What Are Snuffle Mats for Dogs?
A snuffle mat is a really neat little invention for dogs. It’s super simple, yet canines love it, and it’s a great way to provide your pet with enrichment that can help keep boredom at bay. If you’ve never heard of a snuffle mat or if you’re wondering if this product would be right for your pooch, we’ve covered the basics below to help you out.
What Are Snuffle Mats?
Dogs use their keen sense of smell when they explore their environment and when they’re in search of their next treat. And dogs also like spending time in the grass, sniffing around and digging. The snuffle mat is basically a puzzle toy that lets your canine companion do just that. Set the snuffle mat, which uses strips of fabric that mimic grass, on the floor, hide some treats or kibble in between the pieces of fabric, and let your dog “hunt” for the food and feel the reward of success when he finds it.
Snuffle mats are surprisingly basic. They feature various strips of fabric, such as fleece, that are looped through a backing so that they can create a thick area in which you’ll be able to easily hide dry food for your dog to find.
When you introduce a snuffle mat to your pooch for the first time, you can put a few treats on top of the strips of fabric so that he can easily sniff them out and eat them. He might end up trying to dig into the fabric or pull the whole mat, but this should be discouraged. Some dogs might catch on more quickly than others. Just keep training your pooch to focus on sniffing out the treats that are on the mat. It might take a few days of practice, but once your dog gets the hang of things, you can hide the treats under the strips for an extra challenge that your pet is sure to love, and he’ll only use his nose to find the food.
Why Your Dog Will Love Having a Snuffle Mat
Your dog’s natural instinct is to sniff out food while on the hunt. And, if he’s like a lot of dogs, he actually enjoys the thrill of the hunt and the reward of getting the food after putting in the work. This is why snuffle mats are so popular, and a great way to make mealtime a lot more interesting.
Snuffle mats are a fun way to provide your dog with mental stimulation and a bit of exercise, so this is also a strategy that you can try to help relieve boredom and restlessness. The new challenge that comes with the use of a snuffle mat could help your pet feel content and satisfied.
5 Great Snuffle Mats You Can Buy on Amazon
There are a lot of snuffle mats to choose from, so we’ve compiled a list of five options that are available on Amazon.
The Wooly snuffle mat by PAW5 is one of the most well-known mats available. Coming in at 12×18”, it’s appropriate for all dogs. It’s also handmade using a combination of upcycled and virgin materials, and it’s machine washable, so it’s a snap to keep clean. Plus, the fabric is made to look like a pile of thick grass that your dog can happily sniff through.
The Pidsen snuffle mat is 17×17” and available in different colors. It’s machine washable, and the strong fleece is designed to prevent your dog from easily tearing it apart. Plus, if you purchase more than one, you can attach them together in order to create fun shapes or one large snuffle mat for your dog to use.
This snuffle mat is a big larger, coming in at 19×19”. Choose from different multi-colored designs, all of which are easy to clean either by popping the mat into your washing machine or washing it by hand. The soft cotton material is also gentle on a dog’s sensitive nose and face.
This round snuffle mat is made using soft fleece that’s eco-friendly, non-toxic, and durable. Throw it into your washing machine whenever it needs to be cleaned, and you can toss it into your dryer too. It’s roughly 18” in diameter, features a non-slip bottom, and is suitable for all breeds. Plus, it has a strap that makes it easy to hang when you need to store it away.
This snuffle mat, which is roughly 17×12”, is made of felt cloth, and the base features an anti-slip, waterproof material. It’s available in two color options, one of which mimics the look of dirt and grass. You can purchase more than one of these mats and easily attach them to one another using Velcro strips, so you can combine the two designs and make it even more interesting, or you can choose the same design and make one large mat for your dog to enjoy.
See If Your Dog Loves the Snuffle Mat
Now that you know about the benefits of snuffle mats, as well as some of the many snuffle mats on the market that you can purchase online, you can see if your pooch will enjoy this activity as much as other dogs do. Just remember that you should supervise your pet while he uses the mat, as you don’t want him to chew off and swallow any of the strips of fabric. When your dog is done using the mat, store it in a safe place where your pooch won’t be able to reach it. And washing the snuffle mat regularly can help remove any lingering food smells that may entice your dog to chew on the fabric.
Overall, snuffle mats are an easy and affordable way to change up your dog’s routine and keep him occupied and happy, especially when it comes to doing one of his favorite things: eating.
More by Lisa Selvaggio