A FRUSTRATED dog owner has claimed she was ordered to muzzle her dog by a vet ... despite it not being classed as an XL bully.

Laura Timochina, 32, is the owner of “pocket American bully” Bruno and rushed him to Vets for Pets, at Pipps Hill, Basildon, after he suffered an allergic reaction and “needed an injection”.

However, Laura claims when she arrived at the vets with the three-year-old dog she was told he must be muzzled because of his resemblance to the now-banned XL bully breed.

Vets for Pets have told the Echo that concerns were raised the dog “showed signs of aggression” and should have been muzzled, however Laura disputes this.

Laura admits that Bruno has “some traits” of an XL bully, due to his square-shaped head and muscles, but does not meet Government requirements because he is a “pocket” bully and much smaller.

Laura said: “People do not know he is not an XL bully and every time I walk him, I feel anxious that people may call the police and say he has no muzzle. He is clearly not an XL bully.

“I don’t want to lose him, he is my baby, and he is so soft, I work with clients at home, and everyone loves him.

“Everyone at the vets was looking at him, thinking he is a XL bully.

“I was called in and we discussed treatment, then a colleague said he looks like a XL bully.

“They said that he needs to be muzzled and the receptionist said bulldogs and bullies are banned. I want the staff to be more educated on this.

“Apparently this happens quite a lot and lots of bulldog owners have had to change vets and move to different vets.”

A Vets for Pets spokesperson said: “Creating a safe environment for our colleagues, consumers and other pets is of upmost importance to us.

“Regardless of breed, our protocol is to request owners to muzzle their dogs should they be showing any signs of aggression, which unfortunately was the case on this occasion.

“However, we were pleased to be able to complete the consultation and hope Bruno is feeling better now.”