Are you looking into buying a lick mat for your furry best pal? Alternatively, do you already own a lick mat and are scratching your head over what to fill it with? If you answered yes to either of the above—or if you just want to learn about lick mats—then you have come to the right place. We have five delicious recommendations of lick mat topping and we’re not afraid to flaunt them! Before we tuck into them (heh), though, let’s back up a bit. What, exactly, is a lick mat?
A lick mat in a nutshell
A lick mat is a textured silicone snacktime facilitator. It consists of many textured grooves, which are the source of much canine enrichment. It could be considered as an alternative to a dog’s food bowl, and it’s about the same size as one, too. The key difference between a dog bowl and a lick mat? The former presents dogs with food on a literal silver platter—unlike the latter, which turns snack time into a puzzle game.
How does snacktime go from being a mindless endeavor to a logic-filled adventure? Well, licking food from between those grooves requires persistence and deliberation. The dog needs to decide which nook they’re going to nom from next. This adds a mindful element to mealtime and slows digestion. Lick mats are all about stimulation both mental and physical, as well as improved nutrient absorption. They’re also great distractions from canine anxiety—or from paw-rents who want a moment to themselves.
Speaking of nutshells…
At the top of our list of topping recommendations is peanut butter—and, TBF, if we were dogs, this topping would likely top our list, too. (Pro-tip: if you or someone who lives in/frequents your household is anaphylactic, you may want to skip the peanut butter—sad as that may be.)
What’s so great about peanut butter? That’s a trick question, right? As well as tasting great, it’s also a great source of ‘good fats, vitamins, and proteins. For dogs, it’s best to find something organic, unsalted, and—if possible—made specifically for dogs. Some drawbacks of peanut butter? It is a high-calorie option, so you wouldn’t want to serve your dog upwards of one lick mat’s worth of PB per week. Too much PB can also cause diabetes or pancreatic issues for dogs, so keep an eye on that, as well.
Go bananas (but also not too much)!
Bananas are packed with vitamins B6 and C, as well as potassium. They’re also squishy and spreadable, which makes them perfect lick mat fodder! Whilst bananas have the seal of approval with some vets, ensure not to go too bananas. These fruits contain high levels of sugar, which isn’t always great for canines. Feed your dog too many and the banana won’t be the only thing bent out of shape!
Berry nice additions
If you’re fixing your dog a nice banana spread, why not go the whole hound and make it a fruit salad? Dogs love raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries, and these would make the perfect garnish for a nutrient-rich snack. Just be sure not to feed your dog cherries, which are toxic to puppers. If you’re feeding your dog frozen berries, triple-check that the mix is doggy-safe and devoid of cherries.
Dogs go mental for lentils(and vegetables)!
Lentilsand vegetables are not always spreadable, but they are great additions to a doggo diet. Packed full of nutrients, veggies definitely have the ‘snack’ factor going on!
If you are looking to literally spread the joy, choose mashed pumpkin or sweet potato. If you’re after something with a little more crunch, consider the contents of chunky vegetable soup: lentils, corn ears, green beans, peas, diced broccoli, or diced carrots. You could even buy some diced frozen vegetables and serve these hot off the press—or chilled from the freezer. Dogs aren’t picky eaters so most will take veggie ice cubes any day of the week.
When feeding your dogs vegetables, be mindful of the kinds that they can’t eat. Dogs, for example, should never eat onions. Just read up on the subject and feed them only that with which you’re comfortable. If you’re unsure, you can always speak to your vet.
Dog food is always an option
It may sound plain, but dog food has the spreadable consistency that is ideal for lick mats. If you were wanting to slow down your doggy’s digestion, just serve their regular dog food on a lick mat. Even better, serve this in sync with your household’s mealtime (if that’s a thing you do) and your dog will be too distracted to beg for table scraps!
Hungry for more?
If this taste of lick mat toppings has to whet your appetite for further recipes, you can always check out some enrichment recipes over at Stylish Hound. This store is your one-stop shop for all things dog accessories, and it also has some awesome lifestyle tips for you and your pooch. These recipes are designed to stuff into Stylish Hound’s Hercules chew toys, but their spreadable consistency renders them suitable for lick mats, too.
Let it all digest
Five servings of lick mat topping is a lot to take in at once. Let it settle, fall into a food-for-thought coma, and hopefully, you will awaken teeming with inspiration. Humans go mad if they have the same food over and over, so why should we inflict this monotony on doggos, as well? Whatever you fill your lick mat with, we hope we have inspired some creative food prep ideas. Bright, colored, and covered in funky textures, lick mats are the perfect starting point to mix things up. What will you prepare for your pup?