You shouldn't need to muzzle your dog often. However, muzzling your pooch is appropriate in some situations, like if you're unsure if your dog will act aggressively in a new environment. While muzzles come in various qualities and styles, many of them are expensive. Instead, purchase a few cheap materials to make a custom-made muzzle for your furry friend, or use materials you already have at home to make an emergency one.
Warning: Some dogs don’t like their faces or mouths touched, and touching them can make some canines aggressive. To prevent being bitten, know the dog's temper before trying to muzzle it. Always take the appropriate safety precautions when working with any animal, especially one of unknown habits or temper.
Making an Emergency Muzzle
While it's best to use a store-bought or custom-made dog muzzle, in an emergency, you can make one from scraps of material you can find in your home.
Step 1 – Find Materials
To make a muzzle quickly, all you need is a long piece of cloth. Nylon leashes, neck ties, and pantyhose are just a few examples of materials that you can use.
Step 2 – Make a Loop
Loosely make a loop in the center of the material. Then, have a helper hold the animal by the head, or stand behind the dog’s head and over its body to prevent it from biting. Only do this if you are sure of the animal's temper. Do not try to approach or muzzle a stray dog or one of an unknown temper.
Step 3 – Slip the Dog’s Nose Through
Gently slip the dog’s nose and snout through the loop. Then, tighten the loop, so that it’s snug but not tight. Pull the ends up behind the pet’s ears.
Step 4 – Tie the Material
Tie the material into a bow to snugly secure the muzzle. Use a bow instead of a knot to ensure a quick release if necessary.
Making a Custom Muzzle
Make a custom muzzle, instead of purchasing a new one, that can be used for vet visits, walking your pet in unfamiliar territory, or other new situations. Remember that a muzzle should not be used to stop your dog from barking excessively.
Step 1 – Take Measurements
To make a custom-made muzzle, take the measurements of your dog’s snout. Measure around the dog's snout, along the jawline to behind the ear, and across the back of the head. Mark these measurements on the nylon material. Add 1 inch to the snout and jawline measurements. Add 6 inches to the piece for across the back of the head. These additions allow for hemming and attaching the buckle.
Step 2 – Cut the Pieces
Next, cut the nylon webbing according to the measurements. Remember to cut the piece for across the dog's head in half. This is where the buckle will be attached.
Step 3 – Assemble the Muzzle
Sew the nylon-webbing snout piece in a circle. Next, attach the jawline pieces on either side of the snout piece. Thread each outside end of the buckle 3 inches on each piece of the head piece. Then, fold the nylon webbing back over itself and sew it to secure the buckle in place. Do this on each of the top halves.
Finally, sew each half to the already sewn muzzle. The best way to make the hems on all the places stitched together is to sew a rectangle, and then make an “X” pattern in the center of the rectangle.
Step 4 – Complete the Final Touches
After the muzzle is completely assembled, ensure that it fits properly. Gently put your canine into the muzzle. Feel free to add embellishments.