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- Licking has many benefits for your dog. Food-motivated dogs will become determined to lick up the last bit of treat from the mat. The repetitive licking provides a calming effect that is generally soothing to dogs and can also be helpful to distract pets from anxiety-inducing situations, such as thunderstorms and fireworks.
- Lick mats can also stave off boredom by keeping your pets busy and entertained for extended periods of time.
- Lick mats can help you provide treats to your dog with out over-feeding. Since Lick Mats can take a long time for a dog to clean, you are delivering a lot of entertainment without a lot of calories.
- Lick mats can help promote fresh breath and healthy teeth and gums.
- Lick mats create repetitive licking and this in turn stimulates saliva to aid digestive health.
- SodaPup emats are designed with deeper and more complex patterns in the mat which makes them more difficult for your dog to get the treats. This extends the licking time.
- You can extend the licking time by preparing a mat and then sticking it in the freezer. This is an especially good method on a hot summer day since dogs cool themselves through their tongues.
- Finally, you can use ingredients that are “stickier”. For instance peanut butter is especially sticky and more challenging for dogs to lick out of a SodaPup emat.
You can use many types of food with an enrichment lick mats. For many people, peanut butter is a quick and easy ingredient. If you use peanut butter be sure to avoide brands that have xylitol in it because it’s bad for dogs. Others create elaborat recipes for their dogs. Here are some ideas on ingredients you might consider.
1) Plain Yogurt - Yogurt is high in calcium and protein. It also can act as a probiotic, which can be good for the digestive system. If you are going to feed your dog yogurt, it should be plain and free of any added sweeteners
2) Fruits – Some, but not all, fruits are suitable for your pets. Here are some that are good for your dog: apples, blueberries, bananas, canteloupe, watermelon, strawberries, raspberries, pineapples, pears, oranges, peaches and mangos. These fruits are best served mashed and frozen on the lick mats. Be aware of some fruits that are not good for dogs, like grapes, grapefruits, and avocados. These fruits may cause diarrhea, vomiting, and maybe toxic for them.
3) Vegetables – Many vegetables are also beneficial for dogs because of their high nutritional value including carrots, spinach, green beans, peas, celery, brussel sprouts, and brocolli. You can cook these and puree them in order to spread them into your lick mat. Avoid mushrooms, onions, and asparagus.
4) Honey – Honey is a special treat for your dog and it can take a long time for your dog to lick it out of your lick mat. But, you should only use small amounts because you don’t want your dog to have too much sugar.
5) Ground meat and fish – dogs love meats and you can use them with your lick mat. Use ground meats, cooked without seasoning, and spread over the lick mats.
6) Baby Foods – This is a simple hack because baby foods are already pureed, making them quick and easy to use with a lick mat. But be sure to check the label to make sure there aren’t ingredients that are bad for dogs like like xylitol which is a common artificial sweetener. Xylitol can be toxic for dogs.
Once you spread foods into the lick mat you can consider freezing them so that you have them premade and handy for when you need them. Freezing the lick mat will also increase the licking challenge and extend the amount of time it takes your dog to finish the lick mat.
SodaPup emats are dishwasher safe on the top rack. Some emat designs are complex and retain foods very well in the tight corners of the design. To clean these mats you can use a scrub brush with soap and water. Letting them soak for a period of time will help.
Emat’s are not chew toys and are not designed to withstand chewing. If your dog is likely to chew on the emat then supervision is recommended. If your dog is left alone to destroy the emat there is a risk of choking.
Lick mats can be used to distract your dog from things that they don’t like. For example, some dogs don’t like to be brushed or washed. An emat is a great distraction for your dog while you groom them.
Similarly, most dogs don’t like thunder nor fireworks. Using a lick mat can help focus their attention on eating so that they are less bothered by the loud noises happening in the background.
SodaPup emats come with different levels of difficulty. For example, the bones design is the easiest for dogs to lick. The pattern is shallow and has greater spacing making it easier for dogs to lick the food out of the pattern. Our honeycomb mat has intermediate difficulty. The Zombie, Flower Power, and Jigsaw designs are all more complex and therefore more difficult for dogs to clean. The higher degree of difficulty leads to longer licking times.
SodaPup produces emats in two sizes, small and large. While the outer dimensions of the mats are different, the scale of the pattern is the same, and therefore the same level of difficulty. You can use either size for larger breed dogs. The level of difficulty is the same, but the amount of food the mats hold is different. So, for instance you could serve a large breed dog their entire meal on a large lick mat. But you could give them a snack on the smaller size. For smaller breeds, you can also use either size, though perhaps the small size is better because it holds a smaller amount of food.
SodaPup emats are better than the rest for several reasons. First, they are heavier making them more rigid, more durable and easier to handle and manage, especially when putting them in the freezer. Second, the emat patterns are more complex so that they retain treats better. This increases the challenge and extends the licking time. Finally, the emat patterns are more fun and interesting than the competition.