The snuffle ball for dogs is rapidly increasing in popularity. What is a snuffle ball and how can you use it to enrich your dog’s day-to-day life? Well, it all starts with their nose…
Your dog’s nose is amazing! Humans can hardly comprehend how powerful it is. A dog’s nose is the way they “see” the world…it’s 10,000 to 100,000 times more powerful than human noses! While you might smell the delicious scent of a fresh pizza that just popped out of the oven, your pup can smell each individual ingredient!
When you’re on a walk, you often are looking around and observing the sights of the environment you’re in. Your dog is probably walking around with his nose on the ground, taking in all the smells of the environment. Dogs enjoy sniffing—it’s how they find out about their environment, pick up info from other dogs in the form of “pee-mail,” and they simply find it enjoyable!
The whole point of a snuffle ball for dogs is to help you stimulate your pup’s sense of smell. But why? What’s the point? Sniffing, while enjoyable, is also so important for dogs. It works their nose and a large part of their brain. Using enrichment activities such as a snuffle ball for dogs that encourages utilizing the sense of smell can help release a lot of bundled up energy and help relax your dog!
What is a Snuffle Ball for Dogs?
Still wondering, “what is a snuffle ball?” A snuffle ball for dogs is like a puzzle for your pup. It has treats hidden within the folds of fabric which your dog has to sniff out and then figure out how to get it. This is a great enrichment tool which can keep your dog occupied for an extended period of time and tire them out.
If you’re looking for other enrichment and mental stimulation activities, check out this Brain Training for Dogs program!
Brain Training for Dogs Program
How to Use a Snuffle Ball for Dogs
Once you buy or create a DIY snuffle ball for dogs, it’s quite easy to use. Simply get some of their usual dog food or some treats, and hide them in the crevices of the folds of the fabric of the ball. Then give it to your dog and allow them to sniff out and enjoy the snacks!
No Time to DIY?
Try these fantastic snuffle mats available on Amazon!
Snuffle Ball Materials
Click the links to see the exact materials we used from Amazon!
- 1.5 yards of fabric (fleece is recommended)
- Piece of cardboard
- Zip ties or string (4 pieces, 8 inches long)
- Sandpaper or hot glue gun (if using zip ties)
- Xacto knife (optional)
How to Make a Snuffle Ball: DIY Snuffle Ball for Dogs Instructions
Ready to make your own DIY snuffle ball for dogs? Here are 10 easy steps to show you how to make a snuffle ball!
1. Using the scissors, cut the fleece into 32 circles with an 8 inch diameter. Use a cardboard circle as a template to cut the fleece. The larger the circles are in diameter, the larger the ball will be. You can adjust the size of the circles based on how big you want your finished product to be.
2. Fold all the circles in half, and then in half again, so they form a cone shape.
3. Using the end of the scissors or an Xacto knife, cut a small hole about ¾ inch from the bottom of the cone shape. Be sure to cut through all 4 layers.
4. Slide 8 of your folded fleece circles on to the string or zip tie and tie it loosely, leaving some extra room.
5. Add 8 more of the folded pieces onto your second string or zip tie. This time, before closing the zip tie, or tying a knot in the string, slip it through the first string or zip tie so that they’re linked together.
6. Repeat step 5 for the remaining two.
7. Once they’re all together, tighten the zip ties, or reknot the strings.
8. Trim the extra ends of the string or zip ties.
9. If you used zip ties, soften the ends of them with sandpaper, or put a dollop of hot glue over top the sharp sides to prevent your dog from getting hurt.
10. Fill the ball with your pups favorite treats or their kibble and let the fun begin!
That’s it, you now know how to make a snuffle ball! This toy can be placed in the washing machine for easy cleaning.
You don’t want this to be a frustrating experience for your dog. This should be a fun, rewarding enrichment activity that they look forward to! To prevent frustration here are a couple quick tips:
- Put some treats in spots that are easily located. Don’t bury all of the treats or kibble too deep where it’s hard for them to find
- If your dog seems to become frustrated, take it from them and try again at another time.