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Alternatives to the “Cone of Shame” E-Collar

Source: WholeDog Journal

 

Elizabethan collar

Every dog owner should be aware that, today, there are a number of alternatives to the classic Elizabethan collars to prevent a dog from licking a wound, aggravating a hot spot, tearing out his surgical stitches, or removing a bandage. The alternatives offer a dog greater comfort, better mobility, and improved visibility.

Cons of Classic Cones

Are the classic plastic cones really all that bad? It depends on which dog you ask. Some dogs seem to accept the weight of the heavy plastic, the restricted visibility imposed by the opaque material, the need for increased clearances around the house, and even being gouged by the thick plastic tabs that are supposed to be belted by the dog’s collar at the base of the cone.

But many dogs seem to suffer more from the cones than from whatever necessitated their use! I’ve known many dogs who wouldn’t eat or drink with a cone on. I’ve seen some dogs who, after bashing into doorways and furniture, became extremely reluctant to move – or even lift their bodies or heads from the floor – as long as the cone was on.

E-Collar Alternatives

ProCollar

ProCollar

ProCollar

The doughnut-shaped ProCollar, distributed by G&B Marketing, of Vista, California, features an inflatable core with a durable cover. (The cover feels like vinyl – not our favorite material – but doesn’t have the distinctive “stink” of vinyl. The package doesn’t say what the material is.) A Velcro strap secures the outer perimeter of the collar; the dog’s collar is run through loops on the inside ring of the product. (One must have a collar that can be unsnapped or unbuckled; collars that slip over the dog’s head won’t work with this design.)

The ProCollar is available in five sizes (X Small to X Large).

We were able to find the ProCollar in a number of chain pet supply stores (Petco and Petsmart) and catalogs, from $15 to $25, depending on size.

Soft-E-Collar

Soft-E-Collar

Jorgensen Laboratories, Inc., of Loveland, Colorado, offers the Soft-E-collar. It’s another cushioned collar, but this product is shaped more like a life-saving ring than a doughnut: wider and flatter. The outer material appears to be a nylon blend. A flap of material on the inner perimeter of the product is tightened by tying a cord (which runs through some grommets on the material flap) to secure the collar on the dog’s neck (see photo below).

The Soft-E-Collar comes in nine sizes (yay!), from XX Small (0 to 5 pounds) to XX Large (95 pounds and up). We found this product in an independent pet supply store; we also found it offered in many pet supply catalogs. As but one example: we found it for $19 to $49 (depending on its size) from BellasPainRelief.com. (By the way; this site is a great source for products for disabled dogs of all types.)

BiteNot

BiteNot dog collar

BiteNot Collar

Here’s a product with a very different design. The BiteNot collar, distributed by Bite Not Products, Inc., of San Francisco, California, resembles a neck brace for humans – the kind people have to wear after they get whiplash. The interior surface is a thinly padded foam rubber material; the outer surface is a stiff plastic shell. Velcro fasteners – and a nylon strap that wraps around the dog’s shoulders and under his armpits – hold the product very securely in place.

The BiteNot collar is available in seven sizes. In this case, the required size is determined by the length of the dog’s neck, from the back of his ears to the top of his shoulder. (It’s meant to prevent him from bending his neck enough to lick himself.) The smallest size is 3.5 inches wide; the largest is 8 inches wide.

This would be my top choice for a dog who had succeeded in removing all other products; as long as the dog has a discernible neck, it fits really securely. What if the dog is one of the (nearly) neckless breeds, like a Pug? Probably not the best pick. but dogs with extraordinarily long necks or wounds on their front feet might not benefit at all from the collar.

This product ranges in price from about $20 (smallest size) to $45 (largest) and is sold at several online retailers.

The Comfy Cone

The Comfy Cone

The Comfy Cone

As suggested by its name, The Comfy Cone is a cone, but instead of being stiff and unyielding, it’s cushioned and bendable. The inner material seems to be foam rubber; the outer material is a tough nylon. Numerous strips of Velcro fasteners and a ring of elastic “belt loops” (meant to be laced through by the dog’s collar) hold the cone in place.

The Comfy Cone is available in five sizes, from Extra Small to Extra Large.

We found The Comfy Cone in many online and brick-and-mortar stores, from about $10 for the Extra Small to $30 for the Extra Large.

Kong EZ Collar

Kong EZ Collar

Kong EZ Collar

This product is another plastic cone. So what makes it an alternative? First, the plastic it’s made of is transparent; the dog can see through it! Brilliant! This one tiny thing makes a huge difference to the dog. It’s also much lighter in weight than the vet-supplied conventional cones, though not so light that its protective rigidity is compromised. And finally, both its inner and outer edges are lined with a material that feels like vinyl. This means no stiff edges cut into the dog’s neck, and when the dog does bump into something solid, the impact is a bit blunted.

The Kong EZ Collar is distributed by the Kong Company, of Golden, Colorado, and is available in five sizes, from Small to XXL.

We found the Kong E-Collar in numerous online and independent pet supply stores.

1 comment

1 Kristi Baker { 06.12.18 at 3:30 pm }

My dog Mia has worn the Kong cone many times and it never has bothered her.

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