Contrary to popular belief, dog muzzles are useful for various reasons besides controlling aggressive behaviours.
Dogs who are anxious, sensitive, reactive, hurt or scared may benefit from wearing a muzzle for the short term.
The trick is to find the right fit for your misunderstood or injured mutt.
We’ve reviewed top rated muzzles around for special pooches, regardless of size, breed or temperament to save you time and money.
We also covered when you should use one and what to look for in an ideal muzzle.
In a hurry? Here is the top 3:
Our Top Picks
Best Dog Muzzles
Before we dive into the details of what to look for in a proper dog muzzle and when you should be using one, we present you the top 5 individually reviewed:
Is walking your pet a nightmare because you must dodge other dogs and their owners?
The Baskerville Ultra Muzzle makes owning a snappy or reactive pet less overwhelming on neighbourhood strolls and visits to the dog park.
This muzzle is a fine fit for different shapes and sizes, including Boxers and other short-nose breeds. But first, measure your pet to avoid ill-fitting muzzles that may fall off.
The Baskerville Ultra Muzzle is excellent for hikes and outdoor adventures.
Pets can wear it for long periods of time without hurting their mouth. Your pet can drink and take snacks without experiencing difficulties.
With the strong clasps, overhead straps and other attachments, the muzzle is secure. Dogs rarely were able to break the headgear or escape it despite many failed attempts.
Not reactive or scared pups, but also scavenging mutts benefit from using this item. The muzzle will stop your dog from eating hazardous waste from the trash and pavements while giving pet owners peace of mind.
Some readers raised criticism about the metal buckles, which are tricky to slide into place. The head strap doesn’t seem to add value to the product. However, using this feature is optional anyway.
Have confidence knowing your dog won’t hurt others or instigate dog fights with this muzzle on.
- Heat-shaped, basket dog muzzle (ultra)
- For versatile use
- Available in sizes one through six
- Designed for extended use
- Excellent and secure fit
- Finicky metal buckles
Although no dog owner wants to muzzle for their pet, it may be a necessary safety tool that keeps hounds out of trouble in public.
This muzzle from Baskerville is well-designed, spacious, and doesn’t restrict breathing or a bloodhound’s ability to detect and follow scents.
Your dog will continue to enjoy his outside time, despite having this on.
Instead of putting a bulky cone to stop incessant licking, strap on a muzzle. Dogs that usually hate muzzles seem to tolerate this item.
The muzzle’s extra nose padding and the soft plastic materials provide comfort to muzzled dogs in recovery.
Reports about the product being tight or cutting into the skin could be due to buying the incorrect size.
Measure your dog first to prevent injuries and ensure the perfect fit.
A drawback is that the openings are wide enough for a greedy dog to consume roadside trash. If you’re using this muzzle to prevent scavenging, it isn’t entirely reliable.
Fitting the detachable safety guard can help avoid food hunting by the curb. However, wilful dogs can break the attachment.
A good idea is to use it after your dog has received muzzle training. Notorious escape artists not used to wearing muzzles can effortlessly slip out of this one.
- Classic basket muzzle
- Made from soft plastic mesh
- Available in sizes 1 through 16
- Well designed
- Doesn’t restrict breathing
- Doesn’t limit mouth movement
- Suitable for shorter nosed breeds
- Large opening doesn’t remove scavenging completely
- Detachable safety guard not durable
The GoodBoy Gentle Muzzle Guard is an attractive alternative to traditional muzzles that seem intimidating, fierce, and off-putting.
This muzzle guard has an improved appearance and is multifunctional. It’s the perfect training tool for unsocialised dogs preventing barking, biting, chewing and other behavioural issues.
Unlike the common brittle plastic, the guard comes with a smooth padding that’s comfortable against the skin. This nose piece won’t cause painful chafing or bald spots on the snout and around the nose.
The free collar and connection strap are handy attachments that secure the muzzle in place. This added protection makes it difficult for dogs to wriggle free.
While providing a comfortable fit and lightweight design, the gentle muzzle isn’t nearly as durable as other products.
It appears less effective on some giant breeds, short-nosed canines and intelligent puppies who’ve learnt how to remove the guard after a couple of uses.
The velcro adjustment strap is quite sticky. Be mindful of this if your hound likes to jump through long grass or dig holes. He might come home with a face covered in dirt.
The straps around the mouth can be problematic for dogs that drool, as these attachments will get covered in saliva.
- Soft dog muzzle with neoprene padding
- Features quality sliders for a premium fit
- Includes collar and connection strap
- Sizes: small to extra large
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Comfortable padding against dog skin
- Lacks durability
- Sticky Velcro adjustment straps
Some pet owners prefer to use soft muzzles like these over basket ones because the flexible nylon is more comfortable.
The device is easy to slip on, especially for fussy pets who don’t want to wear it and can be conveniently adjusted to fit over your furry pal’s mouth and snout.
An additional neck strap could be handy because determined dogs can escape by pulling the device from behind their ears.
If you travel with your pet, the muzzle doesn’t take up a lot of space in your handbag or luggage. Quickly retrieve it and strap it onto anxious hounds in unfamiliar environments.
This muzzle gets dirty easily, specially on dogs that like to bury their noses in the dirt. That said, it cleans readily and dries fast.
This product stops your pet from eating indiscriminately on walks by restricting what he can put in his mouth.
However, there are some concerns about dogs not being able to open their mouths wide enough to pant and keep cool or drink during walks using this muzzle.
The sizes are small, which is suitable for smaller breeds. However, you might struggle to find the perfect fit for Labradors and other bigger breeds.
- Practical dog muzzle with a lightweight design
- Made from durable materials
- Features adjustable Velcro safety straps
- Comes with lock-on buckles
- Easy to slip on
- Stops indiscriminate eating
- Doesn’t take up much space
- Restricts mouth movement
It’s natural for dogs to bark and bite sometimes, but these behaviours occurring at inopportune moments can be anti-social and harmful.
Stop your dog yapping on public transport and accidentally breaking skin while playing using this muzzle.
The muzzle is humanely designed to allow dogs to stick their tongues out to lap water and pant without feeling constrained.
The size may be too big if you must adjust the straps tightly to fit your animal, leaving little room to breathe. Size up if you’re experiencing this with your pet.
If you’re using this piece of canine equipment for reactive pets who barks a lot, it can muffle sounds to an acceptable level. Just don’t expect the howling, growling and whining to stop.
Dogs who wear muzzles are regarded as dangerous by onlookers, but that’s often not the case. This item is for people who don’t want that heavy-duty look that creates a wrong impression of their pup.
Made from breathable mesh and a comfortable padded interior, your pet can wear it throughout the year, including summer and for long car rides and adventures.
Despite being comfortable, the muzzle’s stretchy materials can be torn, stretched, and chewed. If your dog has destructive chewing habits, you may be let down using it.
- Soft dog muzzle with adjustable loop
- Adjustable with double Velcro straps
- Sizes available extra small to extra- large
- Dogs can lap water and pant
- Can muffle sounds
- Looks good
- Material can be torn, stretched and chewed
Guide To Purchasing Dog Muzzles
The associations surrounding muzzled dogs are that puppies who wear them are vicious, whereas they’re often worn for various reasons.
In turn, muzzles are portrayed in a negative light when in fact, they’re helpful tools that keep your dog, and others safe in public spaces.
A muzzle isn’t a cruel torture device as it’s often represented, but no different from using a collar or a lead when used properly.
Should I Use A Muzzle on My Dog?
When told by professionals that your dog might need to wear a muzzle, you might respond with a “my dog’s nice, he doesn’t need one!”.
However, there are scenarios where a muzzle proves necessary.
Besides aggression, muzzles can also be used for other non-vicious behaviours that make being outside or in unchartered territories manageable.
when to use a dog muzzle
- Your dog has a history of aggression
- Injured dogs might bite
- Doesn’t react well to the vet or groomers
- Your dog is scared and nervous (such as rescue dogs with past trauma)
- When the law says you should
Your dog has a history of aggression or violence where biting other pets or humans or instigating dog fights have occurred.
Dogs who lunge or bark viciously are likewise at risk of inciting harm and might need to wear a muzzle.
If your dog is injured
Your dog might not have aggressive tendencies. But, injured dogs might bite.
They’re hardwired to protect themselves in their vulnerable state and might lash out, even at their doting parents.
Wearing a muzzle could help, especially if you need to carry an immobile dog around and don’t want to be nipped.
Visiting the vet or groomers
Many dogs are reactive to threatening situations outside their comfort zones, such as visiting the vet or having their nails clipped.
Putting on a muzzle will keep your vet or groomer’s hands bite-free and your dog placated.
Dogs unfamiliar with professional grooming might react badly to being bathed or having their nails clipped.
Putting on a muzzle will keep your vet or groomer’s hands bite-free and your dog placated.
Rescue dogs with anxiety
Scared and nervous pets who don’t want to interact intimately with strangers.
A rescue or recently adopted pet adjusting to unfamiliar sights, smells or sounds may become spooked about being petted or crowded by strangers.
Muzzles deter others from getting close.
The law says so
If it’s the law, you might have no choice but to use a muzzle if you own a breed dubbed dangerous.
Unfortunately, you may have to strap one on even if you own a giant gentle when outside of your home.
When Not To Use A Muzzle
Don’t use a muzzle
- As a permanent replacement for behaviour modification training
- Necessary tools for the training but should never be in use for the long-term
- To prevent barking, chewing or other habits that are destructive, frustrating, and ongoing
- Fixing the root cause of these issues, such as separation anxiety and boredom with proper training is the only way to stop or reduce them
Characteristics of A Humane Muzzle
If you’ve bought a high-quality muzzle and not a cheap knockoff, they should be safe and reasonably comfortable to wear.
However, these must be worn properly to avoid hurting your dog.
The below highlights the must-do’s for fitting muzzles:
Allows space for panting
Your dog must be able to pant, pick up scents, and take treats wearing a muzzle.
Experts view muzzles that force the mouth shut contemptuously because they restrict a canine’s ability to pant.
Panting, which is similar to sweating for humans, cools the body from the inside out.
Although it should be securely fastened in place, a too-tight one constricts breathing and results in painful chafing.
For a comfortable fit, you should be able to stick one finger under the new headgear between the head and the strap.
Use only after training
Muzzles should never be purchased for immediate use unless your mutt is trained to wearing one.
What Muzzle Should I Buy?
Basket and soft muzzles are your two options from which to choose.
These are available in various sizes, styles and colours for canines with long and short snots.
Basket muzzles unfairly receive a poor rap because of their prison bar appearance, but they’re usually safe to use and humanely designed to let pets open their mouths to pant.
These muzzles are handy tools for behaviour modification training, since owners can dispense bite-sized treats through the openings to reinforce good behaviour.
Based on their appearance, soft muzzles make dogs look friendlier and more approachable than basket muzzles, but they aren’t without major design flaws.
Although these muzzles feel more comfortable to the touch, they’re used to shut dog’s mouth, which can cause distress for hot canines who need to pant or take in water on a strenuous walk.
Ensure that your pet doesn’t wear the equipment all the time if you decide on a soft muzzle and supervise your pet when it’s being worn.
How Should A Muzzle Fit?
Although pet suppliers offer sizing guidelines, dogs’ snout and shape vary, which is why measuring your dog in the following ways is essential.
Nose Length: measure the length of your dog’s nose from the tip to below the eyes.
Nose circumference: measure across the nose from the point of the eyeline.
Muzzles don’t make dogs mean or aggressive but are tools used to control unpredictable and temperamental behaviours. An aggressive pet is an aggressive pet, with or without a muzzle.
They aren’t cruel, but they must be fit properly to prevent injury and discomfort.
Basket muzzles allow dogs to drink water, but some soft muzzles clamp the mouth altogether.
This piece of canine equipment is no different to using a leash for walking and won’t harm your dog if used properly.
GoodBoy Gentle Muzzle Guard for Dogs is another excellent choice, but it should only be worn for short pockets of time since it’s a soft muzzle.
Haven’t decided yet? Here is our top 5:
Our Top Picks
- PANT DRINK & EAT: Dogs are full of energy- panting is a key way dogs cool...
- HEAT SHAPE FOR CUSTOM FIT: Like a mouth-guard, the Baskerville Ultra Muzzle...
- GREAT FOR REACTIVE DOGS & NEW SITUATIONS: Dogs naturally want to protect...
- This classic box-design muzzle is humane, comfortable & safe for dogs to...
- Made from soft plastic mesh, the Baskerville Muzzle permits panting &...
- The lightweight design, is also washable and available in 14 different...
- Humane way to prevent biting and unwanted chewing – This muzzle is great...
- Right size for the right dog – Choosing the correct size online can be...
- Bonus collar and connection strap holds muzzle in place – GoodBoy’s...
- COMFORTABLE & BREATHABLE: Practical and reliable dog muzzle is made with...
- SOFT & LIGHTWEIGHT MUZZLE FOR DOGS: Mesh design gives all-around mouth...
- ADJUSTABLE & BREATHABLE: Adjustable at snout and neck strap. Keep the...
- 【More Comfortable Fabric】 Made from soft breathing mesh and soft fabric...
- 【More Humanized Design】 Different from the traditional dog mask,...
- 【Adjustable Size】 The velcro design allows the dog muzzle to be...
Do you prefer a basket or a soft muzzle?
Paw-some job getting to know all about dog muzzles! Whatever the reason to use them, it helps to keep our pets and others safe.
If you already made up your mind, let us know what type of muzzle you chose in the comments section below.
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