What is a Dog Cone: Everything You Need to Know

Dog Cone

Dog cones, sometimes known as Elizabethan collars or E-collars, are necessary items for dogs recovering from surgery or injuries. While they may appear uncomfortable, these cones play an important function in assuring your pet’s safety and rehabilitation. 

In this article, we’ll go deeper into the world of dog cones, covering everything from their purpose and construction to how to use them efficiently and other options for your pet’s comfort.

What is a dog cone?

A dog cone is a protective device made of plastic or fabric that is shaped like a cone and worn around a dog’s neck. Its main function is to keep dogs from licking, biting, or scratching surgical incisions, wounds, or traumas. 

This helps to avoid infections and promotes speedier recovery. The dog cone’s design restricts the dog’s head movement, preventing access to the damaged area but allowing them to eat, drink, and breathe normally.

How to Make a Dog Cone

While commercial dog cones are readily available in pet stores, you can also make a DIY cone at home using materials like cardboard, fabric, or plastic. Here’s a simple way to make one:

Gather Materials:

Before starting, gather the necessary materials. You’ll need cardboard, sturdy fabric (such as cotton or canvas), or plastic. Additionally, have scissors or a utility knife, a measuring tape, and adhesive tape or fasteners ready.

Measure Your Dog:

Accurate measurements are essential to ensure the dog cone fits your dog properly. Using a measuring tape, determine your dog’s neck circumference by wrapping it around the base of their neck where the cone will sit. Note down this measurement. Next, measure from the base of their neck to the tip of their nose. This will help determine the length of the cone.

Cutting the Material:

Based on the measurements, cut out a piece of cardboard, fabric, or plastic in the shape of a cone. To do this, start by creating a large circle with a diameter slightly larger than your dog’s neck circumference. Then, cut a straight line from the edge of the circle to the center, creating a cutout resembling a quarter of a pie. Overlap the cut edges to form a cone shape and adjust the size as needed to fit your dog’s measurements.

Ears Accommodation:

Dogs’ ears should remain free and unobstructed while wearing the dog cone. To ensure this, make sure to leave ample space at the top of the cone for your dog’s ears to comfortably fit through. You can achieve this by cutting out semi-circular or triangular shapes on either side of the cone where your dog’s ears will rest.

Securing the Cone:

Once you’ve achieved the desired dog cone shape and size, it’s time to secure it. Use adhesive tape or fasteners to hold the cone in place. Adhesive tape works well for fabric cones, while fasteners like Velcro or zip ties can be used for cardboard or plastic cones. Ensure the cone is snug around your dog’s neck but not too tight to cause discomfort or restrict their movement or breathing.

Testing and Adjustments:

Before fully securing the cone, place it around your dog’s neck to ensure it fits properly and allows for comfortable movement. Make any necessary adjustments to the size or shape to ensure a proper fit. Once you’re satisfied with the fit, secure the dog cone in place using the chosen method of fastening.

How to Put a Cone on a Dog

Putting a cone on your dog requires patience and gentle handling to ensure your pet feels comfortable and secure. Follow these detailed steps to effectively put a cone on your dog:

Prepare Your Dog: 

Approach your dog calmly and reassure them with soothing words and treats. Creating a calm environment will help ease any anxiety your dog may feel about wearing the dog cone.

Position the Cone: 

Hold the cone upright and position it over your dog’s head. Ensure that the wider end of the cone is facing away from your dog’s face. Gently guide your dog’s head through the opening of the dog cone, making sure their ears are properly positioned through the designated holes.

Adjust for Comfort: 

Once the cone is over your dog’s head, carefully adjust it to ensure a comfortable fit. The cone should sit securely around your dog’s neck without being too tight or too loose. Check that there is enough space between the cone and your dog’s neck to allow for proper airflow and movement.

Fasten Securely: 

Most dog cones come with adjustable straps or tabs to secure them in place. Fasten the straps or tabs snugly but not too tight. Ensure that the fasteners are securely closed to prevent the cone from coming loose.

Monitor Your Dog: 

After putting the dog cone on your dog, monitor their behavior closely. Some dogs may initially resist wearing the cone or feel uncomfortable with the new accessory. Keep an eye on your dog’s reactions and behavior to ensure they are adjusting well to wearing the cone.

Provide Encouragement: 

Offer your dog praise and rewards for wearing the cone calmly. Positive reinforcement will help your dog associate wearing the cone with positive experiences, making the adjustment period easier for them.

Regular Checks: 

Periodically check the fit of the cone to ensure it remains secure and comfortable for your dog. Make any necessary adjustments if you notice any rubbing or discomfort.

How Long Does a Dog Wear a Cone After Neuter?

The duration for which a dog needs to wear a dog cone after neuter surgery varies depending on their individual healing process and the veterinarian’s recommendations. In general, dogs may need to wear the cone for about 7 to 14 days post-neuter surgery. However, always follow your vet’s instructions for the specific duration and any additional care requirements.

Dog Cone Alternatives:

While dog cones are effective, some alternatives may offer more comfort or convenience for your furry friend:

Inflatable collars: 

Dog cone alternative inflatable collars

These soft, inflatable collars serve the same purpose as cones but are more comfortable for dogs to wear.

Soft recovery collars: 

Soft recovery collars

These are made of flexible materials like fabric or foam, providing a more comfortable alternative to traditional cones.

Body wraps:

Dog cone alternatives Body wraps

Wraps or shirts designed to cover the wound area can be an alternative for dogs who find cones uncomfortable.


Ensuring your dog’s comfort and well-being during their recovery journey is paramount, and dog cones play a crucial role in achieving this goal. By understanding the purpose of dog cones, how to properly make and put them on, as well as considering alternative options, you can provide the best care for your furry friend.

When it comes to pet care solutions, dog cones offer a practical and effective way to prevent licking, biting, or scratching at surgical incisions, wounds, or injuries. They promote faster healing and reduce the risk of infections, ultimately aiding in your dog’s overall recovery process.

Read Also:

Intestinal Blockage in Dogs

How To Tell If A Dog Has A Fever Without A Thermometer

Cytopoint Injections for Dogs

Decoding Dog Leg Shaking: Causes and Solutions

What Causes Yeast Infections In Dogs


Hello there! I'm Madhav Mantri, the person behind this PetSavvy Solution blog. I'm a digital marketer and a pet enthusiast too! I spend my time making sure everything here is interesting and helpful for you and your pets. I love sharing cool stuff about pets, from the latest trends to heartwarming stories and useful tips to keep our furry friends happy and healthy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *