A snuffle puzzle mat is designed to make dogs work for their favorite foods and treats. It does this with its innovative design, which features a large and sturdy pad with long, thick strips of fabric attached to it. Food and treats can be hidden in these fabric strips, and your dog must use their nose to hunt for these treats. Dogs have a keen sense of smell that is thousands of times stronger than our own. Using their sense of smell to hunt for treats gives them a satisfying brain workout as they forage within the mat in search of the food that you’ve buried inside.
There are many different ways you can use a snuffle puzzle mat. However, the basic setup is the same in every situation. Simply take your pet’s favorite food or treats and hide it within the thick strips of the snuffle mat. Typically, it is best to use some form of dry food, as using wet food can stain the mat and make it more challenging to clean up later. Dry kibble and other forms of dry treats such as jerky chew cut up into pieces can be an excellent choice for this. However, you can also use homemade treats or even fruits, vegetables, and proteins such as cooked eggs, turkey, chicken, or bacon. It’s always a good idea to opt for foods that have a stronger aroma since your dog will be using their nose to hunt out the treats hidden within the snuffle puzzle mat.
Scatter a good number of the treats out within the strings so your dog can spend time searching for the food. It’s up to you to decide how much food you will be giving your pet. If you just want to use the snuffle mat to occupy a few minutes of your dog’s time, then a small handful of treats will be enough. However, if you are using the snuffle puzzle mat to give your dog something to do and relieve your pet’s anxiety while you are away from home, you will likely want to use a much larger amount of treats. The same is likely true if you are using the snuffle mat to relieve your pet’s anxiety during a thunderstorm or something else, such as fireworks, that may be causing your pet to stress.
Many people use a snuffle mat for dogs to help their pet slow down while eating. This can be a great use for a snuffle mat, especially if your pet needs to lose a little weight or have issues such as throwing up their food because they eat too fast. In this case, all you need to do is hide your pet’s standard amount of food within the snuffle mat. Since your pet will have to hunt for the food rather than have free access to all of it at once, they will be unable to eat as quickly as usual.