What You Need to Know About Dog Cones

What You Need to Know About Dog Cones

Author WDF Staff


Seeing your dog wear a cone might be pretty funny. They look like adorable lamps that are pretty mad at their cones. The reason behind a dog wearing it is not that funny, and let's hope you and your dog never find yourselves in that situation.

The truth is that dogs can get into trouble in no time. It doesn't even have to be their fault. They might require surgery, and preventing them from licking their wounds is for their own good. If you find yourself in a "coney" situation, here is what you need to know about dog cones.

Why dog cones?

Dog cones are a great tool to stop a dog from licking or picking at a wound or any irritation on their bodies. It is almost certain that your dog will have to wear it at one point in their life, either after being neutered or stoping them from causing an infection.

"Dog cone" is a popular name most dog owners use. The original name is the Elizabethan collar because it resembles the high collars people used to wear during Elizabethan times in England. The name dog cone is pretty simple - it looks like a cone, and it is for dogs.

dog with cone

Why is it important to stop dogs licking wounds?

Dog's saliva helps heal the wounds and even has some antibacterial properties. However, it is not an effective way of helping yourself or your dog to recover. If your dog has a stitched incision wound after a medical procedure, the wound must dry.

Constant licking or scratching of the affected area makes for an ideal bacteria breeding ground. A dog collar is a great tool that will prevent your dog from doing just that. It will help the wound dry and heal. If you allow your dog to lick the wound, they can cause an infection and significantly prolong the healing time.

How would you react if your dog ate something poisonous? Dog owners can find themselves in sticky situations, so here is what you need to know about making your dog throw up.

What if my dog doesn't like wearing it?

Most dog owners face this problem, and you have every right to be worried about that. Most dogs hate wearing it because it prevents them from doing things the way they are used to. Your dog will most likely try and get the dog cone off and have trouble adjusting to it. Make sure you prep your dog for one.

How to prep your dog for a cone?

The best way to prep your dog for a dog cone is that you pick a dog cone before the actual surgery and recovery process. Give your dog some time to get familiar with it.

Get the cone about three days before surgery and start teaching your dog that wearing a dog cone is normal and something they will have to endure for some time. Here is how you do it;

  • Day one - Ask your vet for a dog cone or order it online from a shop with pet supplies. Make sure you pick one that will be as comfortable as possible. Let your dog sniff it and leave it next to them for a couple of hours. Make sure you give your dog plenty of treats, so you associate it with a positive experience.
  • Day two - Slowly get your dog to wear a cone for at least 5-10 minutes. When you do get the cone on your dog, again, use the treats.
  • Day three - At this time, your dog should understand what happens when the cone comes out. Have your dog wear it for a couple of hours until they get as comfortable as possible with it. Give them treats to reinforce their good behavior.

Keep in mind that three days might not be enough, and some dogs require significantly longer. If your dog has trouble adjusting to it, you can start the process 5 - 7 days before surgery.

How long should a dog wear it?

Ideally, a dog should wear a cone for at least 7 - 10 days. The idea is to have them wear it until their wounds are completely healed. The worst thing you could do is to take the cone off too early and see your dog licked and scratched the wound until it started bleeding again.

This period is usually enough for wounds to heal to not be affected by scratching or licking. Before you decide to take it off your dog, make sure you talked to your vet that approved removing the cone.

Nearly all dogs end up having tummy problems. Here is an article that will help you cope with this issue - Dog Diarrhea: What You Need To Know.

Are there any alternatives?

Let's face it; wearing a long, plastic collar wouldn't be comfortable for anyone. Your dog will probably hate it, and some dogs refuse to go for walks, drink, or eat while wearing a cone. Knowing what available alternatives are is probably a good idea. Here are the most popular alternatives to dog cones.

Inflatable collar

The first alternative to the cone is an inflatable collar. It is a bit comfier for your dog, and it looks and feels just like a human neck pillow. However, dogs might reach their wounds, so inflatable collars are best used for upper body injuries.

E collar

E collars might not look nice, but they are a hefty alternative that is a lot more comfortable for the dog. This is an excellent solution for active dogs that are used to going at full speed.

Soft collar

A soft collar is (in our opinion) the best alternative for a dog cone. It is bendy, and it allows dogs to lay, sit, and walk without causing discomfort. Plus, it is less likely to cause skin irritations.

Recovery suit

Recovery suits are bodysuits that will cover your dog's wounds. They are usually made of soft fabrics, so there is no need to worry about harming the affected area. They come in all sorts of designs and sizes.

World Dog Finder team

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