Boogie isn’t a huge fan of going to the vet (we’ll save that story for another day). In order to make vet visits a little less stressful for everyone, I’ve been working on getting Boogie more comfortable wearing a muzzle, just in case he needs it. And while he already tolerates wearing his basket muzzle, I’d like for him to have a more positive association with it.
A few months ago I read about “muzzle-cicles” in Grisha Stewart’s BAT book (she has all kinds of great muzzle related advice – check it out) where she describes filling a basket muzzle with food, freezing it, and using it like a Kong.
I figured Boogie would enjoy sticking his snout into the basket to enjoy some crazy-good snacks and doing so just might help him fall in lust with his muzzle, bearer of frozen delights.
I thought I’d give that a try. Here’s how:
First, wrap the outside of the muzzle in plastic wrap to form a barrier, so the food doesn’t fall out of the sides. I was out of plastic wrap, so I used a piece of wax paper, then covered that in tin foil so I could smush it on there real good (highly technical, no?):
Then I filled it with apple slices at the bottom and a mixture of kibble and wet food. To guild the lily, I spread some peanut butter at the opening. And freeze!
Behold the Kuzzle.
Or maybe it’s a Mong? Either way, you’ve got yourself a frozen Muzzle/Kong type treat:
Boogie was wary of it at first, as he is with all novel objects. He licked the outside of the Kuzzle for a while, keeping his tush in the air, just in case he needed to make a quick escape from this odd duck.
Eventually, he settled down on his bed and enjoyed the Kuzzle in all its glory. After lying down and licking away, he stood back up to get some traction so he could score the last bits of food.
He ate it all, then tried to eat the Kuzzle itself. So my advice is to carefully watch your dogs if you do give this a try. It’s a quick jump from frozen treat to new rubber chew toy.
I’m not sure if this will pay off in the long run, but I’m going to give it a try a few more times in the hopes that Boogie will get all wiggly at the sight of his new favorite treat dispenser.
By the way, Boogie is camera shy, so taking photos of him didn’t exactly help him feel comfortable. Next time, he’ll get to romance the Kuz in private – no paparazzi.
Update: Boogie loves his basket muzzle and wears it happily these days. Huzzah for the Kuzzle!
What about you guys? Anyone do some creative Kuzzling or muzzle tricks at their house?
Looking for muzzles, the BAT book, and more? Check out the Resources on the Dogs In Need of Space website!