Choosing the right muzzle

Using a soft measuring tape, measure the circumference of the widest part of the muzzle, just below the eyes. Next, measure the distance from the tip of the nose to the base of the nose just below the eyes. Rather than being conservative with a 1/4″ or so, be generous. 

When purchasing a muzzle, if you’re uncertain, purchase the two closest sizes and keep the receipt to return the one that doesn’t fit as well as the other. 

Which brands should I try?

For most dogs, Baskerville Ultra is a fantastic brand as it’s dishwasher safe, mouldable, durable, and offers excellent coverage. This muzzle allows dogs to breathe, pant, drink, and even eat treats. 

There is a removable centre-strap that is optional if you have a dog who needs a little help keeping it on their noggin’. 

Caveat: with any rubber/flexible muzzle, there is a chance that the dog may be able to press hard enough to bend the muzzle and grab an item or flesh through the opening.

If your dog has a known bite history, and you’re concerned about protecting the public, a metal/wire muzzle is what you need. This limits feeding opportunities and does not allow for drinking, however, there is no chance that the dog will be able to bite. 

Be sure to find one with non-invasive padding.

For short-snouted (brachycephalic) dogs, basket muzzles are often not an option as they can ride up into the eyes and cause damage. 

RC Pets sells a fantastic muzzle for short-snouted dogs that still allows them to see, breathe, pant, but just not make direct contact and bite. There is padding to prevent friction against the eyes. 

Can’t find a muzzle to fit your dog? There are two amazing options out there for custom-made, durable (and adorable) muzzles. 

Trust Your Dog is a great option in the USA 

BUMAS is the more pricey option

Hot Dogs All Dressed is more affordable and in Canada

Triple-check your measurements!

Nylon or “grooming” muzzles that force the mouth closed are NOT ideal. These are meant to be used for 30-60 seconds at a time, MAX. 

Why? Because they prevent the dog from breathing properly, panting, and overheating. Dogs have been known to suffocate while wearing this type of muzzle. 

If they don’t keep the mouth closed firmly, they’re not fitted properly as the dog can still open their mouth enough to bite, but then releasing flesh is impossible. 

(Take it from me as I’ve had a chunk of my thigh removed from a dog wearing one of these.)