Muzzles: Are They Still for Today?

In the past, dogs that wear muzzles are often misunderstood as bad or aggressive and they are sometimes scary for some people. Also, the idea of putting a muzzle on your dog can be unsettling because you might wonder if it can breathe, drink, or pant. But muzzles are still for today and they are not just for aggression anymore because they are being used for a variety of good reasons which intend to keep dogs safe and happy.

A muzzle is a piece of equipment that is worn over the snout of a dog. It is usually used to prevent them from biting or scavenging food or other objects from the ground. This piece of equipment may look controversial but for most canine experts, there are situations when a dog owner needs to use a muzzle for the safety of the dog, a person, or both.

If you’re thinking about putting a muzzle on your dog but you’re not sure if it will be good for him, then you’re in the right place, because today, we are going to let you know about the different kinds of muzzles and when they are appropriate to be used.

Different Kinds of Muzzles for Dogs

Muzzles for dogs come in different types and styles and here are some of them.

  • Basket Muzzle: The basket muzzle may look like it’s the least humane choice but that is not true. It’s because this kind of muzzle may allow your dog to drink and pant more compared to other options. For smaller dogs, a plastic basket muzzle is a good option. But for larger dogs, a wire basket muzzle might be needed especially for preventing bites.
  • Soft Muzzle: Soft muzzles are usually made from fabric like nylon, or leather as well. These are less comfortable and potentially more dangerous compared to basket muzzles because they can prevent your dog from panting which is the canine version of sweating.
  • Homemade Muzzle: Yes, you can create a muzzle yourself but it is only recommended when there is no other option such as during an emergency when your dog has been injured and there’s a risk of it biting. There are lots of instructions for creating one you can find online. But keep in mind that a homemade muzzle should only be used temporarily.

When Should Dogs Wear Muzzles and When Should They Not?

Dog with muzzle 2

Here are some of the situations when it is appropriate to use a dog muzzle.

  • During emergencies: When a dog is injured, it may bite due to severe pain or fear that’s why it’s better to put on a muzzle during this kind of situation.
  • If your dog can be threatened easily: If your dog is aggressive and have bitten a person or another dog in the past and you’re worried whenever you go out because you feel that it may bite when threatened, then it’s best to let your dog wear a muzzle temporarily. If this is the case, your dog’s behavior should be address proactively with a trainer, a behaviorist, or a veterinarian.
  • During grooming sessions: Grooming procedures are accepted by most dogs especially when properly trained in their puppyhood. But if your dog is not used to being groomed by other people, letting him wear a muzzle is a safe bet.
  • When the breed specific legislation requires it: Some states or provinces have breed specific legislation where they require certain breeds that they think are dangerous to wear a muzzle when not on private properties.

Here are some of the situations when it is not appropriate to let your dog wear a muzzle.

  • Do not use a dog muzzle for barking, chewing or other behavioral problems.

Keep in mind that you should not make your dog wear a muzzle for their behavioral problems. Muzzles should only be used for short periods of time because it can inhibit drinking, eating and panting. Remember a muzzle is not a solution for natural ongoing issues like chewing and barking. Those issues can be solved by proper training and not by wearing muzzles.

  • Do not use a muzzle for punishment.

Also, do not use a muzzle to punish your dog because it will not help in fixing the underlying problem. It will only make your dog fearful and anxious when you try to muzzle it during an emergency or other legitimate situations.

For some people, dogs wearing muzzles might provoke images of lunging and snarling aggressive dogs and it is really unfortunate that the stigma associated with it is seeing the dogs wearing them to be dangerous. But when you come and think of it, when a dog wears a muzzle, it only means that its owner is being responsible for keeping his dog and the public safe. Muzzles are still for today and it can help us prevent harm for both dogs and people.

We hope that the information we shared helped you better understand the proper use of muzzles and as well as the reasons why they should be used.