I’m at all times searching for methods to convey extra pleasure and enrichment to my Dachshund’s life and assist hold them from becoming bored after they’re hanging out in the home (hyperlink).
A type of methods is with enrichment toys and meals puzzles.
We use a number of differing kinds however right this moment I wish to share about canine lick mats.
I first began utilizing them about 4 years in the past however my curiosity and inspiration was not too long ago renewed once I attended the Superzoo pet commerce present.
Canine lick mats have actually come a good distance for the reason that starting.
There are such a lot of choices obtainable now, together with canine lick mats of various issue.
I do know a few of you aren’t conversant in what they’re although so let’s begin there.
Then I’ll go on to debate lick mat security, which of them we expect are the most effective, lick mat toppings, find out how to clear them and extra!
What’s a Canine Lick Mat?
A canine lick mat is often a flat piece of plastic or rubber (man-made or natural) with a raised design, ridges, or bristles on the highest.
There are some lick “mats” which are literally within the form of a bowl however use the identical idea.
You unfold meals and treats over the textured floor, thus trapping it in crevices.
When the meals or treats are smooshed into the raised design, your Dachshund will not be capable of seize the meals with their tooth and should use their tongue to get the meals out as an alternative.
Your Dachshund then licks the mat again and again to get it out.
Lick mats have completely different designs on prime, and completely different depth of the ridges and bristles, which make the issue differ from straightforward to most tough.
Are Lick Mats Protected for Canines?
Lick mats are typically protected for any canine.
Nevertheless, they lick mats will not be a chew toy so that you’ll want to observe how your canine makes use of the mat to start with.
Generally my Dachshund Summit will chew on the mat in an try to get the meals out of it.
Whereas it hasn’t occurred, there’s a threat that she might break off and swallow items of the “raised nubs” within the course of.
These items would typically be small however I wouldn’t need her to choke.
Additionally, there’s a probability, relying on what materials the lick mat is made out of, the swallowed items might launch unnatural chemical compounds into your canine’s abdomen.
It is attainable that some canines could attempt to chew on the mat itself (suppose piece of pizza). Meaning they might swallow giant items that would trigger them to choke or create an intestinal blockage.
If a lick mat turns into broken, take away it out of your canine instantly and throw it away.
The underside line is just your canine. Watch how they use a lick mat and discontinue in the event you suppose it poses a threat to them.
In case you are nervous about what your canine is likely to be ingesting from the mat after they lick it repeatedly, particularly if they’re energy lickers, know that the majority lick mats are made out of non poisonous, food-grade supplies.
It’s at all times greatest to test the label fastidiously although. Actually low-cost ones made in China could include unsafe chemical compounds.
If the fabric used will not be listed, assume it’s not protected. All respected manufacturers will probably be clear and checklist precisely what the lick mat is made out of.
What Are the Advantages of Lick Mats for Dachshunds?
Lick mats appear easy however there are a number of advantages to utilizing one to your Dachshund.
A lick mat can:
- Decelerate consuming – lick mats might help cease your Dachshund from consuming too quick by greater than double the time it takes to your canine to eat their meal
- Assist relieve boredom – it provides them one thing to do
- Scale back stress and nervousness – licking is soothing for canines
- Maintain your Dachshund busy – that is helpful when it’s worthwhile to hold them from underneath your toes or following you round
- Present psychological train and psychological stimulation – a Dachshund has to make use of their problem-solving abilities to future out find out how to lick the mat clear
- Present a distraction throughout tense occasions – tense occasions generally is a bathtub, clipping their nails, when friends are over, and so forth.
- Aids digestive well being, promotes wholesome tooth and contemporary breath – licking creates saliva that comprises enzymes that may assist with this stuff and the raised bumps scrape the tongue
Are All Canine Lick Mats the Identical?
4 years after I first found them, there are actually 100 completely different lick mats available on the market now.
You could be questioning how to select from all of the completely different lick mat selections. Are all of them the identical?
The reply is sure and no.
Sure, in that all of them work just about the identical means and supply related advantages.
And no in that they differ in 4 major methods:
- The form of the lick mat – flat spherical, flat sq., flat rectangle, bowl formed
- The fabric they’re made out of – meals grade silicone, non-toxic TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) materials (like Sodapup beneath), pure rubber (like LickiMat beneath), and possibly some others.
- The extent of issue – the extra intricate and detailed the design, the smaller the grooves, and the tighter the corners, the upper the issue
- Suction cups or not – lick mats with suction cups could be caught to the facet of the bath or window
These are the variations however how do you select which one is true to your wants and your canine?
Contemplate the choices, attempt one, and see if it really works for you and your canine.
The bodily form is basically irrelevant, besides within the case of those formed like bowls that wobble. They add an entire completely different problem to the expertise.
Though the supplies used to make the lick mats can differ, many of the lick mats will probably be made out of non-toxic, pet-safe supplies in order that’s probably not a deciding issue.
Nevertheless, at all times double test what they’re manufactured from earlier than buying. Lick mats made exterior of the US, or different international locations with excessive security requirements, or that don’t checklist the product supplies, are probably suspect.
Resolve in the event you want the suction cups. Though they’re the one alternative if it’s worthwhile to stick the lick mat to the wall, window, or facet of the bathe, the suction cups could make them unstable on flat surfaces.
So in the event you plan to make use of the lick mat on the ground, personally, I’d not select one with suction cups.
The extent of issue might be going to be the most important choice you’ll have to make.
In case your canine has by no means used a lick mat, you might wish to begin with the simplest stage.
Nevertheless, I did that with my Dachshund Summit and Gretel and it was instantly obvious that it wasn’t a problem for them so I rapidly needed to improve to the medium stage lick mat.
A part of the issue stage is what you select to placed on the lick mat so shopping for a medium issue mat and placing a smooth filling in it, and never utterly urgent it into the crevices, could prevent having to improve later.
I’ve a number of completely different lick mats although – various difficulties, shapes, and problem ranges – as a result of I like to change issues up and usually Dachshund sit so I wish to be ready for the power and curiosity of varied canines.
After I Use Lick Mats for My Dachshunds
There are a number of conditions once I may give my Dachshunds a mat with meals to lick.
- Use as a gradual feeder at mealtime – this solely works with uncooked or canned pet food
- To occupy Summit lengthy sufficient for her to let me trim her nails – she likes the meals greater than she dislikes having her nails lower
- When I’m cooking and don’t need my canines underneath foot – that is safer for each of us
- As a distraction when we’ve got strangers (visitor) over – they’ll’t bark and soar on them if they’re occupied with the lick mat
- After I have to tire them out however can’t get out for a stroll or hike – psychological stimulation can tire a canine out greater than bodily train
- After I’m working from residence – typically I actually need to deal with a undertaking
Hopefully my checklist provides you some concepts and examples of when and the way you may wish to use a canine lick mat to your Dachshund.
Greatest Lick Mats for Dachshunds
Disclosure: A number of the hyperlinks on this article are affiliate hyperlinks (Amazon Affiliate or different applications we take part in). As an affiliate, I earn a small fee from qualifying purchases.
The perfect lick mats for Dachshunds aren’t too massive.
There isn’t a want for “wasted house” and it’s tempting to place an excessive amount of meals (energy) on a big lick mat floor.
Most Dachshunds are decided and relentless in the case of meals, and are skilled lickers, so you might wish to select a medium issue to onerous issue mat design.
Listed here are what I believe are the most effective lick mats for Dachshunds:
Simple Problem Lick Mats
Medium Problem Lick Mats
Most Difficult Lick Mats
Lick Mat Topping Concepts
What you placed on a lick mat to your Dachshund doesn’t should be fancy. Nevertheless, it should match a pair standards.
It should be:
- Spreadable or pourable
- One thing that your canine actually enjoys consuming
Some fast lick mat filling concepts are:
- Peanut butter (xylitol free)
- Spreadable cheese (with out spices or seasonings)
- Plain cottage cheese
- Canned pet food
- Uncooked pet food
- Plain greek yogurt
- Canned pumpkin (unsweetened)
- Canned candy potato (unsweetened)
- Pureed veggies (no salt or spices)
- Unsweetened applesauce
- Mashed banana
- Eggs (uncooked or positioned on the mat after which microwaved)
You can even put a number of of those components on the lick mat collectively, both on completely different elements of it or combined collectively.
To extend the issue of any mat, you may unfold the deal with or meals on the lick mat after which freeze it.
Notice: Most canine lick mats are microwave or freezer protected however be sure you test the label first.
To make it extra fascinating, you can too sprinkle issues on prime of the bottom deal with or meals like unsweetened coconut, dried liver flakes, or crushed freeze dried blueberries.
When you’re searching for extra inventive lick mat concepts, this Peanut Butter, Banana, Coconut Kong Stuffing will even work as a lick mat unfold and this canine pleasant smoothie recipe could be poured on the lick mat after which frozen.
There are different lick mat recipes for canines on the market too like this fall likimat recipe.
Tips on how to Clear a Canine Lick Mat
Most canine lick mats are dishwasher protected, though it’s greatest to test first.
Nevertheless, in my expertise, nothing will get them as clear as a great quaint hand scrubbing.
I first use a forceful stream of water from the tap directed to the crevices on the mat to flush out many of the residue (it helps in the event you additionally bend the mat as you do it).
Then I put some cleaning soap on a scrub brush and take away the cussed items of meals nonetheless caught on it.
Be sure you scrub off the again of the mat too!
There are a lot of makes use of for canine lick mats.
Utilizing one might help you handle your Dachshund’s habits, assist them “cooperate” throughout grooming, assist them eat slower, and may present psychological stimulation that tires them out.
Lick mats are typically protected to make use of with any canine however it’s vital to at all times supervise your canine whereas they’re consuming off of it, a minimum of the primary few occasions till what to anticipate.
The largest hazard with a lick mat is that your canine will chew a chunk off and swallow it, inflicting an intestinal blockage.
If a mat turns into damaged, or considerably chewed up, throw it away.
If used correctly, lick mats are a good way to complement your canine’s life and make it extra fascinating.