What to Put in a Lickimat? Peanut Butter Alternatives

Toby loves his lickimats! They’re absolutely fantastic for killing energy, keeping him entertained and as a nice reward after a long day. When I fill my lickimats my go to is peanut butter. Peanut Butter is convenient, budget friendly and easy to add. However, there are some downsides to using peanut butter that I’ve come to notice… 


First off, allergies! Some people just cannot have peanuts in their life due to them or a family member being allergic. Along with this, some peanut butter brands are toxic to dogs… You heard me right, the beloved treat that dogs beg for can contain the chemical xylitol. Be sure to read the ingredients list on your peanut butter for the artificial sweetener called xylitol which can be toxic to your furry friend (try to avoid any artificial sweeteners). Also, peanut butter can be downright messy! Maybe I’m doing things wrong, but I always make a mess when I have peanut butter out (pretty sure I’m doing it wrong). Between the hard to clean aspect & the messiness alone I had to start seeking some new fillers for Toby’s lickimats.
 
Let’s start with something basic… Plain cream cheese, emphasis on the PLAIN part.  Cheese in general can be a fantastic addition to your pups diet in small quantities.  Containing calcium, essential fatty acids, Vitamins A & B along with protein. So just like it is for you and me, cheese and cream cheese can be a great snack for your dog.  However cheese also contains a high amount of fat, so you don’t want this to be your go to everyday. Otherwise health problems such as obesity can occur.  
 
Another great food to add to lickimats are bananas! Yes, we know bananas are actually solids, but they’re so easy to mash up that they’re definitely a go to for lickimats. Plus bananas are one of the fruits that are healthy for dogs too! (worried about what fruits you can & can’t feed your pooch? Head to this AKC blog link to find out more)  All you need to do is cut the banana into a few thin strips, lengthwise speeds the process up.  Then lie the strips across your lickimat and mash down with the back of a spoon.  I’ve found banana’s to be a bit more challenging than peanut butter for Toby, meaning it lasts longer.  Plus, they’re easier to clean (I’m stuck hand washing Toby’s Lickimats as I don’t have a dishwasher) when you’ve used bananas.  Again bananas should be given as a treat, not a part of your pups everyday diet.
 
One sure fire, easy to use, lickimat topper is canned pumpkin.  When Toby was a puppy I always had a can of pumpkin on hand just in case his tummy started to act up.  Pumpkin is an amazing treat for dogs that’s packed with nutrients and vitamins.  Along with this it helps with certain cases of the runs and definitely saved some carpets when Toby was a pup… Canned pumpkin can be found in the baking section of almost any grocery store however be observant as it’s usually very close to the pumpkin pie filling. DO NOT feed your dog pumpkin pie filling, this is extremely high in sugar and not a good treat for your dog.  Pure pumpkin on the other hand is highly beneficial & extremely easy to spread onto a lickimat.  Definitely a recommended topper for your pup.
What about yogurt? Yogurt is an easy to use spread that can definitely be a great treat for your pup.  However you need to be cautious (just like with anything you give your dog) because of different ingredients in each brand.  Look for a plain yogurt (not vanilla) that doesn’t contain too much sugar but also as zero artificial sweetener.  Artificial sweeteners and sugars can be unhealthy for humans and dogs.  Plus certain sweeteners are known to be very toxic for dogs (such as xylitol, which can be found in certain yogurt brands).  So once you’ve found your brand of yogurt, feel free to get your lickimat loaded up! I’ve found yogurt to be a simple food to add to the lickimat, plus it’s easy to clean and Toby loves it.
All in all, any malleable or spreadable food that’s safe for dogs is a fantastic addition to your lickimat.  A couple pro tips I’ve discovered are to freeze the lickimat before giving it to Toby.  This lets it last longer as he needs to defrost the contents first.  I also like to add a tiny bit of honey to the lickimat every now and then.  Although honey isn’t necessarily healthy for dogs, it is completely safe and in low quantities will add a nice flavour to your pups lickimat.  
Still stuck for an idea for your lickimat? Toby’s got a quick and easy peanut butter alternative that smells exactly like peanut butter! His lick mix is 100% dehydrated peanut powder, simply combine equal amounts water and our lick mix (available online) to create a delicious and healthy treat for your pup.  
Don’t have a lickimat yet? Not to worry! We’re stocked up on tons right now and Toby would love to get your pup setup with one, plus $3 is donated to animals in need from each one he sells! If you ever have any questions about our lickimats or any other products Toby sells be sure to message us on social media or through our website.  We love hearing from you and always want to know what you think.

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