5 Dog Cone Alternatives That Makes Your Dog Comfortable

Dog’s that recently got surgery, or injury will have a dog cone around their heads. It’s an indication that they came from the vet and they have a delicate condition. They needed a barrier between their bodies and head because dogs tend to lick their bodies. Dog cones will prevent your dog from licking the wound, the injury, or the newly made dressing by the doctor. 

Photo from: (@sulu_thechowchow)

Dog cones served their purpose very well but they can be annoying to your dog. They are not used to the feeling of having the so-called “cone of shame” around their necks. The thing is, they will experience difficulty because the cone will bang on the floor, wall or any furniture around the house. In addition, they will also have difficulty eating food and drinking water when the cone is around their heads. There are a lot of problems in wearing a dog cone which we have enumerated in the article but we will first explore the cone of shame alternatives

1. Soft E-collars

The Soft E-collar will provide you the movement your dog needs. The collar is soft and flexible unlike the dog cone that will hinder your dog from doing anything. The soft collar is ideal for dogs that will not most likely lick the wound or the skin irritation. Since the Soft E-collar does not maintain shape, make sure that the affected area will not be reached by your dog.

The collar serves a comfortable movement to your pooch so that eating, drinking and sleeping will not be hard to do despite wearing a dog collar. 

2. Inflatable E-Collars

Inflatable dog collar serves the same purpose as the traditional dog cone collar. It will also prevent your dog from licking the wounds but with comfort and flexibility to move. You can compare it to a human’s pillow neck. Thus,it will be easier for your dog to sleep while wearing the dog collar because of its soft texture. 

The Inflatable collar is durable and will not be easily ruined by your dog.

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3. Neck Control Collars

The Neck Control Collars will immobilize your dog’s neck. They can’t move their neck thus everything they’re going to do will be straightforward. The collar will not hinder your dog from running because the collar will not get on the door, furniture or the wall. However, the collar can affect the throat of your dog. It is similar to neck brace for humans.

4. Surgical Recovery Clothing

The good thing about this one is that it is not a cone but a piece of clothing that will cover your dog’s entire body. Your dog can’t lick or bite specific wounds or injuries because of the clothing. However, this can be difficult if your dog is not familiar with wearing any clothing. They may feel annoyed or irritated with the Surgical Recovery Clothing.

5. DIY Collar

You can be creative and make your own dog cone using cardboard. Although you have to make sure that the material is durable and won’t be untangled when your dog moves around because you might risk the chance of them licking the wounds or getting in pain. 

By picking an alternative for a dog cone you can help your dog get comfortable. Don’t settle for a traditional E-collar when you have a lot of options to choose from. Comfy cones are the best but make sure it serves the purpose as well.

Photo from: (@normanthebordercollie)

Factors to Consider Before Buying a Cone Alternative

Before you even begin shopping for a cone alternative. Here are the things you should do first to avoid worsening your dog’s condition.

1. Ask Permission to the Doctor

Yes, you have to consult your dog’s vet first before you buy or remove the dog cone. There are different situations and different doctors that prefer living the cone on or allowing to have an alternative. Here’s for sure, if the doctor says to leave the cone untouched and not changed, then you have to follow. The doctor knows the proper medication and the very thing that can help your dog. You might think that your dog is having a hard time adjusting, but if the doctor says no then there’s not much you can do. Help your dog instead and be a loving pet owner for your dog’s fast recovery.

2. Wound Location

If the doctor is approved of having an alternative cone, then the second thing to consider is the location of the wound. You can identify the type of cone you’re going to have based on it. Avoid soft comfy cones that are flexible in shape if the wound or irritation is in the paws or tail. If the wound is in the back then best have a neck collar for a fixed direction of the head. You can’t just base everything on what you research and read, have an analysis on your choices as well.

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3. Fear and Irritation of Dogs

Of course, another thing to consider is the allergies, irritation and fear of your dogs. You may have a dog that is easily irritated around the neck. In addition, your dog may not approve of the dog cone materials like velcro strap or cotton in the surgical recovery clothing. Furthermore, plastic collar cones can be noisy when bumping to other things, dogs may easily fear the noise and get scared.

4. Dog’s Emotions

In general, dog’s lives are based on routine because there’s not much they can do plus unlike humans they are limited to one place. Therefore, if certain changes happen they may get stressed and have anxiety. When your dog approves of the traditional cone and looks fine with it then don’t insist on a change for they may find it stressful. If you do need to have another type of collar then put on your best effort to calm and secure them at all times. 

Problems When Dog Has a Dog Cone

Problems arise when using a dog cone or commonly called Elizabethan Collar. The survey conducted by Dr. Fawcett tested the dog’s quality of life while using a dog cone. They’ve invited 434 respondents coming from different countries and the majority of the feedback is that their dogs are in worse cases while using the Elizabethan Collar. The study concluded that dogs are in distress while using the dog cone and as a result will cause stress to the owners too.

Here are the cons you might encounter while using a Dog Cone:

*Difficulty in Drinking Water in a Bowl.

*Difficulty in Eating their meals.

*Limited movement while playing.

*Inability to use peripheral vision.

*Bumping into walls.

*Psychological distress

*Irritation around the dog’s neck

*Falling down the stairs.

*Difficulty passing in the dog door.

*Uncomfortable situation in crate.

Consider the alternatives above to avoid the worst in your pet’s life.

How Long Should a Dog Wear Cone?

When the dog undergoes a surgery, the owner should make it’s dog pet wear the dog cone for 7 to 10 days. During the healing process the cone should not be removed for faster recovery of the incision on dogs. However, this does not mean that you will automatically remove the cone after 10 days. You still need to consult the veterinarian to make sure that your dog is completely healed. That is the only moment you will remove the dog cone.

During the 10 days period, consider cleaning the cone as well because it might have a bad smell. In addition, you have to remember that the wound is going to be very itchy when it’s healing. Watch out for the wounds or any behaviour that they will do to ease the irritation and itching.

Photo from: (@miloelchiwi)

How to Make Dog Cone More Comfortable? 

1. Assist on Dog’s Eating and Drinking

You can help your dog do basic tasks that may become difficult when the Dog Cone is around. When they can’t reach the water or food, try raising the food just enough so they can eat and drink. Place the bowl in diagonal so that they will not exert too much effort.

2. Guide Your Dog

There are tendencies that your dog will bump into a wall or can’t get through a door. You need to guide them as they walk on the door and open it wide enough. You can also remove obstruction like furniture or items that may get in the way of your dog. Give them more space in the house so that they will not be annoyed or frustrated when they bump into any items.

3. Drain The Dog’s Energy

The dog won’t mind that they have a dog cone if they are happy and too present at the moment. It’s nice to give them long walks so that when you get home, they will be tired and will sleep even if the dog cone is still in their necks.

4. Adjust The Dog Cone

The cone may be too fit for your dog. You should be able to put two fingers between the neck and the collar to avoid them from choking but make sure that it isn’t loose. Remove the hard edges on the cone and clean the neck for proper hygiene.

Photo from: (@tailsandtrails21)

We can’t prevent our dog’s from getting sick. There will come a time that eventually they will have to wear a dog cone because of the surgery. As a dog parent, make sure that you have insurance for your dog or you have money reserved whenever they need an operation. In addition, bear in mind that you have to protect the incision so that both of you and the dog will not have to go back to the vet for a re-surgery.