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Best snuffle mats for dogs: Six picks to stimulate and entertain your dog

dog sniffing for a treat in a snuffle mat
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The best snuffle mats for dogs are a great way to give your pet pooch mental stimulation, a fun way to find dry dog food and to help control their diet. They help encourage your dog’s natural foraging instincts, but at the same time, provide an interactive game that your pet pooch will love. 

Snuffle mats are dog toys that mimic grass and other similar outdoor areas. Your fur friend will need to search for and sniff out any of the best dog treats you have hidden amongst the strands of the mat. This will make your dog work for their tasty treat rather than simply having it given to them.

In turn, this engages their brain and stops them from getting bored and ripping up the furniture. It also encourages slower eating habits, which is better for their digestive system, especially if your pet pooch has a sensitive stomach. 

Snuffle mats come in all shapes and sizes, with basic models typically having a set of close-knit strands to hide treats. To enhance the snuffle experience, fancier mats also include pockets and toys to make your pet pooch work harder to get that tasty treat. 

Here, we pick six of the best snuffle mats to help you choose the right one for you and your dog.

PetsRadar's pick of the best snuffle mats for dogs

  • Best overall snuffle mat for dogs: Routesun Snuffle Mat
  • Best budget snuffle mat for dogs: ALOYA Snuffle Mat
  • Best novelty snuffle mat for dogs: GAXCO Snuffle Mat for Dogs
  • Best challenging snuffle mat for dogs: AWOOF Snuffle Mat Pet Dog Feeding Mat
  • Best environmentally-friendly snuffle mat for dogs: PAW5 Wooly Snuffle Mat
  • Best interactive snuffle mat for dogs: CHOOBY Snuffle Mat for Dogs

Routesun snuffle mat

(Image credit: Amazon)

Routesun Snuffle Mat for Dogs

Best overall snuffle mat for dogs

Color: Blue/Grey/White | Size: frm 23.6 x 39.4 inch | Material: Soft flannel | Machine washable: Yes

Non-slip mat
Two sizes
Ideal for small and large breeds
Multiple challenges
Strands not green

Keeping your pet pooch stimulated and entertained is not only good for their mental health but will also stop them from engaging in destructive behavior. When a dog gets bored, it will search for something to do – you don’t want that to be chewing up the ends of your new sofa. This snuffle mat will help stop that from happening.

Made from a soft eco-friendly, machine-washable, sustainable polar fleece material, it is comfortable and inviting but at the same time durable. That’s ideal if your dog gets over-excited and starts chewing. 

The snuffle mat comes in two sizes, medium and large, making it suitable for small, medium, and large breed dogs. The medium mat measures 23.6in x 39.4in, while the large mat adds another foot and a half in width, making it over three feet square. A rubber non-slip material is embedded into the bottom of the mat to help keep it in place and make it easier to get to those tasty treats.

Both mats are divided into different spaces to give your fur friend maximum interactivity, stimulation, and some fun. A set of strands that mimic grass, though in this case not in color, takes up half the mat and is great for hiding small treats and kibble. Watch as your pet pooch tries to sniff them out.

To further stimulate your dog’s senses, the other half of the mat has a host of flaps, pockets, and cups to help get them thinking. And when you and your fur friend have finished with the snuffle mat, you can simply roll it up, tie it up and store it away.

Aloya snuffle mat

(Image credit: Amazon)

ALOYA Snuffle Mat

Best budget snuffle mat for dogs

Color: Green | Size: 19 x 19.3 inch | Material: Natural felt | Machine washable: Yes

Three different styles
Machine washable
Different challenges
Small breeds only

As the least expensive snuffle mat in this guide, it sticks to the basics. But that doesn’t mean that your pet pooch won’t get plenty of mental stimulation when you unfold the mat and let the fun begin.

Tailored for toy and small breeds, the mat measures 19in x 19in when fully extended. It adopts three different forms, mat, bowl, and storage. In mat form, it is fully opened and gives access to the green strands that mimic the grass in your yard. 

Interestingly, the mat doesn’t lie completely flat in this mode – it is more like a shallow bowl, which gives a bit more depth to the fake grass strands and makes it more of a challenge to get to the tasty hidden treats. The bottom of the mat is covered with anti-slip rubber, which helps keep it in place.

The edge of the mat has a lanyard design with an integrated pull cord you can pull to create the bowl – a toggle helps keep the shape in place. This has higher sides than the mat form and, as you would expect, is smaller in size, measuring 12 x 12 x 4in, similar to a large dog bowl. 

In this form, the fake grass strands present more of a challenge to your fur friend – especially if you hide the treats in the bottom and corners. This provides plenty of mental stimulation and is great for your dog’s digestion, as it slows down the rate at which they can eat. 

The final form is storage, where you pull the cord to completely enclose the strands and hang the mat up to store it.

Gaxco novelty snuffle mat

(Image credit: Amazon)

GAXCO Snuffle Mat for Dogs

Best novelty snuffle mat for dogs

Color: Orange | Size: 28 x 21 x 3 inch | Material: Oxford Fabric & Polar Fleece | Machine washable: Yes

Plenty of challenges
Cool design
Additional snuffle ball
Not for non-American Football fans
No goalposts

This football-themed snuffle mat takes the standard format and adds a sense of fun and play that will challenge and stimulate you and your dog every time you get it out.

The playmat measures 28in x 21in and has three individual areas of fake grass strands and a couple of touchdown areas. Made with Oxford Fabric and Polar Fleece, the strands encourage your pet pooch to run a few yards to try and find the tasty treat. Touchdown!

Sitting neatly between the grass stands are a couple of field lines with both having a duo of cups. These are a great kick-off point and the easiest to master, but will undoubtedly bring your dog to the field of play. 

To give your fur friend more of a challenge, the two touchdown areas neatly hide treats under a flap. Sitting on either side of the touchdown area are another couple of hidey-holes for more food. A split circle means your dog needs to get their nose under the material to get the food, while the square involves more flap work.

Unfortunately, you won’t find any goalposts to help you and your fur friend relive your favorite Super Bowl moment, but it does come with a separate snuffle ball. Made from the same material as the mat, it adds another dimension to the challenge and fun. 

Hide a few bits of kibble in the ball and throw. Your dog gets a few tasty treats, extra exercise, and more time with the person they love – you.

Awoof snuffle mat

(Image credit: Amazon)

AWOOF Snuffle Mat Pet Dog Feeding Mat

Best challenging snuffle mat for dogs

Color: Green and brown | Size: 28.7 x 28.7 inch | Material: Oxford Fabric and Polar Fleece | Machine washable: Yes

Many different challenges
Easy foldaway storage
Clips to secure mat in place
Flower design
Some challenges too simple

A dog’s nose is around 40 times better than humans at analyzing smells, so your pet pooch will be pretty good at sniffing out its favorite tasty treats. But, to stimulate your pet pooch’s brain and improve their mental health, they need a challenge and this snuffle mat provides plenty of them.

The Awoof is designed to provide layers of funs and challenges. Shaped like a large flower, it has four layers of petals coming out from the center, which in turn are surrounded by an outer ring of messy fake grass strands. 

These are both integrated into the base, which continues the flower theme with four petal-shaped areas, all of which contain even more challenges for your pet pooch.

In the center, the layers of petals aren’t tightly packed, so don’t offer much of a challenge for your fur friend. But for extra stimulus and excitement, there are three bells and four pieces of ringing paper randomly placed amongst the petals. The outer ring provides continuous fake grass strands for more challenging treat retrieval. And finally, a selection of four different types of challenges such as cups, flaps, and harder-to-reach flaps, complete the challenge. 

The base isn’t just petal-shaped to look good. Each of the four outer ‘petals’ folds into the center, creating an integrated carry bag for the mat. Four quick-release buckles make sure that it stays securely packed away when carrying and storing. But smartly, they double up as an anchor when the snuffle mat is in action. You can clip them around the legs of your heavy furniture and make sure the mat stays in place. 

Paw5 snuffle mat

(Image credit: Amazon)

PAW5 Wooly Snuffle Mat

Best environmentally-friendly snuffle mat for dogs

Color: Grey | Size: 12 x 18 inch | Material: Non-toxic | Machine washable: Yes

Good for all breeds
Made from non-toxic upcycled materials
Simple, but challenging, design
Not very big

If your dog loves a trip out and a good sniff around in long grass, then this snuffle mat could be just what you are looking for. It’s a simple but challenging design that’s unlike many of the other snuffle mats available. It doesn’t use wide felt strands to hide its tasty treats but looks to create a more realistic environment. 

The design brings together rolled-up strands that mimic large natural grass strands. It does this by using a combination of non-toxic and dog-safe virgin and upcycled materials that are hand-made, more environmentally friendly, and more durable. 

So even if your dog likes to chew, it will last longer than felt and it’s machine washable to get rid of any dog slobber. This makes it ideal for owners who want to help the planet as well as keep their dogs happy and healthy.

The mat measures 12in x 18in, so it is not the largest snuffle mat you can buy, but it what it lacks in length and width it makes up for with its depth. This makes it ideal for all breeds.

The deep pile of fake grass strands is good at hiding any tasty treats or kibble that you drop into the mat. This in itself provides a challenge for your fur friend. They will be able to sniff out the treat pretty quickly, but it won’t be that easy to get it out, especially if the treat has slipped down to the bottom.

Chooby snuffle mat

(Image credit: Amazon)

CHOOBY Snuffle Mat for Dogs

Best interactive snuffle mat for dogs

Color: Green | Size: 16.02 x 12.4 x 3.11 inch | Material: Chenille | Machine washable: Yes

Varying heights of fake grass
Odorless, soft material
Random challenges
Free dog lick treat mat
Suction cups not effective on carpet

Don’t be fooled by the simple design of this unassuming-looking snuffle mat, it has hidden depths that will provide plenty of challenges to keep your pet pup happy and stop them from getting bored. 

Made from Chenille, a soft flannel-like material, it is gentle on your dog’s nose, is non-toxic, so won’t cause any stomach issues, and is odorless so it won’t interfere with any tasty treat aromas that your fur friend will be looking to get their teeth into. Plus it’s durable and, like all good snuffle mats, is washable to stay slobber-free. 

Rectangular in design, the Chooby measures 21.25in x 17in, making it especially suitable for small breeds, but still offers plenty of challenges for larger breeds and bigger snouts. Drop in your dog’s favorite treats – or even small toys, if you want to go a little left field – and rock the mat side to side a few times for them to drop into the recesses. 

To try and replicate real grass, the strands of the mat are tall, thin, green, and vary in width and height. This gives plenty of random challenges across the whole mat, no two areas are the same. It’s also surrounded by a tough durable edge guard to help make sure that nothing falls out the sides. 

This mat doesn’t offer a non-slip base like many but instead uses two strong suction cups to keep it in place. These work well on vinyl, wood, and tiles, but aren’t as effective on carpet. As an added bonus, buyers get a dog lick treat mat which helps to relieve anxiety by distraction when bathing or grooming.

How to choose the best snuffle mats for dogs

There is no one critical factor that you need to think about to make sure that you are getting the right snuffle mat for your dog. However, a combination of features will help decide your purchasing choice. 

Probably the top consideration will be how much of a challenge your chosen snuffle mat provides. All dogs are different, some are smarter than others, so if a snuffle mat has too many challenges your dog might get frustrated rather than stimulated. You can start out simple and see how that works. Or make a judgment call and choose the challenge level you think is a good fit – no one knows your dog better than you. 

Size does matter, but most snuffle mats are suitable for most dogs. Smaller mats can provide a real challenge for large breeds with large snouts, while a large mat can have lots of small challenges – it depends on what works best for your pet pooch.

What material the mat is made from is also something to check. All will be made from a non-toxic, dog-safe medium – if not, don’t even consider it. But you might want to think about mats made from upcycled or recycled material – this is more environmentally friendly and saves on waste. We all know dogs like to chew, so think about how durable is the material is.