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The 9 Best Dog Cone Alternatives

Cone collars, also known as Elizabethan collars for dogs, are often used to prevent dogs from licking or biting their wounds.

While they serve an important purpose in promoting healing, they can be uncomfortable and distressing for dogs.

Fortunately, there are many alternatives to traditional cone collars that can keep your furry friend comfortable while they recover.

At BestForPets, we understand the importance of keeping your pet comfortable during the healing process.

That's why we have researched and evaluated the best cone collar alternatives on the market this year. From soft collars to inflatable E-collars, we've got you covered.

It's important to note that licking wounds can lead to infection. Therefore, it's crucial to find a comfortable and effective alternative to the cone collar.

Our assessments are designed to help you make an informed decision and keep your pet safe and comfortable during the healing process.

icon Vet Approved
icon Reviewed & Fact - Checked by

Deborah R. Fletcher (DVM)

Veterinarian

The information provided is current and up-to-date, in line with the latest research conducted in the field of veterinary medicine.

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Reviews

1. Dogs’ Suitical Recovery Suit

Suitical Original Recovery Suit - Breathable full body shirt

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  • Adult life stage
  • Sizes range from XXX-Small to XXX-Large.
  • Material: Cotton

This Suitical Recovery Suit for Dogs is an exceptional alternative to the standard cone.

It is a multi-purpose full-body shirt designed to cover and protect wounds, spays and neuters, sutures, allergies, hot spots, and even nursing pets that need a break.

It also prevents over-grooming, hair loss, and mild incontinence. The suit is constructed of a breathable, 4-way stretch fabric that keeps bacteria and dirt out while still allowing air to flow around the area to promote healing.

The patented design is based on the anatomy of your dog, ensuring a snug fit and a high level of comfort for faster and stress-free healing.

This suit is handmade according to high-quality standards for both products and employees, with respect to ethical, social, and environmental matters.

The recovery suit is highly recommended and has already protected millions of dogs worldwide with a safe and comfortable recovery since 2007.

Well-known hospitals, clinics, universities, and professionals from all over the world have collaborated closely on its development and use.

The 94% cotton and 6% Invista Lycra 4-way stretch fabric gives your dog plenty of freedom of movement and ensures a snug fit.

The fabric is breathable, making it very comfortable for your dog. The Suitical Recovery Suit is also high-temperature washable up to 194 Fahrenheit and reusable.

The suit is easy to put on and take off, with a convenient hold-up system that ensures carefree walks and easy potty breaks. The snaps near the base of the tail also allow you to walk your dog without removing the shirt.

Extra-soft bindings around the legs, collar, and tail prevent rubbing. The inside belly section is lined with a light blue fabric layer for fluid monitoring.

It is important to note that you should always measure your dog before purchasing. Measure the distance from the neck (near the dog’s collar) to the base of the tail (beginning of the tail/near the end of the lower back): 13.0–16.5″ for size 2XS. Please refer to the size chart and video to find the correct size for your pet.

If your dog is between two sizes, choose the smaller size for the best fit. We always recommend supervising your pet while they wear protective or postoperative products and consulting your veterinarian if in doubt.

It is also recommended to purchase two recovery suits so that you have a spare while the other is being washed.

Investing in the Suitical Recovery Suit for Dogs is an excellent decision to protect your furry friend’s wounds and promote a faster, stress-free healing process.

Pros

Excellent for almost any breed size.

Alternative for relieving stress

It does not limit mobility.

Encourages healing

Cons

Going to the toilet might be challenging.

It is not suitable for chewers.


2. Basic Inflatable Dog Collar by Calm Paws

Calm Paws Basic Inflatable Collar Large

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  • Adult life stage
  • Sizes range from X-Small to X-Large.
  • Material: Velvet

If your canine companion has undergone an operation or has an injury, a cone is a crucial tool to prevent them from aggravating the affected area.

However, it can be expensive, and if your emergency fund has been depleted, it may not be an option. The Calm Paws Basic Inflatable Dog Collar is an affordable alternative that won’t break the bank.

This inflatable velvet collar is available in different sizes to fit small and large breeds. It’s made of comfortable, soft fabric and inflates easily, making it easy to store when not in use.

The collar fastens around the neck with hook and loop closures, and the attached chest strap keeps it in place.

A correctly sized and inflated collar prevents pets from reaching their wounds or injuries, providing the ideal recovery support for spay and neuter procedures. It’s also perfect for providing body coverage for pets.

In addition, the Calm Paws Basic Inflatable Dog Collar comes with a Calming Disk infused with essential oils to help alleviate cone-related anxiety, making it a more comfortable experience for your furry friend.

Investing in this inflatable collar is an excellent decision that doesn’t compromise quality or affordability.

Pros

Washable by machine

Enables regular eating

Wearable and comfortable

Price is reasonable.

Cons

Occasionally, reinflating may be required.


3. SunGrow Recovery Collar for Dogs

SunGrow Cat Cone Collar Soft

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  • Stages of Life: Puppy, Adult
  • Small, Medium Breed Size
  • Material: Foam

The SunGrow Dog Recovery Collar is an excellent option for pet owners who want a comfortable and effective alternative to the traditional cone.

This cushioned collar has rounded corners that allow pets to move freely without being hindered by a stiff cone. The soft design also ensures that their eyesight and head movements are not restricted.

This collar is made of soft foam, which makes it lightweight and durable. It can be machine-washed if it becomes dirty, but it should be air-dried to maintain its shape and integrity.

This collar is designed for dogs with neck circumferences ranging from 9 to 10 inches. The SunGrow dog recovery collar is an excellent option for pets recovering from injuries or surgeries.

It prevents them from biting and scratching their wounds, allowing them to heal more quickly. This collar is also an effective grooming cone for pets with skin conditions.

The recovery collar is designed for maximum comfort and visibility. It doesn’t interfere with your pet’s peripheral vision or their ability to eat and drink.

The soft fabric edge ensures that your pet is comfortable and can rest in any position they prefer. This collar is also affordable, making it a great option for pet owners who want to save money on expensive vet visits.

The adjustable loop-type wrist closure fasteners make it easy to adjust the collar’s size to fit your pet’s neck circumference.

Pros

Cute design

Wearable and comfortable

Enables eating and drinking

It’s simple to discover the ideal fit.

Cons

It can be removed by clever puppies.


4. KONG Cloud Dog Collar

KONG - Cloud Collar - Plush, Inflatable E-Collar

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  • Adult life stage
  • Sizes range from X-Small to X-Large.
  • Material: Cotton

KONG's Cloud Collar is a fantastic alternative to typical plastic cones of shame. Its soft and comfortable design ensures that your dog can recover from surgery or injuries without any discomfort.

The collar does not obstruct your dog’s ability to eat or drink and has no impact on their peripheral vision.

The sturdy cotton material is scratch and bite-resistant, ensuring that your pet won’t hurt themselves while wearing it. Additionally, the collar is machine-washable, making it easy to clean and maintain.

The hook-and-loop strap allows for easy adjustments, ensuring a comfortable and secure fit for your furry friend. The collar is available in a variety of sizes, making it suitable for both miniature and large breeds.

Not only is the KONG Cloud Collar comfortable and effective, but it also protects your furniture. It won’t mark or scratch your furniture, ensuring that your home stays in pristine condition while your pet recovers.

In summary, the KONG Cloud Collar is a durable, comfortable, and effective option for pets recovering from surgery or injuries. Its tough fabric won’t rip or tear, and it’s machine-washable for easy upkeep.

With its adjustable hook-and-loop strap, you can easily find the perfect fit for your pet, and it won’t damage your furniture.

Pros

Allows for complete visibility

Durable material

A sturdy securing strap

Wearable and comfortable

Cons

Some dogs can get around the collar.


5. Suit Surgi Snuggly Wonder

SurgiSnuggly Dog Recovery Suit for Female and Male Dogs

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  • Adult life stage
  • Size of Breed: All sizes
  • Polyester and spandex blend

The Surgi Snuggly Wonder Suit's snug and tight fit not only helps pets suffering from anxiety following surgery but also reduces the risk of painful rubbing.

Our sizing technique guarantees the best possible fit for your pet based on their weight, spine measurements, and girth. This ensures that your pet can recuperate comfortably and without any discomfort.

The Wonder Suit is made of an antibacterial substance that prevents germs and fungi, allowing your pet to heal naturally. Additionally, it can also be used to keep diapers in place if needed.

Our onesie is veterinary-approved and has been since 2008. It was invented by Dr. Paul Williams, a veterinarian, and has become the go-to choice among veterinarians and pet owners because it provides a practical, safe, consistent, and effective solution for post-surgical recovery in pets.

Our fabric is milled to American standards, ensuring that it’s safe for your pet’s skin. It’s odorless, without any unpleasant smells, and made of high-quality materials that guarantee your pet’s safety.

When you buy the Surgi Snuggly Wonder Suit, you’re getting value, quality, and safety. You’re also supporting a local American business and the inventors of the dog recovery suit revolution.

Our signature size system, WaGS, ensures a proper fit for your pet. The size Large Long (LL) fits spine measurements of 21″–24″. We consider your pet’s weight, girth, and spine measurements to ensure the best possible fit.

The Surgi Snuggly Wonder Suit is veterinary-approved, made of high-quality materials, and available in a variety of sizes to ensure a proper fit for your pet.

Pros

Washable by machine

Simple to modify

Wearable and comfortable

Anxiety-reducing

Cons

It might be challenging to get started.

When collecting measurements, exercise caution.


6. Comfortable Cone E-Collar for Dogs

All Four Paws Comfy Cone Pet Cone for Dogs

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  • Adult life stage
  • Sizes range from X-Small to XX-Large.
  • Material: Nylon

The Comfy Cone E-Collar for Dogs from All Four Paws fits securely and comfortably around your dog’s collar, providing a soft and cushioned barrier to protect your pet during post-surgery recovery.

The collar is made of high-quality foam-backed padded nylon, designed to last and prevent scratching. It’s water-resistant and repellent, making it easy to clean and maintain. Additionally, the reflective binding ensures that your pet is visible in low-light conditions.

The collar features neck loops to thread your pet’s collar through, allowing it to be folded back while eating and drinking. This feature conforms to furniture and adds extra stability to the collar. The detachable plastic supports allow you to adjust the rigidity of the collar based on your pet’s individual needs.

The Comfy Cone E-Collar is available in a large size with a reversible design and a calming black interior. It features three sizing strips with hook-and-loop closures for a secure fit. The sizing chart is available to ensure that you choose the right size and keep your pet comfortable.

Veterinarians have tested and approved this soft collar for dogs and cats as an alternative to hard plastic cones. It’s a great option for post-surgery recovery, allergy flare-ups, and preventing hot spot licking.

The All Four Paws Comfy Cone E-Collar is made of high-quality materials, easy to clean and maintain, and available in a variety of sizes to ensure a proper fit for your pet.

Pros

Design that is adaptable

Materials that are comfortable

The reversible functionality gives you additional options.

The soft design fits into doors.

Cons

It is not machine washable.

Some dogs are capable of escaping.


7. Suitical Dog Recovery Sleeve

Suitical Recovery Sleeve Dog

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  • Adult life stage
  • Sizes range from XXX-Small to XXX-Large.
  • Material: Cotton

The Suitical Recovery Sleeve for Dogs is a professional and comfortable alternative to traditional medical cones and bandages.

It’s designed to protect wounds, seams, bandages, hotspots, and skin problems while keeping your pet’s environment clean and hygienic.

The patented design is based on the body shape and anatomy of your dog, ensuring a perfect fit and providing a high level of comfort for a faster and stress-free recovery.

Veterinarians recommend the recovery sleeve because it’s simple to use and provides interchangeable front leg protection.

The front leg protection includes an adjustable hook-and-loop fastener and a stretch band that applies gentle pressure around the chest, providing a calming effect on most dogs and reducing their feelings of fear or stress.

The sleeve is made of lightweight and breathable cotton and lycra fabric, allowing your dog to move freely.

It’s also machine washable and reusable, making it easy to clean and maintain. It’s recommended to buy two recovery sleeves so that you have a spare while the other is being washed.

To ensure a proper fit, measure your dog’s chest circumference directly behind the front legs and the length from the chest to the paw.

The size chart and video are available to help you find the right size for your pet. If your dog is between two sizes or you have doubts about the right size, it’s best to choose the smaller size for a better fit.

Please note that if your dog has a deep chest but relatively short legs, such as English Bulldogs, Corgis, and Dachshunds, you can fold the sleeve if the length is too long.

In summary, the Suitical Recovery Sleeve for Dogs is a comfortable and effective option for protecting delicate regions and wounds. It’s veterinarian-recommended, easy to use and maintain, and made of high-quality materials.

Pros

Pressure has a relaxing effect.

The soft band will not rub.

Difficult to get away from

After an injury or surgery, it protects.

Cons

Chewers may not find it durable enough.

Allows for the coverage of only one leg.


8. Adjustable Recovery Collar by ccypet

ccypet Pet Adjustable Recovery Collar

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  • Adult life stage
  • Sizes range from X-Small to Large.
  • Beads of recycled polystyrene

The ccypet Adjustable Recovery Collar is designed to protect pets from injuries, rashes, and post-surgery wounds, preventing them from licking or biting their injured area while promoting a faster recovery.

The collar features a stress-free design with a soft exterior that won’t irritate your pet’s skin. It doesn’t block your pet’s vision, allowing them to eat, drink, sleep, and play normally. The collar is filled with recycled polystyrene beads, making it lightweight, soft, and breathable. It also serves as a pillow for your pet’s comfort.

The collar is available in a range of sizes and is easy to use and washable. It won’t mark or scrape furniture, and you can insert your pet’s everyday collar through the inner ring loops for stabilization.

Please note that this collar is only suitable for wounds on the upper part of your pet’s body. Your pet can still lick their front and back paws while wearing this collar, so it’s essential to confirm the location of your pet’s wound before placing an order.

The ccypet Adjustable Recovery Collar is a lightweight, easy-to-use, washable, and comfortable option for promoting your pet’s recovery.

Pros

Design is adorable.

Enables frequent movement

Simple to put on

Cons

Only effective for upper-body injuries.


9. ARRR Comfortable UFO Pet Collar

ARRR Comfy UFO Pet Recovery Collar

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  • Adult life stage
  • Sizes range from small to XX-large.
  • Microfiber foam is used.

The ARRR Comfy UFO Pet Collar is a unique and improved cone substitute for your furry friends.

This 2nd edition collar allows for three different shapes and angles, making it customizable to your pet’s post-operation condition, itch-scratch cycle, or lick-bite behavior. The collar is made of water-resistant fabric, which is easy to manage and keep clean from pet hair and dust.

This collar won’t obstruct your pet’s vision, and they can eat, drink, sleep, and play normally while wearing it. The microfiber cotton material is noise-free and lightweight, protecting your pet from getting irritated and providing a comfortable cushion for sleeping.

The collar also features an adjustable drawstring stopper at the center to prevent slipping or getting taken off. Please refer to the product’s size chart before purchasing to ensure a proper fit for your pet.

Overall, the ARRR Comfy UFO Pet Collar is a fantastic alternative to typical plastic E-collars. It’s customizable, water-resistant, and won’t obstruct your pet’s vision or daily activities.

The adjustable drawstring stopper and noise-free microfiber cotton make it comfortable for your pet to wear. Be sure to measure your pet’s length from neck to front paws before choosing the appropriate size.

Pros

Adjustable fit

It is simple to move about in.

Design that is lightweight

Simple to clean

Cons

In other cases, wound licking may not be prevented.

It is not machine washable.

Does not suit larger breeds than bulldogs.

Choosing the Best Dog Cone Alternative: A Buyer's Guide

Before purchasing a cone substitute for your dog, there are a few things to consider. Here’s what you need to know before making a purchase decision:

1. Size

The size of the cone is perhaps the most important factor to consider. A cone that is too wide or too small for your dog’s neck will not be comfortable for him.

This is why every manufacturer on our list includes a detailed measurement guide to ensure your dog has the proper fit.

2. Type

There are several types of cone substitutes available.

First, there’s the recovery suit. The compression from the garment can provide some measure of relaxation and stress relief for dogs that are prone to anxiety.

However, some dogs may be able to chew through the fabric, so keep that in mind if your dog is a chewer.

Then there are inflatable neck pillows. These resemble the travel pillows that you see travelers carrying around at airports. These circular pillows come in a variety of sizes and are typically easy to put on.

They are lightweight, but they are easily punctured. Again, if your dog is a biter or chewer, you should avoid inflatable options.

Finally, soft cones are fabric cones of shame. They are intended to have the same size and shape as a standard cone, but their flexible fabric construction allows for some wiggle room.

Your dog will not injure himself more while wearing a cloth cone than he would in a hard plastic one. They’re easy to clean and can be adjusted to fit a variety of neck sizes.

3. Location of the Wound

The location of your dog’s wound or surgical site is a key element to consider. The collar you purchase will need to cover or keep your dog away from the spot to ensure his safety during the recovery period.

If the wound is on his front paw, you won’t want to get a collar with access to that area.

4. Temperament of Your Dog

Your dog’s personality is also an important consideration. Is he afraid of certain noises or experiences?

4.1 Does the sound of Velcro frighten him? If so, avoid cones with Velcro closures since he will be afraid every time you put on or take off his cone.

4.2 Does he suffer from anxiety? Although most cones on the market are not intended to obstruct eyesight, it’s still something to keep in mind when purchasing one. If the cone you choose obstructs your dog’s vision and causes him to become anxious, it will do more harm than good.

4.3 Is he a slobberer? Has he previously destroyed fabrics? Avoid inflatable cones unless they specifically state that they are puncture-proof. If your dog can tear through fabric, you should avoid fabric bodysuits.

“As a pet lover, I highly recommend checking out our latest article on BestForPets.org about dog cone alternatives. Discover how to choose the best one for your pet and say goodbye to uncomfortable cones forever! Check it out here.”

What's the Problem with a Traditional Cone?

The e-collar, short for Elizabethan collar, is a medical device that prevents dogs from licking or biting themselves while wounds heal.

While e-collars can reduce recovery time and aid in wound healing, research suggests that wearing one has a negative impact on an animal’s quality of life.

In a study, pet owners were asked about their pets’ experiences with e-collars, including how they affected their feeding, drinking, sleeping, playfulness, and relationships with other animals.

When their pets wore e-collars, 77.4% of owners reported decreased quality of life scores.

Owners reported that the cone hindered their pets’ ability to drink and play and that it could cause injuries and damage to property.

However, some veterinarians prefer e-collars over other options, arguing that the discomfort of the plastic cone is temporary and that they provide good protection from interfering with wounds.

Ultimately, whether to use an e-collar or one of the alternative options listed above is a personal decision for you and your dog.

Some may be comfortable with a traditional cone, while others may refuse to wear the plastic variety.

In conclusion, while e-collars can be effective in preventing dogs from interfering with their wounds, owners should carefully consider their pets’ comfort and quality of life when choosing a collar substitute.

Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best option for your dog’s individual needs and behavior.

FAQs

1. What else can I use instead of a dog cone?

If you’re looking for alternatives to a dog cone, there are several options available that can help your pup heal comfortably.

Soft collars, flexible fabric E-collars, inflatable E-collars, and even clothing or onesies can all serve as barriers to prevent your dog from licking or biting at their wounds.

It’s important to talk to your vet to determine which option is best for your furry friend’s specific needs.

2. Can I use a muzzle instead of a cone?

A basket muzzle can be a good alternative to the typical e-collar (also known as a cone) to prevent your pup from licking or chewing at stitches or a wound.

However, it’s important to note that muzzles are not designed to be worn for extended periods of time and should always be used under close supervision.

3. Can my dog go without a cone?

While it’s tempting to let your dog go without a cone, especially if they seem uncomfortable wearing it, it’s important to follow your vet’s advice.

If your pup has an open wound, hot spot, lump, or wart, wearing a cone can be a crucial step in the healing process.

4. How can I protect my dog’s wound without cone?

There are several alternatives to using a cone to protect your dog’s wound. Inflatable collars, soft E-collars, and neck brace collars can all be effective options.

In order to stop licking, you can also try covering the wound with soft fabric and medical tape. Providing your dog with plenty of toys and distractions can also help keep their mind off their wound.

5. What to do if dog licks stitches?

If your dog persists in licking or chewing at their incision, they may need to wear an Elizabethan collar (cone) to prevent this behavior. It’s important to follow your vet’s instructions and monitor your dog closely during the healing process.

6. Is cone necessary after spay?

Yes, if your pet is going to lick or begins to lick their incision, they need to wear an E-collar (plastic cone) for 7–10 days after surgery.

Limiting their activity and keeping them from licking their incision can help prevent further damage and promote healing.

7. Can a dog wear a cone all night?

Yes, it’s important to keep your dog’s cone on as long as possible, including at night.

While it may take some time for your dog to get used to wearing it, cones are designed to allow dogs to sleep normally and should not be removed unless advised by your vet.

Conclusion

As fellow pet lovers, we understand the importance of finding the right cone of shame alternative for your furry friends.

That’s why we’ve evaluated the top 9 options and are delighted to share our findings with you to help make your decision easier.

After careful consideration, we have determined that the Suitical Recovery Suit is the best overall dog cone alternative.

This suit provides comfort and freedom of movement for your dog during their recovery, and it can even help reduce anxiety.

For those on a budget, the Calm Paws Basic inflatable collar is an excellent option. It’s affordable, easy to store, and even comes with a soothing disk to calm your pet.

At BestForPets, our goal is to provide pet owners with the information they need to choose the best products for their furry family members.

We hope that our evaluations and guide will assist you in finding the perfect cone of shame alternative for your pet’s needs. In conclusion, we wish you and your furry friends a speedy and comfortable recovery!

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Dr. Barry Buttler

Dr. Barry Buttler, DVM, MS, DACVIM, is an experienced veterinarian who specializes in the care of small animals, specifically dogs. Dr. Barry K. Buttler is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and holds multiple certifications in small animal emergency medicine and geriatric pet health.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Barry Buttler

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