Does your dog gobble down their food in seconds, without taking the time to chew and enjoy each bite? Are you concerned that your dog gets bored too quickly? Or perhaps you are looking for a way to keep your furry pals busy when you leave them alone for long periods.
Problems like this can be easily solved with a snuffle mat. Designed to mimic grass, flowers or other outdoor areas with soft fabric materials where you can hide treats, a snuffle mat helps your dog use their brain and nose to forage for food, without having to go outside. The mat also helps your furbaby stay fit by burning off extra calories. With 15 minutes of snuffle mat sniffing, a dog can burn as many calories it would burn in an hour of walk.
No wonder dog snuffle mats are all the rage these days. However, with so many products out there, finding the right mat for your furbaby could be challenging. We tested a few popular products to finally select the top 4 snuffle mats for dogs.
The Top Picks for Dog Snuffle Mat Products: Ranked
Best Overall Snuffle Mat for Dogs: Sniffiz SmellyMatty
- Indoor Dog Enrichment Activity Toys - Make canines sniff as much as they need with tricky entertainment. SmellyMatty's Treat Nosework blows away their separation anxiety
- The Longest Feeding Time Ever! - Slow feed your dog with 'Foraging Snuffle mat + 5 Challenging treat dispensing Maze Puzzles'. Keep your dog busy and calming for a good long while
- Mental Stimulation Education from Small Puppy to Smart Dogs - You can adjust difficulty level of 5 puzzles no matter dog's breed and characteristic. Challenge your dog with 5 unique brain teasers!
- Meal Time now can be Bonding Time - Repetition of Hide and Seek training helps you and your dog literally INTERACT. Start Playing it every day with our entertaining slow puzzle feeder toys to bond with your dog.
- Durable and Safe Fabric toy (Oxford, Fleece); Non slip bottom; Anti Flip Structure for large breed; Machine washable
The Sniffiz SmellyMatty earns A-Z Animals #1 ranking for best overall snuffle mat for dogs.
When it comes to choosing a snuffle mat for dogs, you want a product that can keep your furbaby engaged for a long time. And that’s exactly what you get from the SNiFFiz SmellyMatty snuffle mat.
Designed to mimic a large flower with multiple layers of dense grass-like strips and petal-like ruffles, the SNiFFiz SmellyMatty offers lots of treat-hiding places to keep your furbaby busy for hours.
Dogs are notorious for losing interest in new toys quickly, a tendency known as neophilia. In our testing, most snuffle mats failed to keep a dog challenged day after day, with the only exception of SNiFFiz snuffle mat.
The mat comes with five additional maze puzzles, namely a ball pocket, book, handkerchief, puzzle board, and a wallet. We also love that the puzzles vary in how difficult it is to solve them. In our testing, most dogs could easily open up the handkerchief puzzle but took time to decode the ball pocket. Features like this make the SNiFFiz snuffle mat a great option for smart and energetic breeds like Labradoodle, German Shepherd, and Border Collie that always look for new challenges to keep their mind active.
Made from durable oxford fabric and soft polar fleece, this mat is gentle on a dog’s nose. Even with multiple daily foraging sessions, none of our dogs showed any signs of abrasion. The 32 inches x 32 inches size makes the mat suitable for all breeds and ages. The mat’s non-slip bottom helps keep it in place. In our testing, even larger dogs could not flip the mat over, thanks to its anti-flip structure. Each mat comes with four removable black poles inside them. The poles help keep the mat in proper shape and keep it from flipping. The mat and maze puzzles are machine washable. However, you’ll need to remove the black poles before washing the mat.
Setting up the mat could be a little time-consuming as you have to manually insert treats inside each hiding place. However, once you get the hang of it, setting up should not take you more than a few minutes.
Also, we don’t recommend this mat for dogs that chew up everything. Made of soft polar fleece fabric, the SNiFFiz SmellyMatty snuffle mat is not sturdy enough to withstand any type of chewing or heavy foraging. We also found that the mat cannot be rolled up into a single piece for easy storage, when not in use.
Click here to check out the Sniffiz SmellyMatty
The Most Durable Snuffle Mat for Dogs: Paw5 Wooly
If you are looking for a durable and long-lasting dog snuffle mat, we recommend the Paw5 Wooly
- Engage your dog’s sense of smell: puts your dog’s nose and brain to work by mimicking the hunt for food in nature
- Simply challenging: encourages natural foraging skills
- Easy-to-fill feeding mat: fun-to-use design and durable construction
- Machine washable: Sustainably handmade from a combination of virgin and upcycled materials
- Perfect for all dogs: any breed, any age, any size, all dogs and even potbelly pigs will love it
Unlike most other snuffle mats, the Paw5 Wooly is made from a blend of polyester and cotton. The polyester component makes it highly durable against rips and tears while the soft cotton material ensures that the mat is still gentle on your dog’s nose. Our dogs never got an abrasion from using this mat.
During our testing, we did not see any signs of wear and tear on the Wooly mat even after weeks of heavy use. The mat is machine washable and we’d often throw it in the wash once a week. It did not lose its shine even after 15 washes. In comparison, most mats made from Fleece and Felt materials would show signs of tearing after a few uses.
We also love that each mat is handmade from sustainably sourced materials. The grass-like strands (bristles) are tightly hand-sewn onto the mat to make sure the stitches don’t come apart easily.
Durability aside, this snuffle mat also impressed us with its simple yet effective design. Just sprinkle dry food treats on top of the mat and let your fur baby exercise its foraging instinct. If you want you can manually bury the kibble deeper into the strands to make foraging more challenging for your pup.
One downside is the mat doesn’t have a non-slip bottom. However, we found that placing the mat against a wall or on a carpet can solve this problem to a large extent. During testing, our intelligent Border Collie would easily flip it over and shake out all the kibble. Also, the size of the Wooly mat, at 12″ x 18″, is not suitable for larger dogs.
Click here to check out the Paw5 Wooly
The Best Snuffle Mat for Medium and Large Dogs: Stellaire Chern Nosework Feeding Mat
The Stellaire Chern Nosework Feeding Mat earns A-Z Animals top pick for medium and large dogs.
- ENGAGE YOUR DOG’S SENSE OF SMELL - Our dog snuffle blanket puts your dog’s nose and brain to work by mimicking the hunt for food in nature, encourages natural foraging skills.
- EASY TO USE DESIGN SLOW FEEDING MAT - Easy to fill, you can mix kibble and hide a few treats to spark dog's interest. Challenge through dog training mats, avoid your dog's bored and engage in destructive behavior. Great for stress release.
- EASY TO CLEAN AND CARRY - Machine washable pet snuffle mat made of polar fleece and upcycled materials, eco-friendly and durable construction. Roll up for storage and carrying.
- PERFECT FOR ALL DOGS - L 39.4" x 39.4". Indoor dog training mat builds interaction between owner and pet. Anti-slip backing can stays stable on floors, keeping them securely in place for less-messy pet feeding.
- NO RISK PURCHASE - We want to make your dog's life more enjoyable! If you are not satisfied with our product, we will do our best to solve your problem.
Just because your dog takes up more space doesn’t mean it has to compromise on the foraging fun. Whether you have a medium-sized Labrador or a giant German shepherd, the Stellaire Chern snuffle mat is a perfect indoor enrichment tool to harness your furbaby’s natural foraging instincts.
The Nosework Feeding Mat comes in two sizes.
- Medium – 23.6 x 39.4 inches
- Large – 39.4 x 39.4 inches
There is no set rule but we found that the large size is suitable for dogs weighing over 60 pounds. If you have a medium breed dog that weighs anywhere between 35 and 55 pounds, we recommended the medium size mat. However, we won’t recommend this mat for small dogs. During testing, our 16-pound Boston Terrier would often trip over the cups and ruffles, making the mat dirty more quickly than we’d expect.
What we really liked about this snuffle mat for dogs is its multi-textured design, with grass-like strips on one side, and cups, ruffles, straps, and hidden pockets on the other side. Varied challenges and innovative hiding places make this mat particularly suitable for dogs that easily get bored from repetitive tasks.
As expected, we found that the larger-size mat offers more hiding places than the medium-size mat, although the pockets and tubes are almost the same sizes in both of them. Made from soft polar fleece, this mat is gentle on your dog’s nose. It is machine washable and can be easily folded and tied up with the attached string for easy storage and carrying. It also features an anti-slip bottom.
On the downside, the mat does not have an anti-flip structure. It is also not the sturdiest mat on the market. In our testing, the mat’s soft fabric could not resist tearing and shredding for a long time. Some customers reported that their dogs could easily tear apart seams.
Click here to check out the Stellaire Chern Nosework Feeding Mat
The Best Snuffle Mat for Small Dogs: AK KYC Snuffle Mat
If you are looking for a snuffle mat for smaller breed dogs, we recommend the AK KYC Snuffle Mat.
- [ Pet Feeding Training ] This is a funny way to rain your dog's sense of smell to keep your pet busy when you are away from home. Fits for indoor and outdoor activity for your pets.
- [ Dogs Interactive Puzzle Toys ] You can put multiple mats spliced together becomes a big size mat. Hide your dog'snacks or toys in the Blanket and let your dog to find it out. It stimulates pet's foraging instinct and satisfies pet's senses.
- [ Handmade and Easy Clean ] KYC Dog Snuffle Mat Durable made. Won't rip or torn apart easily. non-slip pad on the bottom. Machine Washable and dryer safe.
- [ Soft Snuffle Mat ] The size of this mat is perfect for used by dogs and cats etc. Any animal with foraging instinct can benefit from this tool.
- [ Portable Design ] Convenient for you to place it at any place, roll up for storage, not only in your apartment, your bedroom, living-room but also patio, sunroom or balcony.
When it comes to slow-feeding your puppy or smaller-breed dog, you want a snuffle mat that is not too large or challenging to tackle for your little furbaby.
At 15.7 x 15.7 inches, the size of the AK KYC snuffle mat is just perfect for any pups weighing less than 20 pounds. In our testing, even our 8-week-old puppy was having a lot of fun foraging through the little tidbits between the grass-like fabric strips. If you own multiple puppies, you can splice several mats together to create a snuffle mat of your preferred size.
We also love that this mat is easy to use. Just sprinkle tiny morsels of food over the mat and watch your pup sniff the treats out using their natural foraging instinct. Thanks to its portable design, the mat can be easily rolled up for easy storage.
We’re also impressed by the durability of this product. Each mat is hand-sewn and made of sturdy fleece fabric. The mat did not show any signs of wear and tear after months of heavy use. The AK KYC snuffle mat is machine washable and easy to clean, thanks to its anti-pilling material. It also has an anti-slip bottom to keep it in place. However, some customers reported that their dog could easily upend the mat. Also, this might not be the best mat for intelligent dog breeds that always look for new challenges.
Click here to check out the AK KYC Snuffle Mat
The Different Types of Snuffle Mat for Dogs: Pros and Cons Compared
|Lots of places for hiding treats||Not suitable for chronic chewers|
|Difficulty levels can be adjusted||Takes time and effort to set up|
|Gentle on a dog’s nose||Does not roll up in a single piece|
|Made from durable oxford fabric|
|Has a non-slip bottom and an anti-flip structure|
|Durable construction||Does not have an anti-slip base and an anti-flip structure|
|Handmade from sustainably sourced materials||Not suitable for larger dogs|
|The cotton-polyester fabric ensures extra durability|
|Not abrasive on a dog’s nose|
|Simple yet effective design|
Stellaire Chern Nosework
|Lots of innovative puzzles||No anti-flip structure|
|Gentle of a dog’s face||Doesn’t resist chewing|
|Comes in two different sizes for large and medium dogs||Not very durable against rips and tears|
|Machine washable||Not the best snuffle mat for smaller breeds|
|Easy to roll up and store|
|Comes with anti-slip backing|
AK KYC Snuffle Mat
|Simple and effective||Some dogs may easily flip over the mat|
|Multiple mats can be pieced together||Not challenging enough for intelligent breeds|
|Has an anti-slip bottom|
|Machine-washable and easy to clean|
Last update on 2021-06-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
The Best Snuffle Mat for Dogs in 2021 FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is a snuffle mat?
A snuffle mat is a type of indoor enrichment toy designed to mimic the look and feel of an outdoor area, such as a grassy field or flower. This type of mat usually comes with multiple hiding places where you can tuck away some treats or kibble for your pup. The idea is to entice dogs into sniffing and foraging.
Why should you use a snuffle mat?
Dogs perceive the world through their noses, thanks to their strong sense of smell. In fact, dogs can smell 10,000 to 100,000 times better than humans. Not allowing your dogs to use their strongest sense is not only cruel but it can also cause behavioral problems in them, such as digging, chewing, and excessive barking.
A snuffle mat forces your dog to use their sense of smell to track down treats hidden in between strips, folds, or pockets of a mat. This helps slow down their feeding time. Using a snuffle mat also helps alleviate your dog’s stress and boredom, improves their digestion, deters nuisance behaviors, and keeps their body and mind active.
How to make a snuffle mat
It is easy to make a snuffle mat at home. You’ll need a fleece throw, scissors, and a rubber mat with holes. Once you have all the materials handy, follow the steps below to create your own dog snuffle mat.
- Step 1: Cut the fleece throw into multiple strips. Make sure each strip is around 2 inches wide and 8 inches long.
- Step 2: Take a fleece strip and work it through a hole on the mat and then tie a knot on the upside of the mat.
- Step 3: Repeat the process until each hole is filled
That’s it! Now you can throw kibble over the mat and watch your dog sniff them away!