Why Does Your Dog Need A Snuffle Mat?

Are you looking for long-lasting fun for your dog? A Snuffle Mat or Snuffle Bowl might be the answer to all your prayers!

Here's a basic guide on why your dog needs a snuffle mat.

What is a snuffle mat?

Do you know that dogs have a strong sense of smell that’s between 10,000 to 100,000 times more acute than ours?

A snuffle mat is made specifically to entice dogs into sniffing and foraging. Usually, snuffle mats and snuffle bowls are created with fleece strips tied to a plastic base with holes in them. Snuffle Mats create a space where treats are easily hidden.

When you put food in this strange-looking mat, your dog gets to sniff around and search for its favorite treats. The hidden treats encourage nose work and your dog's natural foraging tendencies.

5 incredible ways to use a snuffle mat

Snuffle mats act as an interactive toy, a brain game, and a great tool for improving the eating habits of your dog. The magnificently multipurpose snuffle mat offers a lot of benefits for dogs.

Satisfy urge of sniffing and natural hunting instincts

Sense of smell is incredibly valuable to canines. Dogs love to explore the world through smell and therefore they love the snuffle mats so much. Supporting your dog’s natural instincts in a safe and controlled environment is always a good thing. Snuffle mats encourage healthy sniffing habits from the start.

With the snuffle mat, your dog can let out their natural urge to forage and get rewarded for it! Giving your dog the opportunity to act on their instincts in a safe and acceptable environment is good for their brain health and can help stimulate their mind.

 Alleviate anxiety and stress

You can use a snuffle mat as a distraction to alleviate stress. Dogs love to smell and a snuffle mat will provide an excellent activity for your dog to do it. Since smell is an instinct for dogs, it helps in reducing stress and anxiety.

Snuffle mats give less chance of your dog becoming frustrated, anxious, or destructive. These mats are entertaining and can help dogs with many behavior problems. A satisfied, less-stressed dog means a happy dog and a less-stressed owner.

Provide mental stimulation

Providing your dog with an appropriate outlet for his or her excess energy will not only tire him or her out but challenge your dog’s mind and increase confidence levels.

Snuffle mat and snuffle bowl provide terrific mental stimulation for your dog. They can enjoy it for hours without getting bored. Turning treats and mealtimes into a fun brain exercise for your dog gives them a rewarding outlet for their energy. Snuffle mats are particularly helpful for dogs who live in an apartment without a yard.

Kill boring time

You can banish boredom from your dog's life with a snuffle mat. Snuffle mat and snuffle bowl will keep your dog busy for hours! It creates a useful distraction for your dog. As your dog gets engaged in a Snuffle mat, it redirects destructive behavior.

Slowing down fast eaters

A snuffle mat or snuffle bowl can also prevent some serious health issues, especially if your dog is prone to eating too quickly. When dogs don't chew and eat too quickly, they’re at risk of choking, discomfort, or a medical condition known as bloat.

 These mats act as healthy feeding tools that encourage slower eating habits in dogs. It slows down the eating process and this helps them in eating and digesting food in a better manner.

The slow process of methodically searching and reaching for food, combined with the mental focus, causes the digestive tract of dogs to secrete more enzymes. This results in a greater chemical reaction within their body while breaking down foods.

Makes a perfect toy

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.

Perks for pet parents

Making life easier and more fun is a dream of every pet parent. The snuffle mat can make things convenient and entertaining for the pet parents!

  • Most snuffle mats are machine washable. That means you don’t need to spend time cleaning a dirty dog food bowl anymore.
  • Seeing your furry pal have fun is entertainment. Watching them figure out this magical snuffle mat is sure to provide a laugh.
  • You can get some extra downtime at mealtimes and getting treats will take a bit longer than usual with the snuffle mats.
  • With snuffle mats and snuffle bowls, you don't need to worry about noisy food bowls and speed-eating stomach aches.

So, satisfy your dog’s foraging instincts and make a fun game for both you and your four-legged child.

Are there different Snuffle products?

Yes!  There are several varieties, from puzzle toys to Snuffle Mats and Snuffle Bowls.

A Puzzle Toy (Family Pooch doesn’t sell these currently, but you can find them on Amazon.com and Chewy.com) are usually plastic or rubber toys that have treats inside of them.  Your dog’s nose helps them figure out there is a treat inside, and they need to use their brain to unlock the treats.  Family Pooch doesn’t have a problem with Puzzle Toys, we will not sell anything that isn’t high quality, and, in addition, most of these are, mainly, a toy, and once your furry friend has figured out the trick, is mainly just an obstacle to FOOD, and nothing more is learned. 

Snuffle Mats and Snuffle Bowls, as discussed in this article, are designed more like natural foraging, and engage your pup’s nose and brain. There are differences between them that may make one more suited to your needs:

Snuffle Mats (Family Pooch’s Snuffle Mat’s are here) come in many shapes and sizes, all to match your decor and the size of your dog.  Treats are set into pockets, flaps, flowers, etc., and then your dog hunts them all out.

Snuffle Bowls (Family Pooch’s Snuffle Bowls are here) are designed to act like food bowls.  They can be used for all your dry dog needs, or specifically for treat time.  Placement of food or treats is a bit easier; they take up less room than their Snuffle Mat counterparts and are easy to store.

Take some time to look into snuffle mats and snuffle bowls today. Give your dog’s brain a boost and change mealtimes forever. We bet you won’t regret it!

Are snuffle mats good for aggressive chewers?

One of the great things about the snuffle mat and snuffle bowl is that they don't discriminate! The snuffle mats and bowls can be used by dogs of any size, age, or breed. Since the make-up of this product is so simple, it makes it safe for all dogs to use without the risk of injury.

Keep in mind that snuffle mats aren’t meant for chewing and aren't designed to be chew toys. So, make sure to supervise your dog's foraging time, especially if they're heavy chewers.

Encouraging your dog’s natural foraging skills is a great way to help keep them busy and release their pent-up energy. When looking for snuffle mats for dogs, think about what kind of design they like. Choose one that’s durable enough to withstand multiple foraging sessions.

Snuffle mat - Tips and tricks

There are a few precautions you should take to ensure safe play with snuffle mats. Here are some tips and tricks when getting a snuffle mat for your furry friend.

  • Creating boundaries: The snuffle mats will require supervision for safe use. Monitor your furry pal while it plays with a snuffle mat. Things you can use in your snuffle mats include dry kibble, dog treats, and veggie or fruit pieces. The smellier the treats, the better! Do not use tiny bits of food as they will get lost in the layers of the mat.
  • Teach proper use: Help your dog understand how the mat works and keep an eye on your pooch till he understands it fully. Some dogs flip the mats or try to tear at the fleece pieces. It's better to put away the mat after each use.
  • Safety comes first: You must ensure your dog's safety when giving a snuffle mat to them. Once your dog begins to break or shred the snuffle mat, it’s time to toss and replace it.
  • Cleaning: Clean snuffle mats as needed to prevent bacterial buildup. Most can be hand-washed or machine-washed safely with dish soap and air-dried. Before cleaning your snuffle mat, shake it out to remove any bits your dog may have left behind. Make a schedule of cleaning it every 2 weeks or so.
  • Read the instructions carefully: Carefully read the snuffle mat’s instructions to ensure it is safe for dogs of all sizes. Remove tags and plastic covers from snuffle mats before giving them to your dog.
  • Choose a durable snuffle mat: When selecting a snuffle mat, durability is key. After all, it needs to hold up to some serious gnawing and pawing. A poorly constructed snuffle mat could potentially present a choking hazard. The material used in the snuffle mat must be easy to clean, safe, and free of harmful chemicals.

Final thoughts

Snuffle mats and snuffle bowls are a great way to help your dog relieve stress, boredom, and expend their pent-up energy. All this is done while keeping them entertained and you sane!

Now, that you've got the complete rundown on snuffle mats and snuffle bowls, let's let them sniff! Take a handful of your dog’s favorite treats or kibble and sprinkle throughout the snuffle mat. Your dog deserves only the best!

Enjoy watching your dog having fun with their snuffle mat!

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