Dog Muzzles and Choke Collars

Dog Muzzles and Choke Collars

What are the Dangers of Muzzles and Choke Collars?

The decision to put a muzzle or a choke collar on your dog is a tough one, and not something to be taken lightly. Unfortunately, for dogs that have severe aggression problems this may become necessary. Before you take this big step, it is important to know about the risks involved. Using a dog muzzle or choke collar without taking the right precautions and knowing the dangers involved can put your dog at serious risk.

The Muzzle

A muzzle is used to keep a dog from biting humans or other animals. If your dog appears to have serious aggression issues, or has a history of biting or attack other pets. Or humans, you may be forced to use a muzzle during high stress times like vet appointments. This should only be a last resort. And is not meant to be used in place of a regular collar or good training.  If you must use a dog muzzle, be sure to only use it for a short period of time. You should never keep a muzzle on your pup for more than thirty minutes at a times.

Not all the Time

Every once in a while muzzles and choke collars may be necessary. But using them for a prolonged amount of time or as a punishment is never a good idea. Doing this can lead to some serious psychological problems for your dog. Punishing your pup with a muzzle or choke collar can lead to serious emotional distress and damage. And destroy the trust between the two of you. Keeping your pet in a muzzle or on a choke collar can cause him to feel vulnerable or frustrated, which will likely lead to an increase in aggressive behavior. If not used right, muzzles and choke collars can end up making aggressive or fearful behavior in dogs worse, not better.

Emotional Repercussions

While muzzles and choke collars can have lasting emotional repercussions for your dog, they can also physically harm him. Because the choke collar tightens around your dog’s neck as he pulls away, frequent use of this collar can cause lasting damage to your dog’s neck. Choke collars also can pinch and damage the skin around your dog’s throat and neck, creating lots of pain for your pup and the formation of scar tissue. In the worst case scenario these collars can even lead to actual choking and air deprivation. When scar tissue forms, your dog’s neck becomes less sensitive to the pull of the choke collar. When he becomes less sensitive to this pain he will likely try and pull harder. Thus encouraging the type of behavior you are trying to avoid. Lack of neck sensitivity can also result in more serious neck pain for your pup.

Serious Damage?

Muzzles and choke collars are not just dangerous for long term use. They can also result in serious damage and even death for your pup when used sparingly. It is important for you to be very careful about putting a muzzle on a dog in hot weather. Dogs cool themselves down by panting with their mouths open. If your pup is unable to open his mouth because of a muzzle, he could suffer from heat exhaustion. It is even more important to never put a muzzle on a sleeping dog, or let your dog fall asleep with a muzzle on. This could result in an obstruction of his ability to breathe, and lead to choking or even death.

Bottom Line

For some dogs, using a muzzle or choke collar may be the only way to insure safety for themselves and the humans and animals around them. However, this should only be used as a last resort, and never as a replacement for training. Using muzzles and choke collars puts your pup at serious risk, so make sure to think before you muzzle.

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