DIY Licking Mat for Dogs - A Treat with Many Benefits

DIY Licking Mat for Dogs - A Treat with Many Benefits

As we step into the summer months, it's important to consider how to keep our dogs entertained and cool during the hot days. That's where lick mats come in, serving as a stimulating treat that can provide hours of enjoyment for your furry companion. Whether you have an energetic dog, an anxious dog, a fast eater, a senior dog, or a dog in recovery, a lick mat can be a game-changer.

Now, let's take it up a notch and introduce a simple yet effective variant to the mat—a bowl. By simply adding water to the equation, you create an exciting and refreshing experience for your dog. Imagine the added fun your canine friend will have as they lick and discover the hidden treasures submerged in the ice. It's a surefire way to keep them engaged and entertained throughout the day.

If you're up for a fun DIY project, creating a homemade licking mat or bowl is a fantastic idea. Not only will it provide mental stimulation for your dog, but it also offers a delicious and enjoyable pastime. This simple tutorial will guide you in crafting a special treat that will help both you and your four-legged friend relax and savor the summer months.

Here's what you'll need:

  • A Freezer
  • A silicone baking mat, a food-grade silicone mat, or a metal bowl
  • Any of the ingredients in the list below:
  1. Pumpkin puree: Pumpkin is not only tasty but also packed with fiber and nutrients like vitamin A, which promotes healthy digestion and supports a strong immune system.

  2. Coconut oil: Coconut oil can provide a healthy dose of medium-chain fatty acids, which can improve your dog's coat health, boost their energy, and support brain function.

  3. Applesauce: Applesauce is a great source of vitamins and antioxidants. It can aid in digestion, promote fresh breath, and provide a natural sweetness to entice your dog.

  4. Bone broth: Bone broth is rich in collagen, glucosamine, and other beneficial compounds that support joint health, improve digestion, and provide hydration.

  5. Yogurt: Plain, unsweetened yogurt is a fantastic source of probiotics, which can help maintain a healthy gut and improve digestion. It's important to choose yogurt without added sugars or artificial sweeteners.

  6. Blueberries: These little blue gems are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber. They can support brain health, promote a healthy immune system, and contribute to overall well-being.

  7. Sweet potato puree: Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They can support digestive health, provide a natural sweetness, and offer a boost of energy.

  8. Carrots: Carrots are not only crunchy and tasty but also a great source of beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A in your dog's body. They promote healthy eyes, skin, and immune function.

  9. Honey: A small amount of honey can add sweetness to your dog's licking mat. It may offer some antibacterial properties and can provide a natural energy boost.

  10. Peanut butter: A classic favorite, peanut butter is a good source of healthy fats, protein, and vitamin B. It can provide a tasty and satisfying treat while also offering some added nutritional benefits.

  11. Canned tuna or salmon: These fish options are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which promote a healthy coat, support brain function, and reduce inflammation.

  12. Spinach or kale puree: Leafy greens like spinach and kale are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They can help boost your dog's immune system and support overall health.

  13. Chia seeds: Chia seeds are a fantastic source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants. They can aid in digestion and provide a healthy energy boost.

  14. Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt is an excellent source of protein and calcium. It can support muscle health, promote strong bones, and contribute to a healthy digestive system.

  15. Almond butter: Similar to peanut butter, almond butter is a nutritious option rich in healthy fats, protein, and vitamin E. It can provide a tasty and satisfying treat for your dog.

  16. Green beans: Green beans are low in calories and high in fiber, making them a great option for dogs watching their weight. They can also offer vitamins and minerals to support overall health.

  17. Pumpkin seeds: Pumpkin seeds are a great source of protein, healthy fats, and fiber. They can promote a healthy coat, support digestion, and provide essential nutrients.

  18. Cottage cheese: Cottage cheese is a good source of protein and calcium. It can help support muscle growth and repair, as well as contribute to strong bones.

  19. Watermelon puree: Watermelon is a hydrating and refreshing fruit for dogs. It contains vitamins A and C, as well as antioxidants, which can support immune health and provide a tasty summer treat

Please keep in mind that this is just a short list of the many beneficial ingredients your dog can enjoy. Feel free to use this list as a guide and get creative with additional ingredients that you think your furry friend will love. 

 To create your own licking mat, follow these simple steps:

  1. Choose any of the dog-safe ingredients listed in this article.
  2. Spread a silicone mat or similar dog-friendly surface with the chosen ingredient.
  3. Use a spoon or spatula to evenly distribute the ingredient across the mat.
  4. For added texture and flavor, sprinkle some small dog-friendly food toppings on top of the ingredient.
  5. Place the mat in the freezer for a short period of time to help solidify the ingredients and make it more challenging for your dog.
  6. Once frozen, remove the mat from the freezer and give it to your pup to enjoy!

Note: Alternatively, to use a bowl, follow the steps above and add water, making sure the ingredients have been spread well on the sides and bottom of the bowl first. To ensure less mess, insert the bowl into a freezer bag before placing into the freezer. 

Remember to introduce new ingredients gradually and in moderation, observing how your dog reacts to them. Each dog is unique, so it's essential to consider any specific dietary needs or allergies they may have. And don't forget to clean the mat after each use to maintain hygiene.

Always supervise your dog while they are using the licking mat to ensure their safety. Experiment with different ingredients and combinations to find what your dog loves best. Enjoy the fun and interactive experience of creating a homemade licking mat for your furry friend!

So, no matter what type of dog you have, a licking mat can bring joy, relaxation, and mental stimulation to their lives. Give it a try and watch them lick their way to happiness! Your pup will thank you for this pawsome addition to their routine.

 

Your friends,

 

The Barkin' Bowtique Team

 

 

(Photo by Ayla Verschueren on Unsplash)

 

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