COVID-19. Pollution. Smoke from wildfires. You may not want to go outside – but Rufus still needs to pee. You wear a face mask – should your dog? Let’s compare the best dog masks to see which one you should consider to let your pooch go out without getting sick!
But first, before we find out which ones are good – does your dog even need a face mask?
Face masks for dogs
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, dogs supposedly can get some kinds of coronaviruses; there is even one called “canine respiratory coronavirus.” That’s the same broad family of viruses that causes COVID-19 in people (and cats). But it’s NOT the COVID-19 coronavirus, it’s one specific to dogs that causes Kennel Cough like symptoms. So it’s not yet clear if your dog can get THE COVID virus. It doesn’t seem super likely right now.
Other types of air pollution that can hurt your dog include smoke from wildfires, car and vehicle exhaust and pesticide residue. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says that, “Scientists are just beginning to explore the negative effects of air pollution on pets, but most agree that when air quality is poor for humans, it is also poor for pets.”
So, it would seem to reason that if you are wearing a mask to try to protect yourself from pollution outside, your pooch may also deserve some of the protection they’d get from an air filter mask.
However, vets are not all on board with this – some think that your pet may find it too constraining or confusing. And some dogs may have too flat of faces for the face masks to fit properly. You should ask your vet prior to trying to use a mask on your dog. So it’s very important to make sure that anything you put on your animal’s face isn’t distressing them or unusually stressing them out. And make sure they are breathing normally, and that you have applied the device according to the manufacturer’s instructions. While your pet is wearing one, closely monitor it for shortness of breath and make sure that it’s breathing seems normal. You’ll want to take it off right away if it doesn’t seem to be working out for your pet. And since dogs pant to cool down, they can’t wear a mask for an extended period of time – most manufacturers strongly recommend taking it off after 10 minutes of use to give Roofus time to pant and cool down. This is important!
The best face masks for dogs
There are several great options for dog face masks on Amazon at different price points. Note that they are also known as “respirator muzzles.” We’ve done the research – now let’s help you find the one that’s right for you.
K9 Mask – Pure Air X1 Dog Air Pollution Filter Mask for Canines
Probably our favorite one to review, and one of the clear leaders is the k9mask, which you can find on Amazon Our k9mask review is that is the clear market leader/premium brand. They have different sizes AND colors, so you keep your pet fashionable and safe. This is clearly the leader in safety and fashion in the US, but it comes at a price – we’ve seen it as expensive as $59, but often on sale at $49 per mask. So a single one will set you back. However, with different colors and sizes, and a 3 filter refills, it’s the premium choice for your pet. Since there are several sizes, we’ll explain how to pick the right one below. Other things we like are how you have both neck and muzzle adjustments, to help you get a good fit, and how it has reflective materials for low-light visibility. It’s strong enough to function as a muzzle for most animals. And, it’s washable with replaceable filters. Pretty great! Our top pick, if you can afford it. The air filters are available here, and usually run about $25 for a 5 pack, so $5 each. The company says these are N95 filters – so they should filter out 95% of particles 2.5 microns or larger. They work via an activated charcoal filter, and the company recommends them for four hours of use. So if you are ready for the best for your pet, and can afford it, grab one on Amazon now before they run out.
Linkinghome Dog Respirator Muzzle
While this one supposedly comes in three sizes, we currently only see medium and large available – click here to see what is in stock right now It only comes in a gray, so your fashion options are more limited. But it is reusable and washable. At $15 a pop, it’s less expensive than the k9, but more than the disposable ones we are about to highlight. It’s less adjustable as well, with one main way to adjust. That being said, if you are more on a budget but want to try to go higher end, check out the Linkinghome Respirator Muzzle.
At the lower end, we have disposable ones. These usually come in three packs, although you can get some in bigger packages.
BigTree Adjustable Dog Respirators
The BigTree Adjustable Respirators are disposable muzzles that come in a few sizes and prices. These are less aesthetically pleasing than the Linkinghome and certainly less than the K9mask. But, at $12 to $14, depending on your animal’s size, they might be what you are looking for. With a 2.5 micron filter, they do stop a lot of the smaller particles that might be dangerous to your pet. The manufacturer does NOT recommend them for flat faced dogs like pugs or bulldogs. There are also large packs, with 12 per package, that are $29 to $31 each – a pretty decent deal, all things considered. Find there here on Amazon; as of us writing this, all sizes were available.
Prolific and Lifeunion Dog Face Masks
We haven’t tried either Prolific of Lifeunion – and we kind of get the feeling that they are the same product sold by different vendors. They are both 2.5 micro-level filters, disposables. And available in small, medium and large sizes. The prices are pretty darn reasonable, but different for both brands at the same sizes – so check out both to see which disposable might be right for you.
How to pick the right sized dog face mask from k9mask
There are two primary things to consider when sizing a dog face mask – the size length of your dog’s muzzle, and the circumference of the muzzle. Circumference is measured by taking a string and putting it around your animals snout near the base. Note where the end of the string touches. Then measure the string. And a note on sizing,
k9mask suggests choosing the bigger size if your dog’s circumference is between sizes to allow for better panting.
Check out the sizing chart:
The other brands go into the sizing on their Amazon listings. Read them carefully to make sure you get the right dog mask for your little guy.
Which dog face mask is right for your pooch?
There currently aren’t that many options for the best dog face mask – but if we had to choose, we’d go for the k9mask if we could afford it. It’s very adjustable, the replacement filters seem to be in good supply, and it’s manufactured in the US. Get the k9mask now on Amazon.
If you think you’ll only need protection for a short period of time, you may want to consider the less expensive BigTree Adjustable Respirators. They seem less high-quality than the k9masks that we reviewed, but they are also 2.5 micron. Plus, they are pretty darn affordable. Get there here on Amazon.
Let us know if you choose any of these face masks for your dog. And if you do, don’t forget to take it off every 10 minutes to give Roofus a chance to pant and cool down!