Tips & Tricks

7 Clever Ways to Make a Lick Mat Treat Last Longer for Your Dog

dog lick the lick mat on floor

If you’ve ever given your dog a lick mat loaded with delicious treats, you know just how quickly those clever canines can make it disappear into their bellies. Lick mats are a great way to keep your pup entertained, stimulated, and satisfied for a while – if you use the right tricks to extend the fun.

With a few clever tips and tricks, you can turn that lick mat into a longer-lasting source of mental enrichment for your furry friend.

Let’s dive into the details!

RELATED: How to Clean a Dog Lick Mat?

1. Choose the Right Lick Mat Texture

The texture and pattern of the lick mat itself plays a big role in how long a treat lasts. In general, the more complex and crevice-filled the surface design, the longer it will take your dog to get every last lick.

So, look for lick mats with intricate designs like small bumps, grooves, or even maze-like patterns. These textured surfaces hold the treat in place, forcing your dog to work a little harder (and longer) to reach every yummy bit. It’s like a fun puzzle for their taste buds, keeping them entertained for ages!


2. Spread Treats in a Thin Layer

It’s tempting to spread a thick layer of peanut butter or other treat onto the mat for maximum flavor impact. But this actually lets your dog finish it off faster.

Instead, spread the treat in a very thin, even layer across the entire surface. It turns the lick mat into a giant treasure hunt for your dog. They’ll have to work a little harder (and longer!) to reach every yummy bit, stretching out their playtime and keeping them mentally stimulated.

3. Freeze it For a Frosty Challenge

Frozen treats are one of the most effective ways to extend lick mat playtime and double as a cool summer treat. Simply spread your dog’s favorite spreadable reward like peanut butter, mashed sweet potato, or pumpkin puree onto the mat. Then, put it in the freezer for a few hours.

The frozen texture will transform the lick mat into a chilly challenge for your pup. It’ll take them much longer to lick through the frozen goodness compared to a room-temperature treat, keeping them cool, entertained, and mentally stimulated for an extended period. It’s a win-win for both of you!


4. Pick Sticky or Thick Textures

Another tried-and-true method to extend lick mat playtime is to opt for denser and stickier textures: the Stickier, the Slower.

Treats like sticky peanut butter, thick mashed sweet potatoes, or plain Greek yogurt will adhere more stubbornly to the mat’s surface than runny options like broth or very thinned-out pumpkin puree. The more the treat “sticks” to the mat, the harder your dog has to work and the longer it lasts.

You can also use thinner liquid treats, but mix in a thickener like a spoonful of canned pumpkin or plain yogurt to add some heft. A little goes a long way in creating an irresistibly gooey, lick-worthy texture.

5. Layer Different Textures

For maximum mental engagement and treat longevity, get creative by layering different textures on the mat. Start with a thinner, easy-to-lick treat like mashed banana, or blueberries spread in a light layer on the bottom. Then top it with a thicker, stickier layer like frozen pumpkin puree or a mashed sweet potato mixed with peanut butter.

For an extra twist, you can even sprinkle some kibble or other crunchy treats on top. The varied layers and textures keep your pup intrigued and engaged as they joyfully work through all the different flavors and mouth feels.

6. Add Some Kibbles

Kibble isn’t just for boring bowls anymore! You can add it to your lick mat for a fun and crunchy surprise.

Spread the sticky stuff first, then press pieces of your dog’s dry kibble into the surface here and there. Your dog will have to really work to dislodge those crunchy bites from the gooey treat layer for an extra challenge.

I like to let my dog lick for a bit to “earn” a few of the exposed kibble pieces, then re-bury more to keep him motivated to keep on licking until the very end.

dog beach summer

Final Words

With these simple tips and textures at your fingertips, you can turn a humble lick mat into a truly long-lasting source of entertainment, enrichment, and satisfaction for your dog.

So next time you need to keep your pup entertained, grab your lick mat and get creative!

You Might Also Like


About Zelda D.Nelson

As a lifelong dog lover and proud mom to two energetic rescue pups, I know firsthand how important puzzle toys are for providing dogs with much-needed mental and physical stimulation. After over a decade of experience raising well-adjusted, happy dogs, I joined the Loobani Pet team to help other pet parents discover the joy and benefits of dog puzzles. Through my work at Loobani Pet, I've become an expert on the ins and outs of various interactive dog toys. My goal is to simplify the selection process so you can easily pinpoint the perfect puzzles to match your pup's needs and lifestyle. Whether you need a toy to challenge your brainy breed, keep your power chewer occupied, or simply provide some rainy day fun, I've got you covered.