6 Post-Surgery Cones and Collars for Dogs
Surviving an injury or surgery can be painful, particularly an ACL/CCL injury that needs surgery. The dreaded and uncomfortable “cone of shame” is the last thing anyone wants.
We’ve all witnessed a dog’s love-hate relationship with a cone or collar, sometimes called e-collars, as they recuperate from surgery or injuries.
Dogs are discouraged from licking or chewing the affected region with cones and e-collars. If not prevented, this could result in loose stitches, infection, or ingested topical drugs. Cones and e-collars are generally disliked by dogs. Before any treatment or injury, your dog must be fitted for his cone or e-collar (when possible).
Today, I’m offering ideas and methods for creating a happy cone or e-collar experience for your dog through thoughtful discussion and advice.
But first, let’s look through the properties that make cones and e-collars a smart choice for a comfortable recovery.
What Makes E-collars and Cones Such a Good Choice for Your Dog?
When choosing a dog cone or e-collar, it’s important to think about whether or not the setting and circumstances actually require one. If a cone or e-collar isn’t required, there’s no need to stress Buster or Fido out.
Dog cones and e-collars, as previously indicated, prevent pets from licking, gnawing, or scratching a rash, wound, or incision. Cones and e-collars should never be used on dogs as punishment or behavioral training. Cones and e-collars are only meant to be used for a brief period until the patient has fully recovered and healed.
The following characteristics are frequently found in the best dog cones and e-collars that provide a comfortable experience:
- First and foremost, the cone or e-collar should not be removed by the dog.
- Sturdy, long-lasting, and simple to clean and maintain
- With a current dog collar, it’s simple for the owner to apply and remove.
- Neither too big nor too small
- Protects the rash, wound, or incision from being tampered with or adversely affected.
- Do not suffocate the dog or prevent him from breathing, sleeping, moving, eating, or drinking.
- Furniture, floors, walls, and other household goods are not scratched or damaged.
Consider the following six top cone and e-collar alternatives. You know the critical considerations and recommendations about making dog cones and e-collars good options.
1. The Original Comfy Cone Recovery Collar
All Four Paws’ The Original Comfy Cone is one of the most highly regarded and praised dog cones. This is a soft and pleasant folding recovery e-cone constructed from foam and water-resistant nylon easy to clean and maintain.
This e-cone also features a heavy-duty hook-and-loop closure to keep the collar in place. So no “now it’s on one minute and off the next” Houdini business for Buster or Fido.
Furthermore, the Comfy Cone features a reflective outer edge for walking safety, as it is lovingly known. It’s also reversible for use, with a removable plastic to offer structure when needed and the ability to fold flat for convenient storage.
Last but not least, this e-cone has a 4-star Amazon rating and comes in seven different sizes and two different colors. Small, medium/x-long, big, X large, and XX-large are available sizes. Black and tan are the predominant hues.
2. The Protective Inflatable Collar
Bencmate’s Protective Inflatable Collar is a great option if you’re looking for a more modern cone or e-collar design. There will be no more shame cones. This innovative gadget performs the same functions like an old-school cone or e-collar without obstructing your dog’s peripheral vision.
Believe me when I say that your dog will adore this function. This e-collar has received over 11,000 reviews and 4 stars, making it an Amazon Best Seller.
This light e-collar reminds me of passengers’ neck pillows on airlines, especially when completely inflated. Regardless of whether it’s inflated or deflated, this e-collar is cost-effective to use and store.
The Protective Inflatable Collar is sturdy, washable, and soft. Unlike standard stiff plastic cones and collars, it will not scratch surfaces. The Protective Inflatable Collar comes in five different sizes and two different colors. X-small, small, medium, big, and X-large are available sizes. Blue and gray are the predominant hues.
3. ZenPet Adjustable ProCone E-Collar
The feel of the ZenPet Adjustable ProCone E-Collar is the first thing to notice. Compared to other dog cones and e-collars, it is softer and more flexible. The ZenPet Adjustable ProCone E-Collar is constructed of extremely thin polymers coated in cushioned material for extra comfort.
Furthermore, the windows in this velcro adjustable e-collar have been engineered to not entirely block or remove your dog’s peripheral view.
One of my favorite features of this 4-star-rated e-collar is its versatility in that it can be used for both dogs and cats! This lightweight e-collar is simple to clean and maintain, and it protects your dog (or cat) from injuries, rashes, and post-surgery wounds like a champ. It comes in four distinct sizes (small, medium, large, and X large) and only one color (solid gray).
4. Alfie Pet Designer E-Collar
One of the most popular e-collars for dogs and cats is a true designer e-collar that stands head and shoulders above the competition. The Alfie Pet E-Collar, also known as the Noah Recovery Collar, is one of the best options and investments. You’ll make it if you want all of the standard measures of a typical cone or e-collar. You’ll rack up massive doggy or kitten points with your adoring four-legged family member.
This 4-star rated pet e-collar is comfortable, lightweight, soft, and fashionable. Its simple velcro adjustment fastening makes loosening and tightening a pleasure. Unfortunately, the rigidity of this e-collar is not the best, allowing pets to bite at it.
Nonetheless, this fashionable e-collar is available in six sizes and several styles. The designs are flowers, lions, crabs, cows, bees, giraffes, frogs, bunnies, and donuts. There are six sizes available: X small, small, medium, large, X large, and XX-large.
5. KZ Soft Collar
KZ Soft Collar, one of the most affordable collars on the market, features a unique drawstring collar. Whether the sufferer is a dog or a cat, this drawstring collar enables a one-size-fits-all approach to recovery and healing.
While this is not my preferred cone or collar, it is a clever inflatable design. However, it is only recommended for pets with fewer than 6 inches of neck circumference. However, 600+ buyers have given it a 4-star rating despite this limitation.
6. Adjustable Recovery Dog Cone and Collar
Don’t buy the Pro Collar’s Adjustable Recovery Dog Cone if your dog, cat, or other pet dislikes cones and collars. This low-cost cone and collar are just what the doctor prescribed if your pet is low-maintenance and laid-back. It will ensure a quick and healthy recovery.
The most fundamental of cones and collars. It does, however, boast a 4-star rated, lightweight, ergonomic design that has been purchased and reviewed by over 2700 people. The neck opening is a soft polyester fabric protected by a sturdy PVC substance. This adjustable cone and collar are pretty firm and comfortable, even if it doesn’t have the same sturdiness as the competition.
Finally, the Adjustable Recovery Dog Cone comes in seven different sizes and two different colors: blue and pink. The following are the available sizes: x-small, small, medium, big, X Large, 2X Large, 3X Large, 4X Large, and 5X large are some of the sizes available.
Best Dog Cones and E-Collars to Help With Healing
Typically, this entails licking the area to remove debris and slathering it with saliva. However, while this is a helpful adaptation for treating tiny wounds, encouraging it is not always desirable.
Licking and biting are activities that might exacerbate some wounds in dogs. They can cause tiny wounds to become large and swiftly cut through sutures with their teeth, resulting in severe complications.
Therefore, it is frequently vital to prevent certain behaviors, so your dog can recover. E-collars – those lamp-shade-like devices occasionally seen on dogs – are one of the most effective ways to stop destructive licking and gnawing tendencies.
E-collars are called cones, rehabilitation collars, and “cones of shame.”
Dogs typically dislike wearing them, but this is one of those instances where you must force them to do something they dislike for their own benefit.
Below, we will explore the many types of E-collars, the scenarios in which they are useful, and the five best solutions now available.
Quick Picks: Best E-Collars For Canine Recovery
Comfy Zone Recovery Collar. [Top All-Around] This foam and nylon foldable e-cone provide a soft, comfortable environment for your dog’s recovery. Easily cleanable and available in multiple sizes.
KONG EZ Soft E-Collar is the best option for little dogs. This Kong e-collar made of soft cloth is soothing and comfy. With a drawstring to facilitate sizing modifications.
The Alfie Pets Noah Recovery Collar is the cutest electronic collar. This soft plush e-collar features a beautiful lion pattern. Maintain your dog’s cuteness while she rests. Suitable for Halloween as well! (XS-XXL)
What Does “E” Stand for in “E-Collar”?
The term “Elizabethan collar” is what the letter “E” in “E-collar” alludes to, and this term describes the styles of collars that were popular throughout this era. I believe your dog already feels more polished!
Different Types of E-Collars
E-collars are designed to hinder your dog; they restrict her from reaching her haunches, back, or stomach with her mouth. However, they accomplish this accomplishment in various ways, and you can choose from three basic designs.
The rigid E-collar design has been around the longest of the three. These are the iconic “lampshade” collars designed to go around your dog’s neck and stretch in front of her face.
They are normally fabricated from plastic that is only partially flexible, and they are very efficient. Means of preventing your dog from gnawing and licking virtually any region of her body. Despite this, there is a possibility that she can still reach some of her front legs.
Rigid e-collars have one major drawback, and that is that dogs despise wearing them. The most uncomfortable of the three design styles, they obstruct your dog’s peripheral vision and are the least recommended. Because of this, some dogs become anxious. In addition, because they wrap over the top of your dog’s head, it is difficult for canines to move freely throughout the house. In addition to that, they have an absurd appearance.
Flexible E-collars are comparable to rigid E-collars in general. However, they are comprised of softer and more flexible materials as opposed to semi-rigid plastic. They are frequently constructed from thin plastic or cardboard cushioned cones to provide additional comfort.
Flexible E-collars are far more pleasant for dogs to wear, and they won’t make noise when your dog runs into door frames or other household barriers. They are significantly less effective than rigid cones. Their flexibility gives your dog more wiggle room to reach her muzzle close enough to her wound to lick it.
In general, however, flexible E-collars provide a decent blend of effectiveness and comfort.
Inflatable E-collars resemble neck pillows used on aircraft after falling into a hole. They have a sturdy and comfy material-coated inflatable bladder. Typically, a strap is supplied to attach the collar around your dog’s neck.
These operate similarly to electronic collars; the inflatable bladder stops your dog from moving her head back far enough to reach most of her body. However, inflatable E-collars offer some advantages that other collar designs do not.
For instance, because inflatable collars do not obstruct a dog’s peripheral vision, they can help some dogs remain calmer while wearing them. In addition, inflatable E-collars are perhaps the most comfortable of the three basic styles. They are also extremely lightweight and will likely have the least impact on your dog’s mobility.
Inflatable electronic collars are not as effective as stiff or flexible collars. They may not prevent your dog from reaching certain wounds if it is determined and adaptable.
When Is an E-Collar Necessary?
E-collars are occasionally helpful tools, but you don’t need to put one on your dog anytime she sustains a small injury. Most dogs dislike wearing them; therefore, you should select your locations carefully.
In general, you should consider fitting your dog with an E-collar if any of the four situations below apply:
1. Dogs Recovering from Significant Wounds
Suppose your dog has a major wound, including a surgical incision. In that case, you should equip her with an E-collar to prevent her from licking the wound and delaying its recovery. For surgeries such as spaying and neutering, veterinarians frequently recommend e-collars.
2. Dogs Suffering from Repetitive Licking Issues
Some dogs acquire behavioral issues that cause them to repeatedly lick or chew an area. This can lead to several health problems, including lick granulomas, so you’ll need to use an E-collar to prevent the behavior. At the same time, you work on addressing the underlying issue.
3. Allergies and other Skin Issues
E-collars are frequently useful for keeping dogs with allergies or skin conditions from continuously licking and clawing their skin. An E-collar can help your dog recuperate while you and your veterinarian address the underlying source of the problem. As you do not want her to go insane from scratching.
4. Anytime Your Vet Recommends It
Your veterinarian may suggest using an electronic collar to keep your dog from licking or gnawing on her body. During your visit, the vet’s office will often provide you with an E-collar. Still, it will usually be inexpensive and rigid, so you may want to upgrade to a more comfortable version.
The Five Best Dog Cones and E-Collars
The dog E-collar market is surprisingly crowded, making it difficult to narrow down your choice s. However, we’ve outlined the top five possibilities below.
1. KONG EZ Soft E-Collar for Cats and Dogs
Flexibility is the key to the KONG EZ Soft E-Collar, designed to keep your dog chewing and licking to a minimum without driving her insane.
Instead of PVC or cardboard, the collar is made from a piece of flexible fabric and has an inside wire to maintain its shape.
The collar material is fairly flexible and provides a great deal of giving to prevent your dog from knocking over objects while wearing it. It also allows the dog to sleep peacefully with the cone on.
This collar has an adjustable drawstring that allows you to snugly fit it around your dog’s neck. This aids in its retention and prevents your dog from slipping.
2. Alfie Pet Recovery Collar
The Alfie Pet Recovery Collar demonstrates that while your dog recuperates, she can still be lovely. This plush E-collar, designed to make your dog look like a ferocious lion, allows you to display your dog’s humorous side while keeping her from gnawing on her wounds and flea bites.
And if you dislike the lion motif, you may make your dog resemble a frog or a flower.
This E-collar is constructed from a piece of luxurious, flexible fabric. Completing the lion’s mane appearance are two adorable ears and a little ruffled material around the circle. As a matter of fact, this E-collar would certainly make a decent costume for your dog.
A Velcro fastening keeps the collar in place and makes it simple to put on or take off as necessary. Additionally, the Alfie Pet Recovery Collar is machine-washable, making it simple to keep clean and look wonderful.
3. Vivifying Pet Cone
The Vivifying Pet Cone is an E-collar conventionally. Nonetheless, numerous major improvements make it superior to E-collars of the past.
PROTECT YOUR PETS AS WELL AS YOURSELF – The pet cone will shield your wound from your pets’ teeth or paws.
Puppies, small dogs, and cats are all welcome here. At 4 inches/10 cm, it is the deepest part of the neck.
While most Vivifying Pet Cone is composed of relatively rigid PVC plastic, the neck region and outer rim are coated in plush flannel. This will not only make your dog’s neck more comfortable, but it will also reduce the impact she experiences when she runs into walls or furniture.
The Vivifying Pet Cone is held in place by three snaps, and the neck opening can be adjusted to accommodate your dog. Therefore, you should not be too concerned with measuring for the correct fit.
This product comes with a lifetime warranty and a money-back guarantee that ensures your complete pleasure.
4. Comfy Cone Pet Recovery Collar
About: The Comfy Cone Recovery Collar is a soft e-collar that has been authorized by veterinarians and is meant to keep your dog comfortable. At the same time, she requires the protection an e-collar provides.
- Soft cone-shaped e-collar with foam-backed cushioned nylon Velcro closures for adjustable fit, reversibility, and simple on-and-off.
- Removable plastic supports for adding structure as required
- Soap and water can be used to clean water-resistant or water-repellent materials.
Features: The Comfy Cone is constructed of foam-backed padded nylon and is intended to keep your dog comfortable as she eats, drinks, or sleeps.
The cone is reversible and has Velcro closures to ensure a snug fit, but you will need to thread your dog’s collar through multiple loops on the cone to secure it.
As desired, thin plastic pieces can be inserted or withdrawn from the cone to alter its rigidity. Reflective binding along the collar’s edging makes your dog more visible to passing cars. It also prevents you from tripping over your dog to the kitchen at midnight.
The Comfy Cone is resistant to water and simple to clean with soap and water.
5. E-KOMG Inflatable Dog Collar
The E-KOMG Inflatable Dog Collar is designed with a neck-pillow configuration to provide maximum comfort. It prevents your dog from reaching her body by stopping her from fully retracing her neck.
A flexible, air-filled bladder constitutes the E-KOMG Inflatable Dog Collar. You can inflate or deflate the vest as needed to obtain a good fit, creating a few loops through which you will thread your dog’s collar. A strap to help maintain the collar’s position.
You don’t have to be concerned about your dog puncturing the inner bladder because the collar is resistant to bites and scratches. If necessary, you can wash the collar by removing the outside cover.
Dog Cone Collar Alternatives: Some Other Options
E-collars and cones are fairly efficient methods for protecting your dog’s body from his gnawing and licking activity. They are not, however, the only game in town. Several E-collar options could work for you and your pet.
The Bitenot Collar
The Bitenot Collar is a flexible plastic and foam sleeve worn around your dog’s neck. It resembles a human neck brace. However, unlike E-collars, which impede your dog’s movement, the Bitenot Collar inhibits your dog’s head movement.
The Bitenot Collar is ineffective for safeguarding your dog’s face, as he can still access these regions with his paws. It may also provide access to the dog’s front legs, especially the lower regions. However, it will end up licking and chewing the body’s hindquarters. Most dogs will likely find it more pleasant and less embarrassing than an E-cone.
Remove this collar off your dog periodically, as the plastic material may collect moisture close to the skin. This can result in skin injuries, so give your dog’s neck a break from time to time to allow his skin to dry (but keep a watch on him!).
The Optivisor is a shield made of transparent plastic designed to protect your dog’s face. It is not a suitable option for dogs that bite or chew their skin; rather, it is intended for dogs with facial injuries. It safeguards your dog’s face against his paws, but not his lips.
The Optivisor resembles a transparent welding mask. It contains Velcro straps that are adjustable, allowing for a secure attachment. A chin strap is also provided to prevent the collar from flapping and allow your dog to slip a paw underneath.
According to some owners, this product provides the exact type of protection their dog needs. It doesn’t bang into things like conventional E-collars. Other owners, on the other hand, stated that their dogs loathed wearing the gadget, and many were able to quickly remove it.
Homemade Dog Cones: DIY Options
Dog neck cones are not exactly complex devices, so you might want to try creating your own. There are numerous techniques to create an E-collar, but the easiest and most effective methods are as follows:
1. Bucket Collar
A bucket collar is one of the more straightforward DIY cone designs, although it can be somewhat bulky.
Simply cut a hole in the bottom of the bucket and put it over the dog’s head. Cut a few small holes in the bottom of the bucket so you can secure it to your dog’s collar with zip ties.
Before putting rough edges on your dog, you should send them to prevent damage. Note that depending on your needs, you can put this on your dog facing forward or backward. There is not much more to this, and there are no excellent online tutorials, but you may learn more about this concept here.
2. Towel Collar
Protective cones (and related devices) need not be intricate to perform their function. Using an old towel, you may often keep your dog from licking or gnawing on his body.
Before wrapping the towel over your dog’s neck, you should fold it once or twice, depending on his size. You no longer need a string or belt to secure it.
Towel collars function similarly to soft collars and Bitenot Collars, so they will not restrict your dog’s access to his front legs. However, they can prevent your dog from gnawing on the back half of his body and are likely comfortable for most dogs.
3. Cardboard Cone
Even though the finished product might not look great, a piece of cardboard can be used in a pinch to make a pretty good E-collar. Cardboard cones will not last as long as solid plastic cones. Still, they will generally suffice, and most individuals should already have the necessary supplies.
It’ll take some work to plan out the cone and cut it to the right size. Still, it is not terribly difficult to do so – you can check out this vichedeo below to see the process step-by-step. In an ideal situation, you will already have a plastic E-collar to utilize as a template.
Cardboard cones will not last as long as solid plastic cones. Still, they will generally suffice, and most individuals should already have the necessary supplies.
4. Paper Plate Barrier
A simple paper plate can sometimes be enough to keep your dog safe and let them heal in peace. Paper plates won’t work for big dogs, but they can be very useful for small breeds.
You can make a barrier out of a paper plate by cutting a hole in the middle. Near the small end, punch a few small holes for strings. Tie the strings to your dog’s collar, then slip the bag over his head. Pull the strings tight, and that’s it! You can also cut a cone out of cardboard the same way you would cut out a collar.
There aren’t a lot of good tutorials for making these kinds of collars. But these are easy to make, and since paper plates are cheap, you can just try different things until you get them right. But if you want to see a cat modeling one in action.
5. Protective Clothing
You don’t have to use e-cones or collars to stop your dog from licking or chewing on wounds or itchy skin. Many times, you can also protect your body with protective clothing.
An old T-shirt is frequently the most effective remedy if your dog’s wound is on the front of his body. If the problem is on the back of his body, put him in an old pair of underwear or boxer shorts. Using men’s boxers or underpants, you can turn them inside out and let your dog’s tail go through the fly.
If the problem area is on one of your dog’s legs, you can just use an Ace Bandage or a long strip of fabric to cover it.
Most of the time, you’ll have to try out different kinds of clothing to find the right one for your dog. So get a few different clothes, zip ties, and clips (which can help keep the clothes in place), and use your imagination. You can also buy clothes for your dog to wear after surgery if you’d rather.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cones and Collars for Dogs Post Surgery and Injury Recovery
Alternatives to Store-Bought Dog Cones: Soft Collars. E-Collars are made of flexible fabric. E-Collars that inflate. Clothing or Onesies
Ten to fourteen days. The time has come for ‘tough love.’ The cone should be worn for the duration of the healing process and/or until the sutures are removed. Typically, sutures and staples are left in place for ten to fourteen days. Other lesions may heal more quickly or more slowly.
Dogs can sleep, eat, drink, urinate, and defecate with a cone on. The more stiff the cone (officially referred to as an Elizabethan collar or E-collar for short) is, the faster your dog will adapt to it.
If your pet is having trouble with the cone, there is a simple DIY solution that will keep them comfortable while they heal at home. You can build a “jacket” for your pet out of an old T-shirt, which can cover wounds or scars similarly to the cone.
Inflatable collars, soft E-collars, and neck brace collars are alternatives to the “cone of shame.” To prevent licking, wrap the area with soft fabric sealed with medical tape. Keep pets occupied with other enjoyable activities to keep them from licking wounds.
While your dog heals, a cone should be worn for about a week. “Usually, seven to ten days is all you need,” explains Ochoa. The cone should be worn throughout the dog’s rehabilitation, much more so if you will be unable to monitor her.
Your pet feels depressed due to the cone placed over their stitches to protect them. Researchers from the Sydney School of Veterinary Science, a branch of the University of Sydney, have shown that the cone, or “Elizabethan collar,” has a negative impact on both animals and their owners.
Normal eating and drinking should be achievable with a correctly sized and adjusted collar. Try feeding them from a shallow dish or plate if your dog regularly eats or drinks from a deep bowl but refuses to do so while wearing the collar.
Resting their coned head on a rolled blanket or pillow can be significantly more comfortable. Numerous advantages exist. When calm and relaxed in the cone, shower them with positive reinforcement. Treats and attention reassure them that they are doing the right thing.
When your dog sticks his nose out straight, the wide end of the cone should be slightly shorter than his nose. Even when wearing the cone collar, your dog should be able to reach his mouth to his food and water bowls with the right fitting.
These neck pillows come in various sizes and can be a more comfortable option than an e-collar. Simply inflate the pillow before wrapping it around your dog’s neck and securing it with Velcro. Without obstructing your dog’s view, the pillow will prevent him from biting, scratching, or licking.