Snuffle mats are fantastic! They’re quite simply lots of pieces of fabric in a mat that you throw treats in to for your dog to find.
The act of sniffing is very calming and enjoyable for dogs, and the snuffle mat just makes it a little bit harder for the dog to find the treats, therefore creating an enriching and long lasting activity for your dog to do.
You can buy pre-made snuffle mats or simply make your own.
All you need is a holey rubber doormat and some fabric.
I bought some cheap pet blankets as I wanted to do a colour scheme, but to save money you could look for any old scraps of fabric.
Cut the fabric in to strips, any length you fancy, and pass a strip of fabric down one of the holes and up the hole next to it then tie a double granny knot.
We simply looped one piece of fabric through each hole, but you could use more fabric if you want a fuller snuffle mat.
If you are using different colours then you could do each row in a different colour, or alternate holes with alternate colours.
This is how it looks upside down.
Our fabric was quite long but it still works well.
I’ve found the snuffle mat especially ground breaking during Bonfire Night. Normally Guinness would be barking at each bang and whistle, but instead this year I just kept throwing small treats in to his snuffle mat and it was enough to keep him occupied, creating a much calmer evening for us all.
Snuffle mats are also great for dogs who like to gobble their food as it takes them much longer to find each piece of kibble.
It also helps to calm down hyper-active dogs, as well as stressed dogs.
If you feed your dog dry dog food then simply measure out their meal and throw it into the mat and ruffle up the fabric a bit with your hands to ensure the food gets hidden.
If your dogs are completely happy to eat food around each other then you can use it for multi dog households, but its important to observe closely to make sure there is no tension or resource guarding.