Making An Emergency Dog Muzzle and Putting It On #PetFirstAid

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In case of emergency like a car accident, it’s important to be able to muzzle your dog safely. Dogs in pain can lash out while you’re trying to help them. You can make an emergency muzzle with a lot of different materials that you have around (gauze, shoelace, leash, rope, pantyhose etc). I used my bathrobe cord because it was handy and a good width for Mr. N’s face.
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Mr. N is super tolerant of handling and grooming, both with me and other people. And now that we’ve finally almost conquered nails, I can do all the basics at home with him. But if something happened (he’s allergic to bee stings for example), I’d want him to not freak out further because I had to muzzle him just in case. So we practiced putting one on. He’s used to a lot of poking and prodding and adjusting because he is a grooming intensive dog plus he wears a lot of clothes so the process went quicker.
It took me a few tries to figure out how to best position the cord. Not a lot of facial surface to work with here. Once I figured out how to adjust the cord so it wasn’t covering his eyes, he was comfortable wearing it for short periods. And rewarded with a copious amount of cheese. Before… well, you can judge for yourself how he felt.
Practice before your dog is frantic and in pain and moving is key. If your dog needs more help acclimating to a muzzle or if you’re interested in other muzzle choices, here are some good tips from Karen Pryor’s site. Be sure not to leave your muzzled dog alone and remember that the emergency muzzle is a short-term measure. They’re not meant to be left on for a long time.
These are the instructions from the Merck Vet Manual on how to tie the cord into a muzzle:
“Tie a knot in the center of the bandage. Make another loose knot several inches above the first knot. Slip the loop over the dog’s muzzle and gently pull the knot tight (Step 1). Cross the ends of the bandage under the dog’s jaw (Step 2). Firmly tie the crossed ends behind the dog’s neck (Step 3).”
The final product. Mr. N chilling on an old boat with his emergency muzzle on. Is your dog comfortable wearing a muzzle?
Welcome to First Monday’s Positive Pet Training Blog Hop hosted by Cascadian NomadsTenacious Little Terrier and Rubicon Days. Please share your responsible pet owner positive pet training tips by linking a blog post or leaving a comment below.  Our theme for this month is  training for safety and emergencies for National Pet First Aid Awareness Month. but any positive reinforcement training posts or comments are also always welcome. The Positive Pet Training Blog Hop goes all week long. Our next hop will begin Monday, May 2nd and continues for a week. The theme for May is play and trying out new training games.

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30 Responses

  1. Denise Gruzensky

    April 4, 2016 4:54 pm

    I just treated a human patient who'd been bitten by an injured dog she was trying to help. Obviously because the dog was in pain, they had just been hit by a car. I never even thought of using an emergency muzzle. This post is great! Informative and timely!! Thank you!

    Reply
  2. Christine Caplan

    April 5, 2016 8:36 pm

    I agree with all these comments – muzzle training is super important and in an emergency no matter how nice your dog is -better safe than sorry. Especially when they're stressed and you're trying to look in their mouth…

    Reply
  3. Diane Holland

    April 6, 2016 7:34 am

    Love the post! This is so important to know! Even if you believe your dog won't bite, in a painful situation they might. It is a reflex action and they are just striking out. So, better safe than sorry for all involved. Again, thank you for sharing. It is great to know we can make a make-shift muzzle!

    Reply
  4. MattieDog

    April 6, 2016 12:49 pm

    I had never thought of an emergency muzzle – this is great to know! Thanks for sharing – we'll give it a try this weekend and let you know how we do!

    Reply
  5. Daily Dog Tag

    April 6, 2016 2:15 pm

    What a terrific idea! One of my dogs wears a muzzle at the vet's and he doesn't mind wearing it anymore, but I haven't considered an emergency muzzle for Nelly or Sophie. Nelly has a little face like Mr. N, so it will take some practice for me to figure out the best way.

    Reply
  6. GonetoTheSnowDogs

    April 6, 2016 5:59 pm

    We camp fairly frequently with our dogs, and one of the things we keep is a Dog first aid kit. I am going to make sure to know how to do this just in case. We have had emergencies when camping, so this is great to know how to do in case one of the dogs is hurt and scared! Thank you so much for the great information!

    Reply
  7. Chelle

    April 6, 2016 7:52 pm

    Awesome post! This is something everyone should learn. Even if you don't own a dog, you never know when you might come across one that needs help. Helping loose/strays is great but you always want to make sure you do so safely.

    Reply
  8. Talent Hounds

    April 6, 2016 10:05 pm

    As Kilo is a biter at the slightest stress, I will definitely try this. It's very hard with his flat face and intolerance/fear. The vet tried a cat muzzle in an emergency and it was a mega!! disaster. We used a cone at his other vet and they wore big protection and we all survived unharmed. We have put off going and are overdue.

    Reply
  9. AliR

    April 6, 2016 10:57 pm

    Thankfully, none of my dogs are stress biters but I can imagine in an emergency, that might change. This is such important information to have handy in an emergency. Going to print it and add it to my first aid kit. Thank you for sharing both written instructions and images on how to make an emergency muzzle and for the excellent suggestion to practice before a situation arises where you need one. 🙂

    Reply
  10. Cathy Armato

    April 7, 2016 5:21 pm

    This is a really important tip, an injured or terrified dog can be unpredictable. Great job and smart idea to use a bathrobe cord! In a real pinch, if you're in a car accident and your dog freaks out or is injured you can use the handle end of their leash to fashion a makeshift muzzle, while keeping them on the leash of course, don't remove it.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

    Reply
  11. Katie A.

    April 7, 2016 9:13 pm

    Great post. I have never tried to put a muzzle on Gracie so I do not know how she would do. Like Mr. N, she is pretty tolerant, but she is not fond of her face being touched even though she allows it. Might be good for us to practice!

    Reply
  12. nalathewonderdog

    April 8, 2016 4:47 pm

    Thanks for this smart tip! It would never have occurred to me to use a strip of fabric as an emergency muzzle–that's brilliant. I'm pretty jealous of Mr. N's fabulous handling tolerance! Nala only accepts procedures after DS/CC. I'm so lucky that she doesn't require much grooming beyond nail maintenance, because otherwise I wouldn't have any time or calories to train things I actually enjoy.

    Reply
  13. Groovy Goldendoodles

    April 22, 2016 12:57 am

    I never ever thought about this, and found this post fascinating. A must share because one would never know if they could do this to their dog in an emergency situation. As much as I handle the Boys, I'm not sure if they would cooperate. Will give it a try. This was a great post. Thanks

    Reply

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