Knowing how to create a simple muzzle for a dog can be a very useful skill if you ever run into an emergency with your own dog or a stray.

Have you ever said to yourself “My own dog would never bite me”? Well, it isn’t true! I learned the hard way by not following my own advice…with two large punctures in my hand. My loving 14 year old dog Buddy had assisted with countless Pet First Aid courses, taught children’s camps, and attended dozens of public events over the years.

So, why did my dear Buddy bite me? He had fallen sideways on the edge of a steep path and landed belly side up firmly stuck between a root and a tree. When we tried to lift him he was scared, in pain, and couldn’t run away. And he bit me.

Pet First Aider safety is incredibly important in any Pet First Aid emergency. Whether a stray animal, or your beloved best friend, please assume that the animal may bite. And if you are hurt yourself, you can’t be of any assistance to an animal.

Purchasing a commercial muzzle that is well fit to your own pet(s) is an ideal preventative step. However, it’s impractical to assume you would carry this with you at all times isn’t it? So, here we provide a simple 3 step process to creating a makeshift muzzle.

  1. Make a loop using a gauze roll, thin leash, triangular bandage, or any other piece of wide cloth. Do NOT use thin items such as string or shoelaces. Place loop over animal’s snout.
  2. Tie loop under the snout.
  3. Tie the strips behind the ears (not around the neck).

Special notes:

  1. Don’t tie so tight that the animal cannot breath through their nose, but at the same time ensure that it’s not too loose either.
  2. Do not muzzle an animal that is having difficulty breathing, is vomiting, or has a suspected jaw injury. In these circumstances, assess the situation and keep yourself safe to the best of your ability. This may mean recruiting additional Pet First Aiders to assist you.
  3. If you have a brachycephalic (flat nosed) animal, definitely consider purchasing a commercial muzzle. We like this one produced by Canine Friendly.
  4. When in doubt, call a Veterinarian for assistance.
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