Benefits of Lick Mats for Both Dogs and Cats

Awoo recently unveiled the newest addition to our ethical lineup, the SMOOSH Lick Mat. We are especially excited about this product as both Francine and myself have personally been longtime users of lick mats as training tools, treat dispensers, AND an excellent distraction tool during bath time (ahem...Beatrix). 
As with the rest of the Awoo line, we couldn't help but make upgrades to the traditional lick mat silhouette to better serve our pack.
-For starters, we made it non-slip with 4 large suction cups to the backside of the lick mat so that it can be mounted on both the wall and the floor.
-We also split the lick mat into 4 quadrants, each with their own distinct patterns to extend engagement time through varying levels of texture difficulty. 
-It's no surprise that we wanted to offer colors that felt more suited to your home and personal style than what is traditionally offered for this type of item. You can find our lick mats in sage, mauve, and almond
If I've lost you and you are sitting there scratching your head wondering "What the hell is a lick mat?"  Let's start with the basics
What is a Lick Mat?
A flat mat designed to be licked over and over by your pet. Lick mats ultimately help ease anxiety, build positive associations, and/or elongate mealtime. Each mat includes integrated texture and cavities to capture spreadable dog-safe foods for your pup to enjoy. The best kinds of lick mat usually include a non-slip component like suction cups to avoid mess and keep your pet stationary. Lick mats can be used to feed pets their main meal or as a high value treat.
 
Is the lick mat right for my dog?
The lick mat is a great addition to your pet’s daily routine. Proven to help with several behavioral and health concerns as well as provide you with a little quiet time.
Lick mats aren’t just for dogs- cats love them too!  Benefits below are proven to help both 4-legged friends.
1. Enrichment and Training
Sniffing is as important for exercising a pet’s brains as physical exercise is for their bodies. It also helps to increase the feeling of safety and comfort in their current environment. Sniffing is proven to release oxytocin, while licking releases endorphins. The act of sniffing and licking redirects excess energy into something positive. For puppies and kittens this is beneficial as it can help combat harmful chewing, scratching and biting.
2. Anxiety Reduction & Calming Distraction:
Lick Mats can be used to build positive association and provide distraction during anxiety-inducing situations. For example, the mat can be used during vet visits, bath time and even nail trimming sessions. It can also help during the hard-to-avoid summertime fireworks and thunderstorms. For anxious dog that don’t respond well to strangers in the house and/or experience separation anxiety lick mats can provide a distraction and positively reinforce calm behavior.
**Do not leave your pet alone with the lick mat unless you are 100% confident they will not chew on the mat.
3. Physical Health Benefits: 
Licking helps to scrape bacteria off the tongue while producing more saliva. Increased saliva production better protects teeth and gums resulting in fresher breath! Something we can all appreciate. 
Lick mats also encourage slow eating which improves digestion and reduces likelihood of reflux. Remember that extra saliva production? It’ll come in handy again as it assists to break down food during digestion.
Looking for a way to give your pet a sneaky supplement or medication? Hide it in their favorite spread on the mat and they’ll never see it coming. 
4. Flexible Dinner or Treat Time:
Prep you mats ahead of time and pop it in the freezer for later. Not only will the frozen treat make the lick time last longer but freezing treats like Greek yogurt or chicken broth can provide much needed cooling for your pet on hot summer days.
5. Training: 
Lick Mats are considered high value treat vessels so they are often used for actual mealtime. Use your lick mat as a tool and it’ll become the ultimate reward for a job well done or to encourage positive association during an activity that while necessary is not your pet’s favorite. Overtime the activity will become enjoyable to them as they know it will lead to a tasty reward.  
 Yellow Labrador dog licks wall mounted lick mat covered in peanut butter while being groomed.
What is the SMOOSH Lick Mat made of?
Durable BPA and PVC-free, food grade silicone. Silicone as a safe alternative to plastic and rubber is naturally antimicrobial and can endure extreme temperatures without losing its integrity. Feel free to smother your lick mat with tasty treats and pop it in the freezer to save for later. Your pup will thank you!
Fluffy Dog licks yogurt and blueberries from a non-slip lick mat placed on the floor and kept in place with suction cups.    
Is the Lick Mat easy to clean? 
Great news! The silicone lick mat is dishwasher safe. We recommend using a bristled brush to scrub out the texture grooves before placing in the dishwasher. 
Wash after every use.

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