Updated: Mar 15
What’s a snuffle mat you say? It’s a fun game that you can play at home, any time, that stimulates your dog mentally, while also utilizing his natural sense of smell and desire to forage. And, bonus, you can make one at home! Who could ask for more?
By hiding pieces of dry food, whether that be kibble or dehydrated raw, your dog gets to sniff out the hidden pieces which will release stress reducing hormones, making him calmer, feel confident and have a sense of self-achievement.
They are really easy and fun to make and once you start using one, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without one!
So how do you make a snuffle mat, you ask? Let me show you!
You will need the following materials:
A rubber base. I use a rubber dish mat as it’s nice and flexible, easy to use and very inexpensive. You want to get one with honeycomb-shaped holes if possible, as they are easier to weave the fleece through.
Fabric. You can use any type of material, but fleece is the ideal type of fabric. It’s thicker so makes the mat a little more challenging, and it washes easily and dries quickly. Have fun with the colors, get creative!
Scissors. Fabric scissors are the best.
Ruler. A ruler will help you measure out the length of the fabric so your sections are equal. It needs to be at least 20 cm long.
Dry Food. You can use kibble, dehydrated raw or even frozen, chopped up vegetables.
Step 1. Cut your fabric into strips that are about 20 cm long and about 3 cm wide.
Step 2. Loop a strip of fabric through a hole in the mat and out the hole next to it and tie a single, overhand knot. Repeat this until the mat is completely full and looks like a shag rug.
If you want a pretty pattern, you need to knot in lines of the same color, instead of randomly.
How to use your Snuffle Mat:
- A stress reducing activity after a high energy training session
- Whenever you need to reduce your dog’s anxiety or excitability