First things first...what is a snuffle mat?
A snuffle mat is an enrichment toy that taps into your dog's natural scavenging skills by requiring them to sniff and search for the treats you place in it. Dogs have some pretty powerful sniffers (ten thousand times better than ours!) and using that sniffer can be an incredibly positive experience for your dog by providing them with mental stimulation. This activity provides species-appropriate enrichment, can reduce stress/anxiety, and is fun and can be surprisingly tiring for your canine companion!
Can I wash my snuffle mat?
You can hand wash your snuffle mat using a mild detergent. Rinse thoroughly and air dry.
You can wash it in your washing machine. We recommend rolling it up and tying it with a piece of twine to protect the inside of your machine. Wash on the gentle/delicate cycle in cold water and air dry.
Always use the mildest detergent possible. Never ever use bleach.
How do I use my Snuffle Mat?
Snuffle Mats are a piece of cake to use! You can use your dog's kibble or a similarly sized hard, crunchy, treat. Sprinkle onto your snuffle mat and pull on the fleece "fingers" to help the goodies get deeper into the mat. Place mat in front of your dog and watch them snuffle, sniffle, and snorfle to find all the little goodies! If your dog is new to using interactive toys, you can make it easy in the beginning by just placing treats on top of the mat to create an association of "oh, wow, this crazy looking thing always seems to have goodies on it!" and then you can gradually push the treats deeper into the mat as they get the hang of it. When your dog is finished snuffling, pick up the mat and put it away. This will prevent the dog from destroying the mat to find "phantom" goodies and will keep the mat exciting and special for them.
When do I use a Snuffle Mat?
You can use your snuffle mat:
- For meal time (if your dog eats kibble) to give them added mental stimulation. Have a dog that wolfs down their food? Eating from their snuffle mat will help them hit the brakes!
- On days when the weather is just not cooperating and there's a minimal opportunity for outdoor exercise.
- If your dog is stressed in new or specific environments, bring that snuffle mat along (it's portable, woohoo!) and allow your dog to snuffle to help them adjust and relax in that environment.
- If your dog is recovering from a surgery/injury and is on restricted exercise.
- When you need a little "me time" - give them an appropriate activity to do so they don't find an inappropriate one on their own!
- Whenever you like! Dogs can always benefit from some extra fun and mental stimulation.