Whether they are recovering from a surgical procedure, have an open wound, or are simply under vet’s orders to stay away from a certain part of their body, it’s imperative that a dog have no access to the troubled area.
Of course, their natural reaction is to lick or bite an area that is causing them pain or discomfort. But unfortunately this can cause damage by breaking stitches or causing additional injury, often requiring further surgery.
Normally, a vet will recommend a plastic cone (aka Elizabethan collar) which attaches around the dog’s neck and protrudes outwards to limit the dog’s mouth from accessing the rest of their body. Sadly, many dogs find this uncomfortable and will go to great lengths to get it off, causing distress.
They also can become depressed and stop moving about because the cone causes them to be disoriented. It can be heartbreaking to see a normally exuberant pup seemingly having lost its spirit.
Thankfully, there are lots of alternatives to dog cones and Elizabethan collars on the market to help our pups get through their healing time with minimal discomfort. Let’s look at some of the best ones currently available.
Following are our recommendations for the best dog cone alternative to e-collars. For advice on how to choose and use a dog cone alternative, see our Buying Guide further below.
What is the Best Dog Cone Alternative?
We recommend the IDOMIK Recovery Suit for Dogs as the best dog cone alternative out there. It’s highly comfortable, durable, and, most importantly, prevents licking.
This stylish all in one suit is super comfortable and is made from a mixture of polyester and cotton and is soft and stretchy. It fits easily over the head and has four holes for legs. The part that’s situated over genitalia is cotton, allowing for ultimate comfort for sensitive bits.
The suit is easy to clean and is machine washable. In addition, It’s available in a selection of sizes from XS to XL, be sure to check out the size chart and measure your pooch, so you purchase the right size.
The suit is designed for male and female dogs and has a handy fastener at the back allowing you to roll it up for toilet time.
Manufacturers warn that the recovery suit isn’t suitable for dogs prone to extensive chewing, due to the cloth material. The suit is ideal for dogs who have undergone birth control operations, have sustained wounds, weaning mum and those with skin problems.
- Breathable fabric
- Several sizes
- Back fastener
- Can be difficult to predict size
- 【BREATHABLE MATERIAL】The dog surgery recovery suit is made of 95% cotton and 5% spandex, super soft, breathable and stretchy. Dog body suits after...
- 【EASY TO WEAR】This dog recovery suit female is designed with hook & loop closure, easy to put on and take off. Elastic cuffs and collar of the dog...
- 【DOG CONE ALTERNATIVE】Wearing this dog onesie for surgery female is more comfortable than he/she is in a plastic e collar for dogs while eating,...
This inflatable donut collar is a good alternative to the plastic cone and is lightweight with soft material. It allows your dog to engage in all activities, including the toileting, without removing the collar. It doesn’t affect vision, meaning dogs find it easy to walk around, unlike in the traditional cones.
The collar successfully prevents dogs from biting or licking wounds as their neck is restricted.
The collar is attached to your dog’s normal collar through loops situated inside the collar. It has a fully adjustable strap and a release buckle that won’t irritate the skin. The adjustable features mean the collar is ideal for small or large dogs. Furthermore, it comes in 4 sizes.
The company offers a complete replacement if your dog chews the strap or bites it enough to cause deflation.
Reviews are great for this product, many saying it’s the only contraption their dogs would accept. Some comment on the high-quality and low price.
- Adjustable/different sizes
- Replacement if needed
- Can be sizing issues
- Comfortable – This inflatable neck donut is a soft and lightweight alternative to a traditional e-collar cone, designed to prevent your pet from...
- Restricts Biting And Licking – Similar to an e-collar cone, this soft, protective collar will prevent your dog or cat from biting or licking surgery...
- Adjustable Fit – The soft, inflatable donut design fits to your pet’s regular collar, securing it in place. Simply insert your pet’s collar...
This doggy onesie is priced higher than the previous product and is predominantly for larger dogs. It’s vet approved and sits comfortably around the whole body, providing support to surgical areas.
The suit is soft but supportive, thus helping ease the dog’s anxiety post surgery. The material is breathable and strong and designed to control odors. There are no zippers, buttons or snaps, making it easy to put on and off. It has a back pocket enabling you to keep wounds clean. The suit comes in lots of sizes and a variety of colors.
Reviews are mixed for this product. Many comment on the handy stretchy material, there were some mention of the material rubbing skin of sensitive puppies.
- Strong fabric
- Selection of size and colors
- Good for large dogs
- Some parts can cause irritation
- Your Pets Can Heal In Comfort - The Original Dog Onesie It's Better Than A Dog Cones For Large Dogs
- Dog Onesie For Surgery Female Or Male Dog Cone Alternative After Surgery for Spay, Neuter & Surgery
- Veterinary Approved - Invented By A Veterinarian, Surgi Snuggly Recovery Suit has become the choice among veterinarians and pet owners because it...
Another donut offering this soft and cozy option benefits from a transparent baffle around the outside of the donut, which helps anti licking. The see through design means that your dog’s vision isn’t compromised but adds extra protection to surgical areas.
There are 5 size options and the collar is resizable using the sticky strap. Just like the previous donut product, it can fit onto the dog’s regular collar for extra stability.
The polyester material protects the inner bag and is clean with anti hair properties. The outer cover is removable making it easy to wash, and you are able to deflate the inner for easy storage.
Fantastic reviews accompany this product with most commenting it is a useful cone alternative. It may not be suitable for very large breeds such as Great Danes.
- Transparent baffle
- Comfy material
- Less suitable for very large dogs
When searching for a cone alternative, it’s useful to bear in mind why dogs tend to hate the traditional cones provided by vets. It’s super important for them to wear post surgery, but dogs become terribly disoriented, and understandably so.
They are unable to see sideways or downwards, which makes walking, eating and playing very tricky. In addition, they may not physically be able to get to places they once could, such as under beds or safe places they have previously created. So, finding an alternative is a kind thing to do for your dog if a traditional e-collar is not agreeing with them.
Soft fabrics will greatly increase the comfort your dog feels and will provide less irritation than plastic. They will also feel less restrictive.
However, it’s important to remember that they won’t be able to see through donut type designs, which may make nervous dogs feel worse. If you have an anxious dog, any products that restrict head and neck movements may not be the best choice.
If you have a dog that tends to dribble or is prone to getting messy, then choose material that is waterproof and easy to clean. Some soft fabrics have removable outer layers you can wash, which is handy.
Inflatable collars are very comfortable and easy to adjust. They are similar to a neck pillow and provide a welcome break from a plastic cone. These don’t always do the best job of preventing licking and scratching, so should be used with caution. They are also best for dogs that have upper body injuries or surgery rather than lower down.
Neck collars are best for nervous dogs. They will feel more mobile and are less likely to bump into things as vision isn’t so limited. These collars are usually made from a mixture of plastic and foam, providing comfort and dogs are less likely to get stuck in small spaces.
All in one suits
These are a good choice if your dog fails to adjust to any collar type options. They fit snugly on the whole body, and some have full-length legs. Fabrics are super soft and movement isn’t restricted at all. However, some dogs may still find a way to get through the fabric, so it’s important you pick the right design for your specific dog.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know what size to get?
All products are different and will have sizing guides within the specifications. Be sure to follow it closely and measure your dog accurately. All companies will offer an exchange if it doesn’t fit properly.
How can I get my dog used to the collar?
It can be tricky to get your dog to accept the collar. Be patient with them and perhaps use reward based training to help them .
When they are calm and not trying to get out of the collar reward them with a treat, they will soon learn that it’s more beneficial when they are calm and cooperative than when they aren’t.
No one wants to see a special member of the family in distress but with the right product they will heal properly and be free to live their best life in no time.