FIRST AID IN THE FIELD - Entry #5 (Making an Impromptu Dog Muzzle)

August 1, 2009

Even the most mild-mannered canine can bite under duress or painful circumstances. If your dog is in a great deal of pain or begins to act aggressively, muzzle him before attempting first aid. However, please note that a dog that is vomiting, having breathing difficulties, or suffering from heatstroke or hypothermia should NOT be muzzled.

Any number of objects can be used as a muzzle, including a length of rope or gauze, a leash or even shoelaces.

Start by tying a loop large enough to fit around your dog's muzzle.
  1. Slip the loop around your dog's muzzle midway between its eyes and nose.
  2. Tighten the loop so that your dog's jaws are closed. Take care not to bind your dog's jaws too tightly.
  3. Cross the ends of the muzzle beneath your dog's jaw.
  4. Bring the end of the string or laces back behind your dog's ears.
  5. Tie with a double knot. This muzzle should be removable by slipping it back over the dog's ears.

If you are concerned that your dog can't breathe, tie a knot similar to a shoelace bow, which can be quickly released. A dog that shows difficulty breathing should NOT be muzzled.

* The preceding courtesy of DogWorld magazine - April, 2009

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