“Sorry but we need to get a muzzle for your dog”. Right away you think, I have a bad dog, or don’t muzzle my baby she is the most gentle dog in the world how could you?
I just want to set a few minds at ease when it comes to muzzling your dog or cat at the vet. It’s really not as bad as you may think.
My dog Tucker (whom I mention a lot) was muzzled the first time at about 1 year old when Dr. Michelle was doing blood work. Right away I thought she hates my dog, he is so bad, and what am I going to do? Boy I couldn’t be more wrong!
Since I’ve been working here at Holland Street Vet and have seen the occasional pet requiring a muzzle for a procedure, it has changed my mind 100% on precautionary muzzling.
Can you believe that we’ve almost been nipped by those cute Golden Retriever and Labrador puppies? These are the ones that can’t wait to come in the door to see us and then when we pull the needle out their defenses go up and they get scared. Our goal at Holland Street Veterinary Services is to make sure each pet and their owners have the most pleasant experience possible.
How terrible would it be for the pet to nip at us making the owner upset, the dog upset and potentially injuring one of our team? The animal may remember that experience as a negative one and therefore may be reluctant to come again.
Am I saying we automatically muzzle a dog? NO. It is often used as a last resort, but Dr. Michelle and her team are very good at seeing the warning signs that an animal is getting stressed like yawning and lip licking. Can you blame your pet for being scared? I am sure it’s not very pleasant to have 2 people holding you and getting picked and probed at.
A lot of the time we will muzzle a pet simply to give them something else to think about. By the time they are done figuring out what is on their face Dr. Michelle has performed a physical, cut nails and given vaccines. The muzzle then comes off and no one got hurt, everyone is happy, dog leaves with a mouth full of Benny Bullies. It’s a win win situation.
Therefore if your dog needs to be muzzled please do not take that as a bad thing. We love all pets here and no matter what, they are all important to us.