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Product Reviews

A Look at LICKS Pill-Free Supplements


There are thousands of supplements on the market that are available for your dogs and cats (and horses and reptiles and critters and birds). But, today I want to focus on a supplement that each of our pets use every day.

LICKS Pill-Free Formulas is a group that I wrote about years ago – they were in our Top 10 Most Impressive Products list from Global Pet Expo in 2013. At the time, they only had three formulas: JOINT+HEART, ATHLETE, and ZEN. So, we took a few samples home with us to try out. We were so impressed, we have been using them every day, ever since…

Here’s why they work:

  • 98% absorbency rate (compared to only 10-30% for pills/powders)
  • Made and sourced in the USA
  • Effects are noticeable within a few minutes and last a few hours (great for calming pets!)
  • You can administer in many ways: Direct (from the package), On the paw (great for cats) and In Water
  • Individually packaged, which makes them easily transportable while traveling to shows or event

Not only are they easy to use, they work. They work (almost) immediately and they work amazingly well.

[note icon=”yes”]We now have an affiliate arrangement with this group but luckily, that means extra savings for you. To encourage you to give it a try, we’ve created a way for you to save. Use coupon code: PETSWEEKLY and you’ll receive 10% off your next purchase AND free shipping![/note]

Each formula is made from the highest quality ingredients, all of which are sourced and manufactured in the USA. This is a more difficult task than you may imagine. Let’s examine glucosamine for a moment. Glucosamine is incredibly difficult to find in any area beyond China, and no one trusts China anymore. LICKS obtains their source of glucosamine from Green Lipped Mussels in the USA. In fact, all of their ingredients are sourced in the US and their products are manufactured from a facility in Wisconsin.

We have all of our pets on a variety of the formulas. So let’s run through them individually.

Brock and Bree

These two have had problems with their skin and coat since they were pups. As we are in Arizona (the driest place on earth and allergy capital of the world), they have problems with dry skin despite a 5-star diet and daily doses of coconut oil. We started to give them a packet of LICKS® Dog Skin & Allergy + Shiny Coat each day, and this has virtually eliminated their itchiness.

Dog Skin & Allergy + Shiny Coat is an anti-inflammatory aid for itchy skin and allergies that supports a healthy skin and coat. It contains Omega 3s (from wild-caught sardines and anchovies), Vitamin C, and Inositol (which supports hair growth and prevents psoriasis).


Cheiss is our master pill-avoider. We tried for years to keep him on glucosamine chondroitin but failed due to his unique ability to sniff out any form of the supplement. He will refuse to eat for days if he senses you are attempting to “trick” him and we had very little faith in the ability of him to keep a pill down long enough for his body to process it. Once we brought home the JOINT+HEART formula, he licked it from the packet, and we have had no problems whatsoever in making sure he receives his daily dose.


Joint+Heart contains a collection of Omega 3s (Wild Caught Sardines & Anchovies), vegetarian glucosamine, and vitamin E.

We’ve since considered moving him to Elder Dog now that he’s reached the age of 13 years. LICKS® ElderDog™ provides mobility, digestion, and immunity support for senior dogs and contains Vegetarian Glucosamine, Omega 3s, L-Carnitine, Green Lipped Mussel, Vitamin C, Coenzyme Q10. We may end up giving him both!

LICKS has six formulas for dogs (we’ll be talking about the cat line of products from LICKS next month). Here’s the lowdown on the formulas:

  • Zen: Designed to keep pets calm and/or calm them down during times of stress. Especially wonderful if you’re headed to the veterinarian’s office, or out for a walk, or during fireworks. This formula is available in Roasted Chicken and Braised Beef.
  • Joint+Heart: Great for any dogs who need regular a mobility aid for joint support and healthy heart function. I’m fully convinced that this formula is the reason vet techs estimate Cheiss’ age at 5 years old instead of 14 years old.
  • Athlete: Wonderful for dogs who are in competition or exercise regularly (agility, service dogs, lure coursing, hunting). The Athlete formula is a complex carbohydrate energy source and L-carnitine blend combine to maximize muscular function and recovery. Antioxidants help limit free radical damage and omega 3 fatty acids support joint and cartilage health.
  • Home Feeding Aid: This is a fantastic supplement for dogs on raw diets or home-cooked diets. It’s also great for those “picky” eaters who need a little something-something to encourage them to eat. Contains Vitamin A, Thiamine (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin, Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6), Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin D3, Vitamin E, Biotin, Choline, Folic Acid, Inositol, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Iron, Copper, Calcium, Manganese, Magnesium
  • Skin & Allergy + Shiny Coat: This is a perfect anti-inflammatory aid for itchy skin. It is also wonderful for dogs who have allergies and it supports a healthy skin and coat. Contains Omega 3s, Inositol, and Vitamin C
  • ElderDog™: This formula provides mobility, digestion, and immunity support for senior dogs. Ingredients include Vegetarian Glucosamine, Omega 3s, L-Carnitine, Green Lipped Mussel Powder, Vitamin C, and Coenzyme Q10

Vegan Glucosamine

Glucosamine naturally supports the structure and function of joints in people and pets. There are three forms of glucosamine (glucosamine sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride, and N-acetylglucosamine) but only glucosamine sulfate is given a “likely effective” rating for supporting healthy joints – especially in those suffering from osteoarthritis.

In 2014, we finally wised up to the problems that we were facing with quality concerns from imports from China. This drove some new practices by the UK and new import rules for animal-sourced glucosamine, chondroitin and chitosan.

LICKS has since expanded their line of pet products and now have eight formulas designed for cats and five for dogs. We have tried most of them.


The cat formulas are incredibly easy to administer, even to cats who don’t like the taste. Simply place on their paw and they will lick it off, put it into their water (we found this helps to increase our cats daily intake of fluids, but make sure that if you have a finicky feline, your cat decides to avoid the water.) You can also mix it into their food. Our cats really like the taste, so it’s never been a problem to give them the correct formula even when group-feeding.

  • The Cog and Cassie are both on the HAIRBALL formula.
  • Una and Isabo both receive the SENIOR formula.
  • The crazy triplets each receive a packet of ZEN a few times a week to slow them down from annoying the other cats.
  • Our feral colony receives a few packets of the new HOME FEEDING AID for cats, which ensures they are getting a balanced diet – we can’t afford to have everyone on premium diets!
  • There is a URINARY TRACT FEEDING aid for cats that we also use on occasion and if you have a cat with frequent UTIs, this may be an option you should consider for full-time use.

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