Handling and Restraint: Any dog, no matter how docile he may be, has the potential to bite when he is severely injured, frightened, or in pain. It is important to recognize this and take proper precautions to keep from being bitten. An injured dog who growls, snarls, or raises his hackles is sending a clear message. Do not approach or attempt to restrain this dog. Call your local animal shelter or animal care and control agency for help.
Muzzles: All dogs should be muzzled for any handling or treatment that may be frightening or painful. Cloth muzzles are easy to store and can be slipped on easily. Soft muzzles with Velcro closures in the back can be ordered through your veterinarian or a pet supply store. An open cage muzzle is preferred for an injured or sick dog. It allows the dog to breathe easily, and if the dog vomits he will not aspirate the vomitus. Keep the muzzle with your Home Emergency Medical Kit. If you don’t have a commercial muzzle, you can make an acceptable substitute using adhesive tape, a piece of cloth, a length of roll gauze, or a leash. Wind the tape around the dog’s muzzle. Or make a large loop with the other materials that you can slip over the dog’s muzzle. Then tighten this down around the dog’s muzzle, bring the two ends under the dog’s ears, and tie the ends behind his head. Make sure the muzzle is not so tight that the dog can- not open his mouth slightly to breathe. There are circumstances in which a dog should not be muzzled. It can be dangerous to muzzle a dog who is vomiting, coughing, having difficulty breathing, or aggressively resisting the muzzle. Never muzzle an unconscious dog.