The Direct4Pet Guide to LickiMats: Lickimat Ideas, Benefits & More

An innovative way to stimulate and entertain your pet pooch during meal and snack times, more and more owners are introducing a LickiMat to their everyday pet-care essentials list, and given the wide range of benefits associated with them, it’s not hard to see why. From improved digestion and slower feedings to calmed anxiety and faster training times, the list of praises we’ve seen for LickiMats covers a range of pet health and happiness boosts, all while remaining an affordable and easy option for owners to use on a regular basis.

Whether you’ve never heard of LickiMats before and want to learn more about what has made them so popular, or have already been using one for a while and need more inspiration on what to put on a LickiMat, join us as we share all our top tips and advice on this fun feeder accessory. We’ll even be sharing some of our favourite LickiMat ideas to make sure you, and your pets, are getting the most out of your mat.

Are licking mats good for dogs?

Yes, beyond being a great way to introduce a little more fun into your dog’s eating routine, there are plenty of ways that licking mats are good for dogs. Designed to extend mealtimes by slowing the time it takes to eat full meals and small treats, many of the unexpected and hidden benefits of using a lickimat are linked to its ability to cause increased saliva production. This may not appear to be a good thing, especially if you already spend your day cleaning up after a slobbery Saint Bernard or Bernese Mountain Dog, but in terms of body and oral health, more saliva is actually better. 

Not only does increased saliva in the mouth help to start the food breakdown process right away, the enzymes working on everything from meaty meals to sweet treats to improve digestion, but the slow feeder design of the LickiMat also helps to give the digestive system more time to slowly process foods, reducing the risk of bloating. What's more, the increased saliva production has further oral health related benefits, especially when combined with the brushing and scraping motion encouraged by the LickiMat design, as it has been known to improve breath odour and help to keep the tongue, teeth and gums clean.

Are LickiMats good for puppies?

When it comes to the benefits of LickiMats for dogs, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, meaning your new puppy can make the most of improved digestion and oral health, all while having a fun, interactive eating experience. On top of these familiar bonuses, using a LickiMat with a puppy is a great way to encourage a feeling of safety in their new home and act as a fun bonding experience between themselves and their new owner. This comes in handy when training starts, as the LickiMat can be used as a stimulating training aid and is regularly recommended when cage training puppies.

Do lick mats help with anxiety?

While there are plenty of reasons pet owners love using LickiMats to feed and give treats to their dogs, one of the biggest benefits we haven’t mentioned yet is their anxiety-relieving properties. Cleverly designed to encourage a soothing licking motion, LickiMats encourage the release of endorphins, helping to keep dogs (and cats) relaxed and soothed. For this reason, LickiMats make an excellent tool of distraction during times of distress, such as when left at home, when strangers are visiting the house, or on dreaded fireworks night.

Please note: While the soothing properties of LickiMats have made them a calming choice for many owners, some dogs may still require additional support to manage anxiety during times of distress. If this is the case for you, we have a wide range of calming products available online at Direct4Pet.

How to use a LickiMat

Even with all the impressive health and emotional benefits they can bring to your dog, lick mats are, before anything, fun! Learning how to use a LickiMat to its full potential is the first step in bringing new, exciting flavours, challenges and games to your dog’s mealtimes and, if you’re looking for LickiMat ideas, you’re in the right place. Get creative with your use of the mat by trying out our favourite LickiMat ideas:

  1. Bath Training. If your pet pooch has an aversion to water and regularly tries to escape during bathtime, stick their LickiMat to the side of the bath just above the waterline and smother it with a tasty treat to keep them distracted.
  2. Separation Anxiety. For dogs that have a hard time seeing you leave for work each day, try testing out the soothing abilities of the LickiMat by using it in place of their breakfast bowl. Not only will the large meal being served on a slow feeder keep them busy for longer, but the anxiety relief should also help calm their nerves about being left alone.
  3. Crate Training. An essential part of welcoming a new puppy to your home, crate training is a key element of housebreaking a puppy and convincing them that using your rug as a bathroom is a bad idea. During this time, the LickiMat can be used as a training aid for rewards and soothing can help encourage them.

What do you put on a LickiMat?

When it comes to finding fun and delicious licki mat recipes for your dog to enjoy, creativity is often the key to success. Fortunately, due to the mat’s clever design and easy-to-clean material, the answer to ‘what to put on a LickiMat?’ is just about anything! To help get you started, and stir up some inspiration, we’ve put together some of our most-loved LickiMat recipes for dogs and puppies below.

  1. Wet Dog Food. While using LickiMats for training rewards and general treats is a great way to add a little extra fun throughout the day, large options such as the Lickimat Buddy XL Interactive Dog Treat Feeding Mat can be used as a traditional food bowl replacement. Simply spread on your dog’s everyday wet food onto the mat and let them enjoy mealtimes for longer.
  2. Spreadable Treats. There are plenty of spreadable treats for dogs to enjoy on their LickiMat, from sweet options like honey and whipped cream to more savoury choices like sausage meat and tinned sardines. For something even more exciting, LickiMat’s own Peanut Butter 4Dogs spread can be found at Direct4Pet.
  3. Frozen Food. Overheating is a common issue faced by dogs during the hot summer months, and one that owners can have a hard time combatting. Fortunately, your dog’s LickiMat can be used to help beat the heat. Simply spread over a delicious treat of your choice and pop it in the freezer until it sets.

Can I put a lick mat in the dishwasher?

From traditional wet dog food and tinned meats to sticky peanut butter and honey treats, not to mention some remnants of drool left behind by your excited dog, cleaning your pet’s lick mat is, understandably, not the most appealing task. Fortunately, most of the mats designed by LickiMats are dishwasher-safe and, if you need to clean it by hand, the non-stick surface makes washing with soap and warm water quick and easy.

Which LickiMat is best?

All made to the highest quality, the LickiMat brand has an impeccable reputation that pet owners across the country have learned to rely on. So, if you find yourself asking which LickiMat is best you don’t need to worry about what will last the longest, instead the answer can be entirely dependent on your pet and their needs and preferences. To help you narrow down your choices, we’ve picked out three of our favourite LickiMats to target different uses, all of which are available at Direct4Pet in a range of colour choices.

LickiMats for Treats and Training 

Lickimat Slomo Boredom Buster - £10.95

The perfect multi-purpose slow feeder and treat mat, the Slomo Boredom Buster from LickiMat is suitable for use with wet and dry food, the small bumps and dips in the two-shape design ensuring a fun eating experience for your pet. As with other options in the LickiMat range, the Slomo feeder is dishwasher-safe for an easy clean.

LickiMats for Enhanced Stimulation 

LickiMat Wobble or Splash Dog Bowl - £13.95

Created to bring even more fun to treat times, the LickiMat Wobble and Splash Dog Bowl both have unique shapes to ensure that even the most active dogs are amazed by their new playful feeder. Both options are made from non-toxic, food grade PET and TPR for safe usage, and are loved by owners and dogs alike for their boredom-busting and intelligence-testing designs.

LickiMats for Cats and Kittens

LickiMat Felix Boredom Breaker - £6.19

When it comes to LickiMats, dogs don’t keep all the fun to themselves - they’re also perfect for cats and kittens to enjoy! Though your feline friends can use any products in the LickiMat range, there are some fun cat-inspired designs to choose from, such as the Felix Boredom Breaker Feeder Mat. Available in a fun fish shape, this LickiMat for cats has three different interactive designs on its surface to make the fun and challenge last even longer.

Find a LickiMat at Direct4Pet

Whether you’re looking for easy and effective ways to keep your pet calm, or want to make meal and treat times more entertaining for your cat or dog, there’s a LickiMat to suit your needs at Direct4Pet. Start your search by browsing through the full LickiMat collection online or, if you already have yours ready, take a look at our wide selection of dog treats and cat food that are perfect for spreading over your mat.