As a dog owner, lick mats have saved my life time and time again. Whether you have to leave your dog alone for a few hours at a time, they need a cool-down activity, you need a break from the constant puppy play mood, or whatever it is, lick mats can be the perfect way to keep your puppy’s attention on lick, lick, licking away.
Once you have your ingredients picked out, all you have to do is slather the base ingredients you choose for your dog’s lick mat and top it off with some toppings of choice. When assembling a lick mat for Rosie, my pup, I like to make sure I have at least two different base ingredients and toppings that I’m including in different spots of the mat to help with enrichment. A finished lick mat should look interesting, even to you, so that it might help hold your dog’s interest for a while as well. After creating your masterpiece of a lick mat, stick it on in the freezer. You’ll want to give your pup a frozen lick mat, as this makes it a lot more difficult to lick up the ingredients. This way, your dog might stay entertained with the mat for much longer, and feel even more enriched.
So, read along for some dog friendly and loved ingredients for your dog lick mat.
OK, so right off the bat, you’re going to want some smashable (when necessary) and slatherable ingredients to make up the base of your lick mat. I tend to go for 2-6 flavors for my pup to explore, depending on what I have on hand. After you pick out your ingredients, slather them across the mat, enough that the surface is covered at least as deep as the little bristles reach up. Having a thicker “base coat” (if you will) will make it easier for toppings to stay put after freezing.
This option is great, especially because it’s practical, tasty, freezes pretty quickly, and an awesome boost in potassium in your pup’s diet.
Peanut butter is on 100% of the lick mats I make for my pup. In fact, I think she’d be disappointed to see one without it. It’s a must-add. Just be sure to avoid palm oil and added sugars!
I keep a couple of cans of pumpkin puree on hand for baking… and for lick mats! It’s super healthy for dogs and can be great for their coat. Make sure you have 100% pumpkin puree, and you’re golden.
A little bit of dairy can often make for a great and tasty probiotic for your pupper. Cottage cheese is one new flavor and texture that will definitely capture your dog’s attention.
Speaking of, cream cheese is a super tasty slather for your lick mat that your pup will definitely be delicious accompanied by some toppings.
Sweet Potato Puree
A lot like pumpkin puree, sweet potato puree is healthy, yummy, and a fun orange color for your dog to enjoy. Health benefits go a lot further than just their coat, as sweet potato is a super healthy starch for doggos.
Back on the probiotics, you can never go wrong with a little bit of yogurt, which freezes into a super tasty treat even humans can enjoy, like a lot of these other whole, healthy ingredients.
Like the slathers, the topping possibilities are also endless! The smaller, and more sprinkle-able, the better. Treats made for dogs are a go-to! But some other awesome options include the following.
Wanna make this treat extra sweet for your pooch, top it off with a bit of honey. When frozen, this flavor and texture can be so great for your dog to lick away at.
Ever heard that blueberries are a brain food? Well, they are for dogs too! Treat your pup and their brain to a bit of blueberries as a topping on your dog lick mat! (Another pro tip: if you are at a loss for slathering base topping, some mashed up blueberries are a great option!)
Milk Bones, training treats, bacon bits and other dog treats are awesome and obviously dog-friendly choices for toppings.
Have a can of sweet corn on hand? Some sweet corn is another great sprinkle-able option for your dog’s lick mat.
Getting those veggies in when it counts, treat your dog to the fun texture and flavor of, yep, broccoli!
While we’re on the veggie train, a great and long-lasting topping to lick mat can be baby carrots!
Which of these ingredients will you include in your next dog lick mat recipe? What are some go-to ingredients we didn’t list? Let us know in the comments!