If your dog has recently had surgery, there is a good chance it has to wear a cone for a week or so. During your dog’s recovery period, plenty of food and plenty of sleep are usually the vet’s orders. Unfortunately, some dogs struggle to sleep with their cones on. In an attempt to prevent any disruption to your dog’s recovery we decided to publish this article on how to get your dog to sleep with a cone on.
These tips and tricks will help any dog owner get their dog sleeping through the night with their collar comfortably fit. This usually helps the owner sleep better knowing that their dog is now awake biting their stitches out.
Can My Dog Sleep With A Cone On
First up, you have to understand that dog recovery cones have come a long way. Gone are the days of the stiff starchy uncomfortable cones from the 80’s and 90’s. A good high-quality modern dog cone will be comfortable, easy to fit and easy to adjust for comfort.
Some veterinarians will still release your pet with an old style collar in an attempt to minimize their costs. If this is the case then we highly recommend you purchase a modern style comfortable collar.
How To Get Your Dog To Sleep With A Cone On
The most common reasons a dog won’t keep its cone on are:-
- The cone hasn’t been put on correctly.
- The cone is not comfortable.
- The urge to itch or bite their stitches.
How To Put A Recovery Cone on A Dog
There are two main styles of cones on the market right now. The more traditional style and the more modern easy to use style. Within these two main cone designs, there are also slight tweaks between the various different brands.
We always recommend you read the instructions that come with cone when purchased or issued by your vet. Most of the traditional style cones still get fit over your dog’s head before adjusting it to fit around their neck. The modern style collars tend to be fitted directly to your dog’s neck without the need to go over the head. Once in place, you then adjust the collars fasteners as required.
A properly fitted cone on your dog makes it easier for your dog to move around in and lay down to sleep. If the cone has not been put on your dog correctly, parts of the cone may dig into their neck causing problems with sleep.
How To Make A Dog Cone More Comfortable
The modern style cones have been designed specifically with comfort in mind to make the whole process easier for your dog. They are easy to fit and easy to adjust. There is very little left for the owner to do other than adjust the cone as required. The recommended fitting is usually to be able to fit two fingers between the collar and your dog’s skin.
The older style collars can sometimes have problems. Always fit the collar to the two finger rule explained above but make sure you also check the fabric. If it is stiff and feels starchy then we recommend you either roll it between your fingers or fold it over on itself a bunch of times before putting it on your dog. This helps make the material turn softer and be more comfortable for your dog when worn.
A comfortable cone makes it easier to sleep in. Some dogs have even been noted using the more modern style cones similar to how humans use pillows when sleeping.
Beating The Urge To Itch
The third main reason your dog will do everything it can to get its cone off is its urge to itch its stitches. Helping your dog beat this urge not only increases the chance of your dog keeping the cone on but also that it will sleep rather than focus on the itching sensation.
We recommend you check with your veterinarian before using any of these suggestions. Your veterinarian may recommend you just leave the stitches alone depending on the type of surgery your dog has had.
Our first suggestion is to purchase a cheap water spray bottle. You can then fill this with cool water when your dog shows signs of irritation and spray the area with stitches.
The cool water will help temporarily remove the itching sensation from the area of your dog helping it relax and potentially sleep. This is a quick, easy, and cheap way to help reduce the itching sensation in your dog.
Our next suggestion is to pick up a reusable ice pack. It works in the same way as the water spray bottle but can bring greater relief in a shorter timeframe.
Some people will get two different icepacks so when one is in use the other can be in the freezer ready to swap out.
The Best Dog Cone Collar Alternative
Some dog owners prefer to use an alternative to dog cones. Thankfully, a number of suitable products have been released over the past few years that fill this gap in the market.
First up, we have the BiteNote Collar. This dog cone alternative works by having the owner fit a long collar around their dog’s neck. The collar works by reducing your dog’s range of movement and preventing it from biting or licking its scratches.
The collars have a smaller profile on your dog making them more popular with the fashion-conscious dog owner.
Next up, we have the Kong EZ Soft Collar. Although it looks similar to a cone, it is much cheaper and made from a lighter fabric. The lighter fabric helps increase your pet’s comfort level during recovery.
As we have already mentioned, a comfortable dog is more likely to sleep with their collar on.
The Best Homemade Dog Cone Alternative
The dog cone alternative towel method has become semi-popular over the past few years. There are a number of ways you can do it but here is our recommendation.
- Choose an appropriate length towel for your dog. You should try to get one that will fit around your dog’s neck once when fit lengthways.
- Place the towel horizontally in front of you and fold it in half length way once and then fold it in half again.
- Next up place the towel around your dog’s neck ensuring it is lose enough for you to fit your fingers between the towel and your dog’s skin.
- Secure the towel in place. We recommend that you use something like gorilla tape as it is extremely effective and durable.
- Monitor your dog’s behavior with the towel fitted and adjust the fitting as required.
- Each day remove the collar for a short period of time to let your dogs skin breath. Watch your dog during this period to ensure it doesn’t bite or lick its wound or stitches.
- Re-fit the collar and then leave your dog to go about its day.
- Repeat this process until your dog has healed.
The below video is a good example of how your dog should look with the cone alternative fitted.
Shared under Creative Commons – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
Michael Coté – Auggie’s Cone of Shame – https://flic.kr/p/78V352
osseous – June 8, 2017 – https://flic.kr/p/YY5hWV