Have you ever caught your four-legged friend anxiously pacing around the house or gobbling down his food so fast you thought he'd choke? These are just a few signs that your dog may be experiencing stress, anxiety or boredom.
Thankfully, we've found a positively amazing solution to help combat these issues: lick mats for dogs! Not only do these wonder mats prove to be entertaining, they also come with a multitude of benefits for your canine companion's health and happiness.
In this blog, we discuss the many benefits of lick mats and why they should become an essential part of your dog's world.
Stress and Anxiety Relief
Canines have a natural instinct to lick or groom as a part of their self-soothing, relaxation, and anxiety-relief mechanism. Studies have shown that licking releases feel-good endorphins, similar to how humans benefit from activities like yoga or meditation.
A lick mat, loaded with scrumptious treats or peanut butter, provides a calming activity that allows your dog to focus on the yummy goodness, providing mental stimulation and keeping their anxiety at bay. Add lick mats to your dog's arsenal of relief measures during potentially anxiety-provoking situations, like a thunderstorm, fireworks or when visiting the vet, or whenever you need to distract them, such as when you are giving them a shower.
Dogs that spend hours alone at home or have limited physical activities may fall prey to boredom, leading to undesirable behaviors such as excessive barking, chewing furniture or improper elimination. Lick mats can become a boredom-busting lifesaver for those long afternoons when your furry friend needs some entertainment. The act of licking food off the mat constitutes a mentally stimulating challenge, keeping your dog occupied for an extended period–one lick at a time.
Lick Mats and all cognitive activities are also a great way to decrease nuisance behaviors such as incessant chewing, barking, and more!
Slow Feeding Solution
Gulping food down might not seem like a concerning problem at first glance; however, it can lead to potentially serious complications such as choking, bloating, or even gastric torsion. Lick mats are designed to help slow down your dog's eating pace by dispersing the food evenly across the mat surface. Your canine pal has to work harder, and spend more time licking and getting the food out of each groove, engaging their senses and ultimately encouraging slower consumption. Bonus: they get to savor the taste of their meal longer!
Regular dental care should always be part of your dog's hygiene routine. Interestingly, lick mats also contribute to oral health by stimulating saliva production–nature's natural defense against bad breath and plaque buildup. As your dog licks the tasty delights from the mat, his tongue helps clean the surface of his teeth, leading to more effective removal of bacteria and fresher breath.
A Great Reward
Positive reinforcement is one of the most effective training tools you can use to teach your pup desirable behaviors. Rewarding them with a lick mat loaded with their favorite treats or snacks reinforces those underlying actions and encourages them to repeat them in the future.
It's clear to see how lick mats have become increasingly popular among dog owners, and for good reason! Not only do they provide stress and anxiety relief, they are also a boredom buster, slow-feed solution, dental care game changer, behavior training, plus a special reward.
So why not offer your four-legged friend a chance to indulge in a little daily self-soothing therapy while reaping multiple benefits? Just be sure to choose an appropriately sized and durable lick mat to suit your dog's needs, and watch as the tail starts wagging from pure joy.