- April Schrader, CPDT-KA
Top 5 Delicious & Healthy Lick Mat Toppings for Dogs
Just like us humans dogs love to snack and what better way to enjoy a snack than on a lick mat. Licking releases endorphins in your dogs brain which has a calming effect, making it the perfect late night snack to help your dog settle.
However it is really important to give your dog healthy foods. Too many unhealthy snacks can lead to obesity, plethora of health issues and a diminished quality of life.
So what are some simple, healthy, and spreadable foods to incorporate into your lick mat routine? Here are some of our favorites...
Peanut butter is a excellent source of protein for dogs, it contains heart healthy fats, vitamin B, Vitamin E and Niacin. It also contains folic acid which aids in cell growth and magnesium which helps cells metabolize B complex vitamins. Aside from PB's health benefits, it is a great way to bind other food to the lick mat making it a longer lasting treat.
Canned dog food
Canned dog food is in many ways superior to kibble, as they typically contain more meat protein than dry food. They are also made with fewer carbohydrates which dogs do not have a dietary requirement for. Canned foods do not contain synthetic preservatives, artificial flavorings or coloring. Canned foods contain meats which are closer to their natural state making them more palatable and appetizing for your dog. they also contain more moisture and can benefit dogs who do not tend to drink a lot of water.
Pumpkin is a member of the squash family and is an excellent source of fiber, beta carotene, vitamin E, potassium and vitamin A. Pumpkin helps keep the GI tract moving as well as helps aid in digestion issues. Pumpkin can benefit your dogs eyes, immune system, skin and coat, aid in weight loss, and can help keep your dog hydrated.
Fish is a healthy source of protein that is easily digestible, it is also a wonderful source of omega-3 fatty acids which can help with decreasing inflammation. Fish is a great alternative for dogs with allergies to chicken, pork or beef. It is greatly beneficial for dogs who may be struggling to keep the pounds off because it is low in saturated fats and empty calories. Fish provides your dog with minerals such as calcium, magnesium, selenium, zinc, phosphorous, iodine and iron. Fish has many health benefits when it comes to your dogs eyes, skin and coat, immune system, joint and dental health.
Mashed Cooked Carrots
Carrots are a low fat, low calorie treat making it a great treat for dogs who have dietary restrictions. Carrots are high in soluble fiber, 9 baby carrots has 2 grams of fiber. Carrots have even been known to firm up loose stool for dogs with digestive issues. They also contain beta-carotene which is a carotenoid that is an antioxidant and a precursor to Vitamin A. Vitamin A not only supports your dogs eye health, it helps support a healthy immune system and skin/coat.
Healthy Snacks are Important
Dogs are much like us, if they do not feel well physically it will take a toll on their overall health. Food affects the way dogs think, feel, look, act and behave, it is very difficult to be happy and healthy with snacks that do not prioritize a health and longevity.