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Dog Cone of Shame: How You Can Help Your Dog Adjust

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A small brown dog wearing a pink collar cone

If your dog has ever had surgery, you may have been sent home a cone collar for them to wear while they recover. Many people try to figure out what this is needed for and how to manage life with your dog while they must wear this cone collar. This article will explain all about a cone of shame. It will also explain how to help your dog while they are wearing this collar.

 Origin of the Cone Collar

This plastic cone was originally called the “Elizabethan Collar” or E-Collar. It was named after the collars worn during the Elizabethan era. This plastic cone was patented by Frank L. Johnson in 1959. When the movie UP was released, the e-collar was then commonly called Cone of Shame. This movie depicted a dog having to wear this type of collar as a punishment for doing something wrong.

What is the cone for?

There are many uses for the cone of shame. These are just a few common reasons that your dog may end up in the cone of shame.

Prevent chewing on surgical spots

If your pet has recently had surgery and has an incision, many veterinarians willsend home a cone to prevent them from chewing on this surgical spot.

Used to help pets recover from injury

If your pet has been recently injured and has cuts and scrapes, your veterinarian will put a cone on your dog to help their injuries recover.

a brown lab weaing a blue collar cone protecting the wound that needs to heal on his head

Prevent licking and chewing on skin issues, like flea bites

If your dog is licking themselves or has skin issues, your dog may end up in a cone of shame. This will prevent them from licking their skin while they are recovering from their skin issues. Some dogs or cats will over-groom themselves, causing trauma to their skin. These cones will help prevent them from licking at their skin.

Problems your dog can have with the cone

While this cone is very helpful in preventing dogs from chewing and licking spots on them that they should not be licking, they can also cause another problem. Some of the problems that veterinarians see with dogs wearing cone are:

  • Impaired vision: some cones are clear, and you can see through them others are colored, and your dog can not see where they are going. They will then run into things in the house and even have a hard time getting around in an area that they are used to.
  • Impaired movement: when your dog is wearing a cone of shame, they may also have a hard time moving. This cone that is in front of them does a great job of preventing them from licking themselves but also makes it hard to move around, especially in small tight spaces.
  • Difficulty eating: Some dogs will have a hard time eating with a cone on. This cone sticks out a few inches in front of their nose, and it can be very difficult for them to maneuver the food bowl into the cone. If your dog is having trouble eating either hand feed them during this time or take the cone off and let them eat then put the cone right back on.
  • Difficulty laying down comfortably: some dogs will have a hard time lying down. The cone can be very cumbersome, and your dog may have a hard time laying down and getting comfortable.

How to help your dog adjust to "the cone of shame."

Many things can be done to help your dog adapt to the cone of shame lifestyle.

  • Guide them around carefully. When your dog first gets home with their collar, it is best to help guide them around the house and back yard. This will help keep them from bumping into things
  • Use CBD oil to help reduce any stress and anxiety. CBD products have been shown to help decrease anxiety and even decrease inflammation. This would be a great supplement to give post-surgery even if they do not need a cone collar
  • Train the dog to walk with its head held up, so the collar doesn't catch on the floor.
  • Adjust the location of the food/water bowls so that they can have a simpler time eating. Sometimes dogs will have a hard time eating with a cone collar. Move the food bowl away from all objects will help them be able to get to their food and water easier.
  • Do not take it off very often, so the dog gets used to it.
  • Rearrange furniture, so there are spaces wide enough for the dog and cone to fit through. The cone collars make it very hard to fit in tight spaces. By moving the furniture, just a little will make it easier for your dog to get around your house.

Sold out

Your dog may have just been sent home with a cone of shame. This article should provide you with all the information that you need to help your dog adjust to life with a cone. Not matter how minor the problem is not keeping the cone on can lead to more problems. This is just a short time in their life that they will have to endure the cone of shame.

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Meet The Author

author Dr. Sara Ochoa DVM

Dr. Sara Ochoa DVM

Since she was a little girl, she knew that her dream was to become a veterinarian. With a tremendous passion and love for animals that makes her a great source of knowledge for others. She lives happily with her husband Greg and her babies Ruby the Schnoodle, and Bam-Bam the bunny.

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