You should always consider using the LickiMat Tuff if you are intending to leave your dog alone with the LickiMat at home - they are chew-resistant and virtually indestructible. Of course, you can use the LickiMat at any time of the day or night for your dog when they deserve a treat.
Generally speaking though, with the right recipe and if it's frozen you can expect a lick mat to last your dog anywhere from 10-30 minutes or more. Again, it really just depends on your dog's licking habits!
How often should I give my dog a lick mat? There is no hard and fast rule for how often you should give your dog a lick mat. You can use the mat as a treat or reward, and also to feed your dog their main meals.
Lick mats can: Alleviate stress. Provide mental stimulation. Can be great calming/ positive reinforcing tool for activities like nail trimmings and baths (see below where we used our lick mats to create positive association during our dogs' Rexspecs training).
Supports oral health: The grooves and soft brittles on a Lickimat scrapes your dog's tongue, cleaning it and removing particles and bacteria. This ultimately helps to improve your dog's oral health. The licking action and production of saliva keeps gum and teeth healthy.
Many dogs will lick to self-soothe (which explains why you may sometimes see your pet lapping at the couch, their bed, or other objects). “In addition to being calming, lick mats can help reduce destructive behavior and can keep pets occupied and entertained,” according to Dr. Bonstrom.
Provide Anxiety Relief for You and Your Pet
One of the most significant benefits of using a lick mat is that it provides both you and your dog with relief from separation anxiety.
What is this? Dogs on a special diet can still enjoy a lick mat. You can try soaking their regular kibble with water or bone broth and then spreading it over their lick mat. You can also try mixing some safe and appropriate wet food or wet food mixed with kibble into the mat.
5 Spread a mixture of cream cheese and mashed banana over a licky mat, pop it in the freezer for half an hour and see the joy on your dogs face as they lick it off!
The BPA-free, food-grade silicone mat is safe for your pet. It provides two textures in a single mat, to offer a soothing lickable surface plus a slow-feed option. The lick pad cleans easily with soap and water or in the dishwasher.
So if you're new to using Lickimat, keep it simple and grab some single-ingredient sweet potato baby food and spread a small amount on the lickimat. I found the sweet potato baby food on Amazon, and it only contains sweet potato and water. It will be a great introduction to enrichment for you and your dog!
Here are other occasions on which you shouldn't let your dog sleep in your bed: Having a dog with separation anxiety that's negatively affected by co-sleeping. A dog with resource guarding issues that protects his sleeping spot on the bed. Having a dog with behavioral problems that seem to be worsened by co-sleeping.
“In my experience, the four most common breeds of dogs that exhibit signs of separation anxiety are typically Labrador Retrievers, Chihuahuas (both mixed breeds and standards), German Shepherds and Cocker Spaniels”, says Dr.
Leaving Your Dog Alone Is Not The Answer
A common myth surrounding separation anxiety is that by somehow ignoring your dog, or by forcing them to be alone for long periods of time, they simply will get used to it, and the disruptive behavior will stop. This couldn't be further from the truth.
Mats cut off the air flow in your dog's hair and can trap moisture, which can cause irritation and sores on your dog. Even mild matting can be painful, but in severe cases, matting can cut off circulation to your dog's skin and cause hematomas.
Can I freeze a LickiMat? Absolutely. You can freeze and stack multiple LickiMats to make it easier to pull one out when you need it. If you store a LickiMats in the refrigerator, cover it with cling wrap to keep in the freshness.