There are several reasons you may need a dog muzzle and most dogs who have muzzles do not bite and aren’t necessarily dangerous. However, muzzles can provide peace-of-mine in many situations, such as when riding on a crowded airplane.
Typically, commercial muzzles allow dogs full movement. Many can even eat and drink while the muzzle is on. Modern dog muzzles are much different from the cruel devices of years passed.
However, dog muzzles are a specialty item. You cannot find them everywhere. In fact, you usually have to order online to get a quality option. If you’re in a pinch, you may be forced to use a DIY option as a quick fix. Luckily, there are many plans out there you may consider using.
We don’t recommend any of these plans as a long-term solution. However, they do work well when you don’t have any other option.
The Top 4 DIY Dog Muzzle Plans
1. DIY Dog Muzzle Using a Leash by The Honest Kitchen
In a pinch, you can create a dog muzzle using a dog leash. As you’d imagine, this process is fast and easy. It is also quite effective and should be relatively comfortable as long as it is not tied too tight. However, there is always the chance that your dog will slip out of this muzzle since there is no neck fastening.
If you find yourself suddenly needing a muzzle, this may be one of the few options you have time for. However, your dog will be unable to wear it for long, as it does not allow the wearer to drink water.
2. Dog Muzzle Using Gauze by Dog Time
|Materials:||Fabric or gauze|
You can make a slightly more effective muzzle with gauze or fabric. This design is effective and works well in a pinch, as it does not require many materials. However, it also is not a permanent solution, as it does now allow the dog full mobility or the ability to drink. Therefore, we only recommend using it for very short-term uses.
3. DIY Head Halter by Instructables
|Materials:||Clippers, fabric tape measure, O rings, Triglide fastenings, measurements of soft nylon netting or nylon netting covered in fabric, clasp|
This head halter is considerably less effective than other options out there. It is not technically a muzzle, however, you can use it for desensitizing your dog for a commercial muzzle. While your dog’s muzzle is on the way, we recommend using a head halter or something similar to get them used to the sensation. Plus, this head halter also gives you a bit more control over your dog in the meantime.
This pattern is not for novices, though. It can be difficult to do unless you’re accomplished with a sewing machine. For this reason, we only recommend it for those with previous experience sewing.
4. Knitted Dog Muzzle by Instructables
|Materials:||Yarn of any color, knitting needles, scissors|
This knitted dog muzzle is a bit more effective than other options out there. It actually covers a dog’s whole mouth and is more comfortable than other options. Because it is just made out of yarn, though, it doesn’t work well for dogs with more bite strength. The yarn can snap easily, and your dog may even be able to bite through the yarn.
However, for non-reactive dogs that need a muzzle due to policy reasons, this muzzle works well. It is pretty easy to make, though some knitting experience is recommended. You can give it a try even if you’d never knitted anything before.
Things to Consider
You can make a homemade muzzle for your dog. However, it will likely not be as effective as other options out there. Commercial dog muzzles are made using strong materials and a very effective design. In a home setting, this can be considerably difficult to replicate.
There are several situations where a homemade dog muzzle may be necessary. If your dog becomes injured (or you come across an unknown, injured dog), dog bites suddenly become a very real problem. Even the sweetest dog can suddenly bite when in pain. Therefore, it is recommended that you craft a quick muzzle anytime you need to move or handle an injured dog.
Luckily, some fabric or even a dog leash may be all that you need to craft a muzzle. These muzzles won’t be as effective as other options and should not be used for extended periods. However, if you’re rushing your dog to the vet, they can be life-saving.
There are other slightly more effective DIY muzzles that may be used for non-aggressive dogs. Dogs may need to wear a muzzle for policy reasons when riding on an airplane or in particular spaces. If you don’t want to buy an actual muzzle in these situations, you can make one yourself.
However, keep in mind that these muzzles may not meet policy standards. Always check beforehand if your dog legally needs to wear a muzzle for one reason or another.
Is it Cruel to Muzzle a Dog All Day?
Modern muzzles are much more comfortable for dogs than the ancient muzzles most people are used to. Commercial muzzles these days allow dogs to pant effectively and drink water. Therefore, they are a solid choice for long-term wear. When wearing a basket muzzle designed for long-term use, your dog should be comfortable and perfectly safe.
Muzzle training does help reduce some of the fear and discomfort some dogs feel when wearing a muzzle. Training is vital for your dog to be used to the muzzle. However, over time, your dog should become desensitized to it even with little training.
With that said, the homemade, DIY muzzles on this list do not fit this category. Instead, these muzzles are only designed for short-term, emergency use. It is nearly impossible to make a DIY basket muzzle that meets comfort and safety standards. When looking for a long-term muzzle, choose a quality commercial option.
If your dog is hurt or sick, a quick DIY muzzle may be necessary to prevent dog bites. With the plans above, you can quickly make a muzzle out of gauze or even a dog leash. This quick muzzle will let you handle your dog safely, even when they are in pain. When transporting your dog to a vet, one of these muzzles is vital for everyone involved.
However, these makeshift muzzles should not be used long-term. They do not allow your dog to pant properly or drink water. In extreme cases, this may cause your dog to overheat. Therefore, they are best in emergencies, not for long days on an airplane.
Featured Image Credit: Annie Spratt, Unsplash