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- Not a substitute for professional veterinary help.
If your dog had surgery or suffers from hot spots, you may be frustrated with the plain old Elizabethan collar from your local vet. The cone of shame certainly gets the job done, but sleeping, eating, drinking, and generally being a dog can be tough while wearing a giant white lampshade. Luckily, we’ve rounded up some great alternatives to the cone that work just as well. The options include these six basic types:
- Soft e-collars
- Inflatable collars
- Neck control collars
- The comfy cone
- Surgical recovery clothing
- DIY jacket or collar
Whatever your choice, make sure your cone alternative adequately protects the injury site. And don’t forget that even when wearing the cone, dogs need supervision after surgery. So book an experienced pet sitter or find a dog lover to drop by during the day if you can’t be around to monitor.
Comfortable and affordable, these soft alternatives to the cone are ideal for dogs who aren’t likely to chew or lick vigorously. If your pet is likely to leave the affected area alone with a mild deterrent, these collars offer great mobility at a very reasonable price point.
Check out three of our favorite e-collars.
The ElizaSoft is an inexpensive e-collar solution. A determined licker will quickly figure out how to nose the material out of the way. However, a calm pet will enjoy the mobility and comfort.Find on Amazon
This adorable cone alternative will cheer you up, even if your dog isn’t quite sold.Shop on Chewy
These puffy, padded alternatives to the cone won’t work for power chewers, but they’re very comfortable for supervised breaks from the traditional cone. They offer increased mobility, as well.
This is a comfy inflatable option with a cozy fabric cover and affordable price point.Shop on Chewy
Neck Control Collar
These collars are also an alternative to the cone and work by immobilizing your dog’s neck. They’re a stronger deterrent than the soft e-collars, though determined chewers can often find a way around them.
Sturdier than the inflatables. Not recommended for protecting ears or eyes, though!Find on Amazon
The Comfy Cone
The best of both worlds when it comes to traditional cone alternatives! This cone is soft and adjustable, yet prevents most dogs from accessing their injury site.
Easy to clean and adjustable, plus, can be reinforced with plastic spines. Comes in a range of sizes and depths, with extender pieces to further customize the fit.Shop on Chewy
Surgical Recovery Clothing
This is just what it sounds like—an outfit, rather than a cone per se. If your dog tolerates clothing, we love the flexibility and coverage of this option.
This vet-approved outfit is washable and comes in fun cheerful patterns, and offers a range of styles to cover different injury zones.Shop on Chewy
DIY Alternative to the Cone
You may find that a human t-shirt, sweatshirt, or baby onesie and a couple rolls of 3M Vetrap will keep surgery areas adequately covered. Not sure how to begin? Here are some DIY guides to get you started.
Custom Post Surgery Shirt
Custom fit a post-surgical jacket with an old shirt and safety pins. This method will work equally well for smaller dogs. For larger dogs, you won’t need safety pins. A big knot on the bottom hem of a shirt will keep it in place, or you may have to improvise a little.
DIY neck control collar
For more tips on caring for your dog’s needs, check out our articles below.
- The 7 Best Dog Shampoos for Skin Allergies
- Car Sickness in Dogs: Why it Happens and How to Help
- How to Create an Emergency Preparedness Plan for Your Pets
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