Do not let the muzzle scare you! This might sound like a scary topic but we are here to walk you through everything you need to know about muzzles.
Dog’s wear muzzles for a variety of reasons. In this article, we will discuss the wide range of uses for a muzzle, different styles, safety, conditioning, and sizing. We will also share reviews of our top 5 muzzles including our favorite…
What to Consider When Choosing a Muzzle
Uses for a Muzzle
Dog owners use muzzles for a variety of reasons and not just to prevent biting. While the most commonly known use of a muzzle is to keep a dog from aggressive behavior, there are many other great reasons to ensure your dog is muzzle trained.
When going into an unknown or scary situation like visiting the vet or getting groomed, you may want to muzzle your dog for their safety and the handlers. Many dogs are kind natured and do not show any aggression towards humans.
However when put in stressful situations or when in pain, dogs may react in a way that could be surprising.
Another great place that you might consider a muzzle is when meeting new people or dogs. You can be more relaxed when your dog meet strangers while wearing a muzzle. This can help build good behavior in new situations.
Dog muzzles come in a few different styles. The basket muzzle and a slip muzzle are the two most common. The basket muzzle has a great range of motion for the dog while providing the greatest amount of safety against biting and chewing.
The basket muzzles typically allow for your dog to pant, drink water and take some treats. This muzzle can be worn for longer periods of time.
A slip muzzle is another option that you may have seen at your vet. They are typically made of mesh or fabric and are very easy to slip on and off. Not all slip muzzles allow dogs to drink and pant, but the two we have reviewed here do!
The ultimate goal of a muzzle is for your dog to be comfortable and provide the safety needed.
First and foremost, if you are using a muzzle to prevent your pup from biting you, you will need to ensure you have a secure muzzle that can give you that peace of mind.
Muzzles come with many straps, but an over the head strap and an attachment to the dog’s collar, are great ways to help your dog be successful and keep that muzzle in place.
When using a muzzle on your pup they should always be supervised. This will help to ensure the comfort level of your pup.
The duration your dog can be muzzled depends on a few factors. Our top 5 recommendations all allow for your dog to pant, take treats and drink, however, not all muzzles allow for this.
If your dog is unable to pant or drink in their muzzle it is recommended they not be muzzled for more than 10 minutes at a time. With a muzzle allowing these important functions, your dog can wear a muzzle supervised for up to an hour at a time.
We recommend you muzzle condition your dog even if your pup does not use a muzzle often. You never know when an emergency will arise and you will need this valuable piece of equipment.
Like all new things, conditioning your dog to a muzzle is very important for their success. You should take this process slowly and can even do it over many days or weeks. Start by showing your dog the muzzle.
Treat when they sniff it or look at it. Once they are comfortable, feed your pup a treat through the hole of the muzzle. Repeat repeat repeat!
When they are ready, place the muzzle on their snout and treat. Immediately remove the muzzle and go again. Continuing until they put their nose in the muzzle on their own for a treat.
The next step will be to place the muzzle over your dog’s snout and attach the first strap. Remove after about 5 seconds, treat and continue to repeat as needed.
If your muzzle has many straps to attach, do one at a time until your dog is comfortable with the whole process. Praise your pup as you go. And don’t forget to take breaks for belly rubs.
Slowly increase the time that your dog wears the muzzle. If at any point your dog seems uncomfortable or frustrated, take a break, go back one step and slow it down. This process may take patience and time but having your dog comfortable in a muzzle can be very rewarding.
For an accurate fit, you will need to measure your dog’s snout length and width.
To determine the width, measure around the widest part of your dog’s snout, typically just below the eyes. For the length, measure from the tip of your dog’s nose to the base of their nose, just below the eyes as well.
Dog snout sizes differ so much even in their own breed. Ensure you measure your pup before deciding on a size. Relying on breed recommended sizes may leave you with an ill-fitting muzzle causing chafing and the possibility of your dog getting it off.
Here Are Our Top 5 Muzzle Recommendations
The Baskerville Ultra Muzzle is highly recommended by dog trainers. This muzzle has an over the head strap that is optional for additional security along with an attachment for your dog’s collar.
There is also the option to heat shape this muzzle for a unique fit for your dog. This basket muzzle allows for your pup to pant, take treats and drink water while providing a very secure fit making it our top pick.
- Allows the dog to pant, eat and drink
- Tough and durable
- Safety collar attachment loop
- Can be heat shaped for a better fit
- Optional overhead strap
- Sharp interior edges may need modified
Similar to the Baskerville the Barkless Silicone Muzzle is a basket muzzle allowing for your dog to pant, drink, and take some treats. However, this muzzle is made of a softer silicone that could provide additional comfort for your dog.
The Barkless Muzzle also has an over the head strap and collar attachment for ultimate safety.
- Reflective straps
- Over the head safety strap
- Collar attachment loop
- Padded straps for comfort
- Very soft rubber may not hold up to a strong dog
The Mayerzon Basket Muzzle is a great muzzle for some added comfort. The Neoprene padding on the lower straps will help prevent chafing. The Buckle strap is also unique as many similar muzzles have a sliding adjustment. Allowing your dog to still pant, take treats and drink, while adding extra padding with a buckle strap made the Mayerzon one of our top picks.
- Buckle strap vs sliding adjustment
- Neoprene padding on straps for comfort
- Optional head strap
- Buckle closure limits sizing
The Lepark Nylon Muzzle is a great slip style muzzle that allows for a proper and comfortable fit with a cotton lining. This muzzle also comes in three colors for a bit of personality. A key feature of this slip muzzle is the D ring that is provided below the neck for leash attachment.
This can provide better control in those tough moments. As with all of our top picks this slip muzzle will still allow for drinking, panting and taking some treats.
- 3 Colors available
- Under chin leash attachment
- Soft cotton lining
- Easy to get on and off
- Can easily slip off without a head strap
The Gentle Muzzle Guard is a slip style muzzle with a neoprene liner, reducing chafing and hot spots. This slip style muzzle is unlike many other slip muzzles as it still allows for your dog to drink water, take treats and pant.
The added security of having an additional safety collar is another bonus of the Gentle Muzzle Guard.
- Neoprene liner for comfort
- Additional Safety Collar for added security
- Easy on and off
- Not as safe as basket muzzles to prevent biting
Well, That’s A Wrap!
Whether your dog needs a muzzle for aggressive behavior, vet and grooming visits, after surgery or to ward off unwanted behavior, we have reviewed and recommended our top five Muzzles that still allow for drinking.
The Baskerville Ultra Muzzle is our top recommended because of the multiple straps for added security and the ability to be heat shaped for extra comfort.
The Baskerville has many great features, all while allowing your dog to pant, drink, and take treats.
We discussed uses for a muzzle, how to size your pup and the importance of muzzle conditioning your dog. With this, we hope you have the knowledge to pick the perfect muzzle for your pup and get them comfortable strutting it around.