Does your dog gobble down 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 furry pal stay fit by burning off extra calories. With 15 minutes of snuffling, 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.
•Multiple pockets and areas for treat placement
•Great for dogs of all sizes
•Can adjust difficulty
•Machine washable with a nonslip bottom
•2 sizes - medium and large
Many of our team at A-Z Animals have experience with owning excited, highly active dogs or dogs who can’t seem to gobble their food fast enough. As an owner of a hyper, fetch-loving, food-motivated puppy, I can understand the desire to find any and everything to keep him happy and busy while I am working from home or out running errands. Snuffle mats and lick mats have been my saving grace, especially the more durable ones as my pup is also a chewer. These products were recommended to me by a veterinarian and, also having veterinary technician experience, myself, I knew it was the right move. Whether it’s directly feeding my dog on the snuffle mat for a slowed eating experience or throwing some treat here and there, the mat has made my life easier and my dog happier and healthier than ever.
Top Picks for Dog Snuffle Mat Products for 2022
#1 Best Overall: Sniffiz SmellyMatty
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. Throughout our research, 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.
However, we don’t recommend this mat for dogs who are big into chewing. 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.
#2 Most Durable: Paw 5 Wooly Snuffle Matt
If you are looking for a durable and long-lasting dog snuffle mat, we recommend the Paw5 Wooly.
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.
#3 Best 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.
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.
#4 Best For Small Dogs: HALOVIE Snuffle Mat for Dogs
If you are looking for a snuffle mat for smaller breed dogs, we recommend the HALOVIE Snuffle Mat.
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 18 x 18 inches, the size of the HALOVIE snuffle mat is just perfect for any pups weighing 20 pounds or less. Even our 8-week-old puppy can enjoy foraging through tiny tidbits between the grass-like fabric strips.
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.
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|
HALOVIE Snuffle Mat for Dogs
|Simple and effective||May be upended by larger dogs|
|Multiple mats can be pieced together||Not challenging enough for intelligent breeds|
|Has an anti-slip bottom|
|Machine-washable and easy to clean|
Best Snuffle Mat Summary
Here are our top picks for snuffle mats for your dog
|Rank||Best For||Snuffle Mat|
|3||Medium and Large Dogs||Stellaire Chern Nosework|
|4||Small Dogs||HALOVIE Snuffle Mat for Dogs|
- The Best Dog Lick/Dog Mat for 2022 – Similar to snuffle mats, lick mats are great for entertaining your active dog!
- The 6 Best Interactive Dog Toys: Reviewed for 2022 – Looking to further enrich your dog’s life? Check out these interactive toys.
- Best Slow Eating Dog Bowls: Reviewed for 2021 – Further ways to help slow down your excited dog’s eating.
- Best Dog Food Brands: Reviewed for 2021 – What to feed your dog based on factors of breed, size, personality, etc.
The Best Snuffle Mat for Dogs: Reviewed for You 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!