The Benefits of Snuffle Mats for Dogs
There are many enriching dog toys that help with mental stimulation and training, and one of our absolute favorites is the Snuffle Mat. Not only is it an excellent brain puzzle toy for dogs, but it can also help with digestion, and reducing stress. The best part? It’s super simple. It's low-tech, easily transportable, safe and non-toxic, and it’s durable.
What is a Snuffle Mat?
A snuffle mat is essentially a rubber sink mat with loose bits of fabric strips knotted through holes in the bottom. The purpose of its design is for the fabric to look like wayward strands of grass. Once kibble and dog treats are hidden among the folds, your fur baby can get to work to sniff around and use their senses to “hunt” for their food.
What are the Benefits of a Snuffle Mat for Dogs?
1. Strengthens Your Pup’s Natural Foraging Ability
Unlike our domesticated dogs who have their bowls of kibble laid out for them, their ancestors had to use their instincts and fine-tune their sense of smell (their strongest sense!) to find food. Using a snuffle mat will give your pup the practice to reinforce this natural ability.
2. Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Using a snuffle mat can help calm a nervous pup by boosting their “feel-good” hormones. When your fur baby digs around for their food and finally finds a treat or a piece of kibble after working to look for it, that reward spikes dopamine in the brain, which consequentially reduces their stress levels.
3. Busts the Boredom
Got an overactive dog at home? Using a snuffle mat and putting them to work can help channel your pup’s pent-up energy towards finding their rewards, while also giving them an opportunity to sharpen their mental focus.
4. Slows Down Eating to Improve Digestion
We know all too well what it’s like when it’s mealtime, and your hungry pup scarfs down their food in minutes, which (painfully) results in a bloated belly. Alternating giving your dog his kibble in a snuffle mat instead of a bowl allows them gaps between finding their food and eating, which can prevent overeating and helping them more easily digest their food.
5. Keeps Your Pup Distracted from Stressful New Experiences or Environment
Bringing your dog on vacation or expecting visitors? Laying out a snuffle mat with treats inside can allow a nervous and confused pup to shift their focus towards their “work” of looking for their yummy rewards. Being distracted like this can help your dog acclimatize themselves to their new environments or new stimuli.
Where Can I Buy A Snuffle Mat?
Shop our fan-favorite heart-shaped snuffle mat as part of our BFF Surprise Bag! Our snuffle mats are made to last with high-quality fleece and a durable rubber backing for lots of fun and interactive play. It’s also lightweight for easy transport and storage.