5 Reasons Veterinarians Muzzle Dogs

Dog Muzzled at Vet

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dogs bite more than 4.7 million Americans each year. And while more than half of these individuals are children, veterinarians and their staff are among the adults who are considered to be most at risk. But the good thing is that dog bites are preventable, and in the case of veterinary team members, prevention is most efficiently accomplished through muzzling.

Unfortunately, most owners don’t exactly welcome the application of this ubiquitous veterinary device, which some find insulting to the fundamental character of their beloved pet.

I get it. Really, I do. But while I’ll freely admit that it’s no fun to watch your pet don a Hannibal Lecter-style mask, there are truly valid reasons why vets do this.

Muzzles Prevent . . . Physical Trauma

Few owners understand the degree to which veterinary professionals put their skin on the line every day. It’s a numbers game: Eventually, we will be bitten.

Muzzles Prevent . . . Long-Term Disability

The reality is that each and every bite raises the specter of lasting disability and loss of income for veterinary professionals, which really sucks given that it’s hard to find good disability insurance in our line of work.

Muzzles Prevent . . . Psychological Trauma

It’s a way overlooked issue how impressively tough it can be to recover emotionally and psychologically after a significant bite.

Muzzles Prevent . . . Fear

You never want to walk into a room at a disadvantage — much less a psychological one. And dogs know when you’re not at your most confident, so muzzles go a long way toward mitigating that lack of confidence.


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