5 Snuffle Mats That Will Actually Keep Your Dog Busy
These mats are so much fun 🐶✨
Does your dog gobble down his food in record time? Or are you looking for a way to distract your high-energy pup and keep him out of trouble?
Basically any pup can benefit from a snuffle mat — a toy that combines eating with playtime and can actually make your dog happier and healthier.
Want to know how? Or which one to buy?
We reached out to the Humane Educational Society in Tennessee to find out how this interactive toy can benefit your pet, and rounded up the five best snuffle mats for dogs that you can order right now.
What is a snuffle mat for dogs?
Snuffle mats are a type of interactive treat toy which require your dog to sniff out and retrieve food hidden between strips of fabric on a mat.
These fabric pieces are supposed to mimic tall grass in nature, where your dog would have to forage for his food to eat it. This foraging behavior is intended to appeal to your dog’s natural survival instincts, which is actually great for his brain!
“Animals evolved to search for their food, and dogs’ brains are still wired to find that search enjoyable,” Dr. Hanie Elfenbein told The Dodo.
You can hide treats in the snuffle mat during playtime, or you can even feed your dog his normal meals with the snuffle mat.
Benefits of dog snuffle mats
Your dog will love his snuffle mat, and you will too. Here’s why.
Slows down fast eating
With a snuffle mat, your dog isn’t able to scarf down his food quickly like he can with a standard dog bowl. He has to take the time to actually sniff and pick out the treats or kibble one by one.
So if your dog is notorious for scarfing down his food (and barfing it up), a snuffle mat can help him slow down.
Snuffle mats can also help your dog eat less.
When your dog has to pause in between bites, it gives him time to notice how full he actually feels after eating less food.
So if your dog is one to suck down his food and immediately beg for more (even if he’s already a little chunky), the snuffle mat can help him feel more satisfied after eating.
Provides mental stimulation
Snuffle mats require your dog to use his sense of smell to figure out where the treats are. The mental stimulation from this type of “nosework” can improve your dog’s well-being and even make him more optimistic.
Keeps him busy
When your dog has to work for something he wants (like food or a treat), he’ll be so busy he won’t care that your sneakers are sitting in the middle of the hallway unsupervised. Or that you’re on your Zoom call, not paying attention to him.
Dogs who require constant attention and activity (if you know, you know) would definitely benefit from a snuffle mat. It adds just enough challenge to mealtimes or playtime to keep him occupied, happy and out of trouble!
How to find the best snuffle mat for dogs
Snuffle mats come in a bunch of different themes and colors — so it’s partly up to you and your dog’s preference.
When looking for a snuffle mat, you’ll want one that’s machine washable and that has some sort of grip at the bottom so it doesn’t move around when your dog tries to use it.
Also consider the size of your pet. You don’t want a super small mat for a big dog, or one that’s too large (and maybe too difficult) for your tiny dog.
And if you and your dog are on the go a lot, look for snuffle mats that are portable. Some fold up easily and even come with their own tote bags for easy travel.
5 best snuffle mats
There are a ton of snuffle mats on the market, so here are five that stand out from the crowd.
These picks are not only cool-looking, but they’re also machine washable and portable, and have a non-skid bottom.
An adjustable snuffle mat, you can have it fully opened or tightened into a bowl or bad shape in order to switch up how you use it for your pup, or to use it for dogs of multiple sizes!
Football fans will love this snuffle mat. This mini football field has a ton of pockets to hide your dog’s treats or kibble in that you can change up every time to increase difficulty. The mat is made with oxford fabric and sits on an anti-slip bottom that’s perfect if your dog likes to play a little rough.
This mat mimics your dog pup hunting for food as her ancestors did — throughout grass and fields. It’s made from sustainably sourced materials and is perfect for a simple dog who just wants to forage for food but doesn’t need a themed mat.
This snuffle mat is shaped like a pizza, and, really — does anything else need to be said? It’s pretty adorable to see your dog stuffing his face in a comically huge pizza. And when it’s not being used as a puzzle toy, its soft material and round shape make it the perfect dog bed for your pup to snuggle up in.
This mat comes with five treat-dispensing puzzles that you can attach to the snuffle mat if you really want to challenge your dog. They each have a different level of difficulty, so you can make it easy for your dog at first, eventually training him to solve the more difficult puzzles with practice.
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