Cover image courtesy of LickiMat Singapore
Most of us have always fed our pets using traditional dog or cat bowl, or sometimes little saucers. These silicone mats may look like something else we have in our kitchens (to place a hot pan on?), but check out how they might be beneficial to your pets during meal and treat-time!
1. Slow down, kitty!
While many pets are food motivated, some really take it to the extreme by gobbling down their food without stopping to chew or taste it! Owners familiar with this kind of table manners may also know that these pets sometimes regurgitate the entire meal soon after. Spreading soft food over a flat, textured feeding device like the Lickimat forces a greedy pet to slow down and savour their food so that their stomach has more time to receive and digest the meal.
For cats fed dry kibble, this type of LickiMat can also prevent mouthfuls of biscuits being "inhaled" at once!
2. Mental stimulation
When your pet eats food from a LickiMat, their tongues experience new and unusual sensations compared to a traditional smooth-bottomed bowl. The tongue is full of sensory nerve endings, and using their tongues often is a big part of dog and cat life (think of how much they groom themselves!), so experiencing alternative stimuli with their tongues can be mentally stimulating for them.
Additionally, since our pets no longer have to spend much effort finding and hunting for their food, this kind of "foraging" mat helps to prolong mealtime to a more natural, extended duration.
Modern living often means pet owners are out of the house for many hours to work and attend to other hooman chores. Pets should be given sufficient activity options when left alone at home, to prevent destructive behaviour, separation anxiety, and general boredom which can be harmful for their mental health. The right combination of treats and Lickimat surfaces can serve as a rewarding activity to keep your pet occupied for some time while you head out to run your errands.
Always be sure to thoroughly clean up any food and water devices you use for your pets, using human food-grade dishwashing soap and a sponge or brush to remove food residue and biofilm between meals. If your pet loves LickiMat time, do also ensure to keep an eye on their total calorie intake every day. As with humans, snacking should be balanced by an active lifestyle to maintain a healthy body weight.
LickiMats are a challenge/reward-based treat delivery system that engages pets over a long period of time while only delivering small portions of their favorite treat. They are designed to deliver a medical free way to promote calm behavior in your pet while home alone or during stressful times, like storms.