5 Benefits of Enrichment Lick Mats, Trays, and Slow Feeders for Dogs

We all know that our dogs need to release their physical energy through activities like walking, running, fetching, and swimming. But, did you know your dog has mental energy that also needs an outlet, and if you don’t give them a healthy way to vent, they may resort to behaviors like destructive chewing, barking, tearing out the trash and a host of other bad habits to fulfill their need for mental stimulation. Enrichment lick mats with intricate patterns and a variety of food tastes and textures are a great way to provide your dog with the mental exercise his brain craves. 

5 Benefits of Enrichment Lick Mats, Trays, and Slow Feeders

  1. Entertainment
    Soda Pup Mandala eTray

If your dog is a busy bee, use a lick mat or tray to entertain him while you get some things done around the house. Load the mat or tray with his favorite spreadable and other tasty treats and freeze it ahead of time so when you need a few minutes to fold laundry, your pup will have plenty to do in the meantime.

     2.  Anxiety Relief

Lick mats and trays can be especially useful for a dog who suffers from anxiety. Licking is a method of self-soothing for dogs and the added benefit of a tasty treat will keep them engaged in a healthy activity rather than licking themselves which may cause sores.

     3. Training Tool

Lick mats and trays can be excellent tools if you want to train your dog to sit calmly with you in public when surrounded by distractions. Maybe you’d like to bring your dog to a restaurant or brewery that allows well-behaved dogs or you want to take them to an outdoor concert. Wherever you need your dog to settle in, a lick mat or tray can help. Designate a space for your dog, such as a blanket, and then offer the lick mat or tray and let him lick his cares away.

  1. Better Digestion and Weight Management
Soda Pup Honeycomb Slow Feeder Bowl

If your dog inhales his food, try feeding from a lick mat or slow feeder to force them to slow down.  This will aid their digestion and by eating slower, they will feel full faster which may help keep a dog from overeating. A lick mat can also reduce the amount of air your dog swallows as they eat decreasing the likelihood bloating and discomfort.


  1. Better Dental Health

Lick mats, trays, and slow feeders are a great way to clean your dog’s tongue leading to fresher breath.  While it is no substitute for regular dental care and cleaning, it can still benefit oral health by increasing saliva which helps wash away bacteria and food particles in the mouth.


Lick Mat Food Options

The beauty of lick mats is that you can be as simple or complex as you wish to be with the food offerings on a lick mat. Below is a list of dog-safe foods you can try.  Have fun experimenting with what your dog likes best!


Soft Foods and Spreadables

Soda Pup Purple Bones Lick Mat
Peanut butter
Canned pumpkin
Mashed banana
Plain yogurt
Cooked sweet potato
Cottage cheese (mix in some shredded carrot or cucumber for more flavor)





Veggies: Dice, grate or puree before adding to the mat

Soda Pup Dogs Waiting Tray
Green Beans
Celery Broccoli
Sweet Corn


Fruits: Dice, chop, or puree before adding to the mat



NEVER Give Your Dog These Foods

Macadamia nuts
Xylitol (a sugar substitute used in things like peanut butter, pudding, baked goods and chewing gum)
Fat trimmings, bones from your food



Soda Pup Water Frog Tray Feeder

Lick mats, trays, and slow feeders are a valuable addition to your dog’s daily routine. They provide mental stimulation and relaxation while offering you another tool to manage feeding and wellness habits.

Check out the enrichment lick mats, trays, and slow feeders available in the Magellan Dogs Store. The products we offer are dishwasher-safe and made in America from pup-safe materials. Remember to always supervise your pet with a lick mat, tray, or slow feeder and be sure to give it in a safe location.  If you have dietary concerns for your specific dog, please consult your veterinarian.


RECIPES (sodapup.com)

Elizabeth Gray. Apr 18 2023. 7 Benefits of Lick Mats for Dogs: Canine Health and Wellness | Pet Keen


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