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Dog lick mats are one of the most popular puzzle-style feeder toys on the market, and it’s not hard to see why. They’re often regarded as good tools for tackling boredom, anxiety, and even dental health.
Experts agree that dog lick mats are a great way to provide a relaxing distraction for some dogs in potentially stressful situations, like during thunderstorms or when being groomed. But their popularity has led to a proliferation of styles and formats, making it hard to know which lick mat is best for your pup.
We’ve rounded up the best lick mats for dogs in a range of styles and explained what they’re good for to help you find a winner.
- Best All-Around Lick Mat: LickiMat Buddy Slow Feeder and Lick Mat
- Best Lick Mat for Anxiety: Hyper Pet IQ Lick Mat, Calm
- Longest-Lasting Lick Mat: Wobble Slow Feeder from LickiMat
- Best Lick Mat for Messy Eaters: Neater Pets Neat-LIK Pad & Tray
- Best Lick Mat for Bath Time: Aquapaw Suction Cup Lick Pad
- Best Lick Mat for Dental Cleaning: Mighty Paw Dog Lick Pad
- Best Beginner Lick Mat: Lick Lick Pad Dog Distraction Lick Mat
- Best Lick Mat for Chewers: LickiMat Tuff, Heavy-Duty Dog Lick Mat
- Best Lick Mat for Frozen Treats: Hyper Pet IQ Lick Mat, Banquet
Best All-Around Lick Mat: LickiMat Buddy Slow Feeder and Lick Mat
LickiMat is a popular brand for lick mats and offers a variety of sizes and textures. The LickiMat Buddy, in particular, offers a unique X-shaped pattern that creates a fun challenge for your pup. Pet parents give it high marks for its distraction power, saying it tends to keep their dogs busy for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on whether or not they freeze the treats on top.
Made from food-grade rubber, these mats are handwash only, but some reviewers say theirs have survived in the dishwasher (you might not want to chance it, though). For more patterns, LickiMat offers the Playdate and Soother. And for bigger breeds, the lick mats also come in extra-large sizes.
- X-shaped pattern
- High marks for long-lasting distraction power
- Extra-large size for bigger breeds
- Available in two other textures
Best Lick Mat for Anxiety: Hyper Pet IQ Lick Mat, Calm (Verified Review)
Designed with a tighter pattern, this “calm-style” lick mat by Hyper Pet creates more of a challenge for your pup—ultimately helping distract them from scary things and encouraging licking, a behavior some have identified as self-soothing. Several Rover test pups use this Hyper Pet mat to help with situational anxiety around things like thunderstorms and visitors.
At eight inches, this square mat is made of food-grade rubber that cleans up quickly in the sink (or dishwasher) and can be easily stored when not in use. You can also put it in the freezer to make the spread last longer or pop it in the microwave if your pet finds warm treats enticing.
While it’s grippy, it doesn’t have suction cups on the bottom—so pet parents with especially energetic lickers may want to prioritize a mat that attaches to the floor.
- Microwave safe
- Top-rack dishwasher safe
Longest-Lasting Lick Mat: Wobble Slow Feeder from LickiMat
Need a lick mat that lasts longer? This bowl-style option provides the challenge of a lick mat and the joy of a puzzle toy in one. Since it doesn’t sit flat, dogs have to work a little harder to get out all of the goodies inside. Multiple reviewers have noted that it drags mealtime out to at least 30 minutes, and the bowl shape is good for chunkier foods.
It also has versatility on its side; it can be made simpler (and more stationary) if you turn it inside out and set it up like a dome—a better choice for spreadable treats and dogs not ready for the challenge of a wobbling feeder.
- Made from safe, recyclable, natural rubber
- Bowl can be reversed for a fun new challenge
- Dishwasher safe
Best Lick Mat for Messy Eaters: Neater Pets Neat-LIK Pad & Tray
For pups whose enthusiasm can’t be confined to the edges of the mat, this Neat-Lik pad comes with a protective tray that fits along the outside to keep your pup from making a mess all over your floor. It also acts as an added layer of defense to stop your pup from chewing on it or dragging it around the house, making it a good choice for power chewers and bowl shakers.
- The tray features two grab tabs for easy removal
- Top-rack dishwasher safe
- Made of food-safe, non-toxic TPE that’s also recyclable
Best Lick Mat for Bath Time: Aquapaw Suction Cup Lick Pad (Verified Review)
This Aquapaw lick mat for dogs has a suction cup on the back, allowing you to use it on vertical surfaces like shower walls and car windows. It comes in handy during grooming or bath time, as a Rover test pup discovered, since it keeps a dog on their feet and focused elsewhere while you work.
The treater is made of molded silicone with a recessed center filled with nubs. Though it’s on the smaller end, it still provides a good challenge. And we like that this one can be used to help combat a pup’s bath-time anxiety or even trips to the vet.
- A triangle shape features suction cups on each corner
- Made of 100% FDA-grade silicone
- Can be paired with the Aquapaw shower sprayer/scrubber
Best Lick Mat for Dental Cleaning: Mighty Paw Dog Lick Pad
Lick mats can’t replace your dog’s regular toothbrushing, but they can be a nice supplement to help with dental health by scraping your pup’s front teeth and increasing the production of saliva, which in turn can help clean the tongue, teeth, and gums.
With four different quadrants, this lick mat offers a variety of textures that maximize scraping potential and offer differing degrees of difficulty to suit your pup’s mood—or how long you’d like them to be occupied.
- Made with BPA-free silicone
- Includes super strong suction cups on the bottom
- Dishwasher safe, 9″ x 5″ design
Best Beginner Lick Mat: Lick Lick Pad Dog Distraction Lick Mat
Sometimes learning a new form of enrichment can be frustrating for pups, so it’s important to start off easy and make sure they’re successful and having fun. This bone-shaped lick mat is great for beginners, since the texture is open enough for dogs to easily remove the food inside. It’s also designed to stick directly to flat surfaces like tile, porcelain, granite, and glass—making it more secure and less of a wobbly challenge for your pup.
- Made of 100% food-grade silicone
- Comes with a cute positive affirmation for your dog
- Sticks to flat and shiny surfaces; no suction needed
Best Lick Mat for Chewers: LickiMat Tuff, Heavy-Duty Dog Lick Mat
No lick mat will hold up to a truly determined power chewer, but if you have a rambunctious puppy with razor teeth or an excited dog who gets a little rowdy with their lick mats, the Tuff series is a good option. This chew-resistant design welds together two layers—a soft-grade TPR rubber and a human-grade polypropylene—for extra strength.
- Non-slip rubber feet
- Dishwasher safe
- Comes in three designs with different textures
Best Lick Mat for Frozen Treats: Hyper Pet IQ Treat Mat, Banquet
Frozen treats are an excellent way to prolong tasty distractions for your dog, and this lick mat makes it easy to prepare ahead of time with its deeper ridges that can hold more options in place. Fill it with peanut butter, yogurt, or dog-safe fruits and veggies, then pop it in your freezer for a few hours—it’ll be ready for action when your dog needs an activity or you need a moment to relax.
Designed with two textures—raised areas and deeper grooves—this lick mat can be used for both wet and dry food.
- Multi-textured lick mat
- Deep grooves help hold a variety of food in place
- Raised areas add challenge
- Freezer, microwave, and dishwasher safe
Dog lick mats come in all shapes and sizes, offering mental enrichment for pups and a much-needed breather for pet parents. They can be used in a variety of scenarios depending on your and your pup’s needs. For example:
- Are you introducing a lick mat for the first time? Choose a flat pad with a simple design and texture to make it easy and fun for your pup as they get used to the concept.
- What do you plan on putting in your lick mat? If it’s thick and has sticking power (like peanut butter), a mat is a good option. But if it’s a little messier, or you’re trying to put a wet- or fresh-food dinner in one, consider a bowl-style feeder or one with a protective tray.
- Do you need maximum distraction power? Try a close-textured lick mat that will be more of a challenge and take your pup longer to work through.
- Are you looking for a solution for bath time or nail trimming? Try a suction-cup lick mat that sticks to the wall so it won’t get wet or sudsy, and your pup will stay standing in an optimal grooming or washing position.
- Do you want to encourage slower eating habits? Choose a lick mat that has different sections to keep them interested. You can also freeze your meal on top of the pad to really slow things down. Just make sure your lick mat is freezer-friendly!
How We Chose Our Lick Mats
The lick mats featured here were selected based on a combination of our own hands-on testing, a comprehensive look at customer reviews across a wide variety of retail platforms, and interviews with veterinary experts. We selected these lick mats based on qualities like durability, texture, and versatility. We’re also guided by the experience of living and playing alongside our own much-loved and strongly opinionated pets, who are never stingy with their feedback.