- The #1 Best Overall snuffle mat for dogs is the Sniffiz SmellyMatty.
- Snuffle mats and simple and effective tools for providing mental stimulation for your dog, since they engage your dog’s natural foraging instinct and challenge their olfactory senses as they search for food or treats. In addition, snuffle mats can help dogs who overeat or eat too fast, preventing many health issues and discomfort for your pup.
- Snuffle mats come in many different shapes and sizes, so we narrowed down your search by selecting the four best snuffle mats based on the following criteria: size, durability, and level of engagement.
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 as they would burn in an hour of walking.
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 four snuffle mats for dogs.
Top Picks: The Best Dog Snuffle Mats Today
#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 the SNiFFiz snuffle mat.
The mat comes with five additional maze puzzles, namely a ball pocket, book, handkerchief, puzzle board, and 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 labradoodles, German shepherds, and border collies that always look for new challenges to keep their minds active.
Made from durable oxford fabric and soft polar fleece, this mat is gentle on a dog’s nose. 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. Even larger dogs cannot 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.
Pros and Cons of the Sniffiz SmellyMatty Snuffle Mat
|The mat includes five puzzle challenges to keep your dog engaged for a long time.||Setting up the mat with treats can take quite a while in the beginning.|
|Since it is made with soft oxford and fleece fabric, it is gentle on your dog’s nose and mouth.||If your dog likes to chew or eats fabric toys, this is not a good choice, since the mat is made of soft fabrics that are not as sturdy.|
|The mat is large enough to keep both small and large breeds entertained.||The mat does not roll up in a single piece, so it does not store as easily as some of the other options.|
|The non-slip bottom and anti-flip structure help the mat stay in place, even with larger dog breeds.|
|The mat is machine washable, so you can keep it clean and use it over and over again.|
2. Most Durable: Paw5 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.
Even after weeks of heavy use, this snuffle mat does not show any signs of wear and tear. The mat is machine washable and you can throw it in the wash once a week without the mat losing its shine. In comparison, most mats made from fleece and felt materials usually 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 their 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, placing the mat against a wall or on a carpet can solve this problem to a large extent. An intelligent border collie could 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.
Pros and Cons of the Paw5 Wooly Snuffle Matt
|The mat is made from a blend of polyester and cotton, making it both gentle on your dog’s nose as well as sturdy and durable.||The mat does not have a non-slip bottom, so your dog may push it around the house (especially if you have hard floors rather than carpet).|
|The fabric blend also keeps this mat going strong even after multiple uses and trips through the washing machine.||It can also be flipped over quite easily by a larger dog.|
|Each mat is handmade from sustainably sourced materials, and the fabric bristles are hand-sewn so that the stitches do not come apart easily.||The mat is too small for larger dogs.|
|It is easy to set up and use; just sprinkle dry dog food or treats on the mat and it’s ready to go. You can also bury the food deeper to make it more challenging.|
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 they have 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 in general, 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-sized mat. However, we won’t recommend this mat for small dogs that may trip over the cups and ruffles, making the mat dirty quickly.
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 who easily get bored with repetitive tasks.
As expected, the larger-size mat offers more hiding places than the medium-sized mat, although the pockets and tubes are almost the same size 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. The mat’s soft fabric would not resist tearing and shredding for a long time. Some customers reported that their dogs could easily tear apart seams.
Pros and Cons of the Stellaire Chern Nosework Feeding Mat
|There are two sizes to choose from, so you can select which works best for your dog.||The mats’ sizes are not as well-suited for small dogs who may trip over the cups and ruffles and make the mat dirty quickly.|
|There are several textures and designs on the mat that provide different challenges for your dog. This is especially great for dogs who get bored easily.||It does not have an anti-flip structure, so some dogs may be able to easily turn the mat over and spill the food.|
|The mat is made from soft polar fleece fabric so it is gentle on your dog’s nose.||The mat is made from soft fabric, so it is not as sturdy as many other options. Dogs who like to chew can easily tear apart the soft seams.|
|It is also machine-washable for easy cleaning.|
|You can fold and tie the mat up with a string, making it easy to move and store.|
|This mat has an anti-slip bottom, helping it to stay in one place while your dog is foraging.|
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 pup weighing 20 pounds or less. Even an eight-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 does not show any signs of wear and tear after months of heavy use. The HALOVIE 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 who are always looking for new challenges.
Pros and Cons of the HALOVIE Snuffle Mat for Dogs
|This mat is simple and effective, so even young puppies can use it.||Since this mat is more simple, it is may not be challenging enough for intelligent dog breeds.|
|You can piece multiple mats together for more foraging fun.||Although it has an anti-slip bottom, the mat is lightweight and does not have an anti-flip structure, so it can be upended by larger dogs.|
|This mat has an anti-slip bottom, keeping it in place while your dog is using it.|
|It is machine-washable and easy to clean. The fabric is sturdy, and each mat is hand-sewn so they last for a long time.|
|The mat is easy to set up; just sprinkle dry food or treats on the mat and it’s ready to go.|
What to Look For in a Dog Snuffle Mat
Many of us know what it’s like to have an excited, highly active dog who can’t seem to gobble down their food fast enough. Snuffle mat products are recommended by veterinarians not only to entertain bored dogs and provide mental stimulation but to help them eat safely and avoid digestion and regurgitation issues.
When choosing a snuffle mat for your dog, there are three main factors to consider:
- Level of engagement
Let’s look at these elements in more detail:
The size of your dog’s snuffle mat is very important, especially if you have a large dog breed. A small, foot-long mat will not provide much engagement for a big dog. It can also be easily damaged and destroyed, even after just one meal. Many big dog breeds are known to chew smaller mats and even ingest them! On the other hand, an extra-large mat may be too much for a small dog, and they won’t want to use it.
Many snuffle mats are made with soft fabrics like felt and fleece so that they are gentle on your dog’s face. However, this also means that they can tear easily. Dogs who are prone to chewing and even eating fabric toys will need snuffle mats that are much stronger and more durable. This is especially true for puppies going through strong chewing and teething stages. It’s also important to see how well the mat holds up with constant washing since it will likely get dirty after a few uses.
Level of Engagement
If you want your snuffle mat to be effective, you’ll need one that is challenging enough to keep your dog engaged. A simple mat will suit a new puppy but may be too repetitive and cause an adolescent or adult dog to become bored quickly. Intelligent dog breeds often stop using unchallenging snuffle mats altogether and look for other ways to entertain themselves (some of which may get them into trouble). Some snuffle mats have long bristles or fabric strips where the food hides, while others have pockets, cups, and puzzles to keep intelligent dogs occupied for a long time.
- 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 flowers. 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.
What can you put in a snuffle mat?
You can use just about any type of dry dog food or dry dog treats on your snuffle mat. These mats are made of soft fabrics, however, so you shouldn’t put any wet, canned, or raw food on your mat. These will make the mat dirty, smelly, and unsafe for your dog.
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 two inches wide and eight 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!
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