This Pizza-Themed Snuffle Mat For Dogs Is a Slice of Heaven · The Wildest

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Injoya Is Giving Pets a Slice of Pizza Heaven

The brand’s snuffle mat gives pups the chance to stuff their faces into a fluffy pizza pie.

by Sean Zucker
Updated June 30, 2023
Small dark grey puppy sniffing treats from a Pizza Snufflemat by Injoya Pets via Dog and Co
Courtesy of Injoya Pets
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As a longtime New Yorker, I can personally attest to the fact that there are few things the people of this city love more than our pets and pizza. They’re both right up there with aggressive driving (a necessity!) and general impatience toward the speed of foot traffic on any given sidewalk at any given time. So, it’s no surprise that at the New York-based retailer Dog & Co. you can find an adorable combination of these two Empire State staples via Injoya’s pizza-shaped snuffle mat.

For those unacquainted, snuffle mats are essentially 3D rugs used for feeding. They usually include a flat base with fleece strips woven into it to provide a fluffy surface that pet parents can plant hidden food or treats inside. The idea is to enhance the feeding process for our pups, making it more fun and rewarding. Plus, experts are on board with the tool.

“Snuffle mats are a great way to provide enrichment and entertainment by helping dogs use their amazing sense of smell to find the hidden food. Sniff-based mental stimulation can help promote overall relaxation in dogs, as well,” says veterinary behaviorist Dr. Valli Parthasarathy.

Nutritionist Dr. Emily Luisana adds that the design of snuffle mats can replicate how dogs eat in the wild, which encourages a more natural feeding experience. And as someone who has spent many nights journeying across Manhattan in search of the perfect slice, I can confirm Injoya picked the right style for their mat. Just as a midnight safari is my innate form of finding food, Injoya’s mat can help pups tap into theirs. “[Snuffle mats] can help mimic a more natural way of hunting and eating, especially for intelligent pets that need high levels of environmental enrichment,” Dr. Luisana says.

Beyond the mental stimulation, snuffle mats are great for fast eaters because, similar to my habits of quickly scarfing down half a pie at 2 a.m., a mess usually follows. “Snuffle mats can also slow eating times. This can be beneficial for some pets. For example, those that eat so quickly they vomit afterward,” Dr. Luisana explains.

Both Dr. Parthasarathy and Dr. Luisana note that, just like a standard bowl or feeder, snuffle mats must be kept clean to avoid pups eating anything contaminated. Luckily, Injoya’s za-inspired option is easily machine washable. It’s also made of non-toxic materials to help ensure a gut-friendly eating experience. And the mat’s non-slip base will help minimize any possible mess or movement. There are even squeakers inside two removable ‘slices’ at each end to entice dogs who do not share my enthusiasm for cheese and dough.

If your dog doesn’t respond to the familiar squeaks and remains hesitant to approach the mat, Dr. Parthasarathy recommends scattering their favorite treats around its surface. “As your pet becomes more comfortable approaching and interacting with the mat, start hiding some of the treats just under the surface so that they start searching for them. Once they are comfortable with that, start burying the treats deeper and deeper,” she continues.

If your pet has never used a snuffle mat, both vets offer the same counsel — supervise their first few sessions with Injoya’s product. As with any toy, pet parents should watch to make sure dogs aren’t ripping up and ingesting any of the materials. This can be especially dangerous when food is involved.

“I always recommend supervising your pet with any toy, especially ones that are used in combination with food. If you have a mischievous pet, you may also need to put it away after feeding time,” Dr. Luisana explains. 

Sean Zucker

Sean Zucker

Sean Zucker is a writer whose work has been featured in Points In Case, The Daily Drunk, Posty, and WellWell. He has an adopted Pit Bull named Banshee whose work has been featured on the kitchen floor and whose behavioral issues rival his own.

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