A food mat is just another term for dog placemats. They are used not only for decorative purposes; they also come in handy when it comes to maintaining cleanliness. When eating, food and water may spill over the sides of the dog’s food and water bowls, unless you have a pet that’s a dainty eater. Placing a food mat under your pet’s bowls will help contain whatever spills over the bowls’ edges, in addition to drool or slobber.
Some food mats are designed to have raised edges so that whatever food that is spilled, won’t touch the floor. This will prevent your pet from eating food directly off the floor which can be contaminated with harsh chemical residue from flood cleaning products. Considering the purpose of the food mat, make sure it is hand washed or wipe thoroughly on a daily basis to avoid growth and multiplication of bacteria. More animal care tips at the link.