Why buy a snuffle mat for your dog? Snuffle mats are great mental and physical stimulators for dogs. These mats act as dog trainers. They help dogs in using and sharpening their sense of smell and hunting skills.
Snuffle mats are specifically designed to help and ‘make’ your dog look for food by sniffing and foraging. These mats mimic grass and outdoor areas and encourage food foraging in dogs. Searching and working to get the food is a basic and natural doggie instinct and these mats help in stimulating it.
It is an excellent brain game and besides buying one, you can also make one yourself. Read on to know more about how these mats benefit your dog and the 15 best snuffle mats to choose from.
What is a Snuffle Mat for Dogs?
A snuffle mat is a rugged fabric mat that is made with loose strands of cloth and a plastic sink mat that has a hole in it. It is a mind simulation game for the dogs and encourages smell stimulation in them. Instead of giving them a tasty treat and kibble easily and directly, putting it on the mat will make your dog work his smell senses and find the food himself.
Other than being a mental simulation tool, it is also a great resting place for your dog and Coco will really enjoy sleeping on it. These rugged mats are quite functional and could be the single best product to keep your dog stimulated and provide a great resting place for it.
What are the Benefits of a Snuffle Mat for Coco?
Snuffle mats offer a lot of benefits for dogs. Before being domesticated, dogs used to live in the wild, which means that they would have to hunt and forage for food. This food hunting activity served a number of purposes for them like keeping them healthy, active, and stimulated. Besides, it also keeps the smell sense and brain activity of your dog active and sharp.
Some of the key and significant benefits of having snuffle mats for Coco are discussed below.
- 1. It makes a Perfect Toy and Resting Place
Dogs love toys but as a responsible dog owner, you need to be careful about the kind of toys you get for your pooch. A snuffle mat could be a great puzzle toy for your dog and the best part is that this toy will keep your dog healthy and can also be an excellent resting place for him.
- 2. It Helps your Dog Use its Nose
The smell is the most important sense of your dog and this is why he needs to have a sharp sense of smell. Eating from metal and plastic bowls may inhibit your canine’s smelling talent but dogs love to explore the world through smell and this is why they love the snuffle mats so much.
Serving food in the snuffle mat will keep your dog engaged by giving him a chance to hunt and forage its food and it will give a good nose work also. You can also use a dog whistle to let your dog know that the food has been served on the snuffle mat.
- 3. It Improves your Dog’s Physical and Mental Health
We know that keeping your dog physically and mentally healthy is one of your optimal responsibilities. A snuffle mat will help you give your dog an excellent workout in a small space. Though there is no substitute for your Coco’s morning or evening walk, still, it is good to have something around to keep your dog engaged.
It slows down the eating process and this helps them in eating and digesting food in a better manner.
It is especially useful for small dogs and puppies and smelling and foraging the food helps build the intellectual abilities of your dog. In simple terms, a snuffle mat could help you make your dog smarter.
- 4. It is Great for Recovering Dogs
Is your dog recovering from surgery or an injury? Snuffle mats provide ample exercise to the dogs that could not partake in rigorous ‘doggie style’ exercise. With a snuffle mat, you can be sure that your dog has worked its entire body. By having food and treats in the snuffle mat, Coco will have to smell and work to find the food and hidden treats.
This exercise will keep recovering dogs active and on a healthy weight.
- 5. It Helps Reducing Stress and Anxiety
Lack of exercise and mental and physical stimulation is also one of the reasons that dogs may feel anxious and bored. A snuffle mat will provide an excellent activity for your dog. Dogs love to smell and this mat will provide him an opportunity to do it. Since smell is a natural instinct for dogs, it helps in reducing stress and anxiety.
Moreover, the exercise and hunting that he will have to do to get the food will alleviate the sense of relief and pleasure in him.
Best Snuffle Mats Choices for Coco
Which snuffle mat will be the best for Coco? There are a number of snuffle mats that you can find for your dog. However, knowing and finding the best of them could be a little challenging. But don't worry, we have compiled a list of 15 of the best snuffle mats for dogs.
The list includes reasonably priced and high-quality mats that are easy to maintain and work great for your dog.
- PAW5 Wooly Snuffle Mat
- AWOOF Snuffle Mat
- DIFFLIFE Snuffle Mat
- YINXUE Pet Snuffle Mat
- LIVEKEY Snuffle Mat for Dogs
- LEMONDA Pet Dog Snuffle Mat
- Tamu Style Snuffle Mat for Feeding, Hunting and foraging
- Beehive Snuffle Mat
- SniFFiz Smelly Matty
- SlowTon Dog Snuffle Mat
- Dononna Wooly Snuffle Mat
- IFOYO Feeding Mat
- LoongBaby Snuffle Mat
- BBDOGO Pet Snuffle Mat
- Jalousie 32 Inch Extra Large Dog Snuffle Mat
All of these mats are great for your dog’s mental and physical health and you can find them easily online. However, there are a number of things that you must consider and take care of when getting the mat for the first time.
Some of the things that you must take of are listed below:
- Snuffle mats come in all sizes; small size, medium-size, and large size
- Make sure that the mat is as per your dog’s size, small and medium-sized dogs need a size of mats as compared to larger breeds. A large dog will need a snuggle mat for large dogs.
- Help your dog understand how the mat works and keep an eye on him till he understands it fully
- Understand that food motivation and mental and physical exercise are the main purposes of these mats
- Choose a durable and hypoallergenic fabric mat
- Teach your dog not to chew the mat as even the most durable ones are prone to destruction
- Check the items in the packaging and read the guide carefully before using it
- Keep the mat clean and make a schedule of cleaning it every 2 weeks and see if it is machine washable
- Do not use tiny bits of food as they will get lost in the layers of the mat
- Use large-sized kibble that may not get lost in the mat
Every snuffle mat may be made of different materials and fabric. Therefore, when buying one, make sure that you know and understand how to take care of it properly.
How to DIY a Snuffle Mat Yourself in 5 Simple Steps?
Do you know that you can make a DIY snuffle mat for dogs easily? A snuffle mat is a great and healthy activity for your dog and the good thing is that you can make one yourself at home. A snuffle mat for dogs DIY does not need loads of items and material and you can make one in the matter of a few minutes only.
“How to make a snuffle mat for dogs?”
To make the mat, follow the below easy steps:
- Collect the items that you need: a rubber sink mat, a yard or so of the fleece material
- Make the fleece strips into one or one and a half-inch wide and six to seven inches longer strips
- Push one of the strips into the hole in the mat and push the other end into the next hole and tie the knot
- Once done, turn the mat over to the other side to check if there are any empty holes left
- Give Coco some dog training to use the mat
You can keep it simple by dropping some treats or kibble directly on top of the snuffle mat. After some time, hide the treats under the flaps of the mat to encourage your dog to find the treats and forage the food.
A snuffle mat is a perfect combination of an exercise and a resting mat. Dogs love their food and sleep and this mat provides both of these things to him.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are snuffle mats good for dogs?
Yes, snuffle mats are good for dogs. They are good because they slow down fast eaters. If you feed your dog its main meal from a mat, it will naturally eat slower. Moreover, it acts as a dog trainer as well.
How does snuffle mat help dogs?
A snuffle mat is a rug that has treats hidden in it and encourages dogs to sniff and find the treats. Usually, the fabric strips are tied to a plastic base with holes in them. The dog will smell and look for treats- this is good for their nose and natural hunting instincts.
How often should you use a snuffle mat?
For ten minutes a day, at least, you should let your dog rest and play on a snuffle mat. This will make them happy and it will keep them healthy. You can also give your older dog some soft veggies in the snuffle mat.
Are snuffle mats good for chewers?
They are not because they aren’t meant for chewing. But there is a solution for it. When you shop for your pet, think about what kind of design they like. For example, some dogs like to chew on things while others like to be busy with different things. You should also keep in mind that some snuffle mats are not meant for chewing so make sure the pup is supervised when they play on it.
Can you leave a dog alone with a snuffle mat?
No, you shouldn’t leave your dog alone with a snuffle mat. This is because it could end up chewing it which could cause a choking threat. So, try to supervise your dog when you let them play with a snuffle mat.
Will my dog destroy a snuffle mat?
If you have a chewer, then it can be destroyed. You should just put food in it, set it on the floor, and pick it up when the dog is finished finding all the food. It won’t be a problem - but it is all fabric and might be pulled apart if that was the intention of your dog.