The Best Alternatives to Dog Cones

Ahhhh, the controversial dog cone, also known as “the dreaded cone of shame.” It’s a necessary evil in the eyes of many pet owners. But is it really the only option you have?

Dog cones are used after a lot of medical procedures in order to prevent the pup from pulling at stitches or otherwise damaging the surgical site. Most dogs will wear them at some time over the course of their lives. But the big, bulky plastic cone makes pets and their owners miserable.

The typical reasons dogs will end up wearing a cone are usually because they were spayed or neutered or because they had an injury that needs to heal. Although these cones are necessary for your pup’s health, they’re never fun. 

Watching Fido try to navigate his normal daily activities with a cone over his shoulders is a hard thing to do as a puppy parent. It’s even more difficult for him, since he’s going to be walking into walls, issues trying to eat and drink, and having a long list of struggles.

You might think that to be a “good parent," you have to force your pup to wear the cone. Taking it off means chancing a dangerous consequence. But those aren’t your only options!

Now, there are many alternatives to the dog cone of shame that keep your pup safe and let them move around more flexibly. If your vet recommends a dog cone, consider these options first.

Why Dog Cones Are Necessary

We can all agree that it’s crucial to protect your pup after an injury or surgery. They don’t understand the problems that can come from their wound-licking instincts.

When a dog, or any animal, is injured, their first reaction is to want to lick the area. This can result in infections from the constant moisture, setting the stage for bacteria to breed and thrive. A dog collar after surgery is a deterrent to keep this from happening.

Another potential consequence is that the animal will pull at the wound. Yanking the stitches out is dangerous, and your dog has to have something between it and the problem area to protect him or her. 

A plastic cone has been the traditional means of creating a barrier during healing. But it’s also a burden on your pup.

The Top Recommended Cone Alternatives for Dogs

If your goal is to learn how to keep a dog from licking stitches without a cone, these dog cone alternatives are exactly what you’re looking for!

The ProCollar Premium Protective Collar - Inflatable pillows are trending for humans today, so why not use them for your pup? The ProCollar Premium Protective Collar works similarly to the pillows you use when you fly on a plane. The pillow comes in multiple neck sizes, from x-small to xx-large.

The ProCollar is designed to prevent your pup from being able to reach an injured, rashed, or post-surgical area. It’s soft and comfortable, so dogs can sleep with it on easily. 

Because it’s a donut-shape but not too large, it doesn’t interfere with your dog’s peripheral vision, eating, or drinking. The fabric is water-resistant and easy to clean, but the nylon covering keeps pets from clawing the collar and destroying it.

The Velcro adhesive makes the collar easy to take off and put on quickly and gives you a tight, but not painful, fit. When you don’t need it anymore, it can be deflated and stored away easily.

However, the ProCollar is best for animals with injuries or problems in their upper body, since it doesn’t stretch as far as a cone. It’s not the best dog collar to use after surgery in lower areas, like the tail or paws. If your pup is active, you may have to re-inflate the pillow a few times throughout the day. 

Walkee Paws Leggings - If you are looking for an alternative to protect a leg injury, Walkee Paws leggings are the answer.

These dog booties/leggings protect your pup’s paw or leg wound from the elements when they’re outside. The paws are waterproof and natural rubber. Your dog will feel like they’re walking on the ground while still being protected from the pavement and dirt.

The dog paw also has rubber grippies to keep the traction when they might otherwise not be so steady. Older dogs often slip inside. And when your pup is injured, they don’t walk well, so the extra traction helps prevent another injury or damage to the current one.

Because the leggings secure over the pet’s back, it protects the paw and the legs without falling off. Each leg connects together over the top, preventing your pup from chewing their way free.

The leggings are designed to be comfortable for your pup and easy for you to take off and put on. This is important after an injury or surgery when you don’t want to add stress to your pup. 

If you are only looking for a solution for indoor use there are also Indoor Walkee Paws available with socks with grippies for traction for a super comfy indoor solution

IDOMIK Recovery Suit - For another alternative to the “cone of shame,” try the IDOMIK Recovery Suit. This product is perfect for dogs who just had surgery, particularly in the abdominal area.

After those types of surgeries, you definitely need a dog collar to prevent licking, or at least something to cover the area! The IDOMIK Recovery Suit is designed for animals who have been neutered, have wounds in the abdominal or back area, or have other problems in that area.

The material is breathable cotton and polyester. The mixture of the fabrics make it snug on your pup but not tight. It’s easy to wash and dries fast, coming in sizes from XS to 2XL. 

With the Recovery Shirt, your pup can sleep, eat, drink, and walk like normal, without being able to lick or dig at the wound. Licking and scratching are a thing of the past with this cone alternative for dogs.

The full cover surgical coverup is perfect for dogs and cats. It’s easily put on and taken off when you unfasten the rear and roll it up with the attached band. Even when it’s fully on, your male or female pup can go to the bathroom easily.

This is definitely the best cone for dogs if you’re trying to prevent more problems to the back and abdominal area.

The BiteNot Collar - As the name implies, this dog cone alternative keeps your dog from biting. It’s a good option for animals who have injuries or wounds in their upper extremities. The flexible plastic and foam brace still lets your pup get access to their tail and paws.

The collar is very unobtrusive. The wearer can perform their daily activities, sleep restfully, and stay comfortable in general. The fabric is easily washable and can be cleaned in a washing machine.

The BiteNot Collar works in a harness-style. It limits your pup’s reach in the abdominal areas, making it difficult for them to access any wound or injured area. However, if the problem is in the ears or eyes, this collar won’t protect them.

The Boobooloon Inflatable Collar - As fun for pets to wear as it is for humans to say, the Boobooloon (read: Boo-boo-loon) is an inflatable collar that keeps the wearer from causing damage to their injuries. At the same time, the collar doesn’t get in the way of your pup’s peripheral vision and isn’t uncomfortable.

When it’s not in use, the Boobooloon can be deflated and stored in small spaces. But when you inflate it, it’s lightweight and easy to attach around your pup’s neck. It comes in five sizes, and the detach/attach durable PVC enclosure makes it convenient to take off and put on.

However, the inflated product lets your pet’s face have more freedom, so they may be able to get to some lower extremity wounds. If you have an aggressive pet or they have sharp nails, your pup could pop the cone. There’s a patch kit that comes with it just in case this happens. Never inflate the Boobooloon fully to prevent suffocation.

These alternatives to the traditional dog cone free your pup up to move around without walking into walls and otherwise causing more damage to their bodies.

You’re the Best Expert on Your Dog

As you’re trying to decide which cone alternative is better for your pup, remember to trust your judgment. There are lots of products that will claim to be the best option. Ultimately, you know your dog best.

If you’re concerned that your pup will tear the cone off or destroy it, for instance, you should look for durable, comfortable choices. The Walkee Paws leggings would be a good choice because they let your dog behave naturally. They will get used to them faster and are less likely to bite and chew on them.

You’re already making the first step to helping your dog recover by avoiding the plastic dog cone. This collar might be “typically” used, but your pup will be miserable wearing it, and you’ll be sad watching them.

There are many options that you can choose instead. When you’re ready to find an alternative to the dog cone of shame, try these five products out first. Or even better use Walkee Paws for worry free outdoor walks to prevent paw injuries from hot pavement, broken glass, allergens or toxins