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Caring for Your Dog After Surgery

Alternatives to the “Cone of Shame”

Whether your dog has a planned surgery on the horizon, an impromptu injury, or hot spots and seasonal allergies, there’s one image that often comes to mind: the plastic “cone of shame.”

Technically, these doggy devices are known as Elizabethan collars, and they do a great job keeping dogs from licking or chewing stitches or injury sites. However, they can also create some awkward and annoying moments – like tipping over food and water bowls or getting stuck in doorways.

Fortunately, there are other alternatives to consider that can create a far more comfortable experience for your dog while helping them heal at the same time. Here are a few options to discuss with your vet.

Soft, Fabric “E-Collar” Cones

This option works in a similar manner as the traditional Elizabethan collar. However, unlike the rigid plastic collars you’ve seen in the past, these come in soft, fabric materials that allow you to create a more comfortable, personalized fit – many can even get used in reverse, like the Comfy Cone.

Inflatable Collars

As you might expect, “inflatable” collars do just that – inflate. This puffy alternative, like the Kong Cloud Collar, comes in donut or horseshoe shapes that fit around a dog’s neck. An inflatable collar can provide greater comfort and mobility for dogs, but they may not be the best option for unsupervised super chewers.

Neck Control Collars

If you want to avoid soft or inflatable collars, look no further than the sturdy BiteNot neck immobilizer. This collar uses a combination of extra-wide plastic, foam, and a harness to limit movement, but it won’t offer protection for eyes or ears.

Post-Surgery Shirts, Pants, Suits, and Socks

Want to avoid cones and collars altogether? Try garments designed to protect your dog’s most sensitive areas. Itchy feet? Get your dog some safety socks. Are they going for surgery? Look for the vet-approved Suitical Recovery Suit, designed to keep wounds protected and dry – it even has built-in pockets for gauze pads!

After choosing the best solution to keep your dog from licking and chewing, you can focus on keeping them entertained and engaged. With these tips, it’s easy – even if they’re on restricted activity.

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