If like me, you have an unruly terrier that needs constant stimulation and things to keep him occupied, then you should definitely consider buying a snuffle ball for dogs. They are great for keeping your dog entertained so that you can go out and leave him alone knowing that he has something to do. They are also a good distraction from stressful situations such as fireworks or new visitors. Today’s article is all about the best snuffle balls available online and how to use one.
These are great enrichment activities for terriers and scent hounds, but realistically, they can be beneficial to all types of dog. As long as he or she is food motivated and likes stimulation, then your dog will love this!
Introducing the Snuffle Ball for Dogs
So what is a do snuffle ball? It’s a non toxic ball that has fabric incorporated into it that will hide treats. It’s a dog enrichment activity – your dog will need to use its brain and combine this with its physical skill to find the treats hidden in the fabric of the snuffle ball. There are two kinds of snuffle ball – one where you hide the treats in the rolls of the fabric and another where you actually wrap a treat in a long strip of fabric and then stuff it in the ball and they have to pull it back out.
Snuffle Ball with folds of Fabric
This snuffle ball is quick and easy to use – simply shove a few tasty treats into the folds of fabric and leave it for your dog to ‘snuffle’ and ‘sniff’. I recommend using very meaty smelly treats that will be great to sniff out. This one is available on Amazon.
Snuffle Ball for Dogs Type 2 – Rolling the treats in Strips of Fabric!
This is the more challenging and more common snuffle ball for dogs. It has lengths of fabric that you can pull out of the plastic core. Pull out a strip of fabric, wrap a meaty or tasty treat in it and then push it back in. The dog will need to small for the treat, dig the fabric strip out and then unravel it.
What treats work well with snuffle balls?
You can actually cut up cocktail sausages or little bits of chicken if you want your dog to find something really tasty at the end of his foraging! But if you want something less messy, there are a lot of meaty smelling treats that work great for snuffling activities. I really rate the Wagg dog treats and Bakers all sorts – Blake goes mad for these because they smell quite meaty and so heavy is really eager to find them!
With the Wagg treats, you can buy a bundle that contains all three varieties…
- Beef, Chicken and Lamb
- Chicken and Liver
- Lamb and Rice Meaty Bites (for puppies and dogs with sensitive stomachs)
If you are looking for more natural treats for your dog to sniff out, then I recommend these all natural chicken treats for dogs. You don’t need to worry about unnecessary or unhealthy additives with these ones…
Benefits of Dog Snuffle Balls
- Snuffling is good for your dog to improve use of his nose – great for scent training.
- It can limit separation anxiety because it keeps your dog occupied and gives him something to focus on while you are out of the house.
- Can distract your dog while there are stressors around such as loud noises or strange people.
- Encourages your dogs brain and physical abilities to work together.
- Encourages foraging and finding food which replicates what dogs would have done in the wild before they were domesticated.
- Reward at the end – makes your dog ‘work’ for his food resulting in physical and mental stimulation.
- Make the treat giving last longer to keep your dog occupied!
Other Great Ways to Stimulate your dog
Dog enrichment is really important – your dog should always feel stimulated and when your dog has had enough play and stimulation he is likely to sleep and behave much better. There are some other great ways to offer your dog enrichment as well such as snuffle mats and dog puzzles.
A snuffle mat is a great alternative to a snuffle ball. With the matt, it is more likely to stay in one place and hiding the treats is a bit quicker and easier. He will rummage through the rags on the snuffle matts as he sniffs out this treats. If you are anything like us, your dog will end up with both – a snuffle matt and a snuffle ball!
Nina Ottosson Dog Puzzles
Dog puzzles are another fantastic form of enrichment for your dog. We love the Nina Ottosson ones – they are made from sturdy non-toxic plastic and you can purchase different levels of difficulty depending on your dogs experience and skill. Blake loves his Tornado!
Further Reading on Dog Enrichment
If you enjoyed this article about the snuffle ball and dog enrichment, then you might also like to read the following articles….