Dog Handling and Restraint
Vet Tech
After the completion of this lesson
students will be able to…
Catch a dog with a snare
Carrying an injured dog, both small and large.
Muzzle a dog, both normal and short nosed.
Describe the proper way to administer medication
(liquid and pill)
• Determine the use of and proper methods of lateral,
sternal and standing restraint.
• Describe proper procedures for taking a rectal
• Describe proper procedures for using an Elizabethan
General Safety Procedures
• Wear protective clothing when working with
• Before handling any animal, make sure it is up
to date all on VX, especially rabies.
• Make sure to put your safety first and the
animal’s second!
• If bitten or scratched return the animal to its
cage, then clean the wound with soap and water.
Reasons for restraint
• To control an animal for treatment or
• To prevent the animal form harming itself.
• To prevent the animal from harming the people
who are treating it.
Before you restrain…
• As a general rule begin with the minimal
restraint necessary and proceeded from there.
• Observe the dog for signs of fear or aggression.
• Approach and handle all dogs slowly and gently
and talk with a soothing tone of voice!
Catch a Dog with a snare
• To use the snare place the loop
over the dog’s head and pull
the handle a the opposite end
until the loop becomes snug
around its neck.
• A snare a.k.a rabies pole
• Permits handler to lead the
dog from a safe distance.
Carrying a Small Injured Dog
• 1. Place you right hand under
the dog’s body with your index
finer between the forelegs.
• 2. Lift the dog so that its body
is supported by your hip and
hold firmly by your right
• 3. Hold the scruff to help
further restrain the head.
Carrying a large dog
• “scoop” method
• 1. kneel and completely
surround the dog with both
• 2. Return to standing position.
• Remember to lift with your
knees not your back!
Using an “E collar”
• Elizabethan collar
• Commonly used to keep a dog
from chewing or licking
wounds or incisions.
• Needs to be light and flexible
• The dog may be able to still
Muzzling a normal dog
• Make a loop in the center of a
4ft piece of bandage. Tie a “x”
knot in the center and slip it
over the dog’s muzzle.
• Bring the ends together under
the chin and loop the ends
through each other.
• Tie the two loose ends in a bow
behind the dog’s head.
Muzzling a Brachiocephalic Dog
• Complete the same process as
described for a normal dog.
• Then, to relieve pressure of the
nose loop on the nasal
passage, pass on of the ends
under the loop on the dog’s
muzzle and pull it tight.
• Then ties ends at the back of
the head with a bow.
• Brachiocephalic = short
Administering medication
• First try to get the dog to take
the pill on its own.
• 1. Grasp the jaw with the lips
folded inward. Gently pull
upward on the top jaw.
• 2. While holding down the
lower jaw place the pill as far
back as possible on the tongue.
• Hold the mouth shut till the
dog swallows the pill. You may
need to massage the throat.
Lateral Recumbency
• Start with the dog in standing
• Reach over the back and gently
grasp the legs and pull the
dogs body toward you.
• Once the dog is down grasp
the forelegs in one hand and
the hind legs in the other.
• Restrain the neck with the arm
that is holding the forelegs by
pressing on the base of the
Sternal Recumbency
• Most commonly used for IV
• Lay the dog down on its belly
with the forelegs stretched
• Hold the dog’s head with one
• With the other arm reach over
the dog’s back and grasp the
opposite foreleg.
• Gently apply your weight to
the dog’s back to prevent
Standing position
• This type of restraint is most
commonly used for a physical
exam or while administering a
• Allow the dog to stand on the
examination table and slip one
arm around the dog’s neck.
• Pass you other arm under the
animal’s body between the two
sets of legs and pull the body
firmly against yours.

Dog Handling and Restraint Techniques