Snuffle Mats for Dogs

Some trainers also recommend using a snuffle mat or other treat dispensing toy or tool to slow down a dog who eats too fast.

Snuffle mats are a brain engagement tool for dogs. Sprinkle dry kibble or treats on the mat and let your dog forage! Hunting for the treats engages the dog’s brain burning off excess mental energy that can translate into excess physical energy. Bored dogs with little mental stimulation can become destructive dogs as they look for a way to expend the energy.

Snuffle mats can also be used as a focusing and calming tool for dogs at events or shows that become over stimulated by their environment.

I make my snuffle mats on an industrial rubber anti-fatigue mat. Strips of fleece are tied in the holes in two directions making a thick, fluffy mat. Before I start cutting the fleece into strips, I wash it in a mild detergent free of dyes or perfumes. Because these mats are tools, not toys, I do not recommend leaving them down all the time or leaving the dog with the mat unattended as once the treats are gone, some dogs may continue to work the mat and start chewing the fleece. I have not had any reports of typically destructive dogs pulling apart the mats, and my own dog (who strikes fear in the hearts of squeaky toys everywhere!) does not attempt to pull on the fleece, rather laying his head on it and going to sleep after he has found all the treats.

With use, the mats may become dirty and I recommend spot cleaning as needed or hosing them off in the yard. They are not suitable for tossing into the washing machine because of the heavy-duty rubber base.

There are quite a few blogs and videos on the internet about using snuffle mats. To purchase, go to the store page and scroll down past the tatting.