It is common that your dog may have to wear an E-collar or the “dog cone of shame” at some point in their life. They may look funny, but it is important to note that they do serve a very important purpose when your dog is recovering from an injury. This is what you should know about these health accessories.
First, why do dogs have to wear e-collars? Cones are put on dogs to prevent them from chewing or scratching at a wounded area. Just think about it. If dogs continued to lick or bite at their wounds, it may cause additional problems with their skin which could lead to further infection. The cone acts as a physical barrier to between the dog and the wound.
Prepping your dog to wear a cone is simple. Well, besides the fact that they won’t like it! You can pick up a dog cone at your vet’s office before surgery and let your dog adjust to it if necessary. Be sure to include positive reinforcement and association with the cone. Be patient with your pup as it will be a new feeling for them.
The cone should stay on for about a week while your dog is healing – normally a week or so. The cone must stay on the dog the entire time they are healing, especially if you are not around them. Depending on the type of activity (walking), you may be able to take the cone off for a little bit. Just ensure that the cone is secure and not too tight or loose.
There are alternatives to the e-collar that you can try as well. Inflatable collars resemble neck pillows and are a softer option than the traditional cone. Sometimes these inflatable collars are more comfortable for the dog and even less destructive. The most important thing is to prevent your dog from biting, licking, or touching their wounded area. Your dog will not like the cone at first, but with a little time and patience they will get used to it and they will be on their way to full recovery!