Everything you need to know about lick mats for dogs

7 comments Nov 25, 2020

Updated November 2022

We are so excited to have Lickimat slow feeders available on the shop for your dog to try!

We have been using the Lickimat products with our rescue lab Betty, to slow down her eating (oh my dog does she need it!) and to help reduce her anxiety.

She has always suffered from mild separation anxiety, and while it’s less of an issue as she’s getting older, we never pass an opportunity to keep her busy when we’re away.

What is a lick mat?

A lick mat or often called Lickimat, after the Australian trademarked brand, are flat mats designed for your dog to lick, over and over. There are usually coated with ridges and brittles that encourage licking.

Since they are flat, dogs are not able to grab the food with their teeth and must use their tongue instead.

The result: it takes much longer to eat all the food!

But there are many more benefits to a lick mat and we’ll explore them now.

When should I use a lick mat and what are the benefits for my dog?

Lickimats can be used in many ways and each have their own benefit!

  • Calm & Soothe: the licking action is a very pleasurable experience for your dog. It secretes endorphins, the happiness hormone, helping calm and soothe your pet, and redirects bad licking habits. The lickimat becomes a great distraction when given in a moderately stressful situation, for example when you leave the home or when unfamiliar guests are visiting.
  • Beats boredom and enriches your dog’s life: while most Lickimats have been designed to provide a fun and stimulating activity for your dog, some, such as the Wobble, have been specifically created with boredom in mind. Wobble will roll around and challenge your dog in attempts to lick the treat spread on the inside, keeping your dog entertained for a long time.
  • Slows down eating: the longer your dog takes to eat, the better digestion! We all know how we feel after woofing down our dinner (hello bloat!). The action of licking created by the lick mat, encourages the production of saliva which helps break down food. Slowing down eating reduces bloat risks and improves digestion.
  • Supports oral health: The grooves and soft brittles on a Lickimat scrapes your dog’s tongue, cleaning it and removing particles and bacteria. This ultimately helps to improve your dog’s oral health. The licking action and production of saliva keeps gum and teeth healthy. Lickimats can be used as a tongue brush after a meal by spreading a DIY doggie toothpaste or our Grinkles Dental care with a knob of coconut oil.


A dog is eating meat on a green slow feeder, a flat Lickimat

How to care for your lickimat?

Most lickimats are dishwasher safe. Some will require handwashing. Simply use a brush and dishwashing detergent or soak in warm, soapy water if you have used a sticky spread such as peanut butter.

Lickimats are made with natural rubber, non-toxic and food grade. You should always be supervising your dog when using a Lickimat, at least until they are used to it. Some dogs might be tempted to use it as a chew toy!

Which one to use?

Each Lickimat has been designed with a benefit in mind but ultimately, you will get the same calming & licking action with all.

  • The Classic Lickimat Buddy is great for a wet treat or food. Can very easily be use for a full meal for small dogs and is fantastic as a tongue scrapper.
  • The Lickimat Slomo has been designed to combine wet and dry food in the same feeder. It has 4 sections with a dual texture for endless food combos.
  • The Wobble is a boredom buster and is the perfect replacement to a traditional feeding bowl.
  • The Tuff Pro is great for puppies or dogs that tend to chew their Lickimats. It is reinforced on each sides and has anti-slip pads underneath. 
  • The Lickimat UFO features 7 suction cups, and stays put on vertical surfaces such a windows or bathtub. Perfect for grooming or car ride distraction.
  • The Lickimat Outdoor Keeper is an accessory designed to protect food from outdoor crawling insects thanks to its deep water moat. Also serves as a combination Lickimat and feeding bowl or water bowl.
  • The Lickimat Yoggie Pot is your perfect companion for wet food, pureed fruits & vegetables, yoghurt or even soaked kibble. It's easy to fill, clean and take in your bag.

    What is the best food to spread on a Lickimat?

    Using the back of a spoon, you can choose many different spreads on your Lickimat:

    • Wet food
    • Yoghurt
    • Minced meat
    • Peanut butter
    • Canned fish (sardines, salmon)
    • Pureed vegetables (pumpkin, sweet potatoes, carrots)
    • Bone broth

    We particularly love Lickimats because they are the perfect vessel for your Doggy Grub casseroles.

    If you’re after a longer lick, choose a stickier texture such as peanut butter, or place your mat in the freezer. Head to our Instagram for exclusive recipes!

    Which one will you try?


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    The Doggy Grub blog is dedicated to helping dogs and their owners achieve happier, healthier lives, changing the way we feed our dogs one bowl at a time! If you would like to know more about our fresh food head to Doggy Grub


    • Doggy Grub July 22, 2023 at 6:03 pm

      Hi Patricia, If you dog is a chewer, we recommend the Lickimat Tuff series, they have a hard shell, or using a Lickimat Keeper to protect your mat- it works by inserting the mat in the Keeper case. Hope this helps! :)

    • Patricia July 17, 2023 at 6:27 pm

      I thought it was a good idea but my dog wants to chew the mat
      now what – none of the info mentions thid

    • Doggy Grub March 30, 2023 at 6:48 pm

      Hi Marcel,
      No need to worry if your pup spends a long time with her lickimat. On the contrary, it will improve her digestion and mentally stimulate her too. She will not have jaw pain as a result.

    • Marcel March 30, 2023 at 6:40 pm

      Is there such a thing of them taking too long? My pup spent about 40 minutes to an hour with her lick matt. Can their jaws get tired/hurt the next day?

    • Doggy Grub March 2, 2023 at 6:41 pm

      Hi Calvin,
      Yes absolutely, you can feed a full meal on a Lick mat, not just treats.

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