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The Power of Licking: A Guide to Canine Enrichment

The Power of Licking: A Guide to Canine Enrichment

Are you the proud owner of a high-energy, anxious, or easily-bored pup? Or are you simply searching for a way to keep your dog occupied while you focus on your daily activities? If you haven’t tried it yet, licking is an excellent activity to incorporate some relaxing downtime into your lives!

Golden retriever with her tongue sticking out as she licks a dog enrichment toy, creatively designed with cartoon elements.Penny and her Lunoji CHEWDEN Trove (IG @pennylanethegoldenretriever)

 

Benefits of Licking

Licking isn't just a cute behavior; it has genuine benefits for your canine companion. This simple act releases endorphins and serotonin, the feel-good chemicals that regulate anxiety and promote a sense of calm.

The repetitive nature of licking makes it an ideal activity to help your dog settle during stressful situations like thunderstorms, grooming sessions, or when guests are over. It's also an excellent tool for general decompression, providing your pup with a soothing and enjoyable pastime.

Greyhound licking nut butter off a disc-shaped dog enrichment toy (Lunoji Twirl Lick Mat)

Oji and his Lunoji Twirl (IG @oji.greyhound)

 

Get Your Dog Licking

To make the most of this calming activity, consider using dog enrichment toys designed to keep your pup happily licking away. You can use a pet lick mat, which has a textured surface to capture food. You could also use an interactive enrichment toy like a Kong or a West Paw Toppl, that you can fill with food and freeze for a bigger challenge.

From the Lunoji collection, we have the Trove Enrichment Feeder and Twirl Lick Mat, both designed to encourage prolonged licking sessions:

  • Trove Enrichment Feeder: The perfect pup cup - simply fill with treats and freeze for up to 20 minutes of licking.
  • Twirl Lick Mat: An easy-prep, easy-clean lick mat - a grooved lick mat which is designed to be easy to use and clean. 

If you're on a budget, you can also consider DIY alternatives like filling a plastic or silicon ice cube tray with frozen treats, or even spreading wet food over a baking sheet. Just be sure to supervise your pup to ensure they don't chew off or swallow something they shouldn't!   

Small white dog looking at the camera with his tongue sticking out, preparing to lick a dog enrichment toy (Trove)

Meringue and his Lunoji CHEWDEN Trove + Base set (IG @cheekymeringue)

 

What kind of treats are "lickable"? 

Are you looking for ideas for treats to use on lick mats or as Kong fillers/stuffers? Ideal treats for these enrichment toys include dog-safe yogurt, mashed or pureed dog-safe fruit (e.g. applesauce, pureed pumpkin, mashed bananas), dog-safe peanut butter, and other canine-friendly spreadable treats (like meat pate or wet/canned food).

If you're in the mood to spoil your dog, you can always consider specially formulated options like Lunoji's Trove Blend and Organic Nut Butter, specially crafted to be both delicious and healthy. 

  • Trove Blend: Simply add water to this versatile powder to create instant healthy treats, that have a host of benefits like improving skin and coat, immunity, and bone and joint health. 
  • Organic Nut Butter: Created with 100% human-grade and organic ingredients, these gourmet nut butters are formulated to be extra sticky and long-lasting, perfect for use on enrichment toys. 
Two glass bottles of organic nut butter, the green one has a Cashew Pandan Kaya label while the brown one has a Carob Hazelnut Spread label.

 

Conclusion

Incorporating licking into your dog's routine not only provides a delightful way to occupy their time but also promotes a sense of well-being and relaxation. Whether you opt for enrichment toys or DIY solutions, the power of licking is a simple yet effective tool for keeping your pup happy and calm.

So, the next time you're looking for an activity to engage your furry companion, consider the pawsitive benefits of licking – a treat for both you and your beloved canine friend

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