Purchasing the Right Muzzle for Your Dog
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 her mouth and pant.
The Occlusion-type muzzle is good for short-term reasons, such as trimming nails or brushing out burrs in the fur. The occlusion-type muzzle is NOT meant for long-term wear, as it prevents the dog from panting, which can cause over-heating 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. They allow 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 in two seconds. But as the law does not specify of what type of material the muzzle should be, it is recommended to purchase a comfortable muzzle for taking your dog outside.
Here are some tips on how to take measurements for the perfect fit.
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 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 web sites 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 her collar for few days. Reward her for wearing the muzzle on her collar.
- Next, place a little peanut butter or some soft dog food at the end of the muzzle. Fit the muzzle on her snout to try it out for few minutes. This allows her to access the treat and see the muzzle as a positive experience. Praise her for having her snout in the muzzle.
- Repeat the previous step several times a day for a few days.
- When she seems comfortable with having her nose inside the muzzle, repeat the process, but fasten the muzzle on her head while she is licking off the treat. Do not forget to praise her!
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 the dog!
Good dogs tolerate muzzles; bad dogs need them. Nothing replaces good training and responsible pet ownership in ensuring a great canine citizen!