An image of a dog with a muzzle invoke thoughts of aggressive dogs who are prevented from biting others. It may also give the impression to others that the dog wearing muzzle may be dangerous to others. Most will also feel that owner of the dog is responsible as the muzzle keeps the dog as well as person near him safe.
While it does help to alleviate a difficult situation, we are still puzzled. There is a thought inside us if the dog would be comfortable with it or not. Whether the dog would be able to breathe and drink easily or not.
What is the need of Muzzle for Dogs?
Dogs are animals who react if feel threatened. The natural response for them is flight or fight. They may ignore or wee away but may as a last resort bite as well. This do depend on the dog breed as well on how much protective or territorial they are.
So all dogs will bite if cornered or threatened. It is the degree of tolerance that varies with each dog breed. The muzzle helps as a precautionary measure.
Even the nicest and friendliest of dogs may bite. In fact there are multiple examples of the same. If a dog was in pain and some one extended his hands to help but under the severe pain and confusion, the dog bit him which is the least expected but happen some times.
To avoid these situations, it is best to train the dog with muzzle so that in any rough situation in future, he remains calm.
Look at situations when dog is in severe pain and taken for vet care. Wearing the muzzle will keep the vet safe and with the muzzle, he will feel more confident observing and treating the dog.
Or let’s say you go to a groomer for trimming of dog’s nail and the dog absolutely does not like the same. Groomer will feel more safe and can do his best job with the muzzle on the dog.
How and when not to use Dog muzzle?
It does gives a sense of security when you have the Dog with the muzzle but does it help all the times. Answer is No.
While wearing a muzzle can prevent bites, it will not reduce the aggressive behavior or the cause of the same and in fact keeping the muzzle for long can potentially aggravate the same.
Dogs with muzzle can still harm themselves or others by lunging or scratching with their paws. Keeping the muzzle on the dog for long should be avoided. With some muzzles specially, the dog can’t pant and this may result in over heating.
Things to consider
- Do not think of muzzle as a way to control Dog’s aggressive behavior. They are only a means to prevent dog bite.
- Always make sure that muzzle is of correct and size and fir the dog perfectly and he is comfortable.
- Make a positive feeling about wearing the muzzle by training or treats.
- Never leave the muzzle on the dog for long or unsupervised.
How to introduce Muzzle to dog?
Do not be hasty in the beginning. You can check the below steps
- Place some food in the muzzle and let the dog sniff around the same.
- Next let him eat the food smeared by putting his nose into it.
- Once he gets comfortable with the same, start by pulling the straps around him while observing. If he is showing any signs of distress, go back to the previous step and again do it after some time.
- Slowly start giving the treats after fitting the muzzle so the dog waits for food and still be comfortable.
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Types of Muzzle
There are two types of muzzle. Basket muzzle and Fabric muzzle. Let us have a quick look on both of them.
Typically these types of muzzle are made from Nylon or Leather. Once fitted, it closes the dog mouth and they will not be able to bark as well. They also prevent dogs from eating or drinking. This is usually not recommended by vets as they also do not allow the dog to pant which may result in over heating of his body and can prove dangerous if kept for long.
As the name suggests, it looks like a basket on the dog face that prevents the dog from biting. They are usually made of wire, leather or plastic. This is a more humane choice and is more comfortable to dogs. These muzzle allow the dog to bark, pant, eat and drink as well. Basket muzzle are the preferred choice of muzzle.
Best Dog Muzzle
After looking at various muzzles available, we have found Baskerville Ultra Muzzle on Amazon.com USA website as a good one.
This is a humane touch is from Baskerville that would help the dog to pant, breathe and eat and would keep him comfortable.
It is available in two colors black and tan and comes in different sizes for many breeds.
Muzzle are good as a tool to keep dog and person around them to be safe and prevent any dog bites. They should not be looked upon as an alternative to dog training for aggression. Care should be taken not to keep it for too long specially with the ones that doesn’t allow the dog to pant.
Yes dogs can eat and drink through the basket muzzle which are more comfortable to dogs. Tight fitted soft muzzle would not let the dog open his mouth and he will not be able to drink with the same.
They can make him uncomfortable and and if kept for long can make him aggravate his aggressive behavior. Muzzle is just a tool for preventing dog bites and not a training to control dog’s aggressive behavior.
A soft muzzle that keeps his mouth closed will become uncomfortable for the dog within 15 – 20 minutes as he will not be able to pant. But a basket muzzle should be okay for wearing 30-45 minutes.
Basket muzzle are preferred as they keep the dog comfortable as he can eat, drink and pant as well in the same.