Newest Craze in Canine Enrichment!
From puzzles to new experiences, canine enrichment can be just about anything that mentally or physically stimulates your dog in a positive way! Today I’ll talk about the newest craze…snuffle mats!! It’s a mat made with strips of fabric where you can hide treats or dry food. Dogs sniff out and forage thru the mat to find their food or treats, it’s that simple! I imagine this was probably created when someone dropped some potato chips on a rag rug and called it “enrichment”. Haha! Either way it is fantastic! My pups love it!
Benefits of a snuffle mat
Help stimulate their senses (sight, smell, touch)
Great indoor activity for rainy days
Use to slow down a fast eater
A great DIY project
I googled a bunch of DIY snuffle mats and decided, “Hey, I can make that” and so can you! These mats are really easy to make. I will warn you that it takes A LOT of fabric and can be time consuming. My fingers hurt for 2 days after but I think totally worth it! In the end it only cost me $6 to make. If the idea of DIY doesn’t excite you there are tons of snuffle mats for sale online. They range anywhere from $20-$50 depending on the size. But for those of you who want to give it a try here are some instructions on how to make your own.
Snuffle Mat DIY Instructions
Step 1. Gather your material
After a trip to the store I came home with 3 yards of incredibly ugly fleece fabric I found in the clearance bin. Can’t complain about $1 for 3 yards! Plus, I didn’t even know if my dogs would like it so decided to start out cheap. In hind sight I should have just gotten all the same color. Haha! I found a $4 sink mat with a bunch of holes that looked like it would do the trick. You can use just about any kind of rubber mat with a lot of holes. I figure the sink mat would be easier to throw in the washer though it does restrict the size of snuffle mat you can make. My dogs are medium sized and it works well for 1 at a time.
Step 2. Wash your fabric then cut into strips.
Make sure you wash your fabric first.
Cut into 1 inch strips- I cut them into varied lengths, 6 inch, 8inch, 12inch or all the same size, whatever you prefer really
Step 3. Assemble
Turn on a binge worthy show cause its going to be a while. I think I went thru 2 episodes of “This is US”, an episode of “The Good Dr”, 2 episodes of “The Voice”, and a few other random shows before I finally finished.
Tie each piece of fabric to the mat
Step 4. Enjoy!
Brutus knew exactly what to do, he sniffed those treats out and used his nose, paws, and teeth to get them. Bella…well, she took a minute to figure it out. At first she tried ripping the fabric to get to the treats, then she tried to nibble thru the fabric to get to the treat. Oh my special girl. Haha. But after watching Brutus and seeing me move the fabric around she got the hang of it and started using her nose and paws to find the buried treasure. Totally worth the sore fingers putting this mat together. ;)