5 Fun Scent Games Your Dogs Will Love

Engaging your dog in scent games is not only mentally stimulating but also a great way to bond with your furry friend. Dogs have an incredible sense of smell, and tapping into this natural ability through scent games can provide enrichment and entertainment. Here are five fun scent games that your dog is sure to love:

1. Hide and Seek

Hide and seek is a classic game that taps into your dog’s natural hunting instincts. To play, start by having your dog stay in one room while you hide in another. Call your dog’s name or use a cue word to signal that it’s time to start searching. Encourage your dog to use their nose to track your scent and find you. Start with easy hiding spots and gradually increase the difficulty as your dog becomes more skilled.

2. Find the Treats

This game involves hiding treats or favorite toys around the house or yard for your dog to find. Start by showing your dog a treat or toy and then placing it in an obvious location while they watch. Encourage your dog to sniff out the hidden treats or toys and reward them with praise and additional treats when they find them. Gradually increase the difficulty by hiding treats in more challenging locations or using scent trails to lead your dog to the hidden items.

3. Scent Trails

Create scent trails for your dog to follow using treats, scented cotton balls, or essential oils. Start by placing a few treats or scented items in a straight line on the ground and encourage your dog to follow the trail using their nose. As your dog becomes more skilled, increase the length and complexity of the scent trails by adding turns, loops, and obstacles. Scent trails are a great way to provide mental and physical stimulation for your dog while honing their scenting skills.

4. Snuffle Mats

Snuffle mats are interactive feeding tools designed to encourage dogs to use their noses to search for food. These mats are typically made of fabric strips or fleece tied together to create a textured surface. Sprinkle your dog’s kibble or favorite treats throughout the mat and encourage them to sniff out the hidden treasures. Snuffle mats provide mental enrichment and slow down mealtime for dogs who tend to eat too quickly.

5. Scent Discrimination

Scent discrimination games challenge your dog to identify and distinguish between different scents. Start by using two containers or boxes and placing a treat or scented item in one of them while your dog watches. Encourage your dog to sniff out the container with the treat or scented item and reward them for making the correct choice. As your dog becomes more proficient, increase the number of containers and vary the scents to provide additional challenges.


Scent games are a fun and interactive way to engage your dog’s natural sense of smell while providing mental stimulation and enrichment. Whether you’re playing hide and seek, hiding treats around the house, creating scent trails, using snuffle mats, or practicing scent discrimination, there are plenty of scent games to choose from to keep your dog entertained and engaged. Incorporate scent games into your dog’s daily routine to provide mental stimulation, strengthen your bond, and enhance your dog’s overall well-being.

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