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Does your dog eat too fast? Do you want a new way to stimulate your dog’s mind? A DIY snuffle mat may be what you are looking for.
What is a snuffle mat?
A snuffle mat is a toy that you bury treats in for your dog to sniff out. It can be used for mental stimulation or as a slow feeder.
I got interested in the snuffle mat as a way to slow down Luna’s speed eating. Unfortunately for us, she gets just too much food to make this viable as a slow feeder.
Maybe if I had a larger one this would work for that, but the size I made only allows for a small portion of Luna’s food to be put into it at a time.
It is still a great option for mental stimulation for both Luna and Morgan. And to use it for mental stimulation we can use either their food or treats.
If your dog is like Morgan and occasionally snubs their food, skipping some meals, I would recommend using just treats when using the snuffle mat.
If they are like Luna and eat their food like there may not be a next meal, using some of their allotted daily food works just fine.
Sink mat – I found the one above at a dollar store but this one looks similar. This size is a little small for Luna (my German Shepherd) but would work for a medium-size or smaller dog. You could also use a tub mat as long as it has a similar design to the sink mat. This one should work.
Fleece – About 1 ½ yards depending on the size of the strips.
Cut your fleece into strips. I cut these into about 1 inch by 7 to 8-inch strips. Once completed they seem a little short for Luna.
Next time I will cut my strips to an inch by at least 10 inches for such a big dog. This may require more fleece than the 1 ½ yards mentioned above.
Take one strip and feed it through two holes from back to front. Then tie a double knot in it. Continue to do this until you have one row done.
Then continue with the next row. Keep doing this until you finish all the rows one way.
Depending on the type of sink mat you have you may want to be done after just one direction like the one above.
Or you may want to do both directions like this maroon and grey one above.
And It’s Done!
If after reading this, you’ve decided you don’t want to make your own snuffle mat, you can also purchase one here.
How To Use Your New Snuffle Mat:
If you are using the snuffle mat just for mental stimulation, place several treats or kibble pieces in the mat.
Spread them out and make sure to push them down a little so they aren’t visible.
Place it on the floor and allow your dog to sniff around for the treats.
If you are using it as a slow feeder, take the kibble and spread it out in the mat.
Depending on the amount of kibble given at each meal you may need to fill the mat more than once.
I’ve found that Luna’s food needs to be split up when using the snuffle mat, though she eats like it’s a race to see who finishes first.
Supervise Your Dog
Only use the snuffle mat while supervising your dog. Some dogs may start to chew the fleece once all the food is gone. If your dog does chew the fleece they may swallow some pieces and this could lead to intestinal issues.
If at any time the fleece appears to be tearing, please discontinue use and either throw away or replace the torn pieces.
Remember the safety of your dog is most important.
Have you tried making a snuffle mat?