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4 Alternatives To The Cone of Shame for Dogs (With Pictures)

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Tips for Crate Training a Dog With Separation Anxiety

When your dog is required to wear the Cone of Shame, it can be frustrating for everybody involved. While some dogs tolerate it, others will do anything to escape. You must find an alternative to keep your dog from licking and scratching its wounds. Here are 4 alternatives to the Cone of Shame if your dog refuses to wear one.

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The Top 4 Alternatives To The Cone of Shame

1. Soft Cone Collars

All Four Paws comfy

Soft cone collars are the same shape as a traditional Cone of Shame, but usually made with foam and nylon with your pet’s comfort in mind. They are durable enough to handle scratching and biting, while also preventing your dog from licking and picking at its wounds. Soft cone collars are also safe to sleep in.

Like traditional e-collars, soft cone collars block your dog’s vision and don’t allow them to drink or eat comfortably. This can be a big problem for dogs with anxiety and behavioral problems, which will lead to stress. Some dogs can collapse the soft cone enough to reach their paws, so this may not be an option for determined dogs.

  • Softer and comfier than traditional e-collar
  • Durable enough to handle scratching/pawing
  • Safe to sleep in
  • Not suited for dogs with anxiety due to blocked vision
  • Soft foam may collapse too easily
  • Dogs can’t eat or drink comfortably

2. Inflatable Donut Collar

Laboratory 29 Inflatable

Inflatable donut collars are a comfier alternative to the traditional Cone of Shame from the vet office. They’re not bulky like plastic cone collars and allow your dog to eat, drink and see clearly, while still preventing them from licking or biting their wounds. Inflatable donut collars are also safe for your dog to sleep in, which is important when looking for e-collar alternatives.

The problem with donut collars depends on how determined your dog is to either lick its wounds or escape the collar. Some dogs may escape easily while other dogs can reach their paws with no problem. If your dog has injuries on its paws, this may not be the best choice. Inflatable collars are better suited for dogs who are calmer and less likely to scratch or bite at them to escape.

  • Very comfortable
  • Doesn’t block vision or prevent eating & drinking
  • Safe to sleep in
  • Some dogs can still reach injuries on their legs and paws
  • Not suitable for dogs that will scratch or bite at it

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3. Recovery Suits

Suitical Recovery Suit for Dogs
Recovery Suit, Image credit: Suitical Recovery Suit for Dogs, Amazon

The most adorable option on this list, recovery suits can protect body wounds and injuries from licking and scratching. They’re available in a large variety of sizes, colors, and materials. Made with breathable materials to allow proper airflow, the recovery suit is a great option for dogs that can’t handle the Cone of Shame or other alternatives. They’re safe to sleep in and most are machine washable.

This option works great unless your dog’s injuries are on its paws and legs. Some dogs also hate any kind of clothing more than they hate the Cone of Shame, so this option may not be the best for you and your dog. Otherwise, recovery suits can work really well and help your dog’s body to heal.

  • Suit protects entire body from licking
  • Multiple options and sizes available
  • Breathable and easy to clean
  • Safe for dogs to sleep in
  • Does not prevent licking paws or legs
  • Some dogs hate clothing more than e-collars

4. DIY Cones of Shame

dog in a cardboard box
Image credit: RogerioAndrade, Pixabay

If you need a cone of shame right away, there are a couple of easy DIY remedies with materials from home that work in a pinch. The cardboard method is a cone shape cut from cardboard with duct tape along the edges for comfort. Another alternative is the towel method, using a rolled-up towel and duct taping it in place.

These methods are temporary and should not be your first option for your dog’s safety. They might work if there’s an emergency situation or you have no access to a Cone of Shame. DIY Cones of Shame should be used only when your dog is awake for their safety. Also, DIY remedies may not hold up well if your dog is stubborn enough to remove it.

  • Temporary solution
  • Not durable enough for stubborn dogs
  • Best for emergency situations

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The Cone of Shame may be the most effective, but there are alternatives available for your dog. Depending on where the injury is, a DIY method can work in a pinch. The method you choose must actually protect the injury, or you may have to resort back to the Cone of Shame.

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