Snuffle Mat Info & DIY

Pet Care Pet DIY

In this blog you will find some basic info about snuffle mats and tips and steps on how to make one! Being stuck inside in the rain and during a pandemic can be a good reason to get cracking with some DIY projects and they are all the more sweeter when your furry family get to enjoy the finished product.

Not to mention you can get your friends or kids involved and let them help you: find and choose fabric or old clothes, loop the fabric through the holes, tie the knots or even cut.


What is a Snuffle Mat

A snuffle mat is a mat that acts as an enriching food puzzle for your pet making them use their sense of smell to find the food through various layers of fabric.

Why Use a Snuffle Mat

With winter knocking on our doors and the possibility of lockdowns any moment many pets may be unable to get their daily fix of stimulation and entertainment due to being mostly stuck inside.

Snuffle mats can be a great way to help combat this and other problems such as fast eating. Snuffle mats can be utilised for a variety of fur family including cats, dogs, bunnies, rats and more.

Benefits of a Snuffle Mat 

  • Encourage slower eating

  • Alleviate stress and redirect attention

  • Enrichment and entertainment

  • Simulate foraging and make your pet use their sense of smell

  • Mentally stimulate and calm pets which are unable to exercise

Snuffle Mat DIY materials

What you will need:

  • A Rubber mat with holes

    • a kitchen sink mat, or a rubber honeycomb floor mat

  • Material

    • Purchased fleece/felt/ velvet or stretch cotton (at least 2 - 3m for a larger thicker mat)

    • Old Towels

    • Old dressing gowns

    • Old Blankets 

    • Basically anything you can cut into strips and tie in knots without it falling apart

  • Sharp Scissors

  • Ruler

Additional Helpful Items:

  • Fabric scissors

  • Cardboard

  • Gloves (work/gardening) if you have delicate hands

DIY Steps for Snuffle Mat

Preparing Fabric

  • The longer and the wider the strips are, the harder the puzzle will be for your pet
  • For flat nosed dogs you may want thinner and shorter strips
  • In the mat shown I cut my strips 5-6cm wide and 25cm long
 (photo at end)
  • If there is variation in your strip size it doesn’t matter, if you’re happy, use that fabric up
    1. Cut some guides using cardboard to make the strip cutting process a bit easier (refer to photo below).

    2. Place your material on a flat surface, a table is easier than the floor. 

    3. To cut lengths of fabric place your cardboard guides evenly along the edge of the fabric and cut your fabric up to the guide. Move the cardboard guide out of the way as you reach it. This will help you maintain straighter cuts.


    4. Once you have a lengths of fabric cut, now cut it into shorter strips.

If your fabric is a metre in length 
- fold the length in half and cut it, then repeat so you have four equal size strips (25cm). 

If your fabric is longer than a metre 
- Have a ruler or another cardboard guide. Place the fabric over the guide and cut it to the same size as the guide repeating this with the whole length until you have equal sized strips. You may have excess depending on the size you chose.



    Tying the Mat

    1. Cut your mat to size if required (I cut a full size mat in half for my large medium dogs) 

    2. Loop your strip of fabric through two holes (one end of the strip in the first hole, the other end in the second hole) and tie a double knot facing up.


    3. When knotting each section you can use one strip of fabric or two, I used two for my mat and had two different coloured strips as shown in the above photo

    4. Continue this for the whole row. 

    5. In the other direction, (I.e., vertical/diagnoal vs horizontal depending on the alignment of holes in the mat) repeat steps 2-3. It is good to do this with longer strips of fabric or a different type of fabric to increase the textures of the mat (and the hiding places for treats!)


    6. Trim back the much longer or uneven pieces to give it a finished look.



            Snuffle Mat Care and Use

            Using and Cleaning your Snuffle Mat

            • Sprinkle dry treats and kibble ect through the mat and give it a ruffle to get the food in deep

            • Give it a shake to get any remaining food out and pop it out of reach when not in use.

            • For cleaning use a mild detergent and rinse your mat with running water, hang it in the sun to dry.

            • Your mat does not have to be cleaned after every use, just when its looking a bit shabby.


            If you need any help, reccomendations or would like a custom snuffle mat I would be thrilled to help you out! Just send us a message on social media or email.


            Custom Orders

            If you're time poor, as this can be a lengthy project, email me for a custom order and let me know about your pet! I would love to make you a custom snuffle mat based on your pets needs.

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