Dogs and puppies are great buddies to have at home, but you might get uncomfortable with them when they feed. These friendly pets aren’t adult humans and they can litter everything around the area where they eat.
With that said, your home might end up looking messy at all times and make you uncomfortable in front of your guests as a result. The worst part is when your pets drink water from their bowls.
Most times, they end up spilling it all over the floor and if you have sensitive floors like the laminate flooring, you should know that these spills could cause a lot of damage.
Also, it’s certain you don’t want to clean up these messes caused by your dog often. Depending on your home flooring material, cleaning up this mess could be a very stressful task.
Some have tried to place a rug under the dog food and water bowl to prevent this problem. Of course, the use of carpet or rug can work great for dog feed, but when it comes to spills, it stands no chance to protect your floor.
The water or spills could easily find their way to your floor causing mold and unpleasant odors. For this reason, it’s best to get one of the best dog food mats available on the market.
These mats help to prevent dog feed and spills from coming in contact with the floor. Some dog food mats are stain resistant which makes them easier to clean.
In this article, we’ll provide you with great information and buying guides on dog food mats so that you can pick the one that works best for you.
What is a Dog Food Mat
Many pet owners usually provide a designated area where their dog will feed, but often dogs make a lot of mess to the area when they eat, making it pretty hard to clean. For this reason, dog food mats always come in handy.
Dog food mats are designed to prevent dog feeds from coming in contact with your floor. With them, you’ll find it pretty easy to clean up the dog feeding area.
These mats are placed under the dog food and water bowl to collect the mess with ease. They come in different sizes, shapes and materials.
Furthermore, most dog food mats are stain-resistant, making it pretty easy to clean. They also have a waterproof backing to protect your floor from spills.
Some have a good absorbable feature to soak the spills while others have raised edge that helps keep spillages and feed on the mat. However, when using a dog food mat, it’s best to always clean and wash it more often. Doing this helps get rid of unpleasant smells and prevents mold buildup.
Benefits of Using a Dog Food Mats
Protect Your Floors
Hardwood and laminate flooring are prone to scratch and can get damaged by spills and moisture. Since dogs can be messy eaters, it’s always a bad idea to let them eat on these floors.
Some pet owners might want to consider a change of flooring, but before doing this, you should know that they come at a more expensive price. Using a dog feed mat stands as the most economical option as it’ll help protect your floor from scratch, spills and moisture.
It’s pretty much easy and less time consuming to clean up the mess made on food mats than your flooring. Let’s face it – we have a lot of work to do other than cleaning up the mess made on the floor by messy dog eaters.
Without food mats, you might have to clean the dog feeding area more often after they take a snack. In worst cases, if you use a carpet or rug, stains come as a huge task to clean up.
Since you don’t want to go through the stress of cleaning stains at the pet feeding area, it’s best to get dog food mats. They can contain a great number of food drops and spills.
They also prevent them from running off onto the floor thus making cleaning task a breeze because all you have to do is remove the remnant and wash the food mats.
Safe for Your Pet
Except for plastic types, many dog bowl mats will not harm your dog if they chew or lick it. They’re also dishwasher safe.
Save more money
Dog feeding trays help to protect your floor from scratches and moisture damages. They also come at a more affordable price. Hence, getting one will save you more money on floor repairs or replacements as a result of stain and scratches caused by the dog when it eats.
Types of Dog Feeding Mats by Material
When it comes to dog feeding mats, there are many types of materials used in making them. The popular material types include silicone, rubber, plastic and absorbent fabric.
Here is more information about each of them that’ll help you decide which type is best for you:
Silicone Dog Bowl Mats
Silicone works great when used to produce pet feeding mats. Unlike other dog bowl mat materials, it’s pretty safe to use and doesn’t cause any allergic reaction.
The best part about silicone mat is that you can bend and twist it, making it pretty easy to wash and clean, plus it doesn’t react with detergent and is safe to put in a dishwasher.
However, when buying this food mat type, it’s best to go for an FDA certified food-grade silicone. The reason is that mats made from it have no harmful effects even if the dog crunches or rubs its tongue on it.
Plastic Dog Bowl Mats
This is a useful material for dog feeding trays because it’s pretty durable. Its light weight makes it pretty comfortable to move around. Most plastic mats come in a tray form with raised edges around them.
One of the downsides of plastic mats is that they aren’t dishwasher safe. They could also cause harmful effects if the dog eventually chews or licks them. Since they’re pretty rigid and don’t bend, you’ll find them pretty hard to wash.
Absorbent Fabric for Dog Bowl Mats
This type of feeding mats comes in different colors and attractive patterns that can add more aesthetic to your home. As the name suggests, they can absorb a large amount of water.
They also have waterproof backing that prevents spilled liquid from running down to the floor. One exciting part is that it’s easy to wash them with just your hands or with the use of a washing machine.
Non-Slip Dog Feeding Mats
This type of mat doesn’t allow your dog bowl to slip off of it easily. In other words, the bowls stay in place when placed on this dog bowl mat. They also stay tight to the floor and allow your dog to have a good grip when feeding.
What to Consider When Choosing a Great Dog Food Mat
Before you choose the best dog food bowl mat, you should consider if it can contain both the water bowl and the food bowl. It should also be large enough to contain any spills that might fall from the container.
You should also think of the size of your dog. This is because your pet will need space to feed comfortably. If you have a large pooch, go for larger mats as they will handle any mess from the bowls.
A good dog feeding tray should protect your floors from water spills. This means it should be made from waterproof materials such as rubber or silicone.
You can use fabric mats, however, they must have a waterproof backing. Without a waterproof mat, liquids can seep through and damage the flooring.
Ensure the waterproof material is food grade as this will protect your dog from harm when it chews it. You should also consider non-slippery materials to stop the bowls from sliding off the mat or keep the dog mat from moving around.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Choose a mat you can clean by either rinsing it at the sink or wiping down with a cloth. For tougher stains, it’s important that a dog bowl mat can be cleaned in a washing machine or dishwasher.
Although these devices work well, consult the cleaning instructions that come with your mat to see if it can withstand this method of cleaning.
Shape and Color
Most food bowl mats come in either rectangular or bone shapes. Some even include paw or bone prints which keep the bowls from slipping off.
Others use raised edges to prevent liquids from seeping from the sides. Also, these mats come in all colors, so go for a hue that you feel comfortable with. Since your pooch might not mind your preferred option, stick with colors that’ll match your decor and flooring.
During feeding, dogs move their bowls a lot. To keep the containers still, use a mat made from either silicone or rubber. Mats with ridges or bumps also serve as great options to keep the bowls in place.
There’s no specific material for making mats. However, it’s best you invest in one made with silicone, rubber, plastic or absorbent fabric.
Also, these materials should be FDA certified as this will protect your pet from harm when it chews the mat. Finally, get a food bowl mat that allows your pet to have a good grip during feeding.
Size of Your Pet
Another thing to consider before getting a food bowl mat is the size of your dog. You can use a small or medium-sized mat for small dogs while larger animals will need extra-large options.
Does More Spending Mean More Quality
Even if you want to invest in the best-heated pet mats, you can find one that will suit your budget. You should also consider your floor material or your preferred style.
If you love to add more appeal to your home, it’s best to go for one that comes with beautiful patterns. Most absorbent dog food mats come in different colors and attractive patterns that can add more aesthetic to your home.
Overall, the quality also matters a lot, but you should keep the above-mentioned things in mind as well. However, prices depend on the material, manufacturer and the design, so more spending in the case of a dog feeding tray doesn’t always mean better quality.
How to Clean and Maintain a Dog Food Mat
Step 1 – Pick a Cleaning Tool for Your Dog Feeding Tray
As mentioned earlier, food mats should be easy to clean. For this purpose, you can either use the best vacuum for pet hair or other tools.
However, this depends on the material used to make the mat. For instance, cotton can withstand frequent washes and vacuuming while silicone requires rinsing with water. Most times a solution of soap and water should clean the item.
Step 2 – Remove the Stains Immediately When They Occur
Ensure you remove food stains immediately because the longer they stay, the tougher they become. Also if you don’t clean your dog food mats regularly, they become moldy.
Step 3 – Wipe Your Dog Feeding Tray With Dump Cloth
After every meal time, wipe down the item with a damp cloth to remove food spills. This keeps the material free from smells, stains, pests, insects and harmful bacteria.
Step 4 – Deep Clean Your Dog Feeding Mat
A few times in a week, remove the mat for deep cleaning. Place the product in a washing machine or dishwasher or soak in a solution of mild detergent in a sink.
Ensure you dry the fabric thoroughly before you return the mat. This keeps the flooring from water damage.
Does and Don’ts to Do With a Dog Food Mat
- Don’t place sharp object or toxic substance on the food mat: Yes, you have to take full precaution because the dogs or puppies might end up eating this substance. And as a result, it could have a lot of harmful effects on them.
- Ensure to clean the mat more often: Leaving the feeds on the mats could result in tough stains thus making it a lot difficult to keep your mat clean.
- Read the instruction that comes with food mats: The reason is that not all food mats are dishwasher safe.
Are silicone dog bowl mats safe to use?
Yes, silicone food mats are safe to use especially with dogs. Nevertheless, not that low-grade silicone mats contain toxic substances.
Ensure that the one you get is made from FDA grade silicone as it’s a safer option.
Can I keep my dog bowl from sliding on the floor?
If you have a carpet on your floors, sliding bowls aren’t an issue, but if you have a vinyl, tiled and wooden floors, you’ll need a mat that’s made with non-slip materials.
Can a dog feeding mat keep my floor dry?
Since most dog feeding mats are waterproof, they’ll keep your flooring safe from water spills from your pet’s water bowl. Also, you can use absorbent mats with raised edges as these models work better than regular floor mats.
Do I need to clean my dog feeding tray regularly?
If you don’t clean your mat regularly, it becomes stained and moldy. To prevent this, you need to wipe down the mat with a damp cloth and remove all food debris from the surface.
This keeps the feeding area free from pests, bugs, bacteria and smells. At least twice a week, remove the dog bowl mat and clean it thoroughly.
If the material can withstand the treatment, use a dishwasher or washing machine to loosen and remove embedded dirt, but if the material can’t handle a machine wash, soak in a solution of water and detergent. Dry thoroughly before you replace dog feeding mat.
Using the best pet food mat is a cheap way to protect your flooring. This is because it holds all food and water spills.
It also serves as an excellent option for floors which can quickly soak up water or that are challenging to clean. Such floors include hardwood and carpeted surfaces.
As you would with dog kennel flooring, go for a mat that’s big enough for both water and feeding bowl. You should also choose a design that matches your decor as well as the one that has materials that are slip-free and safe.