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Best Lick Mats for Dogs

Updated: 1 day ago

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Lick mats are a simple, cheap yet innovative idea to keep your dog entertained for hours. These so called 'boredom busters' consist of a patterned mat designed to spread your dog’s favourite treat or food on.

A dog licking an orange dog lickmat to reduce anxiety

Admittedly we were extremely sceptical that these little mats could hold our dog's attention for any length of time. We were so wrong !

We put a whole variety of lick mat styles through testing. We'll tell you best we can, which styles suit which food types, which kept our dogs interest the longest and importantly how easy they were to clean. You can then decide which suits your dog most.

Lastly we'll look at what food to put on lick mats and offer some tried and tested toppings which are bound to get the paw prints of approval.

Here's your go-to guide for the best lick mats on the UK market. Hand picked by us and sure to get those tails wagging


Buying Guide for Dog Lick Mats

Our Picks of the Best Lick Mats

1. Best Lick Mat Overall - SodaPup eMat

2. Best for Chunky Foods - Lickimat Playdate

3. Best Enrichment Tray - SodaPup Mandala

4. Best for Anxious Dogs - Lickimat Soother

5. Best Dog Lick Mat Bundle - Pets Purest

Tempting Toppers

Our Featured Foods & Supplements

Benefits of a Dog Lick Mat

dog paw graphic

Buying Guide for Dog Lick Mats

Dog with lickmat and toppings

Lick Mats are available in a collection of styles, surface textures and shapes to suit different dogs, their needs and their diet.


The standard mats measure approximately 20cm x 20cm (size of a plate). If you have a very large or greedy dog consider a deeper tray.


The raised designs differ from mat to mat. Some work better with runny topping such as peanut butter or yoghurt. Other designs have deeper holes and ridges to hold chunkier food such as fruit pieces, kibble and raw dog food.

We'll indicate which designs suit which types of food.


We found that the deeper groove designs were trickier to clean. We definitely recommend cleaning immediately after use before any remnants of food dry on.

Ideally they should be dishwasher proof to take the hassle out of cleaning. We'll indicate whether each design is dishwasher proof or needs to be cleaned by hand.

dog paw graphic

Our Picks of the Best Lick Mats

1. Best Dog Lick Mat Overall

SodaPup eMat

Specifications : Size: 20cm diameter | Design: deep & shallow troughs | Cleaning: Dishwasher safe | Food Type : All

Reasons to Buy

+ Combination of compartment sizes

+ Suitable for a range of foods

+ Dishwasher & freezer safe

+ Suction cups for vertical use

+ Range of designs available

Reasons to Avoid

- If you want a lick mat for soothing only

- Pricier than a Lickimat option

SodaPup Whale lick mat

Our overall favourite lick mat has to be the Whale eMat from SodaPup.

Why? Because it's a triumph of good quality meets cute aesthetics !

Like all the beautifully designed products in the SodaPup range, the Whale eMat (enrichment mat) has been created to combine superior functionality with a fun and interesting design.

This mats pattern has a combination of larger compartments which are perfect for trapping chunkier foods alongside some nodules which encourage a repetitive licking motion to soothe your dog in stressful situations.

The smaller, deeper 'wave' compartments make this mat harder for your dog to lick clean than some of the other designs featured in our review.

SodaPup blue lick mat with toppings

Ultimately this means that the Whale eMat will keep your dog busier for longer.

What's more, this lick mat design has suction cups on the back, so you can stick it to the bath for hassle free bathing or to a kitchen cupboard for vertical licking.

Perfect for young puppies trying out bath time for the first time, this lick mat can help you turn it into a really positive experience.

Yes, we admit that you could simply smear peanut butter on the bath itself, but trust us, it's a real pain to clean off.

This mat is dishwasher safe (top rack) although we'd recommend a quick brush immediately after use so the food doesn't get stuck in hard to reach places. You can also load it up and place in the freezer to offer a refreshing snack on a warm day.

Not convinced by the whale design ? SodaPup offer an extensive range of lick mats or Emat designs


2. Best for Chunky Foods

LickiMat Playdate

Specifications : Size: 20cm x 20cm | Design: square troughs | Cleaning: Hand wash | Food Type : raw and chunkier foods

Reasons to Buy

+ Traps food well

+ Perfect for chunky pieces

+ Great value

+ Freezer safe

Reasons to Avoid

- If you want a lick mat for soothing only

- Hand wash only

Lickimat Playdate in orange

The LickiMat Playdate design has deep, even troughs to help grip and trap chunky treats such as raw or fresh dog food, fruit pieces or kibble.

Ideal for dogs on a raw or fresh diet, once filled this mat can hold your dogs attention for a really long time so great for distraction purposes.

We found that this mat design holds runny foods such as yoghurt and peanut butter a little bit too well.

It can be tricky to spread a small amount right across the whole surface of the mat.

With a slightly large surface area than the SodaPup Whale design, it's constructed from a softer rubber so was less stable.

Therefore we found it tricker to slide into the freezer without spilling some of the toppings.

The original playdate design needs to be hand washed although Lickimat now offer a Tuff version of most of their designs. The Tuff version is both chew resistant and dishwasher safe.

We think that the Lickimat Playdate is a well designed lick mat if your main aim is to slow your dog down rather than dealing with anxiety.


3. Best Enrichment Tray

SodaPup Mandala

Specifications : Size: 20cm diameter | Design: varying trough depths | Cleaning: Dishwasher Safe | Food Type : All

Reasons to Buy

+ Slow Feeder/ Lick Mat combination

+ Large individual chambers

+ Dishwasher proof

+ Freezer safe

Reasons to Avoid

- If you want a lick mat for soothing only

- More expensive option

SodaPup Mandala eTray in purple

The second SodaPup product to feature in our review is their beautiful Mandala eTray.

With it's much deeper compartments, the Mandala eTray combines the benefits of lick mats with the benefits of slow feeder bowls.

The design offers compartments in a range of depths and sizes to encourage your dog to forage for their food.

It's an ideal option if you're looking to feed a combination of wet and dry foods as you can separate them in different compartments for less mess.

It aims to keep your dog busy but is easy enough that they won't become frustrated.

Dog with Mandala eTray from Sodapup

It's worth noting that this design doesn't include the softer raised bumpy design which offers extra tongue stimulation like the LickiMat soother featured next, however it does offer tiny pockets to encourage repetitive licking.

If you have a greedy guzzler, the mandala eTray makes an excellent slow feeding bowl, so you could opt to feed your dog complete meals from this eTray.

We adore this popular combination of lick mat and slow feeder. Whilst SodaPup have a host of eTray designs, we found the Mandala easy to fill and easy to clean.


4. Best for Anxious Dogs

LickiMat Soother

Specifications : Size: 20cm diameter | Design: shallow | Cleaning: Hand wash only | Food Type : Soft & Runny

Reasons to Buy

+ Ideal for anxious dogs

+ Works well with soft treats

+ Great value

Reasons to Avoid

- Easy to complete

- More expensive option

Lickimat Soother for anxious dogs

The LickiMat Soother has been designed with a slightly raised bumpy design, a bit like tiny bristles all over the surface.

Its main aim is to simply encourage a repetitive licking motion to soothe your dog immediately in stressful situations.

As a bonus, the licking action itself generates saliva that helps protect your dog's teeth and gums, and aids digestion.

So if you're looking for a tool to help with separation anxiety, fireworks or thunder we thoroughly recommend the Soother mat.

Perfect for soft foods and even liquids we like to use it with yoghurt or a little peanut butter. Due to the very shallow design, it holds less food so will hold your dogs attention for less time.

This design definitely traps the food less than the other deeper grooved designs, so not ideal if you're looking to pair your lick mat with dry food.

4. Best Dog Lick Mat Bundle

Pets Purest


Specifications : Size: 19cm x 19cm | Design: Raised pattern | Cleaning: Dishwasher safe | Food Type : All

Reasons to Buy

+ Quick to use

+ Works well with a range of food

+ Bundle savings

Reasons to Avoid

- If your dog doesn't like peanut butter

Peanut Butter and lick mat bundle from Pets Purest

Pets Purest offer a great value lick mat and peanut butter bundle.

The cute lick mat measuring 19cm x 19cm, is designed with a raised dog and cat pattern.

As well as looking good, the ridges are fairly deep (1/2 cm) so can trap a variety of food from smooth peanut butter to more chunky fruit, veg and raw dog food.

What's more it's made from 100% recycled materials, as well as being recyclable, so we think that ticks the eco-friendly boxes.

You can opt to just buy their lick mat, but it's the peanut butter bundle that caught our eye.

Peanut butter makes the best lick mat topper as it's incredibly quick and easy to spread. Pets Purest peanut butter has been formulated for dogs with 100% peanuts, no sugar, salt or xylitol (which is toxic to dogs).

Ultimately buying the lick mat & peanut butter bundle offers a significant saving on buying the products individually.

For 10% OFF their entire range, enter discount code WELCOME10 at checkout

dog paw graphic

Tempting Toppers

So what can you put on a lick mat for dogs?

The truth is that there are no firm rules about what foodstuffs you can add to a lick mat, but from experience there are some simple guidelines to follow.

Ideally you should apply a wet food first such as peanut butter (dog friendly), yoghurt or cream cheese. Spread this over the mat with a spoon or spatula so it can work its way into all the nooks and crannies on the patterned surface.

It can then act as a 'glue' for any drier foods you want to add such as kibble, pieces of fruit or vegetables.

During hot weather, lick mats are a perfect way to keep your four-legged friend cool. Simply add your toppings and then freeze for a while.

If you're interested, here are some of our tried and tested winning combinations :-

Loaded Dog Lickimat with yoghurt, strawberries and crushed kibble

Yoghurt, Kibble and Fruit

Yoghurt is a great base to help hold larger pieces of fruit and biscuit in place.

Dry kibble or a handful of dry training treats make an ideal topping. They can be added whole or broken into crumbs and sprinkled over the yoghurt.

If you have a fussy dog, the scents from a little yoghurt or peanut butter with the texture of the smashed kibble can make a meal much more appealing.

Wet & Dry Food

SodaPup lick mat with peanut butter and yoghurt toppings

What's on our mat ? 💭

🐳 Greek Yoghurt

🐳 Pets Purest Peanut Butter

Dog friendly & natural

🐳 Forthglade Complete Grain Free

Turkey with sweet potato & vegetables

🐳 Forthglade Cold Pressed Dry (crumbled)

🐳 Furr Boost

Hydration drink for dogs

🐳 Blueberries

A superfood rich in antioxidants

Dog Lickimat topped with banana, peanut butter and blueberries

Peanut Butter & Banana

If you have a greedy guzzler, fruits such as mashed banana can be spread over the surface to give your pooch more time to savour the taste rather than simply inhaling them straight from a bowl.

The LickiMat Playdate with its square pockets is ideal for trapping chunkier foods such as raw dog food, a few blueberries, chunky pieces of banana or even pieces of chicken.

Dog lickimat topped with mince and carrot

What's on our tray ? 💭

🥚 Egg

🍗 Forthglade Cold Pressed Dry

🍓 Strawberry

🍃 Spinach

🐳 Furr Boost - Hydration Drink for Dogs

🦷 Pets Purest Plaque Pro -

Natural plaque & tartar remover

🦴 Yumi Dogs - Tasty Vitamin Chew (Joints)

🍗 Forthglade Complete Grain Free -

Turkey with sweet potato & vegetables

🦴 Fetch Club Shop -

Lamb shoulder strips from their Natural treat range

dog paw graphic

Our Featured Foods & Supplements

You may be interested in some of the dog foods and supplements we've featured in our Lick Mat article.

Pets Purest dog friendly Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter for Dogs

Pets Purest peanut butter is made specifically for dogs with all natural ingredients. In fact it's 100% roasted peanuts with no palm oil or xylitol in sight ! So better for the environment and your dog.

For 10% OFF their entire range, enter discount code WELCOME10 at checkout

Furr Boost dog health drink

Furr Boost

As well as being incredibly hydrating, Furr Boost can help with your dog's skin and coat, digestion, immunity, anxiety and metabolism, so is an all round tonic. Great in the summer to encourage your four-legged friend to stay hydrated.

Forthglade dry dog food

Forthglade Cold Pressed Food

Forthglade are one of the most premium, but affordable dog food brands on the market. So if you're looking for a high quality kibble from a UK company, which is easy on the pocket, we would recommend Forthglade's Cold Pressed food.

For 15% off the entire Forthglade range (excluding taster packs) enter SMARTBARK15 at checkout

Forthglade wet dog food toppers

Forthglade Wet Food

Awarded the Best Wet Dog Food in 2023 in Your Dog Magazine, voted for by readers, Forthglade's Complete Grain Free wet food is highly nutritious and makes a great topper for dry foods.

For 15% off the entire Forthglade range (excluding taster packs) enter SMARTBARK15 at checkout

Yumi Dogs vitamins

Yumi Dogs

A range of three healthy vitamin chews with all natural ingredients and better still all made right here in the UK. Ideal for picky pups who seem able to spot a tablet at 100yds!

Plaque Pro for dogs

Pets Purest Plaque Pro

A natural plaque & tartar remover, Pets Purest Plaque Pro can be added directly to your dog's food. A single ingredient - Seaweed, is known to keep your dog's teeth clean and can minimise bad dog breath naturally.

For 10% OFF their entire range, enter discount code WELCOME10 at checkout

Natural dog treats by Fetch Club

Fetch Club Shop

Fetch Club are a small homegrown company offering an extensive range of natural and highly nutritious dog treats all sourced right here in the UK. Natural dog treats are a great option. Not only are they a healthier alternative for our dogs but they taste better too.

For 10% off the entire range at Fetch Club, enter coupon code SMARTBARK at checkout.

dog paw graphic

Benefits of a Dog Lick Mat

The first thing to say is that a lick mat for dogs is one of the cheapest dog enrichment options on the market and you get so many benefits for very little investment it's definitely worth adding one to your dog box.

Dog with a Lickimat dog food mat

On a basic level, it's simply a fun (and very tasty) game for your dog as they work around the mat to seek out every last titbit with their tongue. But there are a host of hidden advantages for you and your dog :-

✅ Enhances your dog’s mental state as the mat design challenges and exercise your dog's brain.

✅ Promotes calm behaviour and reduces anxiety especially in stressful times such as being left on their own or during fireworks.

Repetitive licking has been proven to soothe your dog as the motion gradually releases a calming hormone into their body.

An incredibly useful distraction for puppies while you need to do jobs around the home. Really need to clean the bathroom or sort the laundry ? What you need my friend is a lick mat.

Have you got a fussy eater? Interestingly, some fussy dogs don't like eating their food from a bowl. Sensitive dogs prefer shallow bowls or plates, which enable them to keep an eye on their environment whilst eating.

Stimulating saliva production which can help clean their tongue, teeth and gums keeping plaque at bay.

So as you can see, major reasons why this a lick mat deserves a place in your dog's life.

dog paw graphic

Almost all our products are sent to us by the companies involved and almost always as a result of our request. We only review the products we think are worth reviewing.

Thanks for dropping by and reading our Best Lick Mats for Dogs Guide - Freddie loved helping to research, test and photograph this article

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