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I love snuffle mats for dogs because they make for a great enrichment activity.
Who hasn’t got a story about a bored dog who got themselves into mischief?
I mean, we all know that dogs don’t ruin our favourite pair of shoes on purpose, but we would still prefer it if they didn’t.
The reason dogs get themselves into trouble is often because they’re bored.
If a dog is bored and has nothing else to do, they will come up with their own idea of a good time.
In order to prevent accidents from happening, we need to provide our dogs with an outlet for their energy.
Most of us struggle to provide our dogs with an adequate amount of physical exercise, so a great alternative is to provide our dogs with enrichment activities through mental stimulation.
A lot of the time, enrichment activities can make your dog more tired than a jog around the neighbourhood.
This is great, because as we all know: a tired dog is a good dog.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the use of snuffle mats for dogs.
Let’s get started.
A snuffle mat is an interactive enrichment puzzle that will engage your dog’s mind and body. You can purchase one online (on Etsy for example) or you can get crafty and make one yourself.
Snuffle mats are typically in a square format and are made of a rubber mat with holes and fleece material.
If you have a snuffle mat with long fleece strips, the puzzle will be harder for your dog. If the fleece strips are short, the puzzle is easier for your dog. Dog owners often start with shorter strips first and then work their way up to long strips.
Snuffle mats are easy to use and they’re great for providing mental stimulation to your dog. You can also check out this article to learn more about other different types of enrichment feeding for mental stimulation: A Guide to Enrichment Feeding
The idea of the snuffle mat is to place your dog’s kibble in the mat for them to find. If you don’t feed kibble to your dog, you can place a few treats in the mat for your dog to find.
As you can imagine, this will slow your dog down quite a bit while they’re eating. It also encourages your dog to use their nose, which provides mental stimulation as your dog is trying to find the food hidden in the mat.
You can use your snuffle mat instead of a food bowl when you feed your dog, or for a brief moment of enrichment throughout the day, as they are an excellent boredom buster.
Note that like with all games and toys, dogs should be supervised while engaging with the snuffle mat. Remove it once your dog has found all the food or treats to prevent them from eating the mat or peeing on it.
Yes, snuffle mats are good for dogs as there are many benefits for using them.
One of the benefits is that they’re slowing down fast eaters. If you feed your dog their main meal from a snuffle mat, your dog will naturally eat slower.
Another benefit is that your dog gets to use their nose during the activity, which is hugely satisfying.
You can also use a snuffle mat to practice self-control exercises with your dog. For example, you can tell your dog to sit and wait while you prepare the snuffle mat.
Snuffle mats are absolutely washable, but it will depend on the respective mat whether they are machine washable or need to be washed by hand.
If you purchase a snuffle mat online, check with the supplier on how to wash the mat. Sometimes the best option will be a simple hand wash.
This is to guarantee that you get to keep your snuffle mat for a long time. Many of them are not cheap if you buy them, and they can be pretty time-consuming to make yourself. In short: it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Snuffle mats are simple to make yourself but it’s a time-consuming task, so you might prefer to buy one. They can be tricky to find in pet stores, so we typically recommended buying them through Etsy.
On Etsy, you can buy handmade and unique items from creative entrepreneurs in Australia. Here are some from different states: