If you saw my earlier post, you might have been tempted to get a LickiMat for your dog to try out those really appetising recipes! What I didn’t cover in the last post though is just how many different situations using the LickiMat could help your dog.
One of the main benefits of the LickiMat is that it encourages licking which can help soothe and calm a dog in anxious situations. But, it is also great to use to keep a dog distracted or another way to provide stimulation, rewards and fun!
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored by LickiMat and I have not been asked to promote these products. I purchased a LickiMat for my dogs and was also sent three others to test without any expectation or agreement of promotion. I am sharing this as I think this is a good toy to add to your rotation and can benefit many dogs.

Anxiety reducing
Did you know that licking is a calming activity for dogs? Licking of their feet, tail, or a particular spot on their body is often seen in anxious dogs and sometimes at such a compulsive level that they cause sores. It is believed that licking releases endorphins which help to relax a dog when stressed, however, the licking should be channelled in a more appropriate and less harmful way.

The LickiMat has been created as a way for dogs to soothe and calm themselves by licking whatever topping you have put across the surface.  The key is to use a topping that your dog really enjoys and to spread it over the mat and into the grooves to encourage your dog to lick.

Here are some possible scenarios when a LickiMat might be useful to help a dog who has an anxious temperament OR finds the situation anxiety-inducing:

  • Vet visit
  • During a storm
  • When there are fireworks
  • When their family leaves the house
  • When home alone for extended periods of time

The soothing act of licking can help to relax your dog during these potentially stressful times.

A note on anxiety: This product is intended to be used as part of a management strategy to assist anxiety and it is not intended to replace anxiety medication or advice given by a veterinarian. When working with anxious dogs and their families, I use different management strategies, activities and training techniques to help reduce the anxiety and food toys are often included as part of the plan.

Distractions
Whether your dog gets overly excited, anxious, stressed or you would just like them to focus on something else, the LickiMat could be just the distraction you and your dog need. Examples of when you might want to distract your dog:

  • When visitors arrive!
  • When giving medication to your dog
  • When you are cooking dinner and you don’t want your dog underfoot
  • During grooming activities
  • When you are teaching them to stay on their mat or outside by themselves for increasing periods of time etc.

Practically anytime you want to distract your dog from something!

Boredom buster

Your dog does not need to be anxious to use this toy. In fact, it is a great option as a boredom buster to add to your rotation. Depending on the topping you use, this toy can provide new opportunities of licking enjoyment for your dog.
Manage food intake

Many dogs consume their meals way too fast. Our dog Zeus for example. Using a food-dispensing toy like a LickiMat is a great way to slow down how fast they consume their meal. It is so much more difficult to scoff their meal when it is spread out over the LickiMat and smooshed into the textured surface.

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