Question of the Week: Should I muzzle my dog at the veterinary office?

This question (as you can imagine) is one that is of special concern to those in our profession. Many dogs are perfect sweethearts until it comes to visits to the veterinarian. Unfortunately some dogs react aggressively when they feel threatened and the doctor’s office can trigger those negative behaviors. These animals are often in situations that they don’t understand with people they don’t know and undergoing treatments that can be uncomfortable.

If you are aware that your dog has the potential to bite or act aggressively when threatened, ensure you let the veterinary staff know when you are making your appointment. If you do not have a muzzle, it is a good idea to request one when checking in for your visit. Communication is the key.

Even if your dog seems to be acting fine, the veterinarian may opt to apply a muzzle as an extra safety precaution. Many dogs are unpredictable in the clinic setting and our doctors have experience dealing with the temperaments of hundreds of dogs. The veterinarian has the big responsibility of not only keeping the staff safe but the owners too. Although it can be difficult seeing your dog in a muzzle it is preferable to either you or the staff getting hurt.

We often find that dogs that are muzzled adopt a more relaxed and passive posture. This not only provides protection to the owner and clinic staff, but allows a faster and easier exam to take place. It’s always our goal to provide a service that is as painless and stress-free as possible. If you are at all concerned about how your dog will tolerate a visit to the vet, get in touch with the clinic and we can work with you to provide a service that is most appropriate for you and your dog.