tails of barkley with his diy snuffle mat
Dog Crafts

How to Make a DIY Snuffle Mat

Learn how to make a DIY Snuffle Mat for Dogs to engage your pup’s nose and mind in a fun way!

Hey, fellow pet parents! Today, I’m super excited to share a fantastic and easy DIY project that will not only keep your furry friend entertained but also provide them with mental stimulation. We’re talking about making a DIY Snuffle Mat for Dogs!

This project originally appeared on Amber-Oliver.com and is shared with permission.

These are a creative and colorful way to engage your dog’s sense of smell and make rainy days a lot more exciting. With just a few simple materials, you can make this homemade toy for your furry friend. Let’s get started on our snuffle mats and learn how to create one that suits your pup’s preferences!

focused image of DIY snuffle mat with Tails of Barkley Dog

Why a DIY Snuffle Mat?

Before we jump into the step-by-step guide, let’s quickly talk about why snuffle mats are a great idea for your canine companion. Dogs have an incredible sense of smell, and engaging them in activities that stimulate this sense is essential for their mental well-being.

I once read something about letting your dog sniff for a few minutes is equivalent to a long walk. I don’t remember the specifics LOL but always remembered that it’s important to help your doggo engage his smelling! A DIY snuffle mat is a fantastic enrichment toy that not only provides mental stimulation but also offers a fun and interactive way for your dog to search for hidden treats. It’s also a fun project to make!

tails of barkley sniffing a snuffle mat for treats

Materials Needed for a DIY Snuffle Mat

You have some options when it comes to materials to use. I used this item from Amazon. I’ve seen other folks use a rubber sink mat or even a Dollar Tree rubber mat. This would be an affordable idea. The best option is something that has even spacing – but honestly whatever works!

If you don’t want to buy new fleece, you could use an old fleece blanket (go thrifting and check out the thrift store!) or even old t-shirts or sweaters! I was able to source the fleece pieces for my project from my local buy nothing group. Check your area to see if you have something like this. It’s a fantastic way to help stop waste and to keep your home free of clutter!

How to make a DIY Snuffle Mat

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

Head to your local fabric store and grab some vibrant fleece fabric in various colors. Remember: you can also repurpose old T-shirts or fleece blankets for a budget-friendly alternative. Of course the size of the mat will determine how much material you need.

Additionally, you’ll need a base for your project. You can use a heavy rubber sink mat as the base, a rubber door mat, or something like this for your snuffle mat. Make sure you use something that doesn’t have holes that are too big. You can tie a bunch of strips and really fill in a lot of the gaps.

fleece strips cut for snuffle mat with a rotary cutter

Step 2: Cut Fleece Strips

Using a rotary cutter, slice the fleece fabric into strips. You can experiment with different patterns and colors to make the snuffle mat visually appealing. Aim for strips of various lengths and thickness to add texture to the mat. Don’t worry too much about the size of your fabric strips. Many of mine were wonky but you don’t even notice once you get them tied on! It’s a good idea to make sure they are the same length though so you don’t have to do a bunch of trimming. This would waste material!

Step 3: Prepare the Rubber Mat

Lay out the rubber sink mat, and start threading the fleece strips through the holes. This is where the pair of tweezers could come in handy, especially for those smaller holes. If you use the same base as me, you won’t have to worry about it being too small though. Make sure to tie a double knot on the top side of the mat to secure the strips in place. This will make sure your doggo can’t pull them out and they’ll stay on if you throw your homemade snuffle mat in the washer!

Step 4: Create a Colorful Pattern

As you weave the fleece through the mat, mix and match colors to create a vibrant and enticing pattern. Get creative with it – the more colorful, the better! This not only adds visual appeal but also makes the snuffling experience more exciting for your pup. I interspersed my solid color fleece in with the multi-colored one.

tying strips of fleece in knots to make a dog snuffle mat

Step 5: Tie Secure Knots

Once you’ve threaded all the strips, tie secure double knots on the top of the mat. This ensures that your dog won’t easily pull out the fleece strips during play. Trim any excess fabric to give your snuffle mat a neat finish.

Step 6: Add Optional Layers

For an extra challenge and a fuller mat, consider adding layers by attaching more fleece fabric strips or even incorporating pieces of old T-shirts or fleece blankets. This adds variety to the textures and scents your dog will encounter during play.

Step 7: Introduce the Snuffle Mat to Your Pup

Now that your homemade snuffle mat is ready, it’s time for the fun part! Place small treats or pieces of kibble within the fleece strips, encouraging your dog to use their incredible sense of smell to find the hidden goodies.

close up of Tails of Barkley dog with DIY snuffle Mat

Benefits of a Snuffle Mat

  1. Mental Stimulation: Engages your dog’s mind in a scenting game, providing mental exercise.
  2. Physical Stimulation: Offers a fun way for your dog to get some physical exercise while searching for treats.
  3. Washable: Most DIY snuffle mats are machine washable, making cleanup a breeze.
  4. Affordable: Creating your own snuffle mat is a cost-effective alternative to store-bought options.
  5. Customizable: Choose different colors and patterns to suit your dog’s preferences.
Tails of Barkley with his snuffle mat

Don’t want to do a DIY Snuffle Mat? Shop these adorable ones:

And there you have it – your very own DIY Snuffle Mat for Dogs! This easy and budget-friendly project not only provides mental and physical stimulation for your furry friend but also allows you to unleash your creativity. It’s a win-win for both you and your pup, especially during the holiday season. So, grab those fleece strips, get crafting, and watch as your dog enjoys the benefits of this fantastic enrichment activity.

This project originally appeared on Amber-Oliver.com and is shared with permission.

10 year old poodle mix from Houston, TX. Adopted from the Humane Society in 2014 and has been living the dream ever since. Ex-Expat pup who has literally been ‘round the🌎