With this article we open a series of useful Tips on choosing the right ammunition and accessories for dogs.
So, How to choose a muzzle for a dog?
There are many situations in life when a muzzle is absolutely necessary for your four-legged friend: if you are in public places, at a veterinarian visit, during dog training or participation in exhibitions, or when the dog is left without a leash and freely walks. Surely, the list can be continued, and each owner of the time-from-time may have their own personal situation, which causes or obliges to wear a muzzle on his dog, regardless of his character or habits.
Therefore, the first rule is: the muzzle must be comfortable! Choose a cylindrical muzzle for dogs or a parallelepiped in which your dog can open its mouth, stick out its tongue, lick its nose. It is rather a rule not so much comfort as life support of your pet, as in a tight muzzle in the heat, or under heavy load, the animal will not be able to cool itself, which will inevitably lead to thermal overheating. Especially the above is true for deaf leather or synthetic muzzles. The muzzle is not convenient, in which the dog, opening its mouth, abuts against the edge of the muzzle. And this is most painful for metal structures, because of which rubbing may even appear on the chin. Also note that the muzzle does not hit under the eyes and does not press on the nose.
Most models of muzzles are fixed with a strap behind the ears, around the dog’s neck, which is fastened with a clasp. This design is quite easily removed through the head, and is suitable if you do not intend to leave the dog in a muzzle for a long time without supervision, and it does not know how to quickly throw off the ammunition on its own. If reliable fixation of the muzzle is required, let’s say when practicing aggression with the trainer, or you just need confidence in the situation, choose models with an additional strap on the forehead, and under the jaws, as an additional fixation.
In any case, you can always pick up a muzzle and fix it so that the dog will never get out of it.
Usually muzzles are made from metal, plastic, leather or synthetics. By modification they may be deaf or mesh.
Deaf muzzles practically exclude the possibility of a bite, and use such muzzles mainly for angry dogs, for wearing in public places where there are children, or in veterinary clinics, where the risk of bite is high. Make deaf muzzles often from the skin. The presence of ventilation holes on such muzzles is necessary, but in the heat, or during physical exertion, the dog feels it is still not comfortable. Moreover, such muzzles are pretty heavy. There are light deaf muzzles made of thin skin, but they lose their functionality because they bend easily and do not protect against pinching, which is not as critical as a bite, but still very painful. Among deaf muzzles, a group of semi-deaf is distinguished separately, in which a dog can stick out its tongue, but does not have the opportunity to bite.
Much more varied options mesh muzzles, which are distinguished by good air ventilation and lighter than deaf ones.
If a net muzzle made of metal, best of all, when it is duplicated from the inside with special linings, in places of contact with the dog’s face, which will save the dog from scuffs and injuries. For the winter season with negative temperatures, metal muzzles are supplied with additional special gaskets and insulation to prevent accidental sticking of the tongue to the metal.
In a net muzzle, the dog may even drink. This type of muzzles is ideal if the dog has to increase the load, or when the animal must remain muzzled for a long time. But at the same time, it is not suitable for training with a trainer, as the dog can easily injure himself with sticks or hurt you.
High-quality metal muzzles-lattices always have a stainless steel coating, and all connections of the structure are connected by high-quality soldering, eliminating the accidental rupture of the links.
Sometimes metal mesh muzzles have an internal protective barrier in front, which prevents the dog from picking up different trash on the walk and more reliably protects him from bite, although in a metal muzzle the dog can just hit quite hard, especially if it is vicious and aggressive.
Another big group mesh muzzles – completed from strips of genuine leather, securely riveted. They have good ventilation, they are light, they can safely drink water, a dog can be in such muzzles for a long time without discomfort. If we talk about the disadvantages – it is not reliable. The high degree of probability of an accidental break or bite speaks for itself. Such muzzles are suitable for calm, non-aggressive dogs. And another important minus – after using a leather muzzle, it remains all wet from the inside, and easily gets dirty. Therefore, I especially want to draw your attention to the care after using this type of muzzles. If you ignore this item, the skin, no matter what quality it is, quickly shrivels, and the rivets, its bonding, rust, from which the muzzle can break at the most crucial moment.
Along with iron and leather, modern muzzles are also made from plastic. This is a kind of economy option. Such muzzles are very light, they do not carry out the cold, they are easy to wash and dry quickly. But plastic muzzles crack in the cold and can break when struck. They are used during a visit to the veterinarian, for carrying out various hygienic manipulations at home, while traveling in public transport. In the plastic muzzle inside must be soft seals, which exclude rubbing the muzzle of plastic strips.
With the same purpose use a different kind of muzzles – made from nylon fabrics. This is the easiest and cheapest type of muzzles for dogs. But a dog cannot stay in a tissue muzzle for a long time, due to the fact that it cannot fully open its mouth and breathe normally according to the laws of its physiology.
Do not leave it unattended for a long time in such an accessory, otherwise it may be fatal. Especially such a limitation is relevant in hot weather, or during physical exertion of a dog. Also, nylon muzzles are absolutely not applicable during dog training.
Another option muzzles – muzzles perform a decorative function rather than a protective one. They absolutely do not protect against a bite if the dog wants to do this, and rather serve to control the direction of movement of the dog: by pulling the leash attached to such a pseudo-muzzle, you will turn the dog’s head and go where its gaze is directed. that in certain situations can also be very useful, but no more.
Now talk about muzzle size selection and about the rules of measuring the main indicators, on the basis of which choose a muzzle.
The first criterion that comes to mind when choosing a muzzle, not to mention any more measurements, is the breed of dog. If you imagine a muzzle, for example, for a greyhound and a French bulldog, the associations will speak for themselves.
But how to choose a muzzle for different dogs of the same breed? Indeed, even within the same breed, the size of the muzzle can vary by 1-2 positions, since males are usually larger than bitches, and the same measurements of the heads of different dogs of the same sex and breed can differ significantly, leading to a transition to a different size range.
There are six types of measurements, the value of which selects the size of the muzzle. Moreover, different manufacturers may have a different set of these measurements. As a rule, a specific combination of measurements is indicated in the instructions for this model of the muzzle.
For example, when sizing models Ferplast muzzle and Safe measurements of neck circumference, width and length of the muzzle are used, and in nylon models of the company Trixie – neck and muzzle circumference. Moreover, the size range Ferplast Safe denoted by words in models Ferplast muzzle numbers, and in the line of nylon muzzles Trixie. letters. Therefore, it is not possible to compare sizes, say, S from Trixie and Small or 1 from Ferplast.
It is also necessary to take into account that there are muzzles, where the manufacturer specifically designates the breed of dogs, so the movement in the size range is not distinguished by a large spread of numbers. From small dogs of the same breed to large and very large dogs of the same breed.
And there are muzzles that are universal, which are suitable for many breeds, and in this case, the movement in the size range goes from different small breeds of dogs to various large breeds. For example, the Trixie nylon muzzle of the smallest size XS is suitable for dogs of the Chihuahua type with a neck circumference of 12 to 28 cm, and the largest L-XL size for dogs of the Hovawart type with a neck circumference of 17 to 48 cm.
And for the correct choice of a muzzle just for your dog, arm yourself with a measuring tape, a pen and a sheet, where the measurements will be recorded in centimeters.
Measurement number 1 The length of the muzzle. The distance from the tip of the nose to the eye line.
Measurement number 2 Girth muzzle. The muzzle circumference is 2.5 cm below the eye line.
Measurement number 3 Length to the nape. The distance from the eye line to the nape of the dog.
Measurement number 4 Girth of the neck. Neck circumference behind the ears.
Measurement number 5 The width of the muzzle. The width of the muzzle in the widest part.
Measurement number 6 The height of the muzzle. The muzzle height parameter is measured so that the dog can open its mouth.
Now, having all the necessary numbers, choose the type of model that is needed, and determine the specific size of the model according to the correspondence of your received measurements, the table of measurements from the manufacturer, which can be found in the instructions for the muzzle, or on the manufacturer’s website.