What Are Dog Snuffle Mats?
If you’re a dog lover, you may have already heard about snuffle mats. If not, there’s a lot you need to learn about finding and using a snuffle mat for dogs. A snuffle mat can be a great addition to your household, whether you have a single dog or have a multiple dog household. The mat has several functions, from helping train your pet to relieving your pup’s anxiety. But before getting into how to find the best snuffle mat, let’s start with the basics. What is a snuffle mat for dogs, and how do you use this exciting pet product?
1. HOW TO USE A SNUFFLE MAT
A dog snuffle 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.
2. FINDING THE BEST SNUFFLE MAT
If you have decided that a snuffle mat is a good option for you and your pet, your next step will be to find the right one. Because they have become so popular in recent years, they have virtually flooded the market, which can be both a good thing and a bit of a problem. It is a good thing because there are many options available, and they are much more affordable than they were in the past. However, it can be more difficult to find the right one because there are so many options available. Fortunately, keeping a few things in mind can help you find the best snuffle mat, allowing you to meet all your pet’s needs and give them the best care possible.
Among the most important things to look for when choosing a dog snuffle mat is one that is easy to clean. Even if you do not use wet food in your snuffle mat, food residue will likely be left behind, especially if you use the snuffle puzzle mat regularly. This means it will need regular cleaning, so it doesn’t begin to smell or attract pests. Among the things to look out for so you can be sure your snuffle mat is easy to clean is one that is made from high-quality materials. Many will even tell you that they are machine washable so they can be placed directly into a washing machine, making them easy to keep clean with little effort required on your part.
Being made of high-quality materials also makes the best snuffle mat options sturdier and can hold up to plenty of wear and tear. As your dog burrows into the mat, searching for their treats, they will be using their paws and teeth. Your snuffle mat needs to be able to hold up to all of that without breaking down. Choose strong, heavy materials that will not break down after just a little bit of use.
3. CHOOSING A SNUFFLE MAT FOR A PUPPY
There are plenty of snuffle mats out there, and they are all fairly easy for pets to learn how to use. However, if you are purchasing a puppy snuffle mat for a younger dog, there are a few things you might want to consider. A puppy likely has a few special needs in comparison to a fully grown dog. For example, a puppy may not be able to eat harder foods yet and may still need to eat foods on the soft side. That’s why it can be a good idea to be sure you get a puppy snuffle mat that is especially easy to keep clean. However, remember that you do not need to worry about getting a smaller snuffle mat for dogs. Your puppy won’t mind foraging in a snuffle puzzle mat that is much larger than they are, and as they grow, it will become more appropriate for their size.
Overall, the best snuffle mat on the market is always going to be the one you think is tailored to your pet’s needs and the one you think is going to be easiest for you to take care of. It is going to be most important for some people to get a snuffle puzzle mat that will be able to stand up to plenty of wear and tear, especially if they have an overzealous dog that likes to shred and chew the items that they play with. Others will want to be sure they get a snuffle mat for dogs that is easy to clean up at the end of the day so they can be sure it stays clean, no matter how often their pet uses it.