What’s a snuffle mat you ask? Well, it’s a pretty and nifty dog food toy!
A snuffle mat is usually made using a rubber floor mat with multiple different pieces of fabric tied to it. The different pieces of fabric create hiding places for dry dog food or treats to be hidden for a dog to sniff out and find.
Why use a snuffle mat?
I encourage the use of food toys and games as one way of providing mental stimulation to dogs. Providing mental stimulation and challenge to our dogs can help combat many problem behaviours around the home. I have covered many different options for this both using commercial products and DIY options as well over the last few years.
A snuffle mat encourages a dog to sniff out the food hidden within the fabric to search and work for their food. You might be surprised just how much food can be hidden within a large size mat or how few pieces it can take to keep your dog searching!
Sniffing is a wonderful activity to help manage a dog’s energy since it is both physically and mentally challenging. A snuffle mat also requires very little space since the dog doesn’t have to move it around to get the food out like some other food dispensing toys. This makes the snuffle mat a great activity to use with crate training or for dogs with limited mobility, especially after an injury or surgery.
WARNING: if your dog is likely to, or starts to consume the fabric or mat of this toy then this toy is NOT SUITABLE for your dog. The dog may tug on the fabric but it is not intended for dogs who will destroy this toy or consume any of the parts. This toy is not intended as a home-alone activity and should be used under supervision.