I found myself seeking more boredom busters and ways to cool down my dogs this summer beyond the typical Kong filled with peanut butter. I was specifically looking for something that would suit my chihuahua, Diego, since the Kong was typically very difficult for him to use. Enter...the LickiMat! When we started to stock these in our store, I instantly bought two to test on my dogs! The two products I've bought were the LickiMat SlowMo Feeder and the LickiMat Tuff Playdate. Now that I've comfortably used both products, I've loved them so much I bought two more of each!
The LickiMat was designed by veterinarians who were looking for a product that could have multiple functions such as relieving anxiety, conquering boredom, improve dental hygiene, and encourage slower eating for dogs and cats! The LickiMat website claims that after 3 to 4 days of consistent use of the LickiMat, they noticed an improvement of breath! LickiMat also claims that the physical licking action helps release a calming hormone in both dogs and cats. LickiMat's website is filled with fantastic information about their various products and as well as recipes that you can try out at home!
Compared to the Kong, the LickiMat is flat - literally a mat! The SlowMo Feeder has two types of textures: two corners have deep sockets while the other two corners have protruding bumps. The Tuff Playdate is one consistent texture of sunken squares that span across the entire front of the product. On the Tuff Playdate, there are small rubber circles that act as little feet on all four corners. Both of these LickiMat products have a ton of wonderful features such as:
Both products have their strengths that are achieved by their unique shapes, so I felt it was only fair to split this review into two sections: Thoughts on the LickiMat SlowMo Feeder and Thoughts on the LickiMat Tuff Playdate. Let's jump right into the reviews!
Off the bat, I love the two different sections of this LickiMat. I've found that the bumpy side is perfect for thicker treats such as peanut butter, ice cream, cottage cheese, etc. The other two corners are great for putting tiny pieces of treats and any liquid I'm including like goat's milk and bone broth. It seems that my bigger dog, Zoey, is a bigger fan of the SlowMo Feeder than my little dog. I think she likes the variety that this LickiMat provides, and because of the different textures, I try to give a variety of treats.
I have no complaints about this LickiMat! It has withheld wonderfully in the dishwasher, though it is more difficult to wash by hand than the Tuff Playdate. This product continues to stay really flat and even though my dogs have chewed the sides, I don't see any teeth marks nor any damage.
My initial thoughts on this LickiMat is that the uniform design made it perfect for liquid treats like goat's milk and bone broth, and was also really easy for my senior chihuahua to use. Since he's on the littler side, he seems to appreciate how level this LickiMat is, as opposed to the different levels on the LickiMat SlowMo Feeder. For Diego, it seems to be easier for him to be able to eat the treats I put on there.
My favorite part of this LickiMat is actually the small rubber feet underneath! Diego doesn't have any teeth, and thus goes all around this LickiMat to really try to dig into the treats. No matter how hard he pushes it around, this mat doesn't budge! He is able to move the SlowMo Feeder if he pushes hard enough, but I have yet to see him push around the Tuff Playdate. If you need extra support, I would recommend getting a rubber mat to place underneath!
I only have one small complaint, although I'm not sure if this is even a complaint but rather an observation. I'm not sure if this will be the case for you, but both of my LickiMat Tuff Playdate have curved so that the top side is curved upwards. I'm not sure if this is from washing it in the dishwasher? It has not affected the ability to use this LickiMat, but when I put it in the freezer, I do have to worry that the liquid won't spill out on the sides. When I push down on the center, it is able to move down but it pops right back up to show that curve. Again, it has not affected my use of this product - it is just something to look out for!
Would I repurchase these LickiMats again? YES! Whether you're looking to occupy your dog for a while, redirect destructive behavior when you leave them alone, or want a new way to deliver your pet's food and treats, look no further than the LickiMat! While neither of my dogs are tough chewers, you can feel the quality of the LickiMats, especially the Tuff Playdate! I look forward to future LickiMat products.
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