Dog Cone Alternativesby Tracey Sandilands
When a dog has an injury, surgical site or a hot spot, it’s essential to prevent him from licking the area, removing the stitches and possibly re-opening the wound. The classic dog cone, also known as the Elizabethan collar, is a stiff, cone-shaped piece of board or plastic that the dog wears around his neck. The cone protrudes out around his head, stopping him from reaching the injured area. Many dogs find these collars uncomfortable and may cause them to crash into furniture and walls or fall down the stairs because of the limited visibility around the head.
The ProCollar is a donut-shaped, inflatable collar with a durable cover that resembles vinyl. The dog’s collar attaches to the inner surface of the collar, which is fastened by a Velcro strip behind the dog’s head. Available in five different sizes, the ProCollar fits most dogs and provides a cushioned surface on which to rest his head. The dog has vision on all sides with this cone alternative, and if he crashes into anything the inflatable materials softens the blow instead of jarring his head as the stiff, classic collar does.
The Comfy Cone is made from durable nylon outer fabric lined with foam rubber. The opening is adjustable by modifying the position of the Velcro strip securing it. The inner surface of the cone has elastic loops through which the dog’s collar is passed, and the side opening makes it possible to fit on the dog without placing it over his head. The collar is flexible and can be folded back to increase the dog’s field of vision, or for eating meals or drinking water. Fully washable, the comfy cone is soft enough for the dog to sleep in without discomfort. The comfy cone is available online and from most pet stores.
The BiteNot collar resembles a neck brace worn by humans after an accident resulting in whiplash. The collar is made from flexible plastic lined with foam rubber, and fits closely around the dog’s neck. The width of the collar prevents the dog from reaching the site of his wound, but allows complete peripheral vision. The dog can eat or drink, sleep and play while wearing the collar, which comes in seven different sizes. The collar protects wounds located on the dog’s back, abdomen, legs and chest, and can be used for cervical stabilization.
The clear E-Collar is a cone similar to the Elizabethan collar. The collar is made from clear plastic, however, which enables the dog to have almost complete vision through the cone. The E-Collar is lightweight and the edges are padded with a soft material to absorb the shock when the dog bumps into a hard object. The clear plastic is rigid enough to prevent the dog from reaching the site of his wound. The E-Collar is available online and at most large pet stores.