7 Licking Mat Recipes and 13 Quick Filling Ideas
Lick mats are a perfect solution to keeping your active German shepherd occupied and mentally stimulated. They can be used as a great diversion to keep your active dog busy and distracted while you’re busy.
If you’re not familiar with a lick mat, a lick mat is a small, textured rubber or silicon mat with grooves that hold food. These grooves cause the dog to lick to remove their food. They are very popular and come in many shapes and styles
Dogs love lick mats because they generally contain yummy treats but they also meet their need for mental stimulation and desire to work for their reward, in this case, food. They are also perfect for puppies.
Benefits of a Lick Mat
Lick mats, also known as lickimats and licking mats, can be used in a number of ways, including:
- Occupy a puppy while in their crate or during down time.
- Distracting from gardener, maintenance workers, etc.
- Relieving from stress or anxious behavior.
- Slowing down a fast eater.
- A reward for a job well done.
- Encouraging rest time.
- Providing mental stimulation.
- Occupies their time.
- Use to hide medication.
- Keeps them busy so you get a break, too.
Licking Mat Recipes
When filling up your dog’s lick mat, opt for recipes that will require them to lick or work to remove their food from the mat. Be sure to consider the calories you’re feeding your dog from their lick mat, since they can contain lots of extra calories.
Since the size and depth of lick mats vary, we’ve put these recipes together as a guide and have not provided measurements. You can’t mess up the amounts if you use discretion about how much rich, fatty, or fattening ingredients you put on the lick mat. For example, don’t feed your dog more peanut butter or sardines than you normally would for a treat. If you want to build a bigger lick mat, opt for adding some kibble or wet food or healthy foods.
When making the recipes, always use salt free, sugar free, and artificial sweetener free ingredients. Since more and more sugar substitutes are finding their way into so many products, always read the ingredients on anything marked sugar free or unsweetened, since the popular sugar substitute xylitol (also known as “birch sugar”) is deadly to dogs.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Freeze
- Peanut butter
- Fresh fruit
Spread a thin layer of peanut butter in the lick mat and freeze. Top the peanut butter with their favorite smashed fruit, such as blueberries mixed with a couple of tablespoons of yogurt and re-freeze. Serve frozen or allow to thaw a bit.
- Pureed pure pumpkin
- Cream cheese
Mix pureed pure pumpkin, not the pie filling, a small amount of cream cheese, a teaspoon of honey, and a tiny dash of cinnamon. Spread into the lick mat and freeze until ready to serve.
- Wet dog food, pate style
- Canned sardines in water
Mix wet dog food with a few crushed sardines and spread into the lick mat. Freeze until ready to serve. You’ll probably want to serve this stinky one outside.
Chicken Pot Pie
- Minced Chicken
- Frozen peas and carrots
- Bone broth
This recipe is simple, mince some chicken, add frozen peas and carrots, mix in some plain yogurt, and then add couple of tablespoons of bone broth. Spread mixture into the lick mat and chill until set or you can serve warm but it will disappear faster. You can substitute any meat you wish.
Sweet Potato Delight
- Cooked sweet potato
Mash cooked sweet potato. Mix with a couple of tablespoons of plain yogurt, a small spoonful of honey, and a tiny dash of cinnamon. Mix well and freeze.
Beef and Vegetables
- Raw, low fat ground beef
- Steamed broccoli
- Steamed carrots
Mix raw ground beef (cook if you prefer) with minced steamed broccoli, carrots, and a tiny bit of parsley. Spread on lick mat. If you cook the ground beef, add a bit of wet dog food to bind the ground beef and vegetables into a spread.
Fruity Dog Delight
- Yogurt or peanut butter
Smash banana and berries. Add some yogurt or peanut butter and mix well. Spread over lick mat and freeze.
Licking Mat Ideas for Dogs on a Special Diet
Dogs on a special diet can still enjoy a lick mat. You can try soaking their regular kibble with water or bone broth and then spreading it over their lick mat. You can also try mixing some safe and appropriate wet food or wet food mixed with kibble into the mat.
If there are safe food and treats that are appropriate for your dog, consider mixing some into the kibble or wet food to add interest and variety to their experience. You can also try using alternate safe brands so that they’re not getting the same old thing.
Fast Lick Mat Fillers
Sometimes you just don’t have the time or ingredients to whip up a lick mat recipe. When this happens, your dog will still love using their mat. Rather than mixing up a recipe, you can also alternate single ingredients onto different compartments of the mat.
Here are some quick filling ideas that are easy to keep on hand:
- Canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
- Baby food
- Peanut butter
- Cream cheese
- Smashed vegetables
- Dog treats soaked in water or broth
- Kibble soaked in water or broth
- Wet dog food
- Smashed sardines
How to Wash Your Lick Mat
The easiest way to wash your lick mat is to soak it in hot, soapy water them scrub with a brush or toothbrush. Some lick mats are also dishwasher safe but by giving them a good once over, you can help remove any food particles stuck in the crevices.
We hope your dog enjoys these lick mat recipes. Please feel free to share with your friends.
You may also like: 17 Great Recipes To Stuff In Dog Chew Toys
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