Allows dogs to pant, eat and drink naturally. Easy to place on head and make adjustments. Bright nylon fabric is soft, visible and non-restrictive. Affordable alternative to metal cage muzzles.
Finding the right size can be a challenge. Some owners tell us their pets removed it in seconds. Covers more than mouth and snout.
Excellent ventilation, and a very secure fit. Sizing and training guides included. Rubber cage more comfortable than metal. Can be attached to collars and leashes.
Some reports of sharp edges. Difficult to find the right size. Stronger breeds can break cage within minutes. Some chafing reported.
Solid metal cage for medium to large breeds. Comfortable enough for longer uses, such as hiking. Discourages unwanted wound licking. Excellent ventilation. Very secure fit.
Metal cage can cut into dog's skin. Not recommended for smaller breeds. Strap can limit vision.
Set of 5 muzzles makes proper sizing easier. Stops nipping and biting for grooming and medical treatments. Will grow with young puppies. Low price.
Construction material is clearly inexpensive, not durable. Dogs can chew through straps quickly. Not suitable for larger breeds.
Soft construction material will not hurt dog – comfortable fit. Works well as a short-term correction device. Well designed, especially for an entry-level pet product.
Straps and buckles make a perfect fit very difficult. No protective mesh around the mouth. Does not prevent unwanted eating or barking.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
A history of aggression may be the most obvious reason to use a muzzle on a dog, but it certainly isn't the only one. A dog muzzle can prevent nipping or biting during stressful situations, and in some states certain breeds are required to wear a muzzle when out in public. Whatever the case, selecting the appropriate dog muzzle and using it correctly is vital to your dog’s comfort and safety. If you're struggling to find the right dog muzzle, we can help.
Here at BestReviews, we go the extra mile to create authentic reviews and helpful shopping guides. Using a combination of intensive research, product analysis, and owner feedback, we've gathered five of the best dog muzzles on the market. We never accept free products from manufacturers, so you can rest assured in the knowledge that all our opinions are free from bias.
Read on to learn all about choosing the best muzzle for your dog, and don't forget to check out our top five picks when you're done.
Many dog owners feel conflicted about using a dog muzzle. It’s helpful to identify when and if your situation calls for one.
Even docile dogs can become unpredictable when injured or in pain. Putting a muzzle on your dog in these situations may be necessary.
It's not unusual for dogs to become anxious when visiting the vet, and some may even bite due to fear or pain. Training your dog to wear a muzzle can make trips to the vet more relaxed for everyone, including Fido.
While most dogs who are groomed regularly from an early age don't have any issues with a good wash, brush, and clip, sometimes a bit of extra care is needed. Some dogs may dislike having certain areas touched, while others may not tolerate being groomed by strangers.
A number of states have restrictions and bans on breeds that are deemed dangerous. If you live in a restricted area and your dog happens to fall into this category, he'll need to wear a muzzle each time he leaves the house.
Aggressive behavior often stems from fear, distrust, or insecurity, and you'll need to apply proper training techniques to combat these issues. However, a muzzle can help keep both your dog and others safe during training sessions away from home.
Very fearful or aggressive dogs need proper training, not simply muzzling.
Dog muzzles are available in many different styles. Most fall into one of these categories.
These heavy-duty dog muzzles are typically made of leather, and many have a reinforced steel nose piece. Designed for dogs undergoing police, military, or protection training in which aggression is encouraged, agitation muzzles are considered to be the safest for both handlers and dogs.
However, they can cost a pretty penny, and the specialized construction generally isn't necessary for the average dog.
Never leave a muzzled dog unattended. If the muzzle gets caught on something, your dog could be seriously injured.
These muzzles have an open grid construction that allows dogs to pant, eat, and drink. Basket muzzles are made from a variety of materials.
Metal/wire basket muzzles are best for large breeds or aggressive dogs who may break other materials. However, unyielding metal muzzles may cause injuries if your dog gets into a scuffle with another canine. Metal muzzles are also more reactive to extreme weather conditions, and can easily become burning hot or freezing cold, depending on the climate.
Rubber is a great alternative to metal if you're concerned about your dog hurting herself or others. Strong, safe, and reliable, rubber muzzles aren't affected by weather and are also less likely to cause harm to the dog.
Leather can offer a good balance of style and functionality. Most leather basket muzzles are secure and durable. One of the biggest disadvantages is that leather muzzles generally have smaller gaps, meaning it’s harder for the dog to breathe or pant. Leather also requires some level of maintenance, so keep this in mind if you're considering purchasing one of these muzzles.
Plastic works well for occasional use or for dogs who aren't overly aggressive. Plastic tends to be inexpensive, but these muzzles aren't as robust as metal, rubber, or leather and can be easy for determined dogs to break.
A muzzle that extends too far beyond your dog’s nose could obstruct his line of sight.
Soft muzzles have a glove-like nylon/mesh construction that's lightweight yet secure. Since most have a tight fit, which severely limits panting, they're best for short periods of wear.
Consider an occlusion muzzle for purposes such as clipping nails or trips to the groomer/vet.
Regular muzzles aren't suitable for breeds with very short or flat snouts. Short-snout muzzles are designed to cover the face and are constructed of see-through mesh to optimize vision and breathability. Most also have an opening for eating and drinking.
As dogs with flat snouts tend have special respiratory needs, it's important that the muzzle doesn’t restrict airflow or fit too tightly.
Soft muzzles may seem comfortable for long periods of use, but a muzzle that holds your dog’s mouth shut should only be used for a few minutes.
Every dog is unique. Even if a muzzle claims to fit certain breeds, you should always measure your dog’s snout first for the best fit.
When measuring for a basket muzzle, remember to add approximately one inch to the circumference to ensure that your dog is able to pant.
Measure snout length: Place the end of the tape measure half an inch below your dog’s eyes at the center of the nose. Measure from this point to the tip of the nose.
Measure snout circumference: Position the tape measure half an inch below your dog’s eyes in the center of the nose. Measure all the way around the snout to get the circumference.
Soft muzzles usually only require a single measurement.
Measuring the snout for a proper fit is important so that the muzzle is secure and your dog is comfortable.
There are a number of factors that come into play when finding the most suitable muzzle for your dog. Let’s take a look.
Look for a muzzle that's easy to put on. Getting a muzzle on quickly and smoothly is absolutely essential when dealing with an aggressive dog. Even if there's no risk of being bitten, fumbling to fasten buckles can cause unnecessary stress for both of you. If possible, choose a model with clasps that easily clip on and off.
Plastic or nylon muzzles tend to be the least durable, but one of these should do the trick if you have a docile dog who’ll only be using the muzzle occasionally. If your dog is aggressive or particularly enthusiastic, choose a sturdy metal, rubber, or leather muzzle.
A dog muzzle can help stop sidewalk scavenging.
Smaller dogs seldom require the same level of restraint as larger breeds, and heavier materials may make small dogs uncomfortable. Even leather muzzles can be a bit too much for dainty toy breeds like Chihuahuas or Yorkies, and a lightweight muzzle made of nylon or mesh may be your best option. For large or aggressive dogs, opt for robust materials like rubber, leather, metal, or strong plastic.
Not all muzzles are suitable for every purpose. If you need a muzzle for training, trips to the park, or walks, a breathable basket-style muzzle that allows your dog to pant and drink is a must. For limited use while clipping your dog’s nails, during grooming, or visiting the vet, a soft occlusion muzzle is suitable. Just remember that these shouldn't be left on for too long because they restrict panting.
Choose a muzzle material that corresponds with your dog’s size and level of aggression.
The following tips can help reduce stress and make it easier to put a muzzle on your dog for the first time.
Familiarize your dog with the muzzle. Start by placing the muzzle on the floor and allowing your dog to sniff and touch it.
Use treats to win your dog over. When your dog sniffs or touches the muzzle, offer plenty of praise and treats. This will create a positive association with the item. Once your dog seems comfortable with the muzzle, pick it up and hold a favorite treat inside with the other hand. Allow your dog to retrieve the treat and remove her head. Repeat multiple times.
Briefly put the muzzle on your dog without fastening it. If your dog seems happy to take a treat from the muzzle, she may be ready for the next step. When she puts her head into the muzzle, calmly pull the straps up and hold them behind her head. Hold the muzzle in place for just a few seconds before releasing, praising her all the while.
Fasten the muzzle on your dog. Once she's comfortable with you holding the muzzle on, fasten it behind her head. At this point, the aim is simply to secure the muzzle, not to make her wear it. As soon as you manage to fasten the muzzle, undo it and let her remove her head.
Take things slowly. Gradually increase the number of seconds that you leave the muzzle on your dog. Don't rush, and remember to offer plenty of praise and treats throughout the process.
It's important to take note of local breed-specific laws if you're traveling with your dog. Train her to wear a muzzle well in advance of your trip if necessary.
Size, materials, and type determine the cost of a dog muzzle. Expect to pay from $5 to $200 and up for a muzzle.
Soft /occlusion muzzles
Depending on size and materials, these muzzles cost between $5 and $15.
Expect to pay anywhere between $10 and $15 for a budget plastic basket muzzle. Premium varieties made of leather or metal usually cost between $30 and $50. Rubber muzzles fall somewhere in the middle at $20 to $35.
These are the most expensive, with prices ranging from $60 to $200 and more.
Q. Can I use a muzzle to keep my dog from barking?
A. Although some muzzles are marketed as being a solution for barking, using them as such is not recommended. Your dog's barking could stem from a number of issues, including separation anxiety, boredom, or a need for attention, and these problems should be appropriately addressed.
Q. How long can my dog wear his muzzle?
A. Muzzles really aren't an all-day/all-night solution for behavioral issues and shouldn't be left on too long. Generally, around 20 minutes is appropriate for basket muzzles. Because occlusion muzzles hold the mouth shut and don't allow panting or drinking, these should be worn for no more than 10 minutes at a time.
Q. Which muzzle should I use to keep my dog from eating off the sidewalk?
A. If your dog hoovers up anything and everything in his path, a basket muzzle with smaller gaps or a front panel is probably your best bet. While a regular basket muzzle will definitely slow him down, determined dogs may still manage to sneak in a less than savory sidewalk snack. When exercising your dog, it's important that the muzzle allows for panting. For this reason, it's best not to use an occlusion muzzle on your dog when walking or running.
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