When and how to use a dog cone

The Cone

Image Credit: Geoff Stearns

Most dogs after surgery are required to wear an Elizabethan collar, also known as the cone. You may have already visited a dog brace website if your dog injured their leg and required surgery, and the E-collar or Elizabethan cone is used to prevent dogs from licking and chewing their surgical incision. Without the cone a dog could cause irritation, infection and other more serious problems that could lead to another surgery. This cone happens to be every dog’s and owner’s worst nightmare, this is due to the fact that dogs usually don’t feel very comfortable wearing it. The key to making your dog like wearing it is making sure that he/she does not perceive the cone as a punishment.


Preparation for dogs is essential and they like to be introduced to new things gradually, so it is best that you introduce them to the cone before going to surgery. This means that they will get used to it before having to actually wear. You can make them wear it longer and longer periods until they get used to it.

If no preparation was done

It is common that we don’t prepare before things happen, so if you haven’t prepared your dog for wearing a cone it’s OK. But in this case you will have to be strict with your dog regarding the cone, and don’t take it off unless it is necessary. The only necessity that you will encounter is when your dog can’t eat. Other than that, please don’t take the cone off. We assure you that your dog will get used to it faster than you will. Read also on how to prepare your dog for wearing a muzzle.

Concerns regarding the cone

The cone will limit your dog’s vision most of the time so be prepared that your dog will maybe have a few accidents with the furniture and your legs. Your dog may have difficulty while eating but if you adjust the place of his/her bowl it should be OK.

Are there alternatives?

If your dog is one of the few dogs who found the cone impossible you can ask your vet for other alternatives. These alternatives include other softer version of the E-collar, T-shirts or even bandages.

Remember that the e-collar is beneficial for both you and your dog without it you could spend a lot more than necessary.

Written by Farah Khaled
Sources: Pet Plan , The Nest , Pet Health Network


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