5 Benefits of Muzzle Conditioning Your Dog
Muzzle conditioning your dog can help make many situations less stressful and more safe for you and your dog. Muzzles can also prevent your dog from completing unsafe, destructive, or undesirable behaviors. However, just like any other tool- without proper desensitization, muzzles can make your dog more stressed out. Here are some points on why muzzle training can be so important!
Safety During Vet Visits
It isn’t breaking news that many dogs can get overwhelmed or scared in a vet office. Unfortunately for many dogs, owners, and vets- this charged emotional state can lead to lashing out and biting. Biting in the vet office or other stressful situations doesn’t mean your dog is bad or aggressive, they just need your help to manage them and keep them safe. By muzzle conditioning your dog you can help prevent your dog from being able to do damage to themselves, the vet staff, and even keep yourself from getting caught in the crossfire. Dog’s don’t understand the vet as just the doctors office trying to make sure they are healthy. They smell other animals, hear all sorts of strange noises, and get poked and prodded by someone they don’t know well. This amount of stress can lead to a fight or flight response. Given that there is no real way to flee in a vet’s office, the fight response is evoked. While dog’s can still lash out with a muzzle on, the right muzzle can prevent them from doing damage to others. Learn how to make Vet visits more comfortable.
Safety During Injuries or Emergency Situations
If your dog gets seriously injured and is in pain, it is very likely that they will nip or bite out of pain and fear. It is not uncommon for owners or helpful bystanders to get harmed by a dog that is trying to make its pain go away. This can make getting them out of harms way, in the car, and into the vet office a dangerous situation, which is where a muzzle and muzzle trained dog is a very helpful tool to have. Muzzles can also be beneficial if there is a natural disaster or a home emergency such as a fire or flood where you may need to be able to move or physically manipulate your dog in a way that is not normal. These fast paced situations can again bring a dog to the point of fear biting or trying to correct their owner by nipping at them. The last thing you need to worry about is a dog bite during a situation as serious as these, which is why it important to have muzzle training down pat with your dog.
Preventing Excessive Chewing and Licking Behaviors
Many dogs often lick or chew at their paws, tails, or other body parts when they are bored, stressed, or allergic to something. These behaviors can over time cause damage to the skin which can lead to rashes, scabs, and other wounds or infections. Muzzles can also be a good tool to utilize after surgery to prevent a dog from licking or chewing open a wound, or ripping out stitches. This can prevent having to deal with another vet visit and getting the wound cleaned and closed again. Dogs can also tend to chew on items they aren’t supposed to be chewing when they are bored or stressed. While muzzles shouldn’t be left on a dog that is unattended, they are great for preventing dogs from chewing on themselves or unsafe objects while they are supervised.
Dogs occasionally like to grab or eat things off of the ground that they aren’t supposed to. Foreign body ingestion and extreme cases of vomiting or diarrhea are a few of the most common reasons dogs end up in emergency vet offices. Some dogs can be quite persistent about grab and go behavior and it can lead to these stomach problems or in the worst cases a trip to the emergency vet. Muzzle conditioning a dog that is tenacious about ingesting things off of the ground can be a great way to prevent a vet visit or upset stomach. Especially if you walk your dog in a high traffic area that might have trash, bits of food, pieces of glass, or animal poop- having your dog wear a muzzle can be beneficial to prevent ingestion of these objects.
When using a muzzle to prevent bites in any scenario, it is important to have a properly sized muzzle that is designed to be bite proof. There are a plethora of muzzle styles and sizes and not all of them are actually going to completely prevent a bite from landing and causing damage on a person or animal. Muzzles are a great tool that can sometimes carry a lot of stigma with them, but as more dog owners are becoming educated on the benefits that image is changing for the better. Conditioning your dog to wear a muzzle even if it’s not necessary is a great skill to have in case the need for it arises. If you want help picking out the right muzzle for your dog and their individual situation, reach out to a trainer with Ridgeside K9 NC that is knowledgeable about muzzles!