Whether walking your dog on crowded streets, visiting the vet, or seeing the groomer, there are times when it pays to safely and compassionately use a dog muzzle. Putting a dog muzzle on your dog signals to passersby, and dog care professionals, that you are watching out for their safety. They'll feel more secure, and so will you. But remember that a dog muzzle is a short-term tool, and is not to be used for extended periods.Features to Consider in a Dog Muzzle Materials
The most important function of a dog muzzle is to keep a dog from biting. To do that, a dog muzzle has to securely cover a dog's mouth and not be easily ‘pawed off.' That makes size, your most important consideration. The dog muzzle should fit snugly, but without pinching, or rubbing. For most applications, a lightweight, nylon dog muzzle is ideal. Look for heavy-duty stitching, tough nylon straps and secure plastic snaps.
Desirable Features in a Dog Muzzle
Relatively comfortable to pet
Type or function (basket, leather, nylon)
Easy to clean
Easy to use
Every dog muzzle is designed to allow a dog to breathe, but some hold the dog's mouth closed, while others allow the dog to pant, bark, or even drink water. The dog muzzle you choose should be appropriate for the application. If your dog is making a short visit to the vet or groomer, it's unlikely they'll need to drink, and a snug; nylon dog muzzle is probably the right choice. But for certain situations, a wire mesh dog muzzle offers more safety and comfort options.
A wire mesh dog muzzle looks something like a catcher's mask. Wide, insulated wire mesh prevents the dog from biting, but allows the dog to pant, bark, drink, and receive treats. The insulated wire keeps a dog's tongue or nose from sticking in cold weather. For times when the dog must stay muzzled for more than a few minutes, or when they'll need to ingest water, the wire dog muzzle may be the way to go.
A leather dog muzzle does all the things that a nylon, or wire dog muzzle can do, but may not be as comfortable, or as easy to clean. Nylon or leather may be a matter of personal preference.
Ideal Choice for a Dog Muzzle
Your ideal choice is dog muzzles that fits well, is lightweight and comfortable, and is durable and secure enough to prevent your dog from removing it. It should be easy to clean, easy to put on, and easy (for you) to remove. It should prevent the dog from biting, yet allow the dog to breathe freely.
Safety and Shopping Tips for Dog Muzzles
In hot weather, walking your dog in a dog muzzle that does not allow your dog to pant can be life threatening. Dogs who can't pant may become dangerously overheated. Take care when putting a dog muzzle on an aggressive dog. And remember, a dog muzzle should never be used as punishment for excessive barking, or other behavioral problems, but rather, as a safety accessory. If your dog barks excessively, or is aggressive and prone to biting, don't simply buy a dog muzzle. Instead, see your vet, and get a recommendation for a trainer, or animal behavior specialist.