signs your dog may bite

sitting, standing, and lying restraints

muzzles and towels

approaching a sick or injured dog
Cat and Dog
  1. if your pet is hurt or stressed they may bite even if they normally never would .
  2. Avoid using food treats as a way of moving/restraining your pet in case the vet needs to give them a sedation or anaesthetic.
  3. DO NOT try to restrain your pet if you don't feel confident to do so or if you think it may hurt them (e.g. they are already injured or have arthritic joints) or that they may hurt you - call your vet for advice.
  4. If bitten or badly scratched by your pet seek immediate medical attention.
Signs your dog may bite
Signs your dog may bite
  • Curling lip and lip licking (when no food around!)
  • Yawning repeatedly
  • Growling
  • Raised fur on back
  • Tail tucked under
  • Turning head to avoid meeting your eyes
  • Standing rigidly (they can still be wagging their tail even when about to bite)
  • Showing the whites of their eyes
  • If showing these signs don't try and restrain them. Call your vet for advice


If you need to examine your pet, trim their nails or put a bandage on get someone to help hold your pet with one of the methods below.

Standing Restraint
  • Can do this on the floor or on a table.
  • Steady their head by placing your forearm under their neck so it rests on the inside of your elbow.
  • KEEP your face away from them unless you have good control of their head.
  • Steady their body by putting your other arm around their body to hold them close to you. Care not to squeeze them too tightly, just use the minimum pressure needed to keep them still.
Dog standing restraint
Sitting Restraint
  • Same technique as standing restraint except your pet is sitting down.
  • If they are very wiggly it can be useful to try this with their bottom against a wall/in a corner to stop them backing up.
  • You can also use the hand that is not around their neck to lift a paw for someone else to trim their nails or place a bandage (see illustration below).
Dog sitting restraint
Lying Restraint
  • For very wiggly pets
  • Carefully lie your dog onto one side
  • Stand/kneel so that their back is to you
  • Hold the legs that are nearest the floor/table
  • Gently lean your arm nearest their head against their neck to help control their head
Dog lying restraint


You may need to muzzle your dog in order to safely examine them/clip their nails. It is best if you train them in advance with a muzzle so your first time using it isn't too stressful for them.

  • Never leave a muzzle on for more than 15 minutes without a break.
  • Material and basket type muzzles can be purchased from pet stores or online.
  • Make sure they fit comfortably and aren't too big/small.
Making an emergency muzzle for your dog
  • Cut a 30cm (small dogs) to 60cm (big dogs) section of the conforming bandage from your kit.
  • Tie a loose knot in the centre and slip this over your dog’s muzzle (care not to get bitten).
  • Tighten it on top of the nose then cross the loose ends under their jaw and tie them behind their ears.For flat faced breeds you can try wrapping a thick
  • towel around their neck to prevent them from being able to turn and bite.
  • For flat faced breeds a special shaped muzzle can be purchased or you can try wrapping a thick towel around their neck to prevent them from being able to turn and bite - ensure they don't over heat though and if they're getting too stressed always stop and call your vet for advice.
Making an Emergency Muzzle


  • Approach them calmly.
  • They may have become temporarily blind/deaf so stamp your feet to let them know you're approaching.
  • Crouch down, lick your lips/yawn.
  • Avoid eye contact and avoid putting your hand out,
  • Placing a towel/coat over their head may calm them.
  • Consider using a muzzle when moving an injured dog.
  • Don't give any food in case the vet needs to perform a sedation/anaesthetic.
  • Slowly lift them under their shoulder and hip areas.
  • Consider using a make shift stretcher if too large for one person to lift