If your dog is using a cone for the first time, keep reading to find out how to make it as pleasant as possible for them.

Having to take your dog to the vet for surgery is never enjoyable. But occasionally, recovering from surgery can be even more difficult. This is due to the possibility of receiving stringent instructions to keep your dog wearing an Elizabethan Collar, also known as an E-collar or the “Cone of Shame,” as some may refer to it. Your dog is undoubtedly frustrated and perplexed in the meanwhile. They don’t understand why they must wear this bizarre new device!

Continue reading to find out how to make the “Cone of Shame” as comfortable as you can for your dog if this is their first time wearing an E-collar.



Purpose of the Cone

Regardless of how tacky and crude you may think the cone is, it is incredibly effective at doing its job. Its duty is to stop your dog from licking, scratching, or otherwise harming surgery sites or open wounds.

In other words, the cone’s purpose is to aid your dog’s speedy recovery from surgery and prevent any further mishaps. In essence, the cone is thus both a blessing and a punishment. On one hand, it keeps your dog safe and offers the best path toward recovery. But it can also make life more challenging for both you and your dog on a daily basis.


How Your Dog Is Affected By The Cone

What impact will the cone likely have on your dog? Here are the principal ones:

  • Hearing and visual limitations. Your eyesight and hearing would be somewhat impaired if you wore a cone on your head. Your dog may also need some time to get used to these sensory restrictions.
  • Hunchbacking. Some dogs may droop their heads while wearing the cone, almost like they have hunchbacks, due to the natural weight of the item. They’ll find it more difficult to move about, and they might start running into things like sidewalks.
  • Eating, drinking, and using the restroom are difficult. Your dog won’t be able to bury their heads where they formerly could once the cone is on. They may find it more difficult to locate a restroom as a result. Additionally, using bowls to consume food and liquids becomes more challenging.


Advice for Improving Cone Comfort

1. Take Your Time

Dogs frequently just need some time. Your dog might whine a lot in protest over the first two days. However, they’ll probably return to their normal, energized selves after a few days. Try to be as sympathetic and upbeat as you can to hasten the process. Use your “baby voice” to reassure your dog that living in the cone isn’t all that horrible and have some treats available.

2. Keep doing what you normally do with your dog

This is a major issue. So your dog’s world has been turned inside out by the cone, okay? Let’s try to make that the only deciding factor. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to establish a routine for your dog. The more quickly adapt to a new environment thanks to it. Therefore, continue any routines you’ve already established. This entails carrying on with dinner service and scheduling walks at the same time. Your dog will adapt to the cone better if there are fewer things that are out of the ordinary for them.

3. Cone-on versus Cone-off?

I am aware that we instructed you to consistently wear the cone. But perhaps, just perhaps, there are times when we can slightly cheat. The cone’s goal is to prevent your dog from getting to the injured area while you are away. So in theory, you ought to be able to remove the cone if you can keep a close eye on them. Yes, but only if you can prevent your dog from quickly approaching the surgical site. literally at the drop of a hat.

You might be able to squeeze in some cone-off time, for instance, if your dog is curled up next to you while you’re watching TV. However, if you’re engaged in a task like chopping onions, you’re unable to attend to your dog right away and must leave the cone in place. Certain dogs aren’t appropriate for the cone-off time, so you might have a troublemaker on your hands. As soon as the cone is removed, they could start pawing and scratching. In general, keep the cone on when in doubt.

4. Make modifications to the home

Maybe your dog likes to take a nap occasionally under your desk. Your dog could find it challenging to move around your desk chair or other obstructions while the cone is on to reach her customary spots. So that your dog can still choose to rest there, you might wish to move these items out of the way. Other locations can also be affected by this. 

If you let your dog lie in your bed, for instance, the cone can make it difficult for them to get on and off; in this case, a ramp might be helpful.

5. Clean Up The Cone

Dogs can drool and shed fur all over the cone, quickly contaminating it. Yuck. Simply wipe the cone down on both sides with a damp cloth and a small amount of hand soap to clean it. Before giving it back to your dog, scrub, completely rinse it, and then pat it dry with a towel. 

Consider purchasing two cones so that you always have a clean one available since your dog won’t have one while you’re cleaning it. If not, resume cleaning while keeping a very close check on your dog.

6. If all else fails, look for alternatives

You may have already read through suggestions 1 through 9. However, nothing is helping your dog, and you are frustrated. After about 24 to 48 hours, most pets will become accustomed to the cone. It’s acceptable if you’ve moved past that point and your dog is still obviously having trouble. As alternatives to the conventional E-Collar, you might want to take into account:

  • Soft e-collar. A soft E-collar is exactly what its name implies. In order to make them more comfortable for your dog to relax in, they are typically padded with nylon. The Original Comfy Cone is a well-liked choice that may also be folded back when eating and drinking, especially for old dogs.
  • Blow-up E-Collar. These resemble travel pillows in some ways. They are advantageous in that they don’t obstruct your dog’s hearing or vision. When choosing one, pay close attention to the size. For inflatable E-collars to effectively keep your dog safe, they must be the right size and length.



It’s never simple to have your dog have major surgery and spend weeks recovering in a cone of shame. I’m sending my best wishes to anyone who is presently dealing with this with their dog. I’ve been there, and I hope these suggestions will make the experience easier for your dog throughout.

Get pet insurance to protect against future costs associated with an unplanned dog accident.