5 Alternatives to the Dreaded Cone of Shame
A source of amusement for owners, the cone of shame has been a burden hanging around the necks of pets for years. If you want to ditch the lamp shade, try one of these safe alternatives.
As a dog owner, there will come a time when you will have to subject your dog to the dreaded “cone of shame” – the Elizabethan collar (also known as the e-collar). Not only do these collars make your dog look like a walking satellite dish, but they can be stressful and upsetting for some pooches.
If you want to keep your dog from licking his stitches or otherwise accessing an injured body part, consider one of these alternatives.
- Inflatable neck pillow: You’re probably familiar with those circular pillows that people use to sleep on airplanes – inflatable neck pillows for dogs look similar. These neck pillows come in several different sizes and can be a comfortable alternative to the e-collar. To use one of these, simply inflate the pillow then place it around your dog’s neck and secure it with Velcro. The pillow will prevent your dog from biting, scratching, or licking without impeding his vision.
- Soft collars: This option looks like a fabric version of the e-collar. It usually has the same shape and approximate size as an e-collar but it’s made from fabric with plastic reinforcement. Many dogs find that this type of collar is more comfortable than the plastic alternative, but some models can be fairly heavy which may make them a poor choice for small dogs. The benefit is that the collar is washable and adjustable to fit different neck sizes.
- Neck brace collar: This type of collar looks like a neck brace but it’s designed to keep your dog from bending his neck enough to lick, bite, or chew the affected area. These collars are usually made from flexible plastic and foam and they can be adjusted to fit different sizes. While this option may be less obstructive and unwieldy than the typical e-collar, it may still cause your dog some discomfort.
- Inflatable neck balloon: Similar to the inflatable neck pillow, an inflatable neck balloon looks more like a plastic innertube that fits over your dog’s head and sits around his neck. This option doesn’t impair your dog’s peripheral vision and it may be more lightweight than the e-collar. The problem with this type of neck balloon is that some dogs may be able to reach around it and it is also easy to puncture with sharp teeth.
- Baby onesie (Also known as “The Onsie of Embarrassment”): One of the more creative alternatives to the e-collar is simply putting your dog in a baby onesie or a t-shirt with the end closed up. This solution will prevent your dog from actually touching his stitches or another affected area, though he may still be able to scratch or chew through the fabric. This option may work for minor injuries or if you simply want to prevent your dog from licking off some kind of topical application.
Whether your dog has sustained an injury or recently undergone surgery, it’s imperative that you keep him from interfering with the healing process. In the short-term, this may mean physically preventing your dog from biting, licking, or chewing on the affected area by using some type of collar. If your don’t doesn’t respond well to the traditional e-collar, one of the options above may be a better choice.
Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor’s degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.