For many dog owners, finding the best muzzle for their dog often involves modifications, whether to prevent skin chafing, provide a more secure fit, or ensure more efficient delivery of treats. The following is a compilation of resources to help you create the most comfortable fitting muzzle for your dog.
Soft, anti-irritant fabrics wrapped around the basket portion of the muzzle, the straps, or both are a great way to prevent your dog’s skin from becoming irritated from rubbing against the muzzle. For dogs with hard-to-fit snouts, placing a bit of support at near the nose bridge helps prevent slipping and rubbing. There are a large variety of materials that work, but here are some of our favorites:
– Fleece wrap for the muzzle straps (also useful if your dog’s harness causes irritation)
– Boot liners from Ruffwear, cut up into strips for either the straps or plastic portion. We love this fabric because it’s breathable and quick-drying, perfect for dogs who spend a lot of time outdoors.
– If using a Baskerville muzzle, soften the plastic by placing the muzzle in hot water or put it through a full hot cycle in the dish washer. This helps the plastic chafe less and makes it more pliable.
– Moleskin wrapping (for either the plastic or the straps), available at most health stores and on Amazon.
– Replacing the nylon straps with leatheror soft cording for dogs whose skin becomes irritated with the common nylon options.
– Duct tape wrapped around the basket of the muzzle (also great for muzzle art!).
Many muzzles come with wide enough gaps to allow for efficient delivery of food. But, if you use an Italian style basket muzzle, or if your dog has difficulty receiving treats through the muzzle, here are some modification ideas:
– Cut out the front portion of the Italian basket muzzle, seen in the photo to the right.
– Use soft treats like peanut butter or cream cheese and deliver through a squeeze tube.
– By Maureen Backman, MS CTC. Maureen is the founder of The Muzzle Up! Project and owns Mutt About Town dog training in San Francisco, CA. She will be presenting about Muzzle Up at this year’s Pet Professional Guild Summit in Tampa, FL. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.