Here at Doggy Treats UK, we are always looking for the latest innovations to help keep pets in tip-top condition. Our latest find is the LickiMat.
The LickiMat is a non-toxic, non-destructible rubber mat with surface ridges. So, what’s special about it?
This simple mat stimulates a dog’s instinct to lick. Licking is important to a dog’s health. When dogs lick, they produce more saliva which helps clean their mouth, leading to healthier teeth and gums. The surface ridges on the mat scrape a dog’s tongue, cleaning away food which might normally lodge in-between teeth.
Input from two vets, tons of research and lots of customer feedback helped with the design of the LickiMat. So this is no novelty product. Here are the multiple benefits of a LickiMat for your dog.
6 Amazing Benefits of a LickiMat
1. It encourages licking and promotes saliva production
Dental health in dogs is one of the most neglected health issues, but poorly maintained teeth can cause serious problems. Bacteria in the mouth can travel to the heart, it can damage the liver, cause sepsis and even lead to bone infections.
The LickiMat has lumps and ridges on its surface. When you spread the mat with something like doggy peanut butter, it encourages dogs to lick the mat. Licking increases saliva production. More saliva in a dog’s mouth flushes away food that could get lodged, leading to harmful bacteria.
The bumps and ridges on the LickiMat also scrape a dog’s tongue, leaving it clean and fresh. The LickiMat is a dog’s version of a human toothbrush. It helps reduce tooth decay and bad breath.
2. It slows down feeding and aids digestion
Does your dog have a sensitive tummy? Do they gulp their food down then sick it back up later? Certain breeds of dogs are renowned for being fast eaters. When dogs wolf down their food, it doesn’t get digested properly. Digestion starts in the mouth. Saliva helps the teeth break food down into smaller pieces. Smaller pieces give digestive enzymes a larger surface area to work on.
Saliva contains the digestive enzyme amylase. Amylase helps break down the food ready for the stomach. Saliva also contains antibodies which destroy harmful microbes. This prevents harmful bacteria from entering the stomach.
When a dog eats quickly without chewing, the food directly enters the stomach, causing all kinds of problems, not least bloating. The dog loses all the benefits of saliva when it eats quickly without chewing. The benefits of a LickiMat slow the feeding process right down. Dogs must take their time with a LickiMat. This produces the all-important saliva, aiding digestion.
3. It reduces anxiety
Did you know that according to Medical News Today, over 70% of dogs suffer from anxiety?
Dogs can become anxious for several reasons:
Sensitivity to noise
Lack of attention
Fear of surfaces
The survey found some fears worsened as a dog ages. For example, older dogs become more fearful of noise, surfaces and new situations. Younger dogs experienced more separation anxiety. However, you can calm your dog down easily with a LickiMat.
Licking produces calming endorphins and serotonin. These neurotransmitters regulate the mood, reducing anxiety and producing a sense of calm and well-being.
You can also use LickiMats as a tool to distract your dog from an anxious situation. One of my dogs hates being groomed; he runs away as soon as you produce a brush or dog comb. A LickiMat distracts him for long enough, allowing me to brush him.
4. It is a boredom buster
None of us like leaving our dogs for long periods of time, but sometimes we have to. One of the benefits of a LickiMat is they keep your dog occupied when you’re not at home. Dogs are natural hunters and love to forage. Left alone, they can become bored, lazy and lack mental stimulation.
Smearing a LickiMat with food gives them an enjoyable and interesting task. It works as a boredom buster to stimulate them mentally and give you peace of mind that your dog is happy when you’re not home.
5. It helps prevent destructive behaviour
Dogs are natural chewers. Chewing serves several purposes; it keeps jawbones strong and healthy; it helps clean teeth, and it has a calming effect. However, dogs are not choosy about what they chew. Who hasn’t come home to a mangled TV remote, or teeth marks on table legs?
The LickiMat is an ideal training aid for dogs that chew. All dogs need to chew, but you can limit their destructive chewing by presenting the LickiMat as an acceptable chew toy.
6. Food tastes better on a LickiMat
Older dogs can suffer from poor appetite. However, food tastes better when dogs produce more saliva. One way to get your dog excited about food again is to place some tasty treats on a LickiMat and let their natural instincts take over.
Licking away at the mat enhances the taste of food. And because dogs love it so much, you can mix in medication or supplements knowing they will eat it.
The benefits of a LickiMat go far beyond challenging and mentally stimulating your dog. They help with digestion, anxiety and health and reduce destructive behaviour.