There are times in which it may be useful or necessary to use a muzzle or choke collar on your dog, but if you do not know how to properly use them, you could end up seriously injuring your dog. Before using one of these collars on your dog, take the time to learn about the appropriate applications, as well as basic safety precautions.
- A muzzle should only be used as a last resort. Muzzles are typically used when it is necessary to keep a dog from biting, such as during a veterinary exam.
- Muzzles should not be used for extended periods of time. Your dog should never wear a muzzle for more than 30 minutes, and it should certainly not be the main type of collar you use.
- Muzzles can contribute to heat exhaustion in dogs. A muzzle is designed to keep your dog from opening his mouth. In extreme heat, dogs open their mouths and pant to keep cool ¾ preventing your dog from doing this could result in heat stroke.
- A muzzle should never be used on a sleeping dog. Using a muzzle on a dog while he is sleeping could interfere with his breathing.
- Over-use of muzzles could result in the development of fear or aggression. If your dog is always kept on a muzzle, he may feel vulnerable and could react to situations out of fear or panic.
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- Prong collars could pinch or puncture your dog’s skin. Prolonged or repeated use of prong collars could result in physical injury to your dog’s neck.Choke collars can cause damage to the dog’s neck. Because a choke collar is designed to tighten when the dog pulls against it, this could result in dangerous pressure on the dog’s neck and windpipe.
- Over-use of choke collars and prong collars can result in resistance. If you keep your dog on a choke collar or prong collar all of the time, he will likely develop scar tissue around the neck, which has decreased sensitivity. Because he cannot feel the collar as much, he will be more likely to pull, causing you to pull harder, which could result in injury.
- Using a choke collar could induce aggression. If your dog feels threatened by the collar tightening around his neck, he could react out of fear.
- Choke collars and muzzles can cause emotional, as well as physical damage. This is especially likely to happen in situations where the choke collar or muzzle is used as a punishment.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that both muzzles and choke collars have their uses, but unfortunately, many people misuse them. Over-use or misuse of a muzzle or choke collar can be very dangerous for your dog, so if you plan to use either, take the time to learn how to use them safely.