Are you looking for a fun and mentally stimulating way to keep your pooch entertained? Or, perhaps you have a dog that tends to eat their meal a little too fast? If the answer to either scenario is yes, then a snuffle mat for dogs may be just what you need.
These handy little dog accessories manage to mix feeding time and playtime to provide an extensive amount of fun and excitement for canines of all ages and breeds. They’re also pretty simple to use, but for the sake of those who may be in the dark about how to use them, let’s give you a quick lesson!
What Is A Snuffle Mat?
If you aren’t completely familiar with what they are, snuffle mats are essentially custom mats with loose pieces of fabric that hide treats inside them. They are often used by pet parents who are looking to teach their dogs how to eat their food slowly but also to exercise their general sense of smell and mental acuity.
There are usually quite a few snuffle mats to choose from online that are made by pet brands and many of them are suitable for use for both small or large dogs, but you can always make your own DIY version if you want.
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How To Use A Snuffle Mat?
These mats are quite simple and straightforward to use, as all you have to do is hide your furry friend’s favorite treats in-between the fabric of the mat, where they aren’t easily visible. Once your dog is in the same room, it’s only a matter of time before they sniff around and begin foraging in the mat.
If you are concerned about them consuming too many treats at once, then you can always opt to switch things up by using some cut-up fruits like apples, instead. You just have to always remember that the key aspect of using these mats is to engage their sense of smell. This means making sure that the treats you intend to use are something they like to eat.
If you plan on using these mats to teach them how to consume their meals more slowly, then you can always hide some dry food there, instead. If this is the first time using them, you can place the treats on the top of the mat at first. This will help make it easier for them to find the treats and also get used to the mats.
It may take some time, so be patient with them. This is especially applicable when dealing with small dogs. As time passes, you can start to increase the number of treats and also hide them under the mats a bit further. They will start to realize that the mat means mealtime and will become more hyped up to go sniffing for food.
Most of these snuffle mats are also easy to clean and you can start by dusting out the mat above a trash can to get rid of any lingering bits of food. You can then either machine-wash them or hand-wash them, depending on what the manufacturer’s label says.