If you have a dog, you may have heard of lick trays. They are fast becoming popular in homes across the world as people are looking for items to keep their dogs mentally stimulated while they are away from the house.
Lick trays are good for dogs. They are designed to encourage licking, which leads to the release of endorphins in your dog’s body. This causes pleasure and can help relieve stress, stimulate their minds, encourage them to eat more slowly, calm and relax them.
They are made of rubber or silicone, and they have a grazing maze that you fill with food for your dog to lick. Today we will discuss in detail all the pros and cons of lick trays. Check out the list of the best dog lick trays on Amazon now!
What Are the Benefits of a Lick Mat?
There are many reasons why people are using lick mats for their dogs.
When you are away at work for much of the day, your dog might become lonely, bored, frightened, or hungry. A lick mat can help with all of these feelings.
There are other benefits as well, due to the relaxing effects of licking on a dog’s brain.
1. It’s fun
First of all, a lick tray keeps your dog busy. You can place its favorite soft food in the tray, and it will keep your dog occupied for quite some time.
Some dogs will go through it more quickly than others, but it helps the food to last because the dog gets it out by licking and cannot swallow it in one gulp.
2. Relaxing effect
Another benefit is that lick mats are known to ease anxiety. Studies show that more than 70% of dogs have anxiety at some point, and people want to help relieve the stress.
Dogs feel anxious about fireworks, nail clipping, going to the vet, grooming, or the introduction of a new family member.
When they use a lick mat, the act of licking releases endorphins, which causes them to become calmer and feel pleasure. The mat also provides a distraction so that the stressor isn’t as big of an issue.
3. Improved dental health
Lick mats also promote tooth and gum health in dogs. The act of licking stimulates extra saliva production, and the saliva helps clean your dog’s gums and teeth. It also helps reduce cavities, and it helps with your dog’s breath.
4. Better food digestion
When dogs eat too quickly, it can lead to digestion issues. The lick mat slows your dog down because it has to lick through the entire mat rather than swallowing its dinner whole.
You can spread the dog food throughout the lick mat, and it will settle into the textured holes so your dog will take longer to eat.
5. Obesity control
As discussed in the previous point, dog lick trays help your dog eat their food slower. This can be great for the dogs who tend to swallow their food too quickly and keep asking for more.
Since it takes a longer time to lick the food off the lick tray, your dog will have a more satisfying food experience compared to a regular food bowl.
This can greatly aid in helping to fight dog obesity.
What Are the Drawbacks of a Lick Mat?
The only potential drawback to using a lick mat is that some dogs may chew the mat once the food is gone.
If your dog chews it into small pieces, it may end up choking on one of the pieces. If your dog is known for chewing things up, you should not leave them unattended with the lick mat.
Let them enjoy it while you are there, and then you can remove it before you leave the dog alone.
When Do You Use a Lick Mat?
- Any time that you want to give your dog a treat.
- When you leave home, which is especially good for dogs that have separation anxiety or that get bored while you are away.
- While you are at the vet to ease stress.
- During dinner to slow your dog’s eating, or you can use it during a thunderstorm if your dog is afraid.
There are many different ways to use the lick mat, so use it whenever you want to give your dog a treat.
How Do You Use a Dog Lick Mat?
A lick mat is made of rubber or silicone, and it has little grooves throughout the mat. You fill these with your dog’s favorite soft food so that it has to lick the food out of the compartments rather than eating it all at once.
You can cover as much of the lick mat with the wet food as you like, and your dog will enjoy licking it out over time.
Do Lick Mats Help Dogs with Anxiety?
Lick mats help with anxiety in several ways.
First of all, they promote licking, which is known to produce endorphins. These endorphins are soothing and make the dog feel happy.
In addition, the lick mat gives your dog something to think about other than whatever is causing stress. It can help keep your dog’s mind off of the stressor and relax it.
Check out the list of the best dog lick trays on Amazon now!
All in all, a lick tray is a great thing to get to keep your dog entertained and help it relax at the same time. Even an old dog treat can sound like something new and exciting once you put it in a lick tray. On top of that, it promotes better dental and digestive health.
My name is Katie, and I have had different pets at home for as long as I can remember. While I can definitely say I love all animals in general, my heart belongs to cats and dogs. I know you are supposed to choose one or the other, but I could never really decide. I’ve also owned hamsters and fish when I was a kid, and they filled my childhood with very delightful memories.