Brown dog sniffing out treats in the Wooly snuffle mat dog food puzzle

The Wooly Snuffle Mat: One of the Best Food Puzzles for Dogs

Disclaimer: This blog post was originally published in 2016 and has been updated in 2023. It contains affiliate links I may earn compensation through at no additional cost to you. 

The Wooly Snuffle Mat is a fun boredom buster for dogs that’s guaranteed to entertain your dog(s)! It’s also super easy to use AND clean, and a truly durable product. More on that below!

This particular Snuffle Mat is an awesome dog enrichment product made by a company called Paw5.

I first heard about Paw5 when they asked me if I’d be interested in participating in their #Paw5EnrichedLifeChallenge. This was back in October 2016 when I used it with my then pups Missy and Buzz.

Since the challenge consisted of spreading the importance of both physical AND mental doggie fitness, I was on board! 

7 years into using it, the Snuffle Mat still looks brand spanking new! It’s truly been a worthwhile investment into my pups’ mental enrichment.

These days, I’m using it with my Feist mix Wally.

The Wooly Snuffle Mat for Dogs

Most unique dog food puzzles - the Wooly Snuffle Mat

OK, are you ready to learn more about the snuffle mat?

Here’s why it’s such an awesome product:

  • Durable
  • Fun to use
  • Size: 11.5″ x 16.5″
  • Easy to fill feeding mat
  • Handmade using upcycled fabric
  • Encourages natural foraging skills
  • Modern grey color & unique design
  • 75% cotton & 25% spandex (top)
  • 65% polyester & 35% cotton (bottom)
  • Made with non-toxic and safe materials
  • For dogs of all ages, breeds and handicaps
  • Easy to clean because it’s machine washable and can go into the dryer – great for droolers!

K9 Nose Games With The Wooly Snuffle Mat

Dogs have a sense of smell that’s 40 x greater than ours! That’s why nose games for dogs are a great way to engage them mentally and put their brain to work.

The Wooly Snuffle Mat is essentially a playground for the K9 nose on 11.5 x 16.5 inches of upcycled fabric! It doesn’t only SOUND intriguing, it IS pretty cool! 

How the Wooly Snuffle Mat works

You can either hide kibble or dog treats between the fabric tassels and then let your pup sniff them out.

This engages one of his strongest natural instincts – his sense of smell – and therefore burns mental energy.

It also slows down your dog’s eating quite a bit!

Since I feed a raw diet, I personally don’t use kibble, but only treats, and mostly single-ingredient treats like Vital Essentials freeze-dried minnows or Icelandic+ Herring dog treats.

-> Both are rich in Omega-3s and are great to help support a healthy dog coat!

The fabric tassels measure 3.5 inches in length. That means you can really hide the treats (or kibble) 100% from your pup’s sight! 

Interestingly enough, none of my pups have tried chewing on the tassels at all. If your pup is a power chewer, I would recommend to put the mat up and out of sight after your pup’s done using it as a safety precaution.

If you check out the pictures below, you can see the treats in the first picture. However, you can only see them because I pushed the fabric apart.

In the second picture, you’ll notice that they completely vanish after I pulled the fabric back up. 

K9sOverCoffee.com | Hiding dog treats in the Wooly Snuffle Mat
Hiding treats in the Wooly Snuffle Mat
K9sOverCoffee.com | The Snuffle Mat is a slow feeder for dog and food puzzle
The treats disappear from sight in the Wooly Snuffle Mat
K9sOverCoffee.com | The backside of the Wooly Snuffle Mat
The backside of the Wooly Snuffle Mat
The Wooly Snuffle Mat Fabric Tassels Measure 3.5 Inches In Length
Measuring the Wooly Snuffle Mat’s fabric tassles
The Wooly Snuffle Mat: One of the Best Food Puzzles for Dogs

Wooly Snuffle Mat: Handmade From Upcycled Materials 

As mentioned above, the Wooly Snuffle Mats are handmade using upcycled materials, more specifically by a progressive, women-owned and operated business in rural Thailand using pre-consumer fabric. 

Quote Paw5:

Every Wooly is sustainably hand-made from upcycled materials at a woman-owned and operated progressive facility in rural Thailand. We’re proud to partner with our friends in Thailand – they take the wasteful off-cuts of the textile industry in Thailand, thoroughly rinse and clean them, and then hand-sew them into our patent-pending Wooly! Their beautiful facility supports rural family life in Thailand by allowing their staff to work from home, or enroll their children in free on-campus daycare.

Did you know? Upcycling is even more energy efficient than recycling because it doesn’t have to break down used materials before being able to reuse them in a new way.

The Wooly Snuffle Mat Is For Dogs Of All Ages, Breeds & Handicaps

The Wooly Snuffle Mat can be used to engage a dog’s sense of smell no matter his age, breed, or potential handicap.

Use it to:

  • Socialize a young pup to touching a new surface (fabric)
  • Entertain your dog on a crappy day spent inside
  • Mentally exercise a senior or sick pup with mobility issues  

Also a wonderful game to play for a blind pup as he won’t need to rely on his sense of sight at all!

The Snuffle Mat Gets Bonus Points For…

… Style. 

The Snuffle Mat actually makes for a fun and unexpected accessory on our hardwood floors!

I’m not going to lie – I’m a sucker for eclectic finds for the house, and the mat ticks off that box.

It looks really good against the dark, warm colored floors. 

The Wooly Snuffle Mat Also Works Great As A Place Mat For Missy's Bowl

… Durability & Machine Washability. 

Missy has been eating some of her raw meals from her stainless steel bowl lined with the Snuffle Mat.

She has the habit of picking up her raw meaty bones (turkey neck portrayed in picture below) and placing them right outside of her bowl.

That’s actually exactly what she did when I first placed her food bowl on top of the snuffle mat.

Missy's Raw Dog Food Bowl Lined With The Wooly Snuffle Mat

After she was done eating, there was some turkey neck residue on the mat, which prompted me to throw it in the washer and test its durability.

I washed it on the cold cycle, by itself, and was pleasantly surprised when it come out in one piece, no tassles missing!

I decided to let it air-dry and not waste any energy on starting the dryer just for the one mat. However, it can go into the dryer.

It took about 2 days for the mat to fully dry, that’s how thick it is! [I did revert to the dryer once it got colder outside.]

Final Thoughts on the Wooly Snuffle Mat

I’m always stoked when I learn about a new company in the pet industry that stands out from the crowd by using sustainable product design!

I’m even more impressed with products that are durable and LAST quite some time. As I mentioned before, 7 years into using the Snuffle Mat on a regular basis, it still looks brand new.

The Wooly Snuffle Mat is a one-of-a-kind dog food puzzle that slows down fast eaters.

As such, it’s one of my favorite doggie accessory finds of 2016. By the way, I saw a lot of them at the Global Pet Expo in Orlando, FL that year! 

I attended The Global Pet Expo 2016 in Orlando, FL
At the Global Pet Expo in 2016

Not only does the Wooly Snuffle Mat stimulate a dog’s sense of smell regardless of age, breed, or handicap, it’s also durable and machine washable.

It gets bonus point for being handmade of upcycled fabric that supports women in rural Thailand, AND it looks stylish on top of everything else!

Do you have comments or questions? Please leave them in the comment section below this blog post!

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Barbara launched her blog K9sOverCoffee in 2014 and has been feeding her dogs raw dog food since 2015. As a former professional dog walker, she’s passionate about balancing species-appropriate exercise with healthy dog nutrition. Barbara is raw dog food nutrition certified from “Dogs Naturally Magazine” and the author of several e-books about minimally processed, balanced raw dog food.







4 responses to “The Wooly Snuffle Mat: One of the Best Food Puzzles for Dogs”

  1. 2 brown dawgs blog Avatar

    I think if I put treats in it, the dogs would rip it apart but I like the idea of using it as a mat for food bowls. Our dogs push their bowls around. I wonder if they would stay put on that mat?

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      Hm, that’s a bummer. The mat does keep the bowl pretty steady, but the mat itself slides on hardwood and tile flooring, so unless you wanted to use it on carpet you’d have to put some kind of non-slip liner or tape under it.

  2. Elaine Avatar

    I think most dogs would love this, since they’re always searching and sniffing in the grass outside, and it sure beats them gobbling up rabbit poop, haha! I also like that it’s machine washable, since I could see Haley sneezing when using it if it got too dusty. Very cool find!

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      I think so too 😉 HA, it definitely beats gobbling up rabbit poop. I hadn’t even thought of that benefit!!

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