Your dog’s recovery period doesn’t have to be more stressful than it already is–take a look at our top 10 list of best dog cones to find a perfect choice for their needs.
Best Dog Cones
Dog cones, Elizabethan collars, e collars, cones of shame–no matter what you call it, your dog is likely to hate it. And that’s not the worst outcome if you happen to choose the wrong type of dog cone for your pet: it could end up being flimsy or easy to get out of, and allow your pooch to make a mess of his incision site. For dogs who have gone through a surgical procedure (such as neutering or spaying) and need to leave their stitches to heal, dogs who are having an allergic reaction followed by biting or obsessive licking, or dogs who have any type of wound they shouldn’t get at, a cone is an unavoidable accessory. A sturdy, reliable dog cone will prevent your dog from reaching the stitches, wound, or hotspot but it should also be comfortable enough to wear.
As every pooch is unique, there are various different types of dog cones out there to accommodate everybody’s needs and preferences. First, you have the standard plastic cones–the cheapest option that’s not usually not that comfortable but can be okay for an undemanding doggo. Then, there are soft dog cones made from fabric or padded for comfort, as well as inflatable dog cones, all of which aim at offering a less stressful and unpleasant recovery time for your dog without compromising on the safety features.
Your dog’s recovery period doesn’t have to be more stressful than it already is if you make sure to choose one of the many dog cones that would be tailored to their unique needs. After all, a flat-faced Pug won’t have the same requirements as a large Lab and so on. Of course, wading through the sea of pet products to do your research is probably the last thing on your mind when your pet is having an allergy flare up or recovering from a surgery or injury, so we did the research for you. Take a look at our top 10 list of best dog cones for every pooch’s needs and preferences and simply pick one that suits your pet best.
1. Editor’s Pick: Comfy Cone E-Collar for Dogs
Soft yet sturdy, this dog cone is fully adjustable and comes in 8 different sizes. In addition to the dimensions which vary with size and fastener strips that will help modify the fit, this dog cone features removable plastic stays that let you control the firmness or flexibility of the sides. Comfy Cone has to be the most versatile Elizabethan collar out there, as it can also be reversed to cover the neck and upper chest. This cone is made from foam-backed, padded nylon that is also waterproof and easy to clean- it’s really an all-around good choice for most dogs.
2. Runner Up: KONG Cloud E-Collar
Inflatable collars are, without a doubt, the least stressful option for the dog. They won’t interfere with their peripheral vision or bother them when they want to eat or drink some water. Basically, they are like neck pillows for recovering pooches- but all that comfort also means that they’re not for constant wear. This KONG Cloud E-Collar comes in 5 sizes for different types of dogs, but it’s really only suitable if they have an upper body injury or a hotspot. With constant wear, your pooch would be able to figure out how to get to their incision site or wound if they’re on the lower part of the body.
3. Best Basic: Remedy+Recovery Dog E-Collar
A step up from your basic plastic dog cone, this affordable Elizabethan collar is made from durable PVC and features padded neckline and no mark edges to prevent discomfort and irritation to skin that bare plastic edges could cause. The transparent sides minimize the stress of cone visibility issues as your pet can still see peripherally- albeit the view will be a bit fuzzy. This basic no frills e-collar is a good choice if your pet is not finicky about wearing a cone and doesn’t have sensitive skin.
4. Best Budget: ZeroShop(TM) Pet E-Collar
If you are on a really, really tight budget, this is the best you can get without having to spend more than $10. Made from sturdy but flexible heavy-duty plastic, this cone is also padded on the inside and outside edge to offer more comfort to the furry wearer. It might be an adjustment either way, but if your pet is not anxious in general, chances are they’ll get used to the ‘cone of shame’ in no time. The fit is adjusted to perfect snugness with strong velcro straps, but the size of this budget-friendly e-collar mostly fits medium to large dogs. If you have a petite or X-Large doggo, this just won’t cut it for you!
5. Best Inflatable: ProCollar Protective Inflatable Recovery Collar for Dogs
Is your dog always licking and biting his front paws due to allergy or do they have an upper body injury or an incision site? ProCollar dog cone could be a perfect choice- this inflatable dog cone comes in 5 sizes (from extra small to extra large) so there’s a fit for every dog. Alternatively, if you want to give you recently spayed or neutered pet a break from wearing an Elizabethan collar- you can use this super comfy, easy-to-clean neck pillow to give them the comfort and a bit of the freedom they crave. Just make to keep your eye on them during those little “breaks”!
6. Best Unique Design: ARRR Comfy UFO Recovery Collar
The truth is out there! Your pooch might look like an unidentified flying object wearing this protective e-collar, but, hey, at least they won’t get a chance to lick at that hotspot or prematurely pull out their sutures. ARRR Comfy UFO Recovery Collar is an alternative to stiff plastic cones that can not only scare your pooch but make them uncomfortable or unable to move around the house with ease. It is made of water-resistant material and filled with high-quality microfiber and it is really easy to put on: it fastens with an adjustable cord so it is easy to customize to your pet’s exact needs.
ARRR Comfy UFO Recovery Collar blocks your pet from reaching any part of the body below their neck without restricting their movement or causing anxiety. This protective collar feels more like a pillow and moves with your pet’s body, making sure that they are not prevented from doing the things they usually do- with the noted exception of poking at their wounds, that is. Available in small, medium, large, and extra large, this e-collar alternative will suit any size pooch.
7. Best Fit: ZenPet ZenCollar Inflatable Dog Cone
Comfy enough to sleep in, eat in, and walk around in, this inflatable dog cone is attached to your pet’s own collar to control the fit. Additionally, the ZenCollar comes in 5 different sizes, so you’ll certainly find the right match for your own pupper in no time. The outer canvas layer is machine washable, too, so you don’t have to worry about your messy doggo having to go around with caked dirt or dried food bits throughout his recovery.
8. Best Plush: MCHY Inflatable Dog Cone
Who says you can’t be cute and comfy while recovering from surgery? MCHY Inflatable Dog Cone is a cozier but equally effective alternative to robust and rigid plastic e-collars for dogs, as it only restricts their access to the wound site but allows them to sleep, eat, and function comfortably and with ease. The collar inflates to size and has a velcro strap you can use to ensure it doesn’t slide off from your pet’s neck. Alternatively, there are also inner loops that allow you to slide your pet’s everyday collar through it and tighten for a comfy and secure fit. The collar is made from durable scratch resistant PVC on the inside and the outer material is a soft plush fabric that will feel pleasant against your pet’s skin. MCHY Inflatable Dog Cone comes in pink and blue and small, medium, large, and extra large size.
9. Best Pattern: Alfie Pet Candace Soft Recovery Collar
If your pet is in a situation where they need a cone, why not add some pizzazz to it? No one said that you have to go through recovery looking drab. If you have a four-legged trendsetter and want their cone to look like a fashion statement rather than a cone of shame, this soft e-collar boasts lovely flannel and plaid designs, available in 3 colors. And the best part is that it doesn’t compromise on the dog’s safety to deliver this stylish look!
10. Best Hybrid: ZenPet ProCone
The ProCone by ZenPet is a hybrid between a classic clear plastic e-collar and a soft collar made from sturdy nylon fabric. For the most part, it is made from heavy-duty canvas, but it also features clear side panels for better peripheral visibility and less stressful experience. So, if you’re unsure if a soft collar would be too restricting for your pet’s visibility and you don’t want the uncomfortable feeling of an all-plastic cone, ProCone is a perfect choice. The fit can be adjusted with Velcro fasteners and with a collar that can be attached directly to the cone.
How to prepare for cone wearing?
If you don’t want to deal with the adjustment process when your pet is already in recovery, pick up a cone for them before the surgery takes place. That way, they’ll have a chance to get used to wearing one before they actually need to, so the recovery process should go smoothly. As for the duration of the preparation, a few days will be more than enough for your pooch to get comfortable wearing an Elizabethan collar.
How long should dogs wear the cone?
The healing process differs from dog to dog, and the cone needs to stay on as long as the healing takes place. After all, it’s not the same if it’s a hotspot on their leg or a large incision over their stomach! However, in most cases, dogs need to wear the cone for 7 to 10 days before you can take it off. Just be sure not to do anything before consulting with your pet’s veterinarian- they will know best how long the cone has to stay on and how long the recovery from a procedure lasts.
Are there alternatives to plastic dog cones?
Yes! Luckily, those “lampshade” dog cones are not the only option out there: for pooches that are disoriented and uncomfortable wearing a plastic Elizabethan collar, soft padded e-collars and inflatable cones are a suitable alternative. These will still limit movement in the sense that they prevent access to the healing area, but they are much comfier to wear and won’t block your pet’s line of sight or make it difficult for them to drink, eat, and sleep as plastic dog cones sometimes can.
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A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.
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