Snuffle mats are great mental and physical stimulators for dogs. These mats 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.
What is a Snuffle Mat?
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 the 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 a mental simulation tool, it is also a great resting place for your dog and many dogs will really enjoy sleeping on it. These rugged mats are quite functional and could be a single best product to keep your dog stimulated and provide a great resting place to it.
What are the Benefits of a Snuffle Mat?
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.
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.
3. It Betters 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 dogs 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, dog 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 in them. 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.
All of these mats are great for your dog’s mental and physical health.
Snuffle mats come in all sizes; small size, medium-size and large size. 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.
How to DIY a Snuffle Mat Yourself in 5 Simple Steps?
Do you know that you can make a snuffle mat easily at home? 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. DIYing your snuffle mat does not need loads of items and material and you can make one in the matter of a few minutes only.
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 your pup 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 them.