so...What's a snuffle mat?
A snuffle mat is made up of strips of fleece knotted onto, or sewn together to form, a mat. The resulting mat creates a 'maze of fleece', to hide food in. Your dog sniffs and uses their snoot to move the fleece about to get to the food!
Sniffing for food ('snuffling') is a form of enrichment, and is very similar principle to scatter feeding. Dogs foraging food is a very natural behaviour, and promotes calm behaviour.
Snuffling is great for all dogs; older or unwell dogs who need enrichment in the home, or reactive dogs who need distraction and calming in stressful environments, or to settle active dogs after an energetic traning session!
Why a bag?
We've often found ourselves in situations where we wished we had a snuffle mat handy, but lugging it out on our daily walks or to the pub seemed impractical!
Having something portable to aid in training is great for when the city is too loud, or the sheep are getting too interesting on the moors!
We played around with a few ideas to try make snuffling, portable, durable, and quick to access. We tried a few versions and settled on our 'Snuffle bag' (even more portable and customise-able to your dogs snoot size). They offer a slight vision block, which we feel helps to encourage more snuffling. (Reducing the visibility of surroundings could help minimise environment scanning behaviours for nervous dogs and encourage calm).
How/where can i use it?
As the snuffles in our bags and boxes are fully washable you can use a range of differet food and treats in them. Just give it a quick shake to disperse the treats in the snuffles ready for your dog to root it out. You can also use your daily kibble to ditch the bowl and to slow fast eaters! You can use all three products anywhere.
Use them inside to calm active dogs post walk. Use it to enrich older dogs who may be struggling with walks. Or perhaps inside a crate/at the vets to help beat the boredom with unwell dogs.
Take them outside to help dogs settle in new places, or during breaks at training classes to distract from the other exciting dogs whilst waiting thier turn!