This just could be the best Enrichment Toy for your dog?
If you have a dog, chances are you're always on the lookout for new toys and ways to keep them entertained. One product that has been gaining popularity lately is the snuffle mat designed for dogs.
Our handmade Australian snuffle mat is a mat lined with fabric, and with a good amount of pockets and pouches to hide your dried dog treats. The idea is that you can hide kibble or treats in the pockets or pouches, and your dog has to use their nose to find them. This can be a great way to keep your dog's mind active, as well as providing them with a tasty reward.
Your Pups Nose!
Have you ever watched how your dog behaves when he wanders around your house or out on a walk? Your pup spends a whole lot of time with his nose to the ground. Your dog actually sees the world through his nose. While you may be able to smell a baked diner, your dog’s nose is strong enough to smell each ingredient.
A dog’s sense of smell is 50 times stronger than humans!
Before dogs were domesticated and hand-delivered a tasty meal in a bowl, they worked for their food. To do that, they used their nose. From tracking prey by its scent to sniffing out berries on a shrub – without their powerful nose, your dog’s ancestors would have starved. While your spoiled pooch may no longer need to sniff out his next meal, he hasn’t lost these instincts.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much to be sniffed out around the home, which can contribute to boredom – especially for smarter breeds like Australian Shepherds, Labradors, Border Collies, Poodles and Golden Retrievers, and Fox Terriers, and boredom can lead to problem behaviours such as barking, chewing and digging.
Sniffing is part of the reason why dog’s love walks so much. A walk exposes your dog to an entirely new world of different smells and scents – and that truly excites them. When you think about it, depriving your dog of using their number one sense is almost cruel.
That’s where a Snuffle Mat comes into play
A snuffle mat taps into your dog’s primal instincts by rewarding their curious nose with a tasty treat.
Your dog’s nose and brain were made to hunt, track, burrow, sniff, and snort. They were made to WORK! Nose work or snuffling capitalises on this natural desire to sniff.
Snuffle Mats are an interactive dog enrichment toy, used to help enhance search and find skills along with many positive results including;
· Encouraging play
· Energy exhausting!
· Reduce gorging in fast eaters
· Can be used for behaviour training
· Regular practise greatly benefits dogs lacking in confidence
· Great for puppies who are just learning about mental enrichment
· Use with older dogs who can’t physically manage playing with other food dispensing toys
· Mentally stimulating and boredom-busting
· Fantastic for dogs on restricted exercise because of surgery or recovery from injury
· Reduce anxiety when being groomed or handled
Use your dog’s daily food allowance if fed on a dry diet, or use chopped up carrot or apple if concerned about calorie intake. This treat mat doesn’t just have to be used with treats!
There are many different snuffle mats on the market, so how do you choose the right one for your dog?
Consider the size of your dog and the type of fabric or material the mat is made from. You also want to make sure that the mat is easy to clean - after all, you don't want your dog's snuffle mat to become a breeding ground for bacteria. With so many factors to consider, it can be tough to decide which snuffle mat is right for your pup. However, Farmer Pete's has done the research for you and has found what we believe is the best snuffle mat on the market.
How to use a Snuffle Mat?
Snuffle mats are easy to use and they’re great for providing mental stimulation to your dog.
The idea of the snuffle mat is to place your dog’s kibble or treats in the mat for them to find. If you don’t feed kibble to your dog, you can place a few treats in the mat for your dog to find.
As you can imagine, this will slow your dog down quite a bit while they’re eating. It also encourages your dog to use their nose, which provides mental stimulation as your dog is trying to find the food hidden in the mat.
You can use your snuffle mat instead of a food bowl when you feed your dog, or for a moment of enrichment throughout the day, as they are an excellent boredom buster.
Note: as with all games and toys, dogs should be supervised while engaging with the snuffle mat. Remove it once your dog has found all the food or treats to prevent them from eating the mat or peeing on it.
What do you put in a Snuffle Mat?
Small, dry treats are best to be put in snuffle mats to avoid making an unnecessary mess.
If you feed your dog kibble, you can use some of their daily ration for the snuffle mat.
We know of a few dog owners whose pups didn’t care for kibble but are obsessed with Farmer Pete’s Treats, in particular the Roo Meaty Bites or Chicken Meaty Bites are very popular also any Jerky that can be broken into smaller pieces and placed in the snuffle mat.
Are Snuffle Mats good for dogs?
Yes, snuffle mats are good for dogs as there are many benefits for using them.
One of the benefits is that they’re slowing down fast eaters. If you feed your dog their main meal from a snuffle mat, your dog will naturally eat slower.
Another benefit is that your dog gets to use their nose during the activity, which is hugely satisfying.
You can also use a snuffle mat to practice self-control exercises with your dog. For example, you can tell your dog to sit and wait while you prepare the snuffle mat.
Does a Snuffle Mat tire a dog out?
Yes! Snuffle mats tire dogs out as much as physical play because when your dog is vigilantly using their sense of smell to sniff, they are also using substantial amounts of energy to focus. Research says that 20 minutes of snuffling is the same amount of stimulation as in one hour of running around.
What are Dog Snuffle Mats made of?
A Snuffle Mat is handmade and sewn using cotton fleece material with a canvas backing for strength. It is fully washable. The loose ends are attached at both top and bottom so your pup has places they can hide their treats!