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Motivate Picky Eaters With Snuffle Mats

Motivate Picky Eaters With Snuffle Mats

Finding the Perfect Snuffle Mat for Small Pooches

For the first three years of my Havanese pup Scout’s life, I struggled to find a dog food she truly relished. And my other Havanese, Phoebe, has always had a sensitive stomach, turning her nose up at anything that didn’t appeal to her discerning palate.

Unlike my previous golden retrievers, who would happily scarf down just about anything, my two petite pups are true food snobs. They’ll turn their heads and walk away if a meal doesn’t meet their exacting standards. As a devoted dog mom, this picky eating behavior drove me to the brink of desperation at times.

I tried everything – homemade meals, enticing toppings, the “they’ll eat when they’re hungry” philosophy. But no matter what I did, there were mornings when both Scout and Phoebe refused to touch their breakfast. They’d just stare at me with those big, doleful eyes, making me feel like the world’s worst dog parent.

Snuffle Mats to the Rescue

Just as I was about to call the vet, a lightbulb went off. I’d been reading up on the latest small dog science for my upcoming book, Downward Sizing Dog, and learned about the benefits of using mental exercise to keep our furry friends sharp. Why not make mealtime a brain-stimulating activity?

That’s when I discovered the power of snuffle mats. These ingenious puzzle feeders tap into a dog’s natural foraging instincts, transforming boring old chow time into an engaging game of hunt and seek. I figured it was worth a shot to see if they could motivate my picky eaters.

Putting Snuffle Mats to the Test

I started with some of the more basic snuffle mats and puzzle feeders, like the Outward Hound slow-feeder bowls and plastic puzzles. While these did pique the girls’ interest a bit more than a regular bowl, they still didn’t encourage them to finish their entire meals.

Determined to find an even better solution, I expanded my search to include larger snuffle mats meant for bigger dogs. And that’s when I discovered the perfect match for my petite pups.

The Best Snuffle Mat for Small Dogs

This snuffle mat checks all the boxes for motivating picky eaters like Scout and Phoebe. Its generous size allows me to fill it with their entire breakfast portion, not just a few treats. And the deep, fleece-lined holes provide ample room for them to sniff and snuffle to their heart’s content.

As I learned from, the concept of engaging a dog’s sense of smell is beautifully executed in this mat. It taps into their natural foraging instincts, mirroring the hunt for food in the wild. This not only enriches their mealtime but also sharpens their mental faculties.

Since integrating these snuffle mats into our routine, I’ve noticed a marked improvement in Phoebe and Scout’s enthusiasm for breakfast. They stare at me with growing anticipation as I fill their mats, eagerly awaiting the “okay” to dive in and start snuffling.

Easy Cleaning and Durable Design

Another huge plus of these snuffle mats is how easy they are to maintain. Unlike other puzzle feeders that require painstaking cleaning, these can simply be tossed in the washing machine. Their durable, eco-friendly construction from polar fleece and upcycled materials means they hold up incredibly well, even with weekly washes.

The anti-slip backing is also a practical feature, keeping the mat firmly in place as my girls enthusiastically sniff and paw at it. This ensures the fun stays contained, without food pellets flying everywhere.

Enriching Mealtimes and Reducing Picky Eating

This snuffle mat has truly exceeded my expectations, transforming the girls’ breakfast into a mentally stimulating activity they actively look forward to. For those of you struggling with picky eaters or just wanting to add more enrichment to your dog’s life, I can’t recommend these mats enough.

By tapping into their natural foraging instincts, snuffle mats like this one have helped motivate even the pickiest of pooches. Scout and Phoebe now approach mealtimes with renewed enthusiasm, no longer turning their noses up at their food.

If you’re looking to keep your small dog engaged, healthy, and happy, I urge you to give snuffle mats a try. Your pup will thank you for the exciting new addition to their daily routine!

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