Why Use Dog Snuffle Mats

When it comes to our dogs and their noses, we quickly realize that they are definitely nose driven animals.  Using their nose the way they do is an important instinct that they frequently use in everyday life.   Most dogs love to search and sniff for things using their nose, it is their way of truly being a dog.   One of the best ways to embrace this action, is by using dog snuffle mats.

dog snuffle mats - dogs nose

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Are you struggling to keep your dog active and engaged?   Maybe your dog is so active with his nose, that you are constantly baffled as to what to do next.

Well I have the answer for you.  The dog snuffle mats are the perfect solution for you.

What is a snuffle mat?

A snuffle mat is a made out of strips of fleece that are knotted through a rubber floor mat.  These dangle strips of fleece that stick out through the mat make for a wonderful way to hide treats and food in.

It is kind of like the saying “A needle in a haystack” where it is extremely hard to find something buried in a pile.  You can put kibble or treats in the mat and your dog will spend time searching through to find it.

This search and rescue food idea will encourage your dog to use his dog senses to find the goodies. Make sure to use a very good smelling treat that will capture your dog’s immediate attention.

These snuffle mats come in various shapes and sizes. Some have pockets, flaps and extra exciting ways to hide your dogs treats or dog food.

Why use a snuffle mat?

Just like kids, not all dogs need the same type of toys, stimulation and exercise.   It really depends on your dog.   Some dogs are more nose driven than other dogs, that is for sure.    As I have said in one of my previous posts, about nose nudging, my dog Fergus is completely nose driven.   Everything that he does in everyday life boils down to his nose.

If you are holding something in your hand, his nose is right there to see what it is.   He leads with his nose outside in the yard and on walks.   This can be a challenge for many dog parents like me.   Having your dog lead with his nose is not something that you are always ready or in the mood for.

For dogs like Fergus, using a snuffle mat is an excellent way to try to harness that into an activity or exercise.    Some positive reasons to use a snuffle mat are:

  • It is fun for them to use
  • Helps your dog from being bored
  • Great for mental stimulation
  • Can slow your dog down if they are a fast eater
  • Can be used for training by using words like “Find it”
  • Makes using their nose a type of job for them
  • A way for your dog to use his natural instincts
  • A good thing to use if you are looking to distract your dog

Using a snuffle mat is also something that can help if your dog is destructive, a digger, or just in need of some focused activities.   We all know that an undisciplined dog can be a huge challenge to deal with.

Different snuffle mats

When it comes time to shop for a snuffle mat, there are of course plenty of mats to choose from.    To help you decide which one is best for you, I thought I would give a quick rundown of some top ranked snuffle mats on the market today.

Hopefully, this will get you interested in getting a snuffle mat for your dog.   You maybe surprised what a wonderful idea they truly are.

1. Paws 5 Wooly Snuffle Mat

dog snuffle mats - paws5 wooly
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This mat is ranked as the overall #1 choice in snuffle mats.

PROS:

  • Is a very dense mat
  • Soft mat and cozy
  • Very durable
  • 12 x 18 inches in size
  • Machine washable
  • The more your dog digs for the treat, the farther it gets pushed into the mat

CONS:

  • A tad expensive
  • Not any pockets to hide treats in
  • Could be a bit bigger
  • No anti-slip backing

 

2. Stellaire Chern Snuffle Mat

dog snuffle mats - stellair chern

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This mat is an excellent choice if you are looking to do some training with.

PROS:

  • Offers good hiding spots
  • Cups to hide treats in
  • Lots of ruffles for added
  • Good for training
  • Flaps that need to be opened in order for your dog to find the treat
  • Oversize mat
  • Machine washable
  • Has 2 straps for easy pick up
  • Comes in 2 sizes : M – 23.6 x 39.4 and L – 39.4 x 39.4
  • Anti-slip backing

CONS:

  • Expensive to buy
  • Not indestructible
  • Spaces are a bit small for larger dogs

 

3. Custom Snuffle Mat via Etsy

dog snuffle mats - etsy mat

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This is a custom-made snuffle mat that has over 2500 positive reviews on Etsy

PROS:

  • Durable fleece
  • Well made
  • 27 x 27 in size
  • Machine washable
  • Inexpensive price
  • Has lots of flaps, folds and ruffles for hiding treats
  • Anti-skid bottom
  • Themed designs to choose from

CONS:

  • Not indestructible
  • Shipping may take a few days longer

 

4. Rantow Sunflower Snuffle Mat

dog-snuffle-mat-sunflower-mat

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This snuffle mat is the most affordable snuffle mat of the list

PROS:

  • Very affordable
  • Soft fleece mat
  • Anti-slip bottom
  • Machine washable
  • 18.9 diameter size
  • Dense fleece for good hiding

CONS:

  • Quite small
  • So light that dogs may flip it over easily

If none of these mats tickle your fancy, or if they just aren’t what you had envisioned, than you could always make your own mat.

Check out making your own snuffle mat here.

Snuffle mats finale

Remember that although a dog snuffle mat can be amazing to use, it must always be done under supervision.   You never want to leave your dog with the mat unattended.   The mat is not meant as a chew toy and should be put away after you have completed the exercise or play time with your dog.   We all know how quickly a dog can become destructive with a toy or object. Be vigilante.

dog snuffle mat - never to old

We are coming into winter soon and us dog parents like myself are always looking for new toys, and ideas that we can use indoors.   This is a relatively easy way to have some fun and keep your dog entertained.  Why not get started with one for your dog?

There are many positives reasons that your dog should have his own snuffle mat!

I hope that you have enjoyed reading my post and if you have any questions at all please drop me a comment below.   I would love to hear from you.

14 thoughts on “Why Use Dog Snuffle Mats”

  1. Oh, this is not so bad in my own opinion. I feel the mats are a real go to for me to use for my dog and I really think it’s nice you can tell us about how to use them.

    Now my dog can feel a whole lot more comfortable with the mats and it’ll fell all better.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi Jackie,

      It always makes me happy to hear that my post has resonated with people.  Sharing things like the snuffle mat, is a way for me to help fellow dog parents and dog lovers.

      Keeping a dog interactive, engaged and using their god given senses is just an overall great idea.

      Thank you for taking the time today to share your thoughts. 

      Coralie 

      Reply
  2. This can really change everything for us and I really like all that you have shared here.

    Honestly, I like what has been presented here and it makes so much sense to see this here. In all honesty, I believe this and it will really help me a lot.

    Thank you for sharing this with us all. Thumbs up to you.

    Reply
    • Hello,

      I am glad to hear that you found my post informative and helpful.  Looking for things to share with other dog lovers and dog parents is one of the things I most love about having my own website. 

      As a dog parent myself, I realize how important tips and helpful hints can be.  Thank you so much.

      Coralie 

      Reply
  3. Hello there! Thank you very much for sharing this article on why use dog snuffle mats. I’ve gone through it and it’s a really detailed one and contains valuable information all dog lovers can hold on to.

    This article has exposed me to the importance of snuffle mats for dogs. Without coming across this, I wouldn’t have known how important it is. I’ll get the rainbow sunflower snuggle mat as it looks very comfortable and it’s also attractive.

    Thank you. 

    Reply
    • Hi Sophie,

      I am with you and the sunflower snuggle mat.  I know that it is for our dogs, but at the same time picking on that is cool looking also makes the mat in our homes look kind of cool.  It is funny that we still want our dog gear to look good as well as work well.

      These mats offer both scenarios.  They will entertain your dog, and also not stand out like a sore thumb in your living room. LOL!

      Thank you for taking the time to comment, I appreciate it.

      Coralie 

      Reply
  4. I love the idea of snuffle mats and some of them look very nice so they would also be a nice decoration for our home, apart from being good for our dog.

    But I wonder how long it would take her to destroy it completely 🙂 When we are buying toys for her in a vet shop, we always chose very hard ones; she destroys the soft and fluffy ones very quickly.

    When she was a puppy, she also bit my shoes, my boyfriend’s slippers, the shoe cabinet in the hallway, and the main door. Now she’s a bit calmer but she still loves biting soft things.

    But I still think I’ll give the paws 5 wooly snuffle mat a try, it could be a nice Christmas present for her. 

    Reply
    • Hi Lenka,

      I totally understand where your concerns are about the mat.  Although I can’t say for sure how long each version of the snuffle mat will last,  if you use it for the exercise and it is successful put it away when you are done.  It really isn’t meant to be chewed on anyway.

      I know all to well about your dog being a tad destructive, my dog Fergus absolutely has to be closely watched with toys.  He was great as a puppy, but now at 11 mos old, he has been on a toy destructive mode. 

      The best way to use the snuffle mat for us, is to pull it out as a training exercise like a prop and when he is done, we put it away until next time.  I absolutely can’t trust him to not destroy it.  Not all dogs are the same, but it sounds like your dog is similar.

      Best of luck to you and thank you for telling me your story.  Let me know if you have any other questions that I can help with. Thanks

      Coralie 

      Reply
      • That’s actually a good idea, we normally only use sticks as props throwing them for her but we could use this snuffle mat instead. Then it could last much longer.
        I’m sure our Aisa will love it.
        Thank you for coming up with this idea!
        Lenka

        Reply
        • Hi Lenka,
          I am so happy that you enjoyed my post on dog snuffle mats. From the sounds of it, your Aisa would really enjoy one. Sometimes I find it important to think outside the box with our dogs. What works for one, doesn’t always work for the other, but I think dog parents generally have a good idea of their own dogs personalities.
          My Fergus for example really has that need to use his nose, so finding these snuffle mats, really was a bonus for us.
          Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on my post, I really appreciate a fellow dog parents input. Take care and best of luck with your pup.
          Coralie

          Reply
  5. I agree with you that not all dogs need the same stimulation. But I am interested in these snuffle mats. 

    I have noticed Spot being bored. And it may be a projection, because I’ve also been bored these days, shut up due to the pandemic. So, seeing my dog entertained could also have a possitive effect on me. I really liked the Paws 5 wooly snuffle mat. I’ll buy it!

    Reply
    • Hi Ann,

      I love that your dog’s name is Spot, that is awesome.  Such a great dog name.

      You are so right, that the pandemic has absolutely affected our dogs in by being more closed in.  I know it has affected my dog Fergus.  Even though he was just a puppy.

      I am always looking for new ways to keep him occupied and being that he is such a nose guy this is perfect for him.

      I hope Spot enjoys the snuffle mat, and if you manage to get him playing with it, take a video and I will put it on my post.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my post, I appreciate hearing from other dog owners a lot.

      Coralie 

      Reply
  6. The idea of a snuffle mat is one that I’m sure will be welcomed by a lot of dog lovers and owners just like myself as it holds the possibility of finding something engaging for your dog to partake in so they do not become bored easily and get into mischief as a result of that. It will also help hone their keen sense of smell. 

    Reply
    • Hi Sean,

      Yes you are so right that using a snuffle mat is a wonderful way to keep your dog in tune and occupied. Making sure our dogs use the senses they have is also such a huge positive for their over all well being. Thank you for taking the time to read my post and offer your input, I appreciate it.

      Thanks again

      Coralie

      Reply

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