Should I Muzzle My Dog to Stop Chewing?

By Bethany Tate

It is not recommended to muzzle your dog to stop chewing. Putting a muzzle on your dog will take away their ability to chew, but it won’t change the behavior. As soon as you take the muzzle off, your dog will likely start chewing again. 

How to control chewing without a muzzle

Be patient if your have a teething puppy

If your dog is a puppy that is teething then they will chew excessively on things that they wouldn’t normally put in their mouths. This is because during teething there’s a lot of pressure and discomfort in your dog’s mouth. The puppy teeth are coming in and your dog is chewing on everything simply because they want to alleviate the discomfort. 

Pet parents should remember that teething is just a phase. Once the puppy teeth come in, your dog’s excessive chewing shouldn’t be as bad. Instead of a muzzle try giving them a teething dog toy that can be frozen. The cold toy will help soothe their gums and is more likely to be their first choice in chew toys. 

Give attention, exercise, and mental stimulation to a bored dog

If your dog spends large amounts of time at home by themselves, and or they don’t get regular exercise, then all the chewing could be an acting out behavior due to pent up energy. This is especially true if you have a pup from an energetic dog breed. 

Instead of muzzling your dog to control chewing, tire them out! Physically you can start by having a regular active playtime each day. For mental stimulation you can introduce training games or a dog toy puzzle. 

Give your dog healthy chewing alternatives

Some dogs like to chew more than others, but that doesn’t mean you should put a muzzle on them! Make chew treats and chew toys easily accessible to your dog. Encourage them to chew on these instead of things like furniture, shoes, and other household items.

Try a spraying deterrent

Spraying deterrents cover objects in a bitter or unpleasant taste so that your dog loses their desire to chew on them. It can also work as a training tool. Spray the things off limits to your dog so that he or she can easily tell what they should and shouldn’t chew on. 

When to use a muzzle to stop chewing

Muzzles are not recommended as an ultimate solution to stop chewing. They can be stressful and uncomfortable to your dog if worn for long periods of time. Not to mention that muzzles severely restrict your dog’s freedom and mobility. 

That being said, there are still some use cases for muzzles. If you need a quick and sure fix for a temporary situation, then you can use a muzzle to stop your dog from chewing. Examples could be keeping your dog from tearing up the inside of your car during a car ride. If you’re visiting someone with your dog and don’t want to take any chances, then a muzzle could be a viable alternative. 

Muzzles should be the exception rather than the rule when trying to control chewing behavior. 

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Bethany Tate
Writing and analyzing data are her superpowers. Dogs, nature, and trail running are her oxygen. Bethany passionately believes pets make the world a better place. Her world is made better by Nemo, her pet dachshund.