Dogs love exploring their environment, especially for food. For them, sniffing is an instinctive behaviour that is stimulating, exciting and satisfying. Foraging for treats is tiring work, requiring focus and concentration, which can calm an excitable puppy or re-direct a dog’s attention. SnuffleMats® provide safe mental stimulation for dogs on restricted exercise, seniors, and those with sensory impairment such as blindness or deafness. Ten minutes snuffling is equivalent to a longer walk, and your dog’s kibble can be fed from the SnuffleMat® for dinner-time enrichment.
Learning to snuffle
A clever dog may shake the SnuffleMat® or turn it over so the treats fall out. In this case, make snuffling easy by placing ten highly scented treats on top of the mat and sit with your dog, placing your foot on the mat if necessary to prevent it being shaken. Once he has mastered foraging, increase the difficulty by reducing the treat size and burying them deeper.
“SnuffleMats® work with your dog’s natural instincts - and can be enjoyed by cats, too!”
SnuffleMats® are not indestructible and it is not recommended that you leave a dog alone with his SnuffleMat® if he is an avid chewer. Always pick up the SnuffleMat® when your dog has finished.
Teach your dog to enjoy his SnuffleMat® before training begins. Please speak to your vet or a behaviourist if your dog or puppy is too fearful to eat when carrying out the following exercises, or is guarding the SnuffleMat®.
Grooming: Foraging for treats in a SnuffleMat® can teach your dog or puppy that grooming is pleasurable. Introduce the SnuffleMa®t a few times to build excitement, then brush your dog or puppy while he snuffles. Focussing on the SnuffleMat® will help to stop him wandering off and biting the brush.
Touching: SnuffleMats® can teach your puppy or dog to enjoy being touched. While foraging, pick up his paws in preparation for nail clipping, check his ears and run your hands over his body.
Distraction: SnuffleMats® can distract your puppy or dog when familiarising him to household noises such as the washing machine, and can be used to discourage chasing of the vacuum or floor mop. In these situations, place the mat down at a suitable distance where your dog or puppy shows no interest in these objects.
Crate training: To teach your dog or puppy to enjoy his crate, place his SnuffleMat® in there with his kibble dinner or treats. During your mealtimes he can enjoy his SnuffleMat® in his crate, too, preventing begging at the table.
Home alone: For dogs who can be safely left with the SnuffleMat® (check this first), place it down when you leave the house. As well as relieving boredom, your dog will associate your departure with the pleasure of his SnuffleMat®. This creates a positive mindset, especially important for puppies learning to enjoy their own company.
The SnuffleMat® can be hand washed and air dried.