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.
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 Nomads, Tenacious 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.