Snuffle mats for dogs recovering from injury
28 Sep, 2017
In an earlier blog, I discussed the need for dogs to rest after a muscle injury. (https://www.fullstride.com.au/blog/muscle-injury-in-dogs-is-rest-enough-to-restore-muscle-strength ) One of the downsides of immobilisation that was addressed in this article was the risk of muscle wasting (atrophy) during the rest period. Another downside of immobilisation is the loss of mental stimulation that the dog would normally get through exercise and other activities.
For dogs that are used to being active and being involved in training or sports activities, being asked to rest for a couple of days can be pretty tough for them… and you.
Here is a great idea to help keep your dog mentally stimulated while they rest in their crate or bed. It is called a “snuffle mat”. These mats let the dog’s use their noses to find treats that you can “embed” in the knotted material of the mat. This idea is great for dogs rehabilitating from surgery or injury. It keeps their mind active, they can still interact with you (you can “help” the dog find the treats) and they can use the mat while remaining immobilised.
These mats also have other applications including a “home alone” game or a way to give the dog a job while resting quietly in a crate or mat (which is what I am using it for).
These mats are also really easy to make or you can buy them ready made. The picture above is my partially completed mat. I used the instructions from this website: https://www.thehonestkitchen.com/blog/diy-make-your-dog-or-cat-a-snuffle-matt/ The measurements are in inches but it is pretty easy to adapt.
I hope to finish my mat soon and I am looking forward to letting my puppy try it out. If your dog has a snuffle mat or other game to play in their crate, please share your ideas by leaving a comment or posting a photo on the Full Stride Facebook page.
Until next time, enjoy your dogs.