How to Get Dogs Comfortable Wearing a Cone

Cones prevent your dog from injuring or infecting surgical sites or wounds.
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A cone, E-collar or Elizabethan collar is a piece of flexible plastic that wraps around your dog's head to keep him from chewing or licking wounds and bandages. Sadly, many dogs strongly object to wearing a cone and may paw at it, rub it against walls and furniture, or otherwise try to remove it. If your pooch is pouting about his cone, there are a few things you can do to make him more comfortable. Consult your vet if your dog seems severely distressed by his cone.

Step 1

Use a cone fitted by your veterinarian. If you've purchased the cone from a retail store, have your vet make sure it fits properly before use.

Step 2

Lead your dog around for the first day or two if he's uncomfortable walking through doorways or going outside. Be careful not to push; if your dog resists moving around, let him remain still and consult your vet.

Step 3

Elevate water and food bowls to make it easier for your dog to drink and eat. While he can take in enough food and water while wearing the cone, it will be difficult to do so without making a mess. Placing the bowls in a higher location will help.

Step 4

Check the cone and your dog's neck several times each day for debris or signs of irritation. If the cone is too loose or too tight, it may rub against your dog's skin and cause pain.

Step 5

Use a small brush to groom your dog inside the cone. This will remove loose hair and make him more comfortable.

Step 6

Clean your dog's face, ears and neck daily, or as instructed by your vet. Do not remove the cone to clean your dog unless you've been told to do so.

Step 7

Ask your vet if you can remove the cone for short periods while your dog is fully supervised. If your dog cooperates when you remove and replace the cone, your vet may agree to short breaks.


  • If your pup's medical procedure is planned, spend a few days acclimating him to the cone before the big day by placing it around his neck for increasing amounts of time. Begin by allowing him to see and smell the cone, then move on to having him wearing it for 5 or 10 minutes at a time.