Finding the Perfect Dog Muzzle

Finding the Perfect Dog Muzzle

There are two types of muzzles available on the market:

  • Occlusion: the purpose is to keep the mouth shut.
  • Basket-type: the purpose is to allow the dog to open his mouth and pant.

The occlusion-type muzzle is good for short-term reasons, such as trimming nails or brushing out burrs in fur. The occlusion-type muzzle is NOT meant for long-term wear, as it prevents the dog from panting, which can cause overheating and lead to heat stroke. Do not purchase this type of muzzle to take your dog outside!

The basket-type muzzle can be made of soft nylon, plastic or wire. This muzzle allows dogs to open their mouths and pant. The most secure to prevent biting is a wire basket, as a dog that is determined to bite will destroy the soft or plastic muzzle. It is recommended to purchase a comfortable muzzle for taking your dog outside.

How to measure your dog:

Length – measure your dog from the eyes to the tip of his nose.
Circumference – measure your dog approximately 1″ below his eyes
Note: for circumference measurements only, add:

  • Small dogs add a 1/4″ to 1/2″
  • Large dogs add a 1/2″ to 1″

To find the perfect muzzle, call or visit different pet stores, and take your dog to try one on at the store. There are also many websites that sell muzzles. Finding a muzzle that is a good fit and is comfortable for your dog may take some time, but it is important for your dog’s safety.

To train your dog to wear the muzzle:

  • Attach the muzzle to the dog’s collar and for a few minutes each day, let it hang off his collar for a few days. Reward him for wearing the muzzle on his collar.
  • Next, place a treat or some soft dog food at the end of the muzzle. Fit the muzzle on his snout to try it out for few minutes. This allows him to access the treat and see the muzzle as a positive experience. Praise him for having his snout in the muzzle.
  • Repeat the previous step several times a day for a few days.
  • When he seems comfortable with having his nose inside the muzzle, repeat the process, but fasten the muzzle on his head while he is licking off the treat. Do not forget to praise him!

Remember all dogs are different – some dogs will accept the muzzle more quickly than others. And always make wearing the muzzle a very positive experience for your dog.

While a muzzle may help manage some behaviours, nothing replaces good training and responsible pet ownership in ensuring a great canine citizen!

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