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6 Best Snuffle Mats for Dogs

Dog standing on snuffle mat
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Dogs need mental stimulation as much as physical exercise like walks and games of fetch. These “brain games” can be activities like training, treat puzzles, or exploring new places. Mental exercise keeps dogs calm and happy, but research says it can also keep them healthier for longer.

A snuffle mat is another way to give your dog mental exercise. They are affordable, easy to store and clean, and can be used without leaving the house or even the living room!

What is a Snuffle Mat?

Dog standing on top of a snuffle mat

Snuffle mats come in various sizes and shapes but are generally large, flat mats that hide treats for dogs to sniff out. Typically, they are made with pieces of fabric that treats can be hidden in, around and under.

To use a snuffle mat, place it flat on the floor and scatter treats or kibble in the hiding places. Then, let your dog explore the mat and discover the treats. 

Snuffle mats have become popular because of their ease of use and benefits for pets’ mental health. They are also convenient when the weather is too cold, too hot or too rainy to play outside.

Benefits of Snuffle Mats for Dogs 

Dog sniffing a snuffle mat at home

Typically, we think dogs have to run to tire out, but sniffing and searching through a snuffle mat stimulates your pet’s hunting instincts and helps fulfill a natural desire to sniff.

“[Snuffle mats are] super enriching and encourage dogs to tap into their instinct of sniffing, foraging, and hunting for food,” says Kylie Campbell, owner and head trainer at Art of Behavior. “This provides an excellent source of both mental and physical exercise.”

If you have a high-energy pet, using a snuffle mat can help them channel their energy in a calming, non-destructive way. 

“Snuffle mats can be used to reduce stress and build positive associations when being handled for vet procedures and grooming,” says Campbell. “[They are] wonderful for decompression and relaxation after ‘big feelings’ events like moments of high excitement, scary noises, reactive walks, etc.”

Dogs at any age can use a snuffle map. For puppies, they are a good starting point for enrichment activities and help them gain confidence. They are also great for older dogs or dogs that need movement-restricted activities like healing from an injury or illness, says Campbell.

Snuffle mats can even be used to feed your dog. If you notice your dog eats too quickly and chokes or throws up after meals, snuffle mats help slow them down.

6 Best Snuffle Mats for Dogs

All featured products are chosen at the discretion of the author. However, Great Pet Care may make a small affiliate commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Joyhound Classroom Snuffle Puzzle Fast Foods Burrow & Play Mat

Joyhound Classroom Snuffle Puzzle Fast Foods Burrow & Play Mat Dog Toy

This fast-food-inspired design has multiple crevices and hiding spots for your pet to search through. While some areas require your pet to use their paws or nose to dig deeper, the “fries” put your dog’s nose to work searching for a treat.

Dogs of any size can enjoy this snuffle mat, but it is fairly small, so consider your pet when deciding if this snuffle mat is a good fit.

Highlights

  • Non-skid backing
  • Unique design
  • Machine washable

Things to Consider

  • Chewable materials
  • Smaller size

Pet Arena Adjustable Snuffle Mat

PET ARENA Adjustable Snuffle mat for Dogs

This adjustable snuffle mat is large enough for dogs of all sizes and will be sure to keep them busy for a while. Depending on how much you open the mat, it can be used as a bowl or a large, flat mat. It’s especially ideal for feeding meals since its bowl-like shape and fabric can hide kibble and encourage your dog to slow down. The non-slip backing will keep it in place, but it may not be secure enough for some high-energy dogs.

Highlights

  • Good for travel
  • Machine washable
  • Ideal for meal times
  • Non-slip

Things to Consider

  • Chewable materials

Pet Life Red ‘Sniffer Grip’ Interactive Anti-Skid Suction Pet Snuffle Mat

Pet Life Red 'Sniffer Grip' Interactive Anti-Skid Suction Pet Snuffle Mat

Some dogs may play too rough with snuffle mats and either push them across the room, pick them up, or turn them upside down. This snuffle mat has suction cups that can be secured to hard floors.

Highlights

  • Suction cups keep it in place
  • Machine washable
  • Lots of hiding places for treats

Things to Consider

  • Chewable materials
  • Small size

Stellaire Chern Snuffle Mat 

STELLAIRE CHERN Snuffle Mat for Small Large Dogs Nosework Feeding Mat

Large dogs might need a bigger mat, and this one is nearly 40 by 40 inches. This snuffle mat has multiple types of hiding places and lots of areas for your dog to sniff around and hone their hunting skills. You can also put it right into the washing machine, which is helpful given all the crumbs and dog slobber that snuffle mats can attract. 

Highlights

  • Extra large size
  • Machine washable
  • Variety of hiding places
  • Anti-slip backing

Things to Consider

  • Chewable materials
  • Pricey

Awoof Snuffle Mat

AWOOF Snuffle Mat Pet Dog Feeding Mat

This snuffle mat combines the best of everything: multiple hiding places, large size, machine washable and easily stored. The only con is the higher than average price and lack of non-stick backing. Instead of non-slip material, it comes with attachable ties that can be used to secure the snuffle mat to furniture, which may be better for some dogs.

Highlights

  • Machine washable
  • Variety of hiding places
  • Folds up easily

Things to Consider

  • Chewable materials
  • Pricey

Pet Life Blue ‘Sniffer Snack’ Interactive Feeding Pet Snuffle Mat

Pet Life Blue 'Sniffer Snack' Interactive Feeding Pet Snuffle Mat

If you need a large snuffle mat with various hiding places for treats, this is another one to consider. There are flaps your dog can search through, areas that require nose work and sections that require your pet to work a bit harder to earn a treat. Dogs of all sizes can use this mat and it can be thrown into the wash to clean.

Highlights

  • Machine washable
  • Anti-slip backing
  • Variety of hiding places

Things to Consider

  • Chewable materials
  • Pricey

Dog Snuffle Mat Buying Guide

Dog sniffing snuffle mat at home

While there’s not too many things you need to research before buying a snuffle mat, there are still some things to keep in mind. Here are some tips when considering one of these interactive mats for your dog:

Think about where you’ll use it. Will you use the mat in your carpeted living room or will it be used on a hardwood floor? If it will be on hardwood or tile, consider a mat with a non-slip bottom to prevent dogs from pushing it around. If you’d like to use the mat on-the-go while you’re traveling, look for one that is portable and easy to store. 

Consider the cleaning method. Since you will hide treats and food in these mats, look for ones that are easy to clean—preferably machine washable. If you can’t put it in the washing machine, look for a snuffle mat that is easy to wipe down.

Evaluate the challenge level. “Different types of snuffle mats can present different levels of challenge for dogs,” says Campbell. Your dog may enjoy one snuffle mat over another.

They may not be right for heavy chewers. Most snuffle mats are made with soft, easily chewable materials, so no matter which you purchase, you’ll need to supervise your dog while they use it. Exercise caution if you know your dog likes to destroy toys and put the snuffle mat away after use, says Campbell.

Dog Snuffle Mat FAQs

Sweet dog wearing bandana

Are snuffle mats good for dogs?

Snuffle mats are excellent mental stimulation and enrichment for dogs. They can be used to calm an overexcited pet, make scary experiences more comfortable, feed dogs who eat too quickly, and let your dog hone in on their instincts. They are also a great compliment to physical activity.

Are snuffle mats safe for dogs?

Snuffle mats are safe for dogs as long your pet is adequately supervised. Snuffle mats have many chewable parts, and it could be dangerous if your dog ingests too much of the fabric. To keep your pet safe, remove the snuffle mat as soon as they’ve finished finding the treats.

How do you use a dog snuffle mat?

To use a snuffle mat, place it on the floor, sprinkle dry treats or kibble across the mat, and hide them in crevices. Then, let your dog explore it! You can also use them to feed your dog meals. How long your dog interacts with the snuffle mat can vary, from a few minutes to a half-hour. When your dog is finished, remove the snuffle mat until next time.

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