward and delicious recipe, start by mincing some chicken. Then, mix in frozen peas and carrots, plain yogurt, and a couple of tablespoons of bone broth.
Once the mixture is well combined, spread it into the lick mat and chill until it sets. Alternatively, you can serve it warm, but be ready for it to vanish quickly. Feel free to substitute the chicken with any other meat you choose for a delightful variation. Your dog will savor this tasty treat and enjoy the lovely flavors.
Beef and Veggies
Combine raw, low-fat ground beef (or cook it if you prefer) with finely minced steamed broccoli, carrots, and a sprinkle of parsley. Mix the ingredients thoroughly to create a flavorful blend. Spread this delightful mixture onto the lick mat.
If you choose to cook the ground beef, consider adding a small amount of wet dog food to help bind the ground beef and vegetables into a spreadable consistency. Your dog will relish this delicious and wholesome treat, packed with nutritious goodness and delightful flavors.
Begin by smashing the banana and berries into a smooth consistency. Incorporate either yogurt or peanut butter into the mixture and blend everything well. Once the delightful blend is ready, spread it evenly over the lick mat.
Finally, freeze the lick mat until the tasty treat sets. Your dog will love this frozen fruity delight, filled with the goodness of bananas, blueberries, strawberries, and the creaminess of yogurt or peanut butter.
Bananas are an excellent and nutritious dog snack packed with beneficial potassium. However, like any other treat, occasionally offering bananas is essential due to their high sugar content. Bananas are a healthy and delicious treat option for your dog when given in moderation.
If you seek a natural remedy to enhance your dog’s health, honey could be the solution. This sweetener possesses antimicrobial and antifungal properties, effectively reducing inflammation, soothing stomach ulcers and sore throats, and even bolstering your dog’s tolerance to pollen.
However, considering its high sugar content, exercising caution and giving honey in controlled amounts is crucial. Incorporating a tablespoon of honey as a topping for a lick mat is a beautiful way to provide your dog with a wholesome and delectable snack, promoting their well-being while savoring the delightful taste.
For a nutritious and delightful topping for your dog’s lick mat, consider using natural plain yogurt. This option is rich in protein and calcium, boasting probiotics that strengthen your dog’s immune system and aid digestion.
Additionally, when frozen, plain yogurt transforms into a long-lasting treat, providing hours of enjoyment for your dog. Your dog will surely appreciate the wholesome goodness and lasting pleasure this yogurt topping brings to its lick mat.
Blueberries are a delectable treat and a fantastic source of antioxidants, which play a vital role in safeguarding the brain from damage. These powerful antioxidants have the potential to enhance cognitive function and memory.
Incorporating blueberries as a topping on your dog’s lick mat is an excellent method to provide them with a nutrient-rich snack that promotes their brain health.
Moreover, you can mash up blueberries or other safe pureed fruits or vegetables to create a flavor base for delicious lick mat toppings. With this versatile approach, your dog can relish a variety of wholesome and brain-boosting treats.
How Can You Clean the Lick Mat?
With an array of enticing recipes to try, you’ll likely use the lick mat frequently. The easiest method to clean a lick mat involves soaking it in warm water with dish soap until the residue loosens, followed by a gentle scrub to ensure thorough cleanliness.
While at it, remember to clean and sanitize your dog’s food and water bowls using the same technique.
If hand washing doesn’t suit your preference, fret not. Lick mats are usually dishwasher-safe, and you can place them on a low setting for hassle-free cleaning. Enjoy your culinary adventures with your dog, knowing that cleaning up afterward is a breeze!
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some ideas:
Peanut butter: Peanut butter is a favorite among many dogs and can keep them occupied. Make sure to use peanut butter that does not contain xylitol, as this sweetener can be toxic to dogs.
Yogurt: Plain, unsweetened yogurt is a healthy option that most dogs enjoy. It’s a good source of probiotics and can be a cooling treat on hot days.
Pumpkin puree: Dogs often like the taste of pumpkin, and it’s also beneficial for their digestion. Ensure it’s pure pumpkin puree without any added sugars or spices.
Mashed banana: Bananas are a good source of vitamins and minerals for dogs. Mash them and spread them on the lick mat for a tasty treat.
Applesauce: Unsweetened applesauce can be a flavorful option, but remember to remove any seeds and avoid using applesauce with added sugars.
Cottage cheese: Dogs can have cottage cheese in moderation, and it’s a protein-rich treat that you can spread on the mat.
Wet dog food: You can use your dog’s favorite wet food to create a fun and engaging feeding experience on the lick mat.
Baby food: Look for food without harmful ingredients like onion or garlic. Plain pureed meats or fruits can be suitable.
Broth: Pouring some low-sodium chicken or beef broth on the lick mat can add a tasty and enticing flavor to encourage licking.
Here are some reasons why lick mats can be helpful for dogs:
Licking is a natural behavior for dogs, and providing them with a lick mat can engage their brains and keep them mentally stimulated. The challenge of extracting the food from the mat can be rewarding and entertaining for your dog.
Lick mats can help slow down dogs that tend to eat their food too quickly. When food is on the mat, dogs have to work to lick it off, which can prevent gulping and aid in better digestion.
Anxiety and stress reduction
Licking can have a calming effect on dogs and may help reduce anxiety and stress. The repetitive motion of licking can release endorphins, promoting relaxation.
Licking can stimulate saliva production, which can help in cleaning the dog’s teeth and gums. The mechanical action of licking the textured mat can also aid in removing plaque and tartar buildup.
Distraction and entertainment
Lick mats can be a great distraction and source of entertainment, especially when you need to keep your dog occupied during specific situations, such as grooming, vet visits, or when guests are over.
Lick mats can be a positive reinforcement tool during training sessions. You can reward your dog with the lick mat to reinforce good behavior.
However, it’s essential to use lick mats safely and appropriately:
Always supervise your dog while using the lick mat to ensure they do not chew on or consume the mat itself.
Some ingredients used on lick mats, like peanut butter, can be high in calories and fat. Be mindful of portion sizes and adjust your dog’s overall diet accordingly.
Allergies and dietary restrictions
Consider your dog’s nutritional needs and any potential allergies when choosing ingredients for the lick mat.
Clean the lick mat thoroughly after each use to prevent the buildup of bacteria or mold.
Here’s an essential guide to creating a homemade lick mat:
Materials you’ll need:
A flat, food-safe surface can be a silicone baking mat, a sturdy plastic placemat, or a shallow food-grade container.
Choose a size that suits your dog‘s breed and size.
Peanut butter is a popular choice, but you can also use yogurt, pumpkin puree, or baby food (ensure it doesn’t contain harmful ingredients).
Ensure the spread does not contain xylitol, as it’s toxic to dogs.
You can add some extra goodies to make the experience even more enjoyable for your dog.
For example, small pieces of dog treats, shredded carrots, or blueberries can be on top of the base layer.
Clean the chosen flat surface thoroughly to ensure it’s free from contaminants.
Spread a layer of the dog-friendly spread (peanut butter, yogurt, pumpkin puree, etc.) evenly over the mat’s surface.
If you add texture and flavor enhancers, sprinkle them on top of the base layer, pressing them gently into the spread.
Place the lick mat in the freezer for a short period (15 to 30 minutes) to allow the spread to firm up.
Freezing will make it more challenging for your dog to lick everything off quickly.
Take the lick mat out of the freezer and offer it to your dog.
Yes, you can freeze peanut butter on a lick mat for dogs, and it can be a great way to make the licking experience last longer and provide additional mental stimulation for your dog.
To freeze peanut butter on a lick mat, follow these steps:
Spread a layer of peanut butter evenly over the surface of the lick mat.
You can also add some texture and flavor enhancers like small pieces of dog treats or fruits if you’d like.
Place the lick mat in the freezer for 15 to 30 minutes or until the peanut butter is solid.
Once the peanut butter is frozen, take the lick mat out of the freezer and offer it to your dog.
Yes, you can definitely put peanut butter on your dog’s lick mat! When using peanut butter on a lick mat, keep the following in mind:
Check the ingredients: Make sure your peanut butter does not contain xylitol, as it is toxic to dogs. Stick to natural peanut butter without added sugars or artificial sweeteners.
Portion control: While peanut butter is generally safe for dogs in moderation, it is high in calories and fat. Use a reasonable amount on the lick mat, and consider it a special treat rather than a regular part of your dog’s diet.
Nut allergies: Some dogs may be allergic to peanuts or have sensitivities to nuts. If unsure about your dog’s peanut tolerance, try other dog-friendly spreads like yogurt, pumpkin puree, or baby food (so long as it’s free from harmful ingredients).
Conclusion for “Best Lick Mat Recipes for Dogs”
Lick mats offer a fantastic solution for engaging and mentally stimulating your dog. They are small, textured mats with grooves designed to hold food, promoting licking and problem-solving.
Lick mats are an excellent diversion to keep your dog entertained and focused, primarily when you’re busy. They have gained popularity due to their various shapes and styles, and dogs, including puppies, love them for their delicious treats and mental satisfaction.
Moreover, lick mats can have multiple benefits, such as slowing down fast eaters, reducing stress and anxiety, and providing a rewarding treat for good behavior.
They are versatile tools that enhance your dog’s enrichment routine, making them a valuable addition to any pet owner’s arsenal. With proper supervision and thoughtful recipes, a lick mat can be a safe and enjoyable way to treat and engage your beloved dogs.
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Learn more by watching “HEALTHY Lickmat Recipes 👉 For Anxious, HYPER or Bored Dogs!” down below:
Garrett loves animals and is a huge advocate for all Doodle dog breeds. He owns his own Goldendoodle named Kona. In addition, he volunteers at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, where he fosters dogs and helps animals. Garrett enjoys writing about Doodles and believes that dogs can teach humans more about how to live than humans can teach a dog.
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