Snuffle Mats- make your own for Under £10
Enrichment games are wonderful for rewarding and working our clever canine companions and cats too. We love sniffy games in our house, particularly snuffle mats! Sprinkle and bury some kibble or treats and let them sniff and snuffle away for their rewards. Great for slowing down the eating process and encourage thinking and problem solving skills. Here are simple instructions of how to make your own snuffle mat for under £10.
*to maintain your dog’s healthy weight be sure to factor the food given on the mat into their daily allowance.
You will need:
- Sharp scissors
- Fleece fabric- about 1 metre- made up of 2 (or more) colours
- A kitchen sink mat or similar
*I bought the sink mat and fleece fabric from an Ebay shop- the cost was £3.49 for the mat and £4.99 for the fleece per metre. You will need about 1 metre of fleece per mat, or 2 x 0.5m of two different colours. I bought 2 mats and two metres of two different colours. This made two mats, so cost £8.48 per mat.
How to make the snuffle mats:
Cut one colour of fleece into strips- approx 18cm long by 2-3 cm wide. This does not need to be exact but they do need to be roughly the same size. You will need about 90 of these but this will depend on the size of your mat.
Cut about the same amount of the second colour into strips that are slightly shorter, so about 14cm x 2-3 cm.
Loop the longer strips of fleece through the vertical holes in the mat. Continue this for all of the rows on your mat until you have reach half way up the mat.
Turn the mat over and knot each loop around the mat. When you turn the mat back over it will then look tight and secure. Continue threading through, looping and tying the longer strips until the entire mat is covered vertically.
Turn over and check that they are all secure.
Now start looping the shorter strips of the second colour through the holes in the mat vertically. This is a little more fiddly as you will have less space so some patience is needed. Again, loop half of the mat then turn it over and secure each strip with a knot.
Continue until the entire mat is looped and tied vertically.
Your snuffle mat is now ready to use!
Using snuffle mats:
To use your mat, sprinkle some quality dry food or treats into the mat- bury some deep for extra snuffling. We tend to buy raw freeze dried as our boys eat BARF. We buy U.K based Bella and Duke, for those in the U.S Visionary Pets freeze-dried raw looks like a good option.
Introduce the mat to your dog with great excitement and enjoy watching them work and play. I use one mat for my two dogs as they always do these activities as a pair but please do not do this if you dog is likely to food guard.
We love playing games with our dogs. Please share your ideas for enrichment games in the comments below
More dog friendly living posts here.