The 6 Best Lick Mats for Dogs in 2023

Entertain your dog by redirecting their focus to a food they can't resist

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Might Paw Dog Lick Pad

Might Paw

A lick mat is a surface, typically around the size of a plate, with patterned nubs (silicone, plastic, or rubber). It can be used to calm your dog—offering a stimulating surface to interact with—or as a way to serve them treats with a side of enrichment. By spreading a soft snack onto the mat, your dog will be drawn to interact with the mat, licking and searching around the knobby obstacles. A lick mat can be an excellent supplement to a slow feeder bowl, encouraging dogs who eat too fast to slow down.

“Lick mats can benefit multiple types of dogs,” says Dr. Laura Robinson, a veterinarian and medical advisor to Pawp. “Licking has an anti-anxiety effect on dogs, so it can be helpful for dogs prone to anxiety. It can also be used as a distraction for stressful situations such as strangers in the home, vet visits, and grooming appointments.”

Our favorite lick mat is the Mighty Paw Dog Lick Pad, which is made from food-grade silicone, has heavy-duty suction cups for sticking to any surface, and provides four different interactive textures for your dog to lick. But there are several other lick mats we also love, which might suit your dog even better.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall

Mighty Paw Dog Lick Pad

Mighty Paw Dog Lick Pad


What We Like
  • Four-in-one style mat

  • Food-safe quality silicone

  • Easy to clean between uses

What We Don't Like
  • Teething puppies may chew material

  • Size is smaller than most other mats

There are so many different patterns on dog lick mats that aim to target a dog’s specific needs. For example, different patterns are intended to help with anxiety, provide a distraction, help with play, or even provide easy feeding. This lick pad from Mighty Paw is our top pick because it has four separate quadrants that all target different needs. 

One area is made of a large waffle pattern that allows for easy licking, while another features densely packed nubs which means your dog will have to work harder and longer to lick up their food, which provides a great distraction. 

The mat is made out of food-safe quality silicone that measures nine by six inches. It also features dozens of suction cups on the back to help keep it in place. You can try out each section, one at a time, or cover the whole mat in food and let your dog enjoy the challenge that each quadrant brings to their mealtime.

Price at time of publish: $15

Material: Silicone | Dimensions: 9 x 6 inches | Dishwasher Safe: Yes

Best for Anxious Dogs

Hyper Pet IQ Treat Mats 2 Pack

Hyper Pet IQ Treat Mats 2 Pack


What We Like
  • Helps reduce anxiety

  • Keeps dogs and cats occupied

  • Dishwasher safe

What We Don't Like
  • No bottom suction cups

  • Some dogs may finish licking up food too quickly

An important part of picking out a lick mat is to make sure that your dog likes the pattern of the mat, so this two-pack comes in handy. It comes with two separate patterns so you can test which pattern your dog likes better or if you have two dogs, then both dogs can get in on the fun. 

The two-pack comes with two mats that each measure eight by eight inches. If you have a larger dog at home, you may want to consider the bigger version which measures is eleven by eleven inches but sold individually instead of as a duo. These lick mats are made out of FDA-grade TPE, a type of plastic that acts like rubber. This type of plastic is safe to freeze, microwave, and clean in a dishwasher.

Price at time of publish: $15 (pack of two, small/medium)

Material: Plastic| Dimensions: 8 x 8 inches (small/medium), 11 x 11 inches (large) | Dishwasher Safe: Yes

Best For Bathtime

Aquapaw Slow Treater

Aquapaw Slow Treater


What We Like
  • Stick it to the floor with suction cups

  • Great dog entertainment while grooming

  • Can be frozen

What We Don't Like
  • Very large dogs may loosen the suction cups

Bath time can be particularly stressful for some dogs, and finding ways to keep them happily distracted during a bath can go a long way to getting you both through it. Equipped with suction cups, this mat lets you stick it on almost any smooth surface, including the tiles around your bathtub. 

Not only will it keep your pooch occupied while they are licking off their favorite treat, but it also means you are more likely to keep them facing the right way during their bath. 

This lick pad comes in two formations, a triangular mat that’s almost four inches across and a larger square-shaped mat measuring nine inches on all sides. These lick mats come off easily and can be moved almost anywhere. 

The depth of the pad means that you can pack in more of their favorite treat and extend the time it takes them to finish licking. These lick pads are made of silicone and are dishwasher-safe. You can even fill the lick pad and pop it in the freezer, so it takes your dog even longer to lick the mat clean.

Price at time of publish: $11 (triangular)

Material: Silicone | Dimensions: 3.6 x 3.6 x 0.35 inches (triangle), 9 x 9 x 0.75 inches (square) | Dishwasher Safe: Yes

Best For Puppies and Small Breeds

Lick Lick Pad

Lick Lick Pad


What We Like
  • Easy to clean and swap out food

  • Can stick to most surfaces

  • Smaller nubs are perfect for smaller dogs

What We Don't Like
  • Will not slow down larger dogs

If you have a smaller dog that doesn’t need as much food spread on their mat as larger dogs, then this may be the better choice for you and your small pal. It is made of silicone and sticks to most smooth, solid surfaces without using suction cups. 

The rectangular-shaped mat offers less surface space than larger square-shaped mats, and the nubs are more spread out and not as tall, meaning that they can be cleaned quickly and don’t take as much time to finish. That also means this pad is not ideal for larger dogs who are likely to finish quickly and return to whatever activity you were trying to distract them from.

Price at time of publish: $10

Material: Silicone | Dimensions: 9.5 x 4.5 inches | Dishwasher Safe: Yes

Best Durability

LickiMat Tuff

LickiMat Tuff


What We Like
  • Built with tough chewers in mind

  • Easy to clean and dishwasher safe

What We Don't Like
  • Aggressive lickers may break rubber nubs

Maybe you’ve tried other lick mats that didn’t quite hold up when your dog was really in the mood for food. Or perhaps you left an old mat uncleaned on the floor and found it ripped to shreds the next morning. Well, this might be the best mat for you and your more powerful pup. 

The mat is made out of tough human-grade rubber and is secured in a tough polypropylene casing. While you should always let your dog use this product with supervision, it is built to last longer and stand up better to teething puppies and heavy chewers. However, some very aggressive lickers were still able to snap off some of the rubber nubs. While non-toxic, it’s essential to check the mat after use to see if any tears or strain on the rubber are visible.

The mat measures a perfect square at almost eight inches on all sides and has four non-slip rubber feet to help hold it in place. This model comes with three different colors to choose from green, orange, and turquoise.

Price at time of publish: $17

Material: Silicone | Dimensions: 7.9 x 7.9 inches | Dishwasher Safe: Yes

Best Budget

LUKITO Licking Mat

Lick Mat


  • Various textures and surfaces

  • Spatula included

  • Comes in two sizes and a variety of colors

  • The stickiness of the suction cups may fade with repeated use

The Lukito Lick Mat gives you two lick mats and an extra spatula to help you spread food into each cranny and crevice. This moderately priced duo comes in two sizes and a variety of color combinations.

The convenience of two mats will allow you to keep one in the freezer while your dog starts licking the other, try out different foods, and see which surface your dog prefers. Plus, each mat has suction cups on the back to stick on a wall or floor, but the suction may fade with repeated use. The mats can be cleaned on the top shelf in a dishwasher, but handwashing is recommended to preserve the stickiness.

Price at time of publish: $10 (pack of two, small)

Material: Silicone | Dimensions: 6 x 6 x 0.24 inches (small), 7.87 x 7.87 x 0.31 inches (large) | Dishwasher Safe: Yes, but handwashing recommended

Final Verdict

The Mighty Paw Dog Lick Pad is our top choice because you can try out four different challenging mat patterns to see which one your dog prefers. It has an advantageous rectangular shape and numerous suction cups on the back to help it stay in place while your dog works that treat out of every little corner. If you are looking for a lower price point option, we recommend the Lukito Lick Mat. This package gives you two mats with two textures and even a dedicated spatula for spreading food into each nook.

What to Look for in Lick Mats

There are a lot of different sizes and varieties when it comes to lick mats. Some lick mats are better for smaller dogs than for big dogs. Some patterns are best for anxious dogs, while other patterns benefit fast eaters and food gobblers. There’s certainly a lot to choose from, and you’ll want to make sure you get the one that best fits your unique pooch. 

“You want to get one that will not slide around as the dog is licking,” says Dr. Robinson. “You also want to get a size-appropriate mat. For example, you do not want to get a large hungry dog a tiny mat, or he may just eat the whole thing—treats and mat.” 

Many of the different patterns on a lick mat benefit your dog in different ways. For example, a complicated pattern, like a series of “X” shapes, will challenge your dog to approach this puzzle in another way than they would approach a series of vertical nubs that are very close together. But ultimately, it is up to your dog to choose the type they like best, so try out new varieties and try to be flexible. Just because your dog might be feeling anxious doesn’t mean they will enjoy using the mat meant to reduce anxiety.

  • What are the best foods to use with a lick mat?

    The best foods to use on a lick mat are anything that can spread easily with a knife and doesn’t upset your dog’s tummy. Don’t use anything too solid, like dry dog food, or anything too runny that will drip out if you hang it on a wall. 

    “You want moist, wet types of food. Peanut butter is great; just make sure it does not contain xylitol,” explains Robinson. Xylitol is a sweetener that is used to replace sugar is extremely toxic to dogs, even in small amounts. So make sure to check the ingredients before offering it to your dog. 

    “You can also put canned dog food on it or non-fat yogurt,” says Robinson. “Pumpkin puree, non-fat cottage cheese, or mashed bananas also work.”

  • Are lick mats bad for some breeds?

    If you are considering a lick mat, it will come down to your dog’s age, eating style, and size. Overall, the breed isn’t as big of a factor for lick mats unless your dog’s breed is known for being really big. Big dogs or aggressive chewers can apply too much force, making the mat move across the floor (defeating its purpose if you were hoping to keep your pup still for grooming) or causing some of the nubs to come loose. 

    Puppies are notorious for chewing everything during their teething stage, which means they will likely tear chunks off the mat and potentially swallow them. So wait until your puppy grows up a little more and can better control themselves while eating.

  • Are lick mats a good alternative to treats?

    Lick mats are popular because they serve a very specific purpose that just giving your dog a treat can’t do. If you want to help your dog feel less anxious or stay still during grooming or nail trimming, a lick mat works better than a treat can.

    However, lick mats can be used as a treat and reward incentive. Every time your dog repeats a trick or action that you want them to do, you can absolutely bring out the lick mat as a reward. As they learn to associate the mat with yummy treats, it can become a significant motivator to learn something new or correct bad behavior.

Lick mats are popular because they serve a very specific purpose that just giving your dog a treat can’t do. If you want to help your dog feel less anxious or stay still during grooming or nail trimming, a lick mat works better than a treat can.

However, lick mats can be used as a treat and reward incentive. Every time your dog repeats a trick or action that you want them to do, you can absolutely bring out the lick mat as a reward. As they learn to associate the mat with yummy treats, it can become a significant motivator to learn something new or correct bad behavior. 

Why Trust The Spruce Pets?

This article was written by Steven Rowe, who has been a pet parent to two rescue beagles. Both beagles were retired research laboratory dogs and were adopted to give them a better life in their “retirement” years. Due to their history, both beagles were very nervous in their daily lives when they found themselves in new situations. Steven understands the importance of working with an anxious dog to help them calm themselves in a way specific to their individual needs.

When building this list, he always considered what products were best for his nervous pup and how dog-friendly and pet parent-friendly they were. He consulted numerous user reviews, interviewed a veterinarian, and compared product specs and manufacturer details even down to the quality of the mat’s material.

Article Sources
The Spruce Pets uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Paws Off Xylitol; It's Dangerous for Dogs. United States Food & Drug Administration.