5 Best UK Snuffle Mats For Dogs And Cats (Plus DIY)


If you’re a dog owner, it’s likely that you love your pet to bits and treat them as another member of the family.

Sometimes it’s hard to know how to ‘treat’ your dog or cat whilst also doing something that’s ‘good’ for them too.

Your pet was made to hunt and track, and discouraging this sort of behaviour can actually do more harm to your animal than good.

A snuffle mat is a great solution for this as it encourages them to use their natural instincts – as well as a load of other benefits!

Snuffle mats encourage attentive play and keep pets entertained, encourage them to eat more slowly, can improve their digestion, and even provide exercise and mental enrichment for pets who are on restricted movement orders, too.

Whether you’re in the market for a new snuffle mat to try, want to replace an old one or even want to try your hand at making your own DIY mat – I’ve put together all the information you’ll need here.

Best Snuffle Mat For Dogs in the UK

The Awoof Snuffle Mat
(Check Amazon’s Price)

This snuffle mat by AWOOF is the perfect way to keep your dog entertained and content.

It has a large orange ‘flower’ in the middle that can hide larger treats, whilst the smaller ‘grass’ can hide smaller ones, as well as tighter pockets to really hide them and encourage them to forage.

It also comes with 4 strings that allow you to attach the mat to furniture, so there’s no way that a clever dog can overturn the mat to get the treats; they’ll have to use their instincts to sniff them out instead!

If your dog is on a special diet, it’s a way to encourage them to eat healthier treats such as raw carrots. It’s more exciting for them to find food that they may possibly turn their nose up at if it were just handed to them.

There are four buckles on the underside of the mat to fold and store the mat away neatly, also meaning that it’s easy to transport.

It could be a great way to keep your dog happy if you are going away for the weekend and need someone else to look after your pet.

If you think the squeaky toy will do your head in, or need something washable, my second best choice is below.

Pros:

  • Many different hiding spots so you can tailor to your dog’s intellect
  • Lots of different textures, soft and rustling
  • Squeaky toy in the middle
  • Easy to store design
  • Can attach to furniture
  • Suitable for dogs of all sizes

Cons:

  • Not suitable for more destructive dogs as parts may rip easily
  • Hand wash only

Best Washable Snuffle Mat for Dogs in the UK

SAMMIU Washable Snuffle Mat for Dogs
(Check Amazon’s Price)

The only issue with the AWOOF mat, above, is that it can’t be machine washed.

If this is a dealbreaker for you, and if you’re looking for a simpler snuffle mat without the added squeak toys and rustling fabric then this snuffle mat by SAMMIU may be a better option.

It still encourages your pet’s natural foraging skills but avoids any distractions. It has an anti-slip silicone mat on the back and is made out of soft fabric that won’t irritate your pet’s face.

It can really help slow down your dog’s eating habits to avoid them making themselves ill and as it’s so simple, it can be used for any pet – from dogs to guinea pigs!

I’ve found that it’s a great way to distract my dog whilst I nip out to the shops, or to meet up with friends as it keeps him occupied for long enough for me to slip out and when he’s done, he just goes right to sleep on top of the mat.

One person commented that they bought this for their elderly dog with dementia who often gets unsettled, she pulls out this mat whenever she senses he’s unsettled and it distracts him right away!

Pros:

  • Simple design, yet still massively entertaining
  • Machine washable
  • Non-slip
  • Great for dogs with shorter snouts
  • Can be used indoors and outdoors
  • Double stitched for extra durability

Cons:

  • Small mat at 30cm x 45cm, maybe not suitable for large dog breeds

Best Snuffle Mat For Puppies in the UK

Puppy Snuffle Mat by AK KYC
(Check Amazon’s Price)

This snuffle mat by AK KYC is suitable for puppies or toy dog breeds.

If you’re a dog lover, you’ll know how hard it is to keep a puppy entertained before they’re old enough to go for long walks, but this may be the perfect solution to their excess energy and is a way of teaching them some good habits whilst they’re still young!

It has a non-slip mat attached underneath the fabric and is made to last. It rolls up for easy storage.

If you want to hide the treats a bit better, you can knot the bits of fabric together to create pockets and if you want a larger search area then you can tie multiple mats together to create one big one.

Pros:

  • Non-slip mat attached underneath
  • Machine wash and tumble dryer suited
  • Can be used as a sleeping mat too due to the soft fabric
  • Easy to store

Cons:

  • Plastic backing can be easily destroyed so must be used with supervision

Best Snuffle Mat For Cats in the UK

ANG Cat Activity Play Mat
(Check Amazon’s Price)

Dogs aren’t the only ones that can benefit from using a snuffle mat; cats can be mentally stimulated by sniffing out treats too!

This cat activity mat by ANG is multi-functional as it can be used as a scratching pad, snuffle mat and a tunnel.

The holes in the mat have snap fastenings that are adjustable and can be used to create tunnels of various shapes and sizes, perfect to hide treats and toys in for them to find and encourage their natural foraging skills.

Cats love to be in confined spaces as it makes them feel safe and warm, so this mat is a great way of creating that environment for them.

A great tip for using this is to stick a cardboard box through one of the holes for some structure and attach an interactive toy, such as a feather on a stick or a catnip toy for them to play with – they’ll be entertained for hours!

Pros:

  • Multi-functional
  • Machine washable
  • Easy to store
  • Suitable for cats of all sizes

Cons:

  • Doesn’t stand up itself
  • Can get very furry due to the material, but this is easily solved with a lint roller or a quick hoover of the mat

How To Make A DIY Snuffle Mat

There can be many reasons why a DIY snuffle mat may be of better use for you than one you can buy.

Perhaps you want to match a certain colour scheme in your home, maybe you want to make a bespoke one for your pet’s birthday or it could be that your dog has allergies and needs certain materials.

Either way, you’ll be pleased to know that making a snuffle mat isn’t as hard as it may seem – and is actually rather cost effective!

What You’ll Need:

  • Felt fabric sheets (available from Amazon or craft stores), a cosy jumper or even your dog’s favourite blanket! (if you’re okay with cutting it up).

    Using something that they already have an attachment to can be a great way of encouraging them to use the mat as they’ll recognise the scent.
  • A rubber mat with holes, such as a non-slip shower mat or an outdoor door mat. The size of the mat you use should be dependant on the size of the dog (or cat) that you’re making the mat for.
  • Some sharp scissors

Making the DIY Snuffle Mat:

If you’re more of a visual learner, this video by Dogs Trust shows you how to make your own DIY snuffle mat.

Otherwise, I’ve written the instructions below.

  1. Use the scissors to cut the felt (or whatever material you chose) into strips of about 6 inches long and 1 inch wide, or thereabouts.

    You don’t have to be precise with these measurements and having strips of a variety of different lengths and widths can actually make the mat more entertaining for your pet when it comes to searching for their treats.

    It’s hard to say exactly how many strips you’ll need as it depends on the size of the mat you’ve gone for, but be prepared to cut at least a couple of hundred!
  1. Take a strip of fabric and loop one end through one of the holes in the mat, take the other end of the fabric and loop it through the hole next to the one you looped the first end through.

    Turn the mat over and tie each end together into a knot. Make sure that the strands of fabric are coming through on the top side of the mat as this is where you’ll hide the treats.

    The longer the strips of fabric, the longer it’ll take for your dog to find them!
  1. Take a second strip of fabric and push it through the second hole in the mat, alongside the strip that is already there.

    Thread the other end of this strip through the third hole, turn the mat over and tie in a knot. Keep doing this until the whole mat is covered in strips. This will take a while!

Now you can teach your dog or cat how to use the mat.

I’ve found that the best way to teach a dog to use a snuffle mat, especially if they’re a young puppy, is to initially have them sit and watch you drop a few treats into the mat without hiding them, and let them find them.

Once they’ve done this, order them to sit and wait whilst you load the mat with treats once more, this time hiding them under and between the strands of fabric as well as in the knots.

Once you’re ready, let them search for the treats using their instincts and reward them with praise once they’ve found them all.

After reading this post, I hope you’ve managed to find out all the information you need to purchase the perfect snuffle mat for your pet.

Once you’ve found the right one, there’ll be hours of endless fun ahead for you and your animal. Enjoy!

Gillian

The things I love to buy are clothes, fashion, fragrances/perfume and I'm always on the lookout for accessories and jewellery. I love animals and have had many pets over the years - currently three extremely pampered cats!

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