Sometimes the idea of restraining your dog with a muzzle can be unsettling. You might wonder if they can eat, drink or even breath with one on. We often associate it with bad behavior and being used on “aggressive” dogs.
The fact is that they are used to keep the dog and handler both safe. For example, if your dog is injured, the odds of a dog bite increase significantly. When a dog is in severe pain they tend to bite. Even when you try to pick them up to transport them or try to treat the wound.
The last thing you want to worry about during an emergency is having to treat a dog bite so a muzzle is a simple and effective solution.
Types of Muzzles:
Basket Muzzle: This is probably the muzzle of choice for many dog owners. While it can look like prison bars around your dog’s muzzle, it still allows room for them to open their mouths, drink and bark.
Soft Muzzle: These are usually made of fabric or leather. They wrap around your dog’s mouth and can keep your dog from panting. These should only be used for very short periods of time. This type of muzzle is typically used by veterinarians
Homemade Muzzle: When you don’t have another option you can make one. These should only be used for short periods.
How to make a Homemade Muzzle:
- Just find a long piece of fabric or gauze. Try not to use stretch gauze or your dog might be able to shake loose. You could use your pet’s leash in a pinch
- Make a large loop at the center of your fabric or gauze. This loop should be 3 times the size of your pup’s muzzle. Place the loop around the muzzle and pull it tight on top of the nose, tying it with a single knot.
- Bring the end of your fabric or gauze back under your dog’s muzzle. After tying the makeshift muzzle on top of the nose, bring the two ends of the gauze around to create a second loop around the snout. Tie these ends underneath the jaw with another single knot.
- Last bring the ends of the fabric or gauze behind your pet’s ears and make and secure it with a bow instead of a knot in case you need to release your pet quickly.
It’s important to practice with your dog so they are comfortable wearing one. To get started introduce it and reward them for their curiosity. They slip it over their snout and take it off. Do this several times treating them and making it a game so they associate it with a positive experience. Before you know it they will be okay wearing it for short periods.
Prepare today to keep them safe tomorrow.