While many people can be alarmed at the first sign of a dog wearing a muzzle, dog muzzles are great behavior management tools that come in a variety of styles to prevent your dog from biting, scavenging, and barking.
Dog muzzles are sometimes necessary and sometimes implemented because of breed restrictions and they’ve come a long way and do a great job of protecting dogs and people. At The Vet Set, we know how important muzzles can be, so we’ve compiled a list of common dog muzzles and the benefits of each one.
When it comes to dog muzzles, do your dog a favor and don’t choose aesthetics over practicality. A great muzzle will allow your dog to pant, drink, and take treats freely. If you ever have any questions about how a muzzle should fit, connect with your local vet.
The basket muzzle is what everyone recognizes and is the most classic muzzle. It is typically composed of a hard plastic that cages the muzzle of a dog. It’s one of the best muzzles options, however, dog owners tend to steer clear of it because it is very noticeable.
A mesh muzzle has a lower profile than the traditional basket muzzle, and it’s usually made from a softer material such as mesh or neoprene. For a mesh dog muzzle to be effective it needs to fit tightly, so dogs may be at risk for overheating because they may not be able to pant and breathe properly.
This muzzle is great for short bouts such as a trip to the groomer or vet, but for walks and outdoor activities, a basket muzzle may be better.
While traditional muzzles will work for most dogs there are specific breeds that need a different kind of muzzle, these breeds include brachycephalic dogs such as pugs and French bulldogs and other breeds with long, thin muzzles such as Greyhounds and Whippets.
For brachycephalic dogs, muzzles often fit like a mask that covers their muzzle and areas around their eyes, whereas sighthound muzzles for long muzzles, accommodate the length and slenderness that mesh and basket muzzles can’t.
We know that muzzles are a great behavior management tool to prohibit scavenging, biting, and barking, but are there any instances where muzzles shouldn’t be used?
There a couple of scenarios when using a dog muzzle isn’t always the best practice, and they include:
Punishment – When it comes to using a muzzle with your dog, there are many steps you have to take to get your dog comfortable, so if you were to just put a muzzle on your dog as a form of punishment, this can be extremely traumatizing for them. The dog also won’t necessarily associate the bad behavior with the muzzle, so the behavior will continue.
Destructiveness – It’s not a great idea to leave a muzzle on for prolonged periods, so if you leave it on all day while you’re at work to keep them from chewing, you’re really not addressing the real issue at hand.
Muzzles are a common tool used to assist in preventing specific behaviors and they come in a variety of styles to accommodate the different needs.