One of the most difficult decisions a dog owner might have to make is whether or not to muzzle their pet. It often seems cruel to do so, as if you are treating them like some kind of dangerous criminal, which is understandable. However, putting a muzzle on a dog might well be your best option.

It should be mentioned that a muzzle should only really be used as a temporary fix. They are not a permanent solution to your dog's behavioural problems, which will need to be trained out of them. However, they can give you a bit of peace of mind while you do that.

So why muzzle a dog in the first place? Put simply, it stops your dog from biting other animals and people. As I'm sure you can imagine, this can be very useful when your pet is particularly aggressive and in need of some measure to prevent them from attacking. However, all dogs are boisterous. How do you know when yours is too vicious?

One thing you can pay attention to is their body language. When your dog is play fighting with you or your other pets, do they end up growling with their haunches up and their teeth bared? If so, they probably aren't playing. You should muzzle them when you go outside, just in case they end up attacking another dog.

It might be a good idea to also put a muzzle on your dog the first time you take them outside. One of the most common reasons for dog bites is fear. If you take your dog outside for the first time, they can easily be overwhelmed by all the sights, sounds and smells, which can lead to them becoming startled and biting.

Usually, the basic rule is that if you are at all concerned about your dog biting others, you should muzzle them. The devices are not cruel if used correctly and they are certainly preferable to having your pet bite another dog or even a person.

Written by: Hannah