Modifying Your Dog’s Muzzle: An Equipment Guide

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.

If you are still searching for a muzzle, take a look at our equipment guide, and check out our Facebook page for frequent updates and more photos from our supporters.

Chafing Prevention

Muzzle Up! supporter Rochelle Riri Kneale used yarn to pad a Baskerville muzzle for her dog, Tia

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.

An example of muzzle padding from supporter Laurie Thomson.

– 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!).

– Memory foam or gel foot pads for use on the plastic portion to prevent rubbing and chafing (examples here and here).

Food Delivery

Photo of Simba wearing modified muzzle for easier treat delivery, from supporter Victoria Maclennan.

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

13 Comments on “Modifying Your Dog’s Muzzle: An Equipment Guide”

  1. My dog has to wear a basket muzzle all the time for walks. She has developed two large sores that bleed and I’ve been putting neosporin, then I tried an all natural cream made for dogs, it’s getting worse and not better. Any ideas how to treat this?

    1. Hmm, I wonder if she needs a different muzzle instead. We have also had success wrapping muzzles with vet wrap or other soft materials to cushion. But it sounds like a fit issue!

  2. My stafforshire bull terrier x has been wearing his new size 4 muzzle for two weeks. It was the recommended size for his measurements. Unfortunately it has rubbed the sides of his cheeks. What is the best thing to do for him? Thankyou

  3. My dog doesn’t not fit a size 6 Baskerville so she is wearing a size 6, it is rubbing on her nose and chin. we put sheep skin over the muzzle and it has seemed to make it worse, what do you suggest?

    1. It’s hard to say without a photo, but possibly a Baskerville is the wrong shape for your dog and a custom muzzle would be better.

  4. Hello,
    I came across your webpage in my random googling while searching for muzzle solutions. I have a grumpy old dog who has worn a muzzle for many years of his life for several reasons but mainly due to fear/aggression issues. He is well trained and usually on point with his obedience but at times he is unpredictable so it is a necessity. We have always used moleskin on our Baskerville muzzle to prevent wear on his snout but that only lasts for so long before it gets really gross and needs to be replaced. On your home page, there is a dog wearing a pink basket muzzle with built-in padding on the snout area. That is exactly what I have been searching for! If you would be so kind to provide me with information on this muzzle I would be forever grateful! Thank you for your time.
    Marie Brown

    1. I’m actually not 100% sure where that muzzle is from. It looks like it might be a sighthound muzzle?

  5. Hi! I am considering the Ruffwear boot liners for my dog because she will be wearing her muzzle on hikes. It says to cut the liners into strips, but I was wondering how you attach the strips to the muzzle.


  6. I’m a first time buyer of a muzzle..I own a German Shephard. Recommended to you by my vet…what do you sell and recommend?

    1. We don’t sell muzzles here, but we do generally recommend baskervilles as a place to start if your dog’s muzzle isn’t too long.

  7. I’m having issues with the black dye from the straps on my dog’s muzzle leaching during wet weather and getting all over my hands and my dog’s ears. Has anyone else had this problem and found a solution? I have a Don Pare 110 muzzle.

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