It’s All Fun & Games, Until Someone Ends Up in a Cone

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We’ve all seen the internet memes about the “cone of shame” and the poor dogs who have to suffer through the wearing of them. We’ve probably even had a few dogs who had to wear them at one time or another.
cone of shame
Poor dogs, what’s the point of these stupid things – do they really serve a purpose?
The cone of shame, or “Elizabethan collar” is a large plastic ring affixed around a dog’s (or cat’s)neck to prevent them from reaching an injury – possibly an incision, a sore, a bite. It could be any type of injury on their body – the cone’s purpose is to prevent them from licking it or biting at it. You wouldn’t want them to just chew up the incision from surgery they just had, or aggravate an infected bug bite. You can’t (usually) tell a dog not to lick it and expect them to be 100% compliant. The licking makes it feel better, so why wouldn’t they lick it? You also can’t monitor them 24/7, so wearing the collar is the alternative.

The cone of shame is big, bulky and uncomfortable. Most dogs hate it, and who can blame them.
There have been a few new products recently designed to be a bit more flexible and comfortable for the pet. There are inflatable cones and fabric cones that are softer and not so rigid.
Trupanion created this excellent comparison chart to demonstrate the different types of devises you can use that are easier on your dog than that heavy plastic ring.




We’ve been fortunate with Jack & Maggie. Maggie has never required a cone for anything. Jack has needed one a few times, but luckily he is compliant enough that just a light “no” from me and he will stop. But, overnight or if I”m away during the day, we would use a soft, inflatable ring around his head and that seemed to do the trick as well as offer a nice pillow for his head!
How about you – what type of device do you favor?


Jack’s favorite meme:



Additional Readings:

7 Alternatives to the “Cone of Shame”

Pet Injury Protection: Alternatives to the Cone of Shame


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  1. They left out muzzles in their comparison.
    I have a standard cone, a bite-not, and an inflatable one, and have used an opti-visor. The opti-visor was my absolute favorite when my dog had surgery on her eye, because she was able to easily walk from room to room and do things, but wasn’t able to scratch at her eye.
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  2. after Easy turned into CONan the barbarian with a common cone we bought a Bitenot. It’s better but works not for all bodyparts a dog can hurt :O)

  3. Katie has had to wear the plastic cone a few times. We tried other things but she still managed to get at the area she was not suppose to get at. I have never had to wear one as I learned the no lick command real quick and I am not big on licking or chewing on myself or wounds. It’s no fun to wear the cone, and I think Mom feels almost worst than Katie!
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  4. Penny had the inflatable ring after her spay – it made life easier for all of us, without the added bulk/trouble of the cone. Of course, one day she popped the collar when she wasn’t wearing it…but that’s another story.

  5. I was given one at the vet once with one of my dogs. She kept bumping into things and was unable to go inside and outside through the doggy door. I was fortunate enough with my girl to ‘just say no’ and she would stop licking at it. So glad they have other options available and will continue to check to see what everyone likes.

  6. They gave us one when Cocoa was spayed but never used it. Love that meme!!
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  7. I had to use the plastic cone with Callie because the fabric ones were too easy for her to manipulate. Ducky would probably bite/destroy an inflatable or fabric one but hasn’t had to wear one in a long time. Shadow? The last time she needed one was years ago, before all the new options became available. But she would probably be okay with the inflatable one now if need be.
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  8. Bentley was supposed to wear a cone when he was neutered but tore it up within a few minutes. LOL! I think the new soft rings are much better.
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  9. While it’s unfortunate (and hilarious) when a dog needs to wear a cone, I think it’s better than any alternative. Dogs can bend fabric/cloth by leveraging it against the ground, if they really wanted to. Thanks for the share!
    Emily recently posted…So Why Does My Dog Poo So Much?My Profile

  10. I got both pups their respective Comfy Cones several weeks before their neuter/spaying surgeries and practiced wearing them (I even wore Buzz’s myself to see what it would feel like – it was bearable) – they got loots of edible goodies while trying them on.
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  11. We have a soft cone that our foster dogs didn’t seem to mind too much when they had to wear it. 🙂
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  12. Sam just got out of the cone of shame a week ago. He was very unhappy not getting Showtime or HBO with his ‘satellite dish’ Elizabethan collar. That said, it does work (despite his protestations that his so-called healing super-powers saliva is a better choice which we all know isn’t). When I took it off at one point he immediately manage to pop a couple of stitches behind my back. Luckily isn’t wasn’t a serious problem but could’ve been. Thank you for pointing out alternative options. I’ll look into those more closely for “the next time” because with this knuckle headed dog, there always is a next time. 🙂

  13. Some one in my family has had to wear a cone now and then. They do suck thou so I like the other alternatives.
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