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How To Choose Soft Cones For Dogs

By John DoeLast update: 2024-04-29

If your dog has an open wound, whether, from surgery or a recent accident, he will instinctively want to lick the wound.

And licking can reopen the wound and lead to an infection. A cone or collar is the traditional way to prevent dogs from licking the wound. Alternatively, you can try dressing the wound with a sleeve or a strong bandage. When combined with these techniques, get the dog's attention to keep his mind as much as possible as the wound heals. So how to choose soft cones for dogs, let's find out below?

1. Using dog soft cone

Measure the dog's neck

You should wrap a cloth tape measure snugly around the dog's neck to measure the thickness. If you don't have a measuring tape, you can use shoelaces or string, then measure the string against the ruler. But with a brace collar, you also need to measure the length of your dog's neck from chin to shoulder.

With a cone or collar, a relatively tight fit is required so that the dog does not work his way. Several different types have their sizing and may have their measuring guidelines for what part of your dog's neck you should measure.

However, be aware of the dog's collar when measuring the cone or collar. There will be some collars that don't fit the fur collar that needs to be draped over your dog's head, instead of around the neck.

Mounting the cone

Plastic cones, also known as "Elizabeth" collars, are also a traditional method of keeping dogs from licking their wounds. Furthermore, this is also the initial protection the veterinarian will provide. Transparent cones tend to be less intimidating because the dog can see through them.

Also, keep an eye on your dog while it's wearing an Elizabethan collar. Most of these collars do not allow peripheral vision, so the dog may be more clumsy than usual.

Be sure your dog will be able to eat and drink well with the collar on, but it will need some adjustment and the dog may not like it.

You should also monitor the dog to make sure he is eating and drinking.

If your dog refuses to eat or drink while wearing the hat, try a different collar or remove the hat to feed the dog.

When you're away from home for an extended period, like work or school, it's a good idea to keep a dog wearing an Elizabethan collar so it doesn't get hurt.

With the Elizabethan cone being too wide, the dog could get stuck or have trouble navigating the tighter areas around the house. Therefore, rearrange some furniture to accommodate the dog when it is wearing the hat.

Try on a soft or inflatable cone if it doesn't work

Because hard plastic hats can prevent dogs from moving too much or having trouble sleeping. Soft or inflatable collars may be a better fit.

Many replacement collars will not be suitable for dogs with long noses and thin necks, such as terriers or Dobermans.

Inflatable collars can puncture easily, so this type of collar may not work if your dog repeatedly tries to pull the collar off.

Try several different options

There are many types of necklaces and hats available in the market. If you buy hats at a pet store, you can take your dog with you and try them on in the store. Or buy a variety to try and return the ones you end up not using.

Note, that the size of the hat that needs to be worn will depend on the type and location of the dog's injury. For example, if the dog has had eye surgery, it will only need a small hat to prevent it from rubbing its eyes. However, if the dog has a tail end injury, a larger hat will be needed to prevent your dog from breaking off the tail.

Use a brace if removing other cones

A neck brace is similar to the brace a dog would wear after a neck injury such as a whip.

The same size of the brace is determined by the length of the dog's neck, not the width. If your dog has a very long neck, like a greyhound, or an extremely short neck, like a pug, a brace may not be as effective.

If the wound is on the dog's front paw, a brace like this won't stop the dog from licking the wound.

2. Types of a soft cone for dogs

Store-bought soft cone for dogs

If your veterinarian-supplied electronic cone does not work, you can substitute a store-bought dog hat to try at home. Moreover, you can consult your veterinarian before using them with the dog.

Soft cone

If choosing hard plastic material is a problem, there are dog hat styles that have a lighter option

A newer soft cone folds to make it easier for dogs to eat and drink. On the other hand, softer cones also help maintain shape which will be comfortable and prevent them from licking or chewing on the affected areas.

However, be wary of necklaces that are too soft. Since they don't hold their shape, they can still function, but still, make sure pets can't reach the affected areas.

Flexible fabric e-cone

Usually, some soft electronic cones come with a hard frame. While it is impossible to see through them, since they are still soft fabric, the stiff skeleton makes it look like a traditional electronic collar so it is not easy to take off and makes it more sturdy.

Inflatable e-cone

Inflatable cones are optional and may work in certain situations. But they can puncture easily, so pet owners should keep a close eye on the condition of their collars if they choose. In addition, the pump electronic necklace may not block access to all parts of the body effectively.

Onesies cone

Bodysuits or tights are also good choices for abdominal surgeries or hot spots that can be covered by dogs. A bodysuit is made for this purpose or a fitted t-shirt can be used.

If your pet tends to lick the incision or wound instead of scratching or biting, this is a good choice.

3. Covering the wound

Clean the wound

Use warm tap water or physiological saline to clean the wound carefully. Also, you can make your saline solution by adding 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of salt to 2 cups (500 mL) of water.

In addition, veterinarians recommend using a specific soap or cleaning solution to clean the wound. A soap or solution recommended by your veterinarian should be used. In particular, do not use any other soaps, disinfectants, or cleaners designed for humans. They can irritate the skin and slow down the healing process.

And after cleaning the wound, gently pat it dry before applying any medicated creams or bandages.

Apply prescription lotion or ointment

Often your veterinarian can prescribe a topical medication or ointment to be applied to your dog's wound. Apply immediately after cleaning the wound, then allow it to dry before dressing.

If your dog regularly licks the medicine, try applying it right away before you give it to him. Because food will distract your dog and by the time he's finished eating, he may have forgotten his medication.

Bandages designed for the injured body part

Make sure your dog's bandages come in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on the size of the wound and the location of the wound on the dog's body. The dressing should be large enough to completely cover the wound and allow the dressing to be fixed in place.

For wounds on the legs or feet, you can use special dressings such as sleeves or boots, this ensures that the wound is kept clean while it heals.

Spray the bandage with a spray bottle

Most of these sprays, available at pet stores and online, are designed to prevent dogs from trying to lick the wound or chew on the bandage. Often they have a disgusting taste that makes dogs unable to lick them.

This spray does not work on all dogs.

Use sleeves or protective clothing to cover the bandaged area

Besides dressing, an extra layer can be added to protect the dog's wound while it heals. Or you can also make one yourself by putting back old clothes.

A thin nylon sock with the toes amputated will work to cover a leg wound or upper body wound in a smaller dog.

Furthermore, t-shirts, shirts, sweaters or baby clothes can be used to cover this area. But if your dog has a coat or sweater that he likes, it can help to cover the wound - especially on the trunk.

Change the dressing every 2 or 3 days

You should remove the bandage and clean the wound. The dressing should be checked for drainage from the wound.

But if the wound continues to bleed or oozes colored or foul-smelling pus, take your pet to the vet.


We should consider the right type of soft cone for dogs so that your pet can be more comfortable, choosing the right soft cone will prevent the dog from licking the wound, avoiding necrosis. Besides, it also aids in better wound healing and healing. But if the treatment of the wound is too cumbersome, then seek the veterinarian for timely treatment.

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