What is the Best Muzzle for my Dog?

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. November 14, 2016
What is the Best Muzzle for my Dog?

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Choosing the right muzzle for your dog is vital if you want your pet to adapt to it well and to feel predisposed to wearing it without suffering from any stress or anxiety. It is very important to choose the right one, especially if your dog has to wear one by law. Make sure you're familiar with the legislation in your country.

This AnimalWised article will give you basic guidelines so that you know what is the best muzzle for your dog as well as some basic tips on how to use and handle them. We will also explain which ones shouldn't be used under any circumstances.

Keep reading to get properly informed about muzzles for dogs and how to use them:

You may also be interested in: Apologizing to a Dog: What Is the Best Approach?

When should I use a muzzle?

Muzzles must be used by law in the case of dog breeds that are considered "potentially dangerous". They can also be very helpful if your dog reacts badly to children, strangers or other dogs. Your safety and the safety of others is highly important in an urban environment.

You must not use training methods involving a muzzle as a punishment or use it to deal with serious behavioral problems like separation anxiety, as it will turn the muzzle into a negative object and cause further bad reactions. In cases like these, you should go and see a professional like a canine ethologist.

What is the Best Muzzle for my Dog? - When should I use a muzzle?

Fabric or nylon muzzle

These muzzles are usually made of nylon or similar stretchy fabrics. At first glance they seem more comfortable and look softer than other muzzles. However, the fact is that their regular use or their use over long periods of time is not recommended.

Unlike other types of muzzles, fabric muzzles don't allow the dog to pant or drink water. Remember that panting is how dogs cool down their body temperature, so it's very important that they can do so. This kind of muzzle increases their discomfort and makes dogs stressed. It also does not allow the dog to eat or bark if it needs to.

Avoid using this muzzle if you are exercising with your dog or carrying out any activity over a prolonged period of time. For that, we recommend the next kind of muzzle.

What is the Best Muzzle for my Dog? - Fabric or nylon muzzle

Basket muzzle

This is certainly the best muzzle for dogs regardless of their age and breed, and it comes in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials. Unlike the previous muzzle, with this muzzle your dog will be able to pant, eat and drink.

If the muzzle must be used on a regular basis, choose a basket type. It is more comfortable, which will also allow your dog to get used to wearing a muzzle faster.

What is the Best Muzzle for my Dog? - Basket muzzle

Loop, training or anti-pull muzzle

These muzzles don't deprive the dog of moving freely, so they should always be accompanied by a lead. Training muzzles are generally used to get the dog's attention by slightly pulling the strap.

If your dog pulls a lot when you go for a walk and you can't control it, this kind of training muzzle will help you prevent your dog from pulling on the lead. If you follow a few basic animal welfare guidelines and buy an anti-pull harness, you will have more than half the job done.

Only experienced owners should use this type of muzzle, because if not used properly the dog will find it uncomfortable. Your dog should only wear a training muzzle when there is someone to supervise.

What is the Best Muzzle for my Dog? - Loop, training or anti-pull muzzle

Muzzles for specific dogs

As you will know, dogs like the Boxer, Pug, Shar Pei, Dogue de Bordeaux or English Bulldog - among other breeds - have a different snout, shorter and smaller. Sometimes, these dogs have related respiratory problems, so using an inappropriate muzzle on top of that can be harmful to their health.

In pet shops you will find loop or basket muzzles specific for these breeds that are prone to having breathing difficulties. If this is the case for your dog, ask a professional to find out what is the best muzzle for your dog.

What is the Best Muzzle for my Dog? - Muzzles for specific dogs

You should also know....

If you are using a muzzle for the first time, you might want to know all about training your dog to use a muzzle. We will explain how to do it gradually, step-by-step, so that your dog relates to it positively.

How to choose the best muzzle for your dog:

As we have explained, the best muzzle is definitely the basket type because it allows your dog to pant and drink water. In addition, it also allows you to give your dog treats. It is certainly the safest type of muzzle. But when you go to your usual shop you will see that there are different models of the same muzzle. Look for the following characteristics:

  • Resistant
  • Secure
  • Quality
  • Good material
  • Appropriate in size and shape

You SHOULDN'T use a muzzle when...

It is essential to understand that the muzzle is a tool to provide security on walks, and it should never be used in the following contexts:

  • When the dog is very uncomfortable
  • As a method of punishment
  • When you are not sure of its effectiveness
  • In certain cases, if told so by a veterinarian
  • Over a long period of time
  • To treat separation anxiety
  • Without supervision

If you want to read similar articles to What is the Best Muzzle for my Dog?, we recommend you visit our Basic education category.

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