When it comes to taking care of our dogs, we always want the best for them. These furry creatures are more than just pets; they are family members that we love and cherish. However, there are times when they need extra care, especially if they have an injury or surgery around their head or neck area. This is where a dog cone becomes necessary.
Dog cones, also known as Elizabethan collars or E-collars, can make your pup feel uncomfortable at first but are crucial for their overall health. They prevent dogs from licking or biting themselves, which can delay healing, cause infections, or even harm them further.
If you’re a new dog owner or haven’t used a cone on your pet before, putting one on might seem daunting. But fear not! Learning how to put on a dog cone is simple, and we’ll guide you through the steps in this article.
In this guide, you’ll learn how to properly fit the collar, adjust its length, and help your dog get used to wearing it. We’ll even provide some tips to ease the transition and make it less stressful for your pooch.
“A comfortable and well-fitted cone will keep your furry friend focused on healing so that they can go back to playing and snuggling with you in no time.”
Gather The Necessary Supplies
Putting a cone on your dog can be stressful for both you and your furry friend, but it’s necessary to keep them safe while they heal from injuries or surgeries. Before beginning the process, make sure you have all the necessary supplies.
Get The Right Cone
The first step is finding the right cone for your dog. There are several types of cones available, such as plastic, soft fabric, and inflatable cones. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages, so choose one that suits your dog’s needs.
If your dog is active and tends to scratch at their wound or incision, a plastic cone may be the best option. It will prevent them from reaching the affected area, ensuring proper healing. However, if your dog has anxiety or discomfort when wearing a hard cone, a softer fabric cone might be a better choice. These cones can also be less awkward during mealtime, allowing your dog to eat with ease.
An inflatable cone is another popular option that gives more flexibility and comfort to your pet. It provides the same amount of protection around the neck as other cones and allows easier movement since it isn’t rigid. Consider getting an adjustable version in case your dog grows bigger due to swelling or weight gain.
Prepare The Rest Of Your Supplies
Before putting the cone on your dog, prepare the rest of the necessary supplies. You’ll need some treats, a collar, and a leash.
Treats come in handy for this activity since dogs often feel uncomfortable and confused by having something wrapped around their neck. Use their favorite treats to encourage positive reinforcement during the process. Positive gestures like treats will help ease their anxiety.
To secure the cone comfortably onto your dog’s head, put its regular collar on first. Place the cone over the top of the collar and make sure it’s tight enough to not slide off. You should be able to easily insert two fingers between your dog’s skin and the cone for comfort, but don’t leave too much room that they can shake or squirm out of it.
Lastly, attach a leash before bringing your dog indoors as you don’t want them taking off running while wearing the cone.
“Good preparation is key – do all tasks in advance to minimize stress for both you and your pet.” -Dr. Nardozi
The cones can take a little bit getting used to. With patience and proper sizing of the cone, your dog will eventually get accustomed to it and focus on moving around with it more freely. Remember to offer support and positive encouragement for your furry friend during this process, their safety and health are important!
Choose The Right Size Cone
Dog cones, also known as Elizabethan collars or e-collars, are specialized protective devices that prevent dogs from scratching, biting, licking or aggravating injuries, wounds, stitches, or hot spots. These cones come in different colors, shapes, and materials, but the most essential factor to consider when picking one is size.
Measure Your Dog’s Neck
The first thing you need to do before buying a cone for your dog is to measure their neck accurately. Using a tape measure, wrap it around the widest part of your dog’s neck while they stand still. This measurement will help you determine the appropriate cone size to purchase, ensuring that your dog can breathe, eat, drink, and move comfortably while wearing the cone.
“To get the collar size, measure the circumference of your pet’s neck with a measuring tape at its widest point, just behind the ears.” -Dr. Mercola
Consider Your Dog’s Breed
Besides measuring your dog’s neck size, you should also take into account their breed and shape when selecting a cone. Some dog breeds have longer snouts, shorter legs, broader chests, wider heads, or thicker fur, which can affect how well the cone fits them. For instance, bull terriers, greyhounds, and shar-peis may require longer cones to protect their faces, while pugs and bulldogs might need wider cones to accommodate their stout bodies. Moreover, dogs with heavy coats may need softer cones made of fabrics like nylon or cotton rather than hard plastic ones.
“Longer-nosed dogs or those with narrow muzzles such as Greyhounds need “deeper” E-collars compared to short-nosed dogs or flat-faced breeds like Pugs or Bulldogs.” -PetMD
Check The Cone’s Fit
Once you have purchased a cone, it is necessary to double-check that the fit is correct before putting it on your dog. Firstly, ensure that the cone sits snugly around the neck without being too tight or loose. If it is too tight, it might cause discomfort, choke the dog, or even impede breathing. Conversely, if it is too loose, the dog may wiggle out of it or access the wound. Secondly, make sure that there is enough space between the tip of the nose and the edge of the cone so that your dog can eat and drink comfortably with their head up. Thirdly, check whether the cone reaches at least two inches past the end of your dog’s snout when they lie down; otherwise, they could still lick or scratch themselves despite wearing the cone.
“If improperly sized, your pet may be able to remove its e-collar rendering it ineffective in protecting the surgical site from contamination or trauma. Additionally, an improperly fitting collar may cause injury, irritation, or complications such as crytorchidism in male dogs.” -Hillcrest Animal Hospital
Picking the right size cone for your dog is crucial for their well-being and recovery after surgery, injury, or infection. By measuring your dog’s neck accurately, considering their breed, and checking the fit of the cone, you can ensure that they stay safe and comfortable while wearing it. Remember to always supervise your dog while they wear a cone to prevent accidents or distress.
Position The Cone Correctly
If your dog needs to wear a cone, it’s important to make sure the cone is properly positioned. This can help ensure that the cone does its job of keeping your dog from biting or licking an area that needs to heal.
Place The Cone Around Your Dog’s Neck
The first step in putting on a dog cone is to place it around your dog’s neck. Make sure the cone is the right size and fits securely without being too tight. You want your dog to be able to breathe easily, but not be able to get their mouth near any areas they shouldn’t be licking or biting. If you’re not sure what size cone to get, consult with your veterinarian.
Adjust The Cone’s Position
Once you’ve placed the cone on your dog’s neck, adjust the position so that it covers the necessary area. Depending on why your dog needs to wear a cone, this could mean covering their entire head or just their neck and shoulders. Make sure the cone is snug enough that it won’t shift around as your dog moves, but not so tight that it causes discomfort.
Ensure The Cone Is Not Blocking Your Dog’s Vision
Dogs use their sight to navigate the world, so it’s important to make sure the cone isn’t blocking their vision. Check to see if your dog can still see well enough to move around safely. If not, you may need to readjust the cone or try a different type of cone altogether.
Make Sure The Cone Is Not Impeding Your Dog’s Breathing
The cone should allow your dog to breathe normally without causing any breathing difficulties. Watch your dog carefully for signs of distress, such as panting excessively or having trouble breathing. If your dog seems to be having trouble, remove the cone immediately and consult with your veterinarian.
Secure The Cone In Place
If your dog needs to wear a cone, it is important to make sure that the cone stays in place. Not only will it prevent your dog from scratching or licking at their wounds, but it can also prevent them from accidentally injuring themselves while they are recovering.
Here are some tips on how to secure the cone in place:
Fasten The Cone’s Straps
The first and most basic step is to make sure that the cone is fastened securely around your dog’s neck. Most cones come with adjustable straps that you can tighten or loosen depending on the size of your dog.
Make sure that the cone is snug enough that your dog cannot wiggle out of it, but not so tight that it causes discomfort or restricts breathing or movement. If the cone seems too loose or too tight, adjust the straps until it fits properly.
Check The Straps Periodically
Even if you have secured the cone tightly, it is important to check the straps periodically to make sure that they have not loosened over time. Your dog’s movements or activities could cause the straps to shift, which may allow them to escape from the cone or scratch at their injuries.
You should also look for any signs of irritation or rubbing around the edges of the cone where it contacts your dog’s skin. If you notice redness, chafing or other signs of discomfort, consider adjusting the fit or using some padding to protect your dog’s skin.
Use A Collar To Secure The Cone
In addition to using the straps that came with the cone, you can also use a collar to help keep the cone in place. Simply attach your dog’s regular collar to the loops on the side of the cone, which will provide an extra layer of security against slipping or wiggling.
You may want to remove any tags or bells from their collar to prevent annoying jingling sounds or discomfort that can make wearing the cone even more stressful for your dog.
Consider Using A Onesie Or T-Shirt To Keep The Cone In Place
If your dog is especially active or restless, you can also consider using a onesie or t-shirt to help keep the cone in place. Simply slip the shirt over your dog’s head and then secure the straps of the cone over it.
This not only secures the cone more firmly in place but also provides an additional layer of protection for your dog’s skin if they are sensitive to the cone material rubbing against them. Make sure that the shirt fits securely so that it does not bunch up or impede movement.
“The key to keeping the cone in place is figuring out what works best for your individual dog,” says Dr. Cindy Otto, director of the Penn Vet Working Dog Center. “Some dogs don’t mind the cones at all, while others find them very uncomfortable or frustrating.”
By paying attention to your dog’s behavior and preferences, you can find a method for securing the cone that works well for them and helps ease their recovery process.
Monitor Your Dog While Wearing The Cone
If your furry friend has an injury, surgery or just had a skin condition that requires protection, you may need to put on a dog cone. Although it can be challenging for dogs to adjust initially with them due to their discomfort and awkwardness, it will help to prevent further damage or licking at the affected area. However, putting a cone on your dog is just half of the task as proper monitoring and assistance are crucial during this period.
Check The Cone Regularly
The first thing you need to do after placing the collar on your dog is checking if it fits properly. The right fit means not too loose that it slips down or too tight to suffocate him. Ensure there is enough space between the collar and neck to enable easy breathing, movement, and any other necessary adjustment. Metal buckles or ties allow for easier modification than Velcro type fastenings which pets may scratch off quickly. Additionally, inspect the cone daily to make sure that no cracks, chewing marks, or wear spots exist to avoid situations where your pet might choke on broken pieces.
Make Sure Your Dog Can Eat And Drink Comfortably
An essential part of a healthy recovery is maintaining constant hydration and nutrition. Make sure that when you feed your pet or give water, he can reach his mouth towards the bowl without any obstruction from the cone hitting the edge or bottom. Elevating the feeding bowls or using shallow dishes could work well in this situation by accommodating the cone’s shape and angle while still allowing access to food and drinks.
Assist Your Dog With Basic Needs If Necessary
Sometimes pets require additional care when wearing cones due to mobility issues like stairs, jumping onto furniture, running around, getting stuck in corners, etc. Supervise your dog at all times, and if necessary, consider incorporating some assistive devices like ramps or steps to make life easier. For instance, these accessories can make it possible for you to manage to go outside when they need to eliminate without risking him getting hurt.
Watch For Signs Of Discomfort Or Irritation
Pets are adaptable creatures that grow accustomed to situations with time. Nonetheless, wearing a cone might interfere with their regular activities; thus, keeping an eye out for any signs of discomfort or irritation is vital. Watch how your pet responds when he has the collar on, observe the behavior, mood changes, scratching determinedly in one spot, biting the skin area despite having the cone, whining, or yelping sounds. Allowing your vet to examine your pup every few days could help address any new issues and monitor the progress of existing ones adequately.
“Caring for animals is not what I do, it’s who I am.”
The bottom line is that wearing cones can be stressful for pets. However, as pet owners, our main responsibility is to provide comfort to ensure their healing process goes smoothly. By monitoring your furry friend while under a cone, you will boost confidence in them and reassure them that everything is going to be okay.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I measure my dog for a cone?
To measure your dog for a cone, you will need to measure their neck circumference and the length from their neck to their snout. Use a soft measuring tape and be sure to measure at the widest point of their neck. The cone should fit snugly but not be too tight to cause discomfort. Measure twice to ensure accuracy.
What are the different types of cones available for dogs?
There are various types of cones available for dogs, including hard plastic cones, soft fabric cones, and inflatable cones. Hard plastic cones are the most common and provide the most protection, while soft fabric cones are more comfortable for dogs. Inflatable cones are a good option for dogs who need to wear a cone for an extended period as they are more comfortable and adjustable.
What is the best way to put on a dog cone?
To put on a dog cone, first, loosen the straps and place the cone over your dog’s head. Adjust the cone so that it sits securely on their neck without being too tight or too loose. Make sure that your dog can breathe comfortably and that the cone does not restrict their movement. Finally, fasten the straps and ensure that the cone is secure.
How do I make sure my dog is comfortable wearing a cone?
To ensure that your dog is comfortable wearing a cone, make sure that it fits correctly and is not too tight. You can also try using a soft fabric cone or an inflatable cone, which may be more comfortable for your dog. Additionally, try to keep your dog distracted with toys or treats and give them plenty of positive reinforcement while wearing the cone.
What are some tips for managing my dog’s behavior while wearing a cone?
To manage your dog’s behavior while wearing a cone, try to keep them distracted with toys or treats. You can also try using a calming collar or diffuser to help reduce stress and anxiety. Additionally, supervise your dog while they are wearing the cone to make sure they do not get stuck or injured. If necessary, consult with your veterinarian for additional tips and advice.