A snuffle mat is much more than just another mat or bed for your dog to sleep on. In fact that’s not what they’re made for at all.
Snuffle mats are enrichment centers. Activity objects. Foraging toys.
They look like fun, and they’re even more fun than what they look like! If that makes sense. Just ask any dog who’s been lucky enough to receive a snuffle mat or two (because there’s lots of different designs).
Where should you get a dog snuffle mat from?
You can make your own snuffle mats at home with some DIY materials. This can be fun but you’ll need all the materials on hand and to make sure they’re totally safe, and durable. It also needs to be easy to clean because you’ll want to be regularly cleaning the mat to keep it hygenic.
People who are more time challenged or not into DIY work can buy a snuffle mat at low cost. These aren’t expensive items and there’s no so many different designs and types that it’s fun to look through them all and choose one or more than your particular dog will love.
Snuffle Mat DIY Materials
If you want to have a go at designing and creating your own dog snuffle mat, the first step is to figure out the materials that you’ll be using. This includes both the foraging area on top, and the underside.
Most commercial snuffle mats will have an anti-sliding design, often using rubber on the base to stop the mat sliding around as your dog plays with it. Others have suction cups on the bottom which can be useful on tiled floors but are hit and miss with how well they work to stop movement of the mat.
One of the main uses that a lot of dog owners have for snuffle mats is to use it at feeding time, to slow down the rate of food consumption by providing more of a food foraging experience compared to a regular dog food bowl.
But this means you need a totally non-toxic, safe material that doesn’t shed fibers or other bits, and that is easy to keep very clean after each feeding session.
Here are some of the best materials to use in a DIY snuffle mat:
Most of us probably remember felt materials from craft at school. But what is felt exactly? It’s a type of textile fibers which are very closely pressed together.
These days most felt is synthetic, such as acrylic felt. Wool felt is still popular in crafting and is reasonably priced considering the high quality.
Felt has a nice texture but you will want to get high quality felt to avoid bits of fiber coming off and potentially ending up in your dog’s mouth. A hard felt is best.