Most dogs and cats will instinctively lick, bite, or scratch their wounds, injuries, and surgical sites which prevents healing and can lead to infection or further injury. Your vet has probably sent you home with a hard, plastic Elizabethan collar, also known as an e-collar, lampshade, satellite dish, or my personal favorite “cone of shame.” While the collar might be doing a good job of keeping your pet from irritating their wounds, your pet may be running into walls, furniture, or your legs with the cone, having trouble eating with it on, or they may just be miserable in it, howling, whining, and spending every waking minute trying to get the cone off.
Fortunately, the hard, plastic cone of shame isn’t your only option for keeping your pet from further injuring themselves. Like the cone of shame, these alternatives will probably feel strange to your pet and will likely take a little time to get used to, but your pet may find one of these options more tolerable or comfortable.
The Soft Cone of Shame
This is similar to an Elizabethan Collar in shape and function, but made out of fabric or foam to be more comfortable and flexible. The soft material means your pet won’t damage your walls or furniture with the cone or hurt you when they run into you. Brands include the Comfy Cone, the EZ Soft Collar, and the Soft-E Collar.
This goes around your pet’s neck and inflates to keep your pet from reaching their wounds. It’s soft and comfortable and since it doesn’t cover your pet’s face like a cone does, it doesn’t get in the way of your pet’s peripheral vision or make it difficult to eat. Some pets are still able to reach their hind area while wearing it and some are also able to pop it. Brands include the Kong Cushion (formerly the BooBooLoon) and the ProCollar.
The Collar of Shame
The BiteNot Collar works like a neck brace, preventing your pet from moving their head to reach their wounds. It’s made of flexible plastic and foam to keep your pet comfortable and since it fits snugly around your pet’s neck, it won’t get in the way of eating of obstruct their vision. This collar is not recommended for pets that need their eyes, ears, hind legs, or tail protected as they may still be able to reach these areas with the collar on.
The Pajamas of Shame
This is a full body suit made of soft, breathable fabric that prevents your pet from licking and biting their wounds. In addition to being soft and comfortable, they’re also pretty cute and stylist, coming in a variety of colors and patterns for you to choose from. The body suits only cover your pet’s torso and in some case, legs, so these are not suitable for protecting wounds on your pet’s head or paws. Brands include the Cover Me By Tui, the Suitical, and the Surgi Snuggly.
Choose the Best Option for Your Pet
You know your pet better than anyone else. Choose the cone or cone alternative you think your pet will best tolerate. And then measure your pet carefully to ensure you buy the right size. Too big or too small might make it easy for your pet to get it off or reach their wounds. Before leaving your pet alone with the product on, supervise your pet for some time to make sure they can’t get it off.