If you have a messy eater on your hands, you know all too well how much of a headache feeding time can be! Dogs are notoriously untidy when they gobble down chow and lap up water. While some learn to become a little more put-together as they get older, most will never keep their feeding area spotless. Spills are bound to happen!
Luckily, a dog food bowl mat can keep all of that mess contained.
These accessories are simple enough, but they can make all the difference! Instead of subjecting your precious floors to a bombardment of food and water, you can keep things clean and tidy.
Not only does it make the feeding environment more hygienic, but a good dog food mat can make after-meal clean-up much more effortless.
There are tons of mats on the market today. Thanks to the relatively simple design, they're pretty accessible and easy to find. That said, not all mats will do your messy eater justice!
To help you make a purchase you won't regret, here are some of our top picks for the best dog food mats.
9 of the Best Dog Food Mats for Messy Eaters
1. Soggy Doggy Slopmat Microfiber Placemat
Check out this multi-purpose mat from Soggy Doggy. It's made of microfiber chenille. The material is ultra-soft and surprisingly absorbent. To improve efficiency, Soggy Soggy crafted the mat out of chenille noodles.
The unique design provides optimal water absorbency. Plus, the super-soft nature lets you use the mat as a crate liner or napping surface.
Turn the mat over, and you'll find a non-slip surface. It ensures that the accessory stays put even if it's filled with water. To top it all off, this mat is machine washable and durable.
2. Mr. Peanut's Pet Food Mat
Made of 100-percent food-grade silicone, the Mr. Peanuts dog food bowl mat is perfect for messy eaters. It's lightweight and flexible, allowing you to roll it up when not in use.
Plus, the food-safe material ensures that your dog is safe even if they go back to clean up the mess they made.
One exciting thing about this model is the gripper dot texture. In most designs, the grippy surface is on the bottom to keep the mat steady. However, this unit uses them all over.
They can keep the bowl in place while also preventing any unwanted sliding.
3. JW Pet Stay in Place Mat for Dogs & Cats, Color Varies
Next up, we have this easy-to-cleanstay in place food mat from JW Pet. It's a silicone-based product that easily flexes whenever you need to change positions.
The flexible nature is great for removing caked-on messes.The entire perimeter of this mat features thick rubber grips. They offer tons of non-slip stability.
As if that weren't enough, JW Pet also molded some small grippy dots to the surface of the mat.They hold your dog's bowl in place so that you have two safeguards against slipping and sliding.
4. PetFusion ToughGrip Dog Food Mat, Gray, X-Large
Great for excitable dogs, the PetFusion ToughGrip mat can withstand sliding, bumping, and everything in between.
It's made of food-safe silicone, which is naturally grippy on its own. However, dots and raised sections help to maximize hold even more.
The mat is easy to clean and does a fine job of collecting messes. Depressed dots collect moisture and prevent excessive spread. Plus, the half-inch raised limp works to keep any liquids from sliding off onto your floor.
* This mat is quite large, measuring about 27.5 inches long by 17.5 inches wide.
5. Hoki Found Silicone Waterproof Pet Feeding Mats with Lips
This mat from Hoki Found is considered by many to be the best mat for water bowls and fountains.
It's a silicone-made product that you can quickly rinse clean under the sink. Furthermore, the flexible nature makes it easy to pack up for travel.
Down below, you have grippy traction pads to prevent slipping. Even on the top, the mat has a stable texture that resists unwanted sliding. A raised lip around the perimeter keeps all liquids contained, putting an end to spills and accidents once and for all!
6. Bone Dry Lattice Paw Print Dog & Cat Food Mat
If you're looking for a softer alternative to silicone or plastic, this mat from Bone Dry is worth checking out. It's sporting a soft layer of microfiber fabric.
As you probably already know, microfiber is one of the most absorbent materials out there! It wicks away moisture in an instant to prevent pooling and leaks.
The bottom of the mat has a rubberized material. Not only does this prevent leakage, but it also improves traction and grip. The entire mat is beautifully designed and pops into the washing machine for easy cleaning.
Personalized Dog Food Mats
7. Bungalow Flooring Dog Bone Bowls Personalized Dinner Mat
Crafted out of polyester fabric and rubber foam, this mat is surprisingly tough. Don't let the cutesy aesthetics fool you! It's perfectly primed to contain messes and keep clean-up to a minimum!
The top is a smooth synthetic material that you can wipe down. If you're dealing with more caked-on messes, toss it in the washer for a deep clean! Below the polyester, there's a thick layer of foam. It adds some cushion underfoot while also providing plenty of traction.
Customize this mat with your dog's name! The bone shape and neutral color palette will serve any dog well.
8. 904 Custom Personalized Polka Dot Floral Dog & Cat Placemat
Want something with a more polished and refined look? This mat is for you! It's a simple rectangle that measures about 12 inches wide by 18 inches long. The mat is big enough to hold two standard-sized bowls.
A non-skid foam backing keeps the mat in place as your dog chows down. Meanwhile, the custom art on top pops in any decor scheme! It has a beautiful floral and polka-dot design. Cursive writing displays your dog's name in the corner.
The manufacturers use sublimation printing to adhere the artwork to the mat material. As a result, it resists scratching, fading, and other forms of damage.
9. Bungalow Flooring Personalized Waterhog Squares Dog & Cat Dinner Mat
This Bungalow Flooring mat is available in two sizes and multiple muted colors. It's a premium dog food mat that utilized commercial-grade materials.
On the bottom, you have a thick layer of rubber for traction and stability. The top is a unique post-consumer PET fiber. It's both absorbent and resilient.
Best of all, the mat has a proprietary Water Dam border. This feature ensures that water doesn't seep off the sides and onto your floors. In total, the mat can hold about a gallon of liquid!
On top of all that, it's easy to clean and customizable with your pup's name.
Does Your Dog Really Need a Dog Food Mat?
There's a good chance that you've seen dog food mats at some point. These accessories are everywhere, and many dog owners overlook them. At face value, they don't seem like they would have a lot to offer. But in reality, dog food mats provide numerous benefits.
Cleanliness and Ease of Use
The most obvious perk of using a mat is overall cleanliness. Think of a dog food mat as a table mat for kids. It catches all that far-flung food and water to keep the mess contained.
Whether you have a small dog or a gentle giant, you're bound to end up with some grime on your floors. That constant exposure can do a lot of long-term damage.
Sure, tile can hold up well to the continuous barrage of moisture and food. But what about hardwood or carpet? If you have a less forgiving floor material, you're looking at some costly damage in the future.
Sure, temporary "catch-alls" like newspaper and towels can provide a quick solution. But if you need long-term protection, mats are the way to go.
A dog food mat will keep everything within one confined space. Most have lips or raised edges to ensure that food and water don't escape.
Once your pup is finished wreaking havoc, all you have to do is wipe the mat down or run it under the tap. Just like that, your clean-up duties are done!
Believe it or not, a high-quality food mat can become a critical training tool for your dog. Many pups exhibit territorial behavior. It's most common in rescue dogs that didn't get a regular meal in their former living situation. However, you may see it in multi-dog homes, too.
Canines can get ultra-protective over their food. It's a precious commodity in their eyes, so they want to keep it safe at all costs.
Your dog might growl, show its teeth, or even attempt to bite anyone that gets close to their bowl. That behavior isn't reserved for other dogs or strangers. It extends to owners, too.
A mat alone isn't going to put an end to food aggression. However, it can provide slight separation and peace of mind. Some owners like to use mats to create a dedicated feeding area that their pup will recognize.
They'll see it as their own space, much like their kennel or bed. The mat can act as a "no-go" zone for other dogs in the family, too.
We always recommend getting professional assistance from a trainer to put an end to food aggression. Even then, the mat might come in handy with some training techniques.
Finally, dog food mats can keep things a lot more sanitary! Dry kibble usually isn't a hassle to pick up. But when water enters the equation, you're looking at a nightmare of bacteria and mold!
The best mat for dog water bowls can alleviate that problem very quickly.
They prevent moisture from seeping into your floors and sticking around. It catches the mess, making it easier for you to dispose of before things get moldy.
The mat will keep the feeding area healthy, ensuring that your dog doesn't succumb to mold illness or infection!
What Kinds of Dog Food Bowl Mats are Available?
There's no shortage of mats out there to try out. However, there's a lot more variety than most think. Here are some of the most common you'll find.
Cotton or Fabric-Based Mats
Fabric mats are some of the simplest and most affordable. On one side, they're soft and absorbent. On the other, they usually feature some kind of rubberized backing. The rubber backing is crucial here!
Without it, fabric mats are nothing but glorified towels! You need that layer of waterproofing to ensure that the mess doesn't soak through.
Generally, fabric mats are the hardest to maintain. While protective, they have a degree of absorbency that will require more cleaning. They're best for dogs who are only a little messy. More rambunctious pups, however, will not do well with a fabric mat!
Molded Plastic Mats
Plastic mats are more like trays than anything else. They're usually much thicker and do not flex when you pick them up.
The most significant benefit of a plastic mat is that it can hold a lot more mess. Higher lips keep liquids contained. For this reason, plastic mats are usually the best mat for dog water bowls.
If you choose to go this route, make sure you're choosing premium BPA-free plastic to keep your dog healthy.
Silicone is a flexible material that's surprisingly resilient. Now, silicone mats will bend and flex when you pick them up. As a result, the material isn't the best choice if you have massive messes to deal with.
That said, food-grade silicone tends to be the most versatile. It's durable, easy to work with, and is usually dishwasher safe.
Anti-slip mats can be made of pretty much any material. They come in plastic, silicone, and fabric. The critical difference here, however, is the presence of rubberized grips on the bottom.
The grips hold onto the smooth floor, making it more difficult for your dog to push the mat as they eat. Excited and fast eaters have the most to gain from an anti-slip mat.
It keeps the bowl in place and avoids accidental tumbles.
Customized Dog Food Mats
Finally, we have custom mats. These accessories don't have anything new to offer in terms of efficiency and safety. But, they can add a personalized touch to your dog's feeding area!
A custom dog food mat with name details is great for staying organized if you have multiple dogs. Of course, your canine companions won't notice the difference. However, it can help you stay on top of different dietary needs. Plus, custom mats just look adorable!
Key Considerations When Choosing the Best Dog Food Mat
Dog food mats are pretty straightforward, but it's still important to choose one that caters to your pup's exact needs. Before jumping the gun, here are a few things to think about.
The material of the mat should be the first decision you make. The right choice for your dog will ultimately depend on their messiness.
Those that only make light messes can do well with silicone or fabric mats. The materials still offer ample protection, but they provide some great versatility and portability, too.
Dogs that like to go buck wild on their food and water bowls might fare better with a plastic mat. Plastic is much more resilient and can hold more grime.
Also, don't forget to think about things like anti-slip backing and FDA approval. Always stick with safe materials that can interact with food without any issues.
Is your dog a chewer? With the mat being in close proximity to their food bowl, don't be surprised if you see your dog attempting to chew it at some point.
A firmer material will ensure that you're not replacing the mat every few weeks.
Thicker plastic or resilient silicone is usually good for combating chew damage. Fabric and flimsy plastics, on the other hand, won't hold up.
You want the mat to be large enough to hold your dog's bowls while also catching any messes that might flow over the rims. There's no right or wrong choice here.
Once again, it all comes down to your dog's messiness. Their size might affect your decision, too.
Some dogs have a knack for pushing food beyond the rim of the bowl. Others will outright fling it onto the floor! Pay attention to your dog's behavior and choose a mat that's big enough to accommodate all of their strange habits.
Color, Style, and Design
The color and overall style aren't going to do much to affect a mat's performance. But it's still important nonetheless. The dog food mat is something you're going to see every day. Chances are, it'll be in full view of visitors, too. So, why not choose something pleasant to look at?
As far as design goes, you'll find that subtle details make a big difference. Does the mat have squared-off corners that will trap bits of food? What about a raised lip to prevent water from sliding off? Pay attention to all those more minor design cues!
Cleaning and Maintenance
You can't forget about maintenance. The best dog food mats will only need a quick rinse or wipe-down to clean up. However, we recommend looking for dishwasher-safe materials or mats that can hold up well to deep sanitization.
It's important to deep clean the mat every once in a while. Models made for heavy-duty cleaning will make the job more manageable.
There you have it!
A solid dog food bowl mat might not seem like it would make a difference. But, you'd be surprised by much of a game-changer they can be for messy eaters.
It's a fantastic investment that will make quick work of cleaning up after a chaotic feeding session. A mat will serve your pup well while also making your life much easier!