You might be here because you know what a snuffle mat is and you want to make your own. That’s great! You might also be here because you have no idea what a snuffle mat is, but you’re curious about how dogs can use their noses for mental stimulation. Or maybe a family member owns a dog and you’re looking for a nice craft for give away as a gift! Either way, we have everything you need.
If you want to learn more about why mental stimulation is important for our pups, you can read our page on canine mental health to understand some of the basics.
What are snuffle mats?
Snuffle mats are mats that encourage dogs to use their noses to search for treats (or even their regular meals). It’s an easy toy to make, and it helps your dog use their nose and their brain! Laurie at Clicker Training also suggests using a snuffle mat if your dog tends to eat too quickly and you want to low them down a bit.
However, keep in mind that snuffle mats should only be used with dry food. Wet food will just make a big mess.
Who can use them?
Any dog can use a snuffle mat – from puppies to seniors. The important thing is that you always supervise play with a snuffle mat, especially if your dog tends to chew things up. The Honest Kitchen has some great tips on introducing the mat to your dog. You can start out by just placing the food on top of the mat, and then start hiding it to encourage them to “hunt”.
Okay, I get it. Now how do I make one?
It’s easy! Here’s what you’ll need:
- One rubber mat
- An old fleece blanket (or you can buy a cheap one – you’ll be cutting it up so you don’t need to spring for amazing quality)
Check out our video below for instructions (and cute dogs!), or keep reading for written instructions.
A snuffle mat can be whatever shape and size you want. If your rubber mat doesn’t have the desired shape or size, feel free to cut it. Then, simply cut up the fleece blanket into 4-5cm wide segments (approx. 1.6 inches) and tie the segments all around the mat, until it’s fully covered.
That’s it! Hide some treats and let the hunting begin!