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To the Rescue: Treating a "Bow-Owwie"

I'm lucky that North's never gotten bitten or badly cut on any of our outdoor adventures but I believe in being prepared and learning what to do in case of an injury to my furry friend. Keep in mind even the sweetest pup can lash out when he's hurt so securing and muzzling a doggie is key. Before wrapping up the injury to stop the bleeding, start off by making a makeshift muzzle:

  • If you don't already have a muzzle for your pet on hand, you can easily make one out of a long piece of fabric like a scarf, gauze bandage, stocking, or necktie. Simply make a loop first, and then slip it around a pup's snout (it's easier to make the loop first than trying to hold the pet and tie him up). After it's securely around his jaw, tie the loose ends behind his head to fasten it.

Find out how to deal with smooshies and cats when you


  • Muzzling a cat is difficult, if not impossible, so protect yourself from scratches by picking her up and wrapping her in a towel. Similarly, securing a muzzle on a smooshy is tough – there's just not enough snout there! I often carry a specially-sized muzzle when I go out with North – in San Francisco, only muzzled pets can ride on public transportation. If you have a short-nosed breed, I think it's extra important to at least have the breed-specific muzzle as part of an emergency kit, even if you never use it. If you don't have this muzzle on hand, try to secure the dog by the towel method instead.

Remember, never muzzle an unconscious dog or one that is having difficulty breathing – these tips are meant to help you safely stop the bleeding and bring a pet to the vet, not as a permanent treatment method.


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fuzzles fuzzles 7 years
Thanks Pet! This is good advice. My childhood pup was the sweetest Schnauzer in the world. But at the end, after she suffered a catastrophic seizure, the towel method failed to work. Racing to the vet, she was nippy for the first time in her 17 years of life. I never would have though a muzzle would have been needed.
lexichloe lexichloe 7 years
This is great advice. Muzzles aren't fool-proof, so be aware. My dog and me were attacked once by a greyhound who broke free of his muzzle.
wren1 wren1 7 years
This is so important. When my dog was a puppy, he broke his leg and I had to take him to the ER vet. I was a very inexperienced dog owner at the time. I handled it ok, but knowing how to muzzle would have helped for sure.
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