This week’s Small Business Spotlight features a company called SnuffleMats® If you’ve not heard the term before then you are about to discover something totally life changing for you and your dogs. Seriously, these things are amazing! Here to enlighten you all is Nicola that owns and runs SnuffleMats®.
Hi Nicola, thanks for joining us! First thing’s first, what are SnuffleMats®?
SnuffleMats® are the perfect enrichment to your pet’s day, allowing them to use their natural skills of sniffing and foraging for kibble / treats that you have hidden within the mat. Consisting of a durable natural rubber base combined with polar fleece, this puzzle gives your pet a great mental workout.
What inspired you to start your company?
Harry our rescue was our inspiration to start SnuffleMats®, he’s been with us since 2006 and will celebrate his 12th birthday later this year. We are always looking for new ways to keep Harry entertained, Having made Harry one of our SnuffleMats® I posted his pictures on social media, we quickly gained a lot of interest from friends and family initially, but very quickly enquiries came through from further afield (We have supplied in to 13 countries to date both EU and ROW) and as the business grew, we had to trade mark SnuffleMats® in 2015 to protect our customers from other imitations in the market place that may not be up to the standard that Harry enjoys.
We added Ned the Sled into our family in April 2016, after spending around 12 months in kennels Ned quickly grasped the aim of SnuffleMats® and enjoys a good snuffle with his daily meals.
What are the benefits of SnuffleMats®?
Providing enrichment for your pets is so important, especially when it comes to preventing behaviour problems and giving them a good quality of life. Foraging for food is a key instinct and great stimulation that should be nourished, SnuffleMats® provide a safe, enjoyable way in which you can encourage your pet’s natural skills.
Some of the key benefits of SnuffleMats® are; helping to refine search and find skills, they encourage attentive play, provide mental stimulation, perfect for the golden oldies and pets with impairments such as loss of sight/hearing. Can be used for behaviour modification training and they may help reduce stress.
Pets never get bored of using SnuffleMats® every visit to the mat is different for them, where about is the food hiding and which treats do I get to try to hunt for today?
Who can use SnuffleMats®?
Any pets who enjoy snuffling can enjoy SnuffleMats®
Our most frequent customers are Dogs and Cats of all breeds, sizes and age. Our SnuffleMats® help zap energy from puppies whilst providing fun and stimulation for the golden oldies or those on restricted exercise.
More recently we have supplied SnuffleMats® to a pygmy hedgehog and a house pig.
Which is your most popular colour combination?
SnuffleMats® prides ourselves on offering colour combinations suited to our customers and would not want to limit anyone’s creativity (where possible)
If we were to shortlist some favourites we would suggest the following: Rainbow Mix, Blue Mix, Red, Yellow & Royal Blue, Red Tartan, Pink Mix and Multi-Coloured Paw Print
Our customers such as Veterinary Practices, Dog Trainers and Independent/Bespoke Pet Shops take a cross section of the above colour combinations, although some will take SnuffleMats® that match their logo or business image colours.
Anything else you’d like to tell us about SnuffleMats®?
SnuffleMats® are very proud to be recognised by Kate Mallatratt, who is a Canine Behaviourist and member of ICB Global, Kate had tried and tested our mats thoroughly with her own dogs and has kindly chosen to endorse our product and recommends SnuffleMats® to all of her clients.
Here at SnuffleMats® we recognise the work of rescue centres across the country, we hold monthly giveaways where our Facebook community nominate their chosen rescue centre, the winners are chosen randomly. So far, this year alone, we have donated over 20 mats to help residents giving enrichment and enjoyment and/or to help with the much needed fundraising all rescues face.
Doodle Review: Large Rainbow SnuffleMat®
Nicola very kindly sent us a large rainbow SnuffleMat®, they come in two sizes – a large SnuffleMat®, like ours, which measures 16 x 16 inches retails at £25 plus postage and the smaller version which measures 16 x 8 inches is £20 plus postage. The first thing we noticed on unpacking our SnuffleMat® was that it was definitely big enough for lots of dogs to snuffle at once – perfect for a multi-dog household! The rainbow fleece is very soft and gentle on nose when we’re snuffling, Rhapsody sometimes likes to use ours as a bed – when there’s no food in it, of course!
Mum uses our SnuffleMat® primarily to distract us from things and to reduce my anxiety. And by things I mean people, animals, cars or anything else that moves going past our windows. We like to let every one what’s going on and the neighbours definitely don’t appreciate our alerts. As we do use it rather a lot Mum tends not to put actual treats in it but to use a high quality kibble instead – we pick up loads of sample packs at the shows we attend and for some reason unbeknown to Mum (between you and I it’s purely because we never get kibble!) we think it is the best thing ever! She simply sprinkles the kibble over our mat and off we go. For a more challenging snuffle she uses a few higher value treats and really conceals them within the SnuffleMat®. This makes us really use our noses and work harder to find them – but it’s so worth it when you find the cheese or sausage!
As you can see from the pictures, we love to snuffle! We even took our SnuffleMat® to Grandma and Grandpa’s with us so Des and Eve could have a go and they loved it too which was a surprise to the hoomans as neither of them really play and Des isn’t motivated by food in the slightest, even he was interested in snuffling! As Des and Eve approach their senior years (both of them are 9 next month) and walks become more and more difficult the SnuffleMat® will provide them with great mental stimulation without the stress on their aging bodies.
We would highly recommend a SnuffleMat® to all our canine friends, we love ours and because it’s never exactly the same it never gets boring unlike most other toys! They are great mental stimulation for dogs of all ages and have really helped to reduce my anxiety in stressful situations.
You can buy your very own SnuffleMat® on their website here and also follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to keep up to date with the latest news, offers and cute pictures of pets snuffling!