Even the most gentle and loving pets can bite if they become frightened and it is important to remember that your safety is of paramount importance and sometimes it might be necessary to muzzle your pet.

It is really important that you never muzzle an animal that is overheating (as they will need to pant to cool) or a dog that is having difficulty breathing or is likely to vomit.

You can buy specially designed muzzles from quality pet suppliers. Always choose one of an appropriate size for your pet.

If you do not have a proper muzzle, the following information provides a step by step guide to create a comfortable and safe improvised muzzle for your pet.

Use a bandage, scarf, tie or other soft material

muzzling your pet

Make a loop in the material

Gently and carefully restrain your pet

Stand behind them and swiftly and calmly secure the loop over their snout (muzzle)

how to muzzle your pet

With a single knot on the top of their nose, secure the material around their snout to keep their mouth closed.

Tie another knot under their chin and bring the ends back behind their ears.

how to muzzle your dog

Secure the ends with a slip knot or bow behind the animal’s neck

Always have quick access to scissors to ensure you can swiftly release the muzzle should you need to do so, for example if your pet needs to vomit.

It is possible for an animal to bite even when muzzled in this way.

Be ready to release the muzzle if necessary.

Do not put yourself at risk. If you are in danger of being bitten and are not confident using an improvised muzzle, phone the vet and seek further advice.

First Aid for Pets provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for veterinary advice. The author does not accept any liability or responsibility for any inaccuracies or for any mistreatment or misdiagnosis of any person or animal, however caused. It is strongly advised that you attend a practical First Aid for Pets course or take our online course to understand what to do in a medical emergency.