Whether you believe a dog muzzle is an effective training tool or not, there are times when you may want to — or even have to — use one. These are a few things every dog parent should know about dog muzzles:
A muzzle is a device that is placed over a dog’s snout that restricts how wide he can open his mouth and what his mouth can access. Dog muzzles are used for a variety of reasons, which we will review below.
Dog muzzles are available at almost any pet supply store. There are several different styles and materials of dog muzzles. A basket muzzle, plastic or metal, is the best choice for most occasions. When fitted correctly, a basket muzzle allows a dog to pant, drink and even eat. A fabric or cloth soft muzzle is a good addition to your dog’s first aid kit in case of emergencies.
Reach out to a professional trainer or behaviorist for help in choosing the dog muzzle style and fit that best suits your needs. Then, train your pup to wear the muzzle. According to the Muzzle Up Project, training goes best when it’s fun and taken at a slow pace with a properly fitted muzzle. Never let your dog wear a muzzle unsupervised.
A dog bite is nothing to take lightly. A medical professional should examine any dog bite that breaks the skin, either on a human or another dog. The injuries resulting from dog bites can range from something as simple as wounds that need antibiotics to serious injuries and even deaths.
Most areas require reporting dog bites to the authorities and if someone ends up at the ER, the medical professional is most likely required to report it. What happens to the dog that caused the injury depends on where the assault took place, how bad the injury was and, unfortunately in some cases and areas, the dog’s breed. The biting dog may need to be assessed by professionals, quarantined by you or a shelter, rehomed or — in extreme cases — even euthanized.
The legal, emotional and financial results for the dog’s owner can be devastating. You may have to cover medical costs for the victim, your homeowners or dog insurance may increase, or you may even have to find funds to attain a lawyer.
Certainly, anything you can do to keep you and your dog from this kind of pain is worth your consideration. Of course, the use of a dog muzzle doesn’t guarantee a dog won’t bite, but it is a step you can take to help keep you and your pup safe.
Tell us: Do you muzzle your dog? What are your tips for getting your dog to wear his muzzle calmly?
Thumbnail: Photography by Anagramm/Thinkstock.
Read more about dog training on Dogster.com: