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How to Use a Snuffle Mat

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Does your dog scarf down his food in record time? 

Do you wish you could slow him down as he eats his meals?

Would you like to find a way to make mealtime fun for your dog?


A snuffle mat might be what you're looking for!


What's a snuffle mat? A snuffle mat is usually square and made with fleece material. Strips of fabric are woven through a sturdy backing and tied off so that there are “fingers” on the top side of the mat. The fingers make the snuffle mat an interactive feeding toy that challenges your dog (and slows him down) at mealtimes. 


I put a whole meal in the snuffle mat by separating the fingers (the pieces of fabric) and dropping kibble between them. After the entire meal is hidden in the snuffle mat, I usually feed my dog in his crate under supervision (never leave a dog alone with a snuffle mat). After the meal is eaten, I remove the mat from the crate and store it until the next use. 

Preparing the Snuffle Mat


You can use almost any dry dog food in the snuffle mat. Because it's made with fabric, the snuffle mat isn't well-suited for use with wet or raw food. I wash the mat on a gentle cycle and dry it in the dryer on low once or twice a month, as needed.

Using the Snuffle Mat

About the author
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Laurie Luck, KPA CTP, and a Karen Pryor Academy faculty member, is the founder of Smart Dog University. She has been involved with many pet dog trainer certification initiatives, all based on humane training practices and the latest scientific knowledge. Laurie also participates in service dog training, and she and her Tango are a pet-therapy team. Through her work with dogs and owners, Laurie has developed many happy canine and human friendships.