Dogs are not just our best friends, but they are also intelligent and energetic beings that require mental and physical stimulation. Licki Mats, a simple yet ingenious creation, are designed to offer this stimulation while also providing an enjoyable treat for your canine companion. In this article, we will explore how to use Licki Mats effectively and the variety of foods you can smear onto them to make your dog's day a whole lot more interesting.
What is a Licki Mat?
A Licki Mat is a soft, rubbery mat with grooves and ridges designed to hold semi-liquid or spreadable treats, allowing your dog to engage their mind and tongue by licking the food out of the crevices. Not only does this provide mental stimulation, but it also helps to promote better oral hygiene and serves as a calming activity for anxious dogs.
How to Use a Licki Mat
Using a Licki Mat is relatively simple:
- Choose a suitable spreadable treat (see suggestions below) that your dog enjoys and is safe for them to consume.
- Spread the treat evenly over the Licki Mat, filling the grooves and ridges.
- Place the Licki Mat on a flat surface, preferably one that is easy to clean or on a towel to catch any spills.
- Introduce the Licki Mat to your dog, encouraging them to lick and enjoy the treat.
- Monitor your dog while they use the Licki Mat, especially if it's their first time, to ensure they do not chew or ingest any part of the mat.
- Once your dog has finished with the Licki Mat, remove it and clean it thoroughly using warm water and mild soap.
Foods to Smear onto a Licki Mat
There are countless options for spreadable treats that are both healthy and enjoyable for your dog. Some popular choices include:
Peanut Butter: An all-time favorite for many dogs, peanut butter is a great option for smearing onto a Licki Mat. Ensure that the peanut butter is free of xylitol, a sweetener toxic to dogs.
Greek Yogurt: Plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt is a healthy choice that provides a cooling sensation, perfect for warm days. It's also a good source of probiotics for your dog's gut health.
Pumpkin Puree: Packed with fiber and vitamins, pumpkin puree is a low-calorie option that can help support your dog's digestive health. Be sure to choose a puree without added sugar or spices.
Mashed Banana: Rich in potassium and fiber, mashed bananas make for a naturally sweet and nutritious treat that most dogs love.
Cream Cheese: A small amount of cream cheese can be an indulgent, creamy treat for your dog.
Baby Food: Opt for meat-based baby food free of onions, garlic, and other harmful ingredients. It's an easy-to-spread option that can provide variety in your dog's diet.
Licki Mats are an excellent tool for providing mental and physical stimulation for your dog, all while giving them a tasty and enjoyable treat. By experimenting with different spreadable foods, you can offer your dog a variety of textures and flavors, keeping them engaged and satisfied and always remember to supervise your dog while they're using a Licki Mat!