What is a LickiMat? In short, a LickiMat is a rubber mat that dogs, cats and other animals lick food off of. The design on the mat traps the food making it take much much longer than it normally would take a dog to eat their food or a treat.
We live with 3 very energetic dogs. We have 2, 16 week-old Bernedoodles and 1 giant 120 lb American Bulldog. It can be absolutely crazy in the mornings here. They come out of their rooms and just start romping and playing and ready to take on the world.
We knew that we could calm their hyper behavior with exercising, training, and a full meal. We tried Kongs, we tried Slow feeders and heck we even tried to spread their food out in the yard to recreate foraging for food. We needed something that we quickly make and put to use. When we started using LickiMats to calm the dogs we instantly knew these were a hit!
Repetitive licking releases pleasurable and calming endorphins in dogs and other pets and is the equivalent to how a person feels that natural high after running or exercising. That’s how dogs feel when they lick. Our pets understand that feeling and will seek out that feeling through licking other things.
NOTE: SOME LICKING IS CAUSED BY ALLERGIES. BUT, NOT ALL LICKING IS CAUSED BY ALLERGIES. SOME DOGS WILL RELAX THEMSELVES BY LICKING.
How to choose the right LickiMat for your pet
There are several different LickiMats to choose from. They all have different raised patterns on the front which serve different purposes. The Soother & Buddy are the most popular LickiMat Boredom Busters. The Soother has little raised dots that sooth your dogs tongue when they lick it. The Buddy has raised X’s that catch more food and allow for more food to be applied.
Since we have puppies that LOVE to lick us to death, we would try the Lickimats on the puppy the LickiMats would be a big hit and they were. Not only were they a hit but, they actually calmed our dogs down in the mornings. It worked so well that we started using the LickiMat in other situations like when we are watching movies, eating dinner, going out for a walk with one dog but, not the other. (we walk them separately to build their confidence on the walk and not depend on the other dogs), we also use LickiMats during storms, crazy behavior when guests come over, grooming, bathing, nail trimming, vet visits.
Can other animals use the LickiMat?
Don’t be fooled by all the dog talk. LickiMats are used every day by other animal owners. We have customers that purchase LickiMats for skunks, raccoons, mini pigs, big domestic pigs, horses, birds, pet rats and oh, cats! Cats love LickiMats just as much as dogs do! Keep your eyes open for our new LickiMats coming soon!!!
Giving Meds Via LickiMats
The LickiMats are great for administering medicine to those tricky dogs that always know when you hide pills in their food. My big boy is very smart and we can not hide any of his meds in a hot dog or in bread and we sure aren’t stuffing them down his throat. One day it hit us, we can put his meds in the peanut butter and mix it up and then put it on the LickiMat! It worked!
How to Prepare Your LickiMat
Spread your dog's favorite treat over the mat, add some fresh fruit, supplements, or even coconut or fish oil. Freeze to last longer. We use any food that our dog is allowed to have and can be spread on the mat. We typically will go for a xylitol-free peanut butter made for dogs or we will choose something from the following: Smashed bananas - Baby Food - Pureed Fruit - Pureed dog food (kibble and hot water & blend until it’s a paste) - Canned dog food or canned cat food if you are using the LickiMats for your cat.
Dish washer Safe?
We have had several of our clients put their regular LickiMats in their dishwasher and they came out fine. We recommend hand washing your regular LickiMat. Soak in hot water for 15 minutes then rinse off with some light brushing or use the hose in your sink to spray off excess food. After that, you sanitize and prepare for the next use. We always prepare the LickiMat after washing so that we can freeze it and have it ready for the next use.
Jeffrey Causby, CTDI, ABCDT, AKC CGC Evaluator