The LickiMat® story begins long before the LickiMat with the OH Bowl®. We had been working with two vets to design a product to improve the Oral Hygiene and Oral Health (hence OH) of our dog.
The portion of vet costs associated with pet dental work had been increasing for lots of reasons and was a serious health issue that needed to be addressed. We worked on two principles: stimulating the tongue to produce more saliva that in turn leads to healthier teeth and gums; and scraping the tongue to reduce undigested food particles and odor-causing bacteria.
The solution was similar to humans - when your dentist tells you to scrape your tongue using the back of your toothbrush or a tongue scraper, but you forget to do so most of the time! No forgetting with OH Bowl as the tongue is naturally scraped at the end of every meal without requiring extra effort from the pet guardian.
The LickiMat range takes the same principles and applies them to the entire rubber surface of the mat. It challenges the dog or cat to lick in order get the reward that has been spread onto the LickiMat. This resulted in a lot of licking, a lot of interest and fun! The licking action also produces endorphins that soothe and calm your pet, and it is now recognised as a leading anti-anxiety tool.
As dogs and dog trainers started using LickiMats and experimenting, we discovered dozens of new uses for LickiMats and developed new models based on feedback.
More amazingly, we started hearing stories and seeing posts on social media of cats using LickiMats, so we explored this with our vets and perfected LickiMat designs to suit cats - we now have 10 unique products and 36 variants. It turned out that cats like licking too, and that the licking action releases endorphins in cats too. We discovered that many cats also suffered from anxiety and their human companions were looking for solutions.
All the licking action in cats and dogs was creating more saliva and helping protect their teeth and gums, and freshening their breath by scraping odour-causing bacteria off their tongues. We find that it generally takes 3-4 days of using a LickiMat to notice an improvement in breath.
LickiMat was initially designed by vets to help your dog feel less anxious when you left home. It has since evolved to do so much more: training aid, crate training aid, raw food dispenser and all-round food and snack enrichment enabler.