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Not Just Aggressive Dogs Wear Muzzles

albuquerque muzzleMost people believe that muzzles are used only on aggressive dogs to keep them from biting. This is not true. Muzzles have a lot of uses for even well behaved dogs.

Some uses of Muzzles:

The Vet

Dogs are typically nervous and anxious when the visit the vet. They are in a strange environment, often with a lot of unfamiliar animals around, and then they meet someone who pokes and prods and often sticks them with a shot. Just like our visits to the doctor, it is not the most fun in the world. When a dog experiences anxiety and fear and they are in a situation they cannot leave that can turn into aggression. It is not uncommon for very well behaved and sweet dogs to snap at the vet or vet tech. It is not because they are aggressive, it is because they are afraid. If a dog does get aggressive the vet will sometimes put on a muzzle or use gauze to wrap around their mouth to create a muzzle. This can also be stressful for your dog. Additionally if your dog bites someone, even the vet, they often have to be put into quarantine which can be very stressful for them as well. Putting on a muzzle prior to the visit is a good way to help prevent any unwanted injury to you, anyone trying to assist the dog, and even your dog himself. . If your dog is already use to the muzzle then wearing it is not a stressful experience.


Meeting New People

Many dogs get anxious in new situations or meeting new people. Working with them through behavioral therapy can help them learn to cope with unfamiliar environments, situations and people. Using a muzzle while you are doing the training is a good tool to help keep everyone safe while you are doing more challenging therapy.

When your dog is meeting other dogs or other animals, using a muzzle is a good way to help ensure that they don’t have any sudden outbursts of aggression. Even dogs that are great meeting other people and other dogs might not be great meeting a cat or a horse. A muzzle is an excellent tool for desensitization training.



More places in the country and world are requiring dogs wear muzzles in public, especially bigger dogs. If you travel to a country, like France which requires muzzles for larger dogs, you may have your trip ruined if your dog is not muzzle trained and you can’t bring her in public. Muzzles laws have also been put into place as an alternative to banning breeds, like Denver where pit bull’s are outlawed.

Racing and Other Games

As more and more people are getting into the dog life, more sports for dogs are coming about. Racing is gaining popularity and in any race muzzles are requires.



Types of muzzles.

Basket muzzles are the most common type of muzzle. They are bulky but are easy to feed through the basket. It is also easy for your dog to pant and drink with the basket muzzle. The basket muzzle is the safest for long term wear and even though they can eat, pant and drink, your dog still cannot bite anyone.

Mesh muzzles are great for quick use like at the vet or during transportation, or in a pinch. They can easily fit in a bag or pocket. They do not allow for panting and keep your dogs mouth closed so they cannot pant or eat. This is why they should only be used for short term.

A “softie” muzzle is a comfortable fit and similar to the mesh muzzle. It still allows your dog to pant but not to eat treats or bit. Though for highly aggressive dogs, some have been able to bite through the soft sides which makes the muzzle ineffective.

Some people like to use head halters, and they can work as a muzzle but do not offer the same level of control as a safety muzzle.

If you are unsure about using a muzzle or how to safely use a muzzle with your dog, talk to your vet or a trainer.


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The information provided on this website is written by Vetco staff. All information is meant to be informational and is not meant as veterinary advice. If you have a health question regarding your pet, their treatment or anything concerning their veterinary care, please call Vetco to consult with a veterinarian.