Wearing a cone can be a stressful experience for a dog. Having a foreign object around its head and neck can cause a dog to get disoriented, frustrated, and confused.
So, you can imagine the uneasiness that a dog must feel during instances in which they are left home alone while wearing a dog cone.
This article will discuss what owners should do during times in which they are considering leaving their furry friend home alone while wearing a cone. Read on for the answers that you seek!
Watch These Adorable Dogs Dealing With The Cone!
Why Do Dogs Have To Wear Cones?
Before getting in-depth about how to deal with a dog that needs to wear a cone, we should establish why most dogs may get to such a point in the first place.
A vet may prescribe a cone to a pooch for a variety of reasons, but the primary purpose of a cone is to protect a wound on a dog’s body during personal recovery time. When dogs are wounded, they will be inclined to lick the wound to help it heal.
Licking a wound is an instinctive behavior for a canine, and though these animals have evolved in this habitat over thousands of years, licking a wound is not the best way to treat an ailment. You can imagine how keeping a wound wet with dog licks would not be the best way to prevent infections.
Therefore, to form a barrier between the dog’s tongue and the wound, cones were developed to keep a dog’s mouth off of a wound so it can heal properly.
Dog Cone History
A dog cone is often referred to as an Elizabeth collar. This is a reference to ruffs that people once wore around their necks during the Elizabethan Era.
Elizabethan cones are widely used throughout the world to prevent dogs and cats from licking the wound on their bodies.
Can A Dog Wear A Cone Alone?
One of the first questions that a dog caretaker asks a veterinarian when they prescribe a cone to a dog is, “Can I leave my dog alone with a cone on?”. This is a wise question to ask, as it would be a big commitment to ensure that a dog is constantly supervised while wearing a cone.
Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer that can be offered regarding this subject. Each instance of a dog needing to wear a cone is nuanced and complex, so there cannot possibly be a one-size-fits-all answer.
Your dog’s reaction to wearing a cone will play a large part in dictating whether or not they can be left unsupervised with a cone on. Many dogs may seem content wearing a cone, and they may act as they normally would during this time.
However, other dogs will not react well to wearing a cone. Some dogs may constantly thrash and paw at the cone in an attempt to remove the contraption from around their necks. A cone is clearly distressing for these dogs, so leaving your dog alone if it displays these behaviors is probably not a wise idea.
If it is not possible for you to constantly be present with your furry friend, you could potentially hire a dog sitter to solve this dilemma.
Ultimately, if you want to know if you can leave your dog unsupervised while wearing a cone, you should direct that question to your vet. A veterinarian will understand the circumstances in an individual dog’s case far better than someone on the internet.
Is A Cone Dangerous For A Dog?
When a vet tells a dog owner that their furry friend needs to wear a cone, this may bring about a feeling of concern for your canine companion. Some may wonder if the process of wearing a cone will be harmful to a dog who has to experience such an ordeal.
Fortunately, dog owners can take a collective sigh of relief, for wearing cones that are properly constructed to fit a dog are not inherently dangerous. A cone will not cut off your dog’s circulation or restrict its breathing in any way.
Now, just because cones themselves pose no danger to your pooch doesn’t mean that your canine companion can’t get hurt while wearing a cone. Remember that some dogs will not have a positive reaction to wearing a cone. Having this unknown object around their neck may cause a dog to run into things or get injured while they frantically try to remove the object.
This may worry some owners but know that a vet would not outfit your dog with a cone if it weren’t in your dog’s best interest. Your dog could develop a far more serious condition or injury in the absence of a cone.
Should You Put A Dog With A Cone In A Crate?
Putting a dog in a crate is usually a safe place for a dog when their family is away, but should a dog be put into a crate when they’re wearing a cone?
Similar to the topics discussed above, the answer to this question will largely depend on how your dog reacts to wearing a cone. If your dog seems to behave reasonably well while wearing a cone, then you may be able to leave your dog alone without any issues.
On the other hand, if your dog is scared by their cone and constantly tries to remove it, you will not want to leave your dog alone in a crate while you’re gone.
If you’re considering leaving your dog in a crate while wearing a cone, owners will want to make sure that their first absence is brief so they can quickly return and assess if their dog is still wearing its cone.
If you do leave a dog in its crate for any period, make sure that your canine companion is capable of maneuvering in its crate while wearing its cone.
How Long Can You Leave A Cone On A Dog?
Naturally, when a vet informs a dog owner that their furry friend will need to wear a cone, the owner will be inclined to wonder about how long their furry friend will have to wear a cone.
This is another one of those dreaded “it depends” questions, for there are many variables that can go into addressing this question.
For instance, the severity of a dog’s wound will dictate how long a cone must stay on. Dogs with minor injuries may only need to wear a cone for a few days, while dogs with severe injuries could be cone-bond for several weeks.
Another layer to this question has to do with whether a dog’s family member can remove their furry friend’s cone at any point during its healing process. Dog families will need to consider how a dog would behave if a cone were removed. If the dog immediately turns its attention to its wound, then it is best to leave the cone on the dog.
Therefore, how long a dog wears a cone depends on an assortment of factors, but know that once a wound is completely healed, a cone can be removed.
Is A Dog Comfortable While Wearing A Cone?
Many worry about how comfortable their furry friend will be while wearing a cone. The unfortunate reality is that a dog will likely not be comfortable while wearing a cone. After all, cones are designed to prevent dogs from further injury-not for comfort.
Is It Safe For A Dog To Sleep With A Cone?
Is it safe for dogs to sleep while wearing a cone? Can a dog sleep with a cone around its neck? Although it may not be very comfortable, it is perfectly safe for a dog to sleep with a cone around its neck.
Many owners will be tempted to remove their dog’s cone at night so their dog sleeps better. However, be sure to resist this temptation, as nighttime is perhaps the most important time to ensure that a dog wears a cone.
It can be difficult to monitor a dog at night while the family is asleep, so during this time of no supervision, a cone is necessary to prevent dogs from getting into mischief.
If you find that your dog is not able to sleep at night while wearing a cone, talk to your vet and see what solutions they suggest to make your dog comfortable sleeping.
Eating While Wearing A Cone
Wearing a cone certainly makes everyday tasks challenging for a dog that finds themself in this position. Going through a dog door, accessing food and water bowls, and wearing a dog’s collar are suddenly complicated tasks for a dog.
During the initial days of wearing a cone, a dog will need to retrain itself to eat properly and drink properly, as these tasks will be quite challenging.
Owners may need to assist their dogs with eating or drinking at this time to ensure that their furry friends are getting proper nourishment.
Is A Cone Bad For Dogs With Separation Anxiety?
Separation anxiety can be a debilitating condition for dogs to experience. If a dog has separation anxiety before being outfitted with a cone, you can imagine the panic that a dog might feel if they’re left alone while wearing a cone.
Therefore, you may wonder if a cone is bad for dogs that have separation anxiety. As we discussed, cones are not inherently bad, but they can prompt a dog to engage in dangerous behaviors.
A dog that has separation anxiety has a difficult time with the process of being left alone, so it could be dangerous for these pups to be unsupervised while wearing a cone.
Of course, it is not reasonable for an owner to be expected to constantly accompany their dog. So, what should you do in instances in which you find that leaving your dog alone is the only option?
Again, this is a question that is best directed towards a vet. If the situation is severe enough, a vet may prescribe some sort of anti-anxiety medication that will help a dog relax before their owner leaves.
How To Comfort Your Dog When They Are Wearing A Cone
Your dog may look silly and act goofy while wearing a cone, but from your dog’s perspective, wearing a cone is no laughing matter. A foreign object around a dog’s head makes the cone-wearing process an uncertain time in a dog’s life. Moreover, a dog will surely be uncomfortable throughout the cone-wearing process.
So, you may be curious to know what you can do to provide your dog some relief and comfort during this time. Let’s take a look at some ideas!
Give Them Attention and Love
Owners should give their dog all of the usual attention and love that they provide their dog and then some at this time. Try petting your dog’s face as you give it attention, as dogs tend to relax when their owners are calm.
The fact that a dog is wearing a cone does not suddenly make the creature fragile, so be sure to give your pooch all of the scratches and affection that they desire.
Create A Safe Space For Them
Making a safe space that is familiar to your dog is important when they’re wearing a cone. This is a place where your dog can retreat when they’re overstimulated and need to take a break. A dog home could be found in their crate or a small room of your house.
Engage In Activities With Them While They Wear A Cone
A dog does not have to curtail its fun just because it’s wearing a cone. Owners should strive to keep their dogs active during this time so they don’t get restless and try to remove their dog cones.
Of course, rough-housing will have to be avoided, but other activities and training can still occur even though a dog is wearing a cone.
Though cones are effective at preventing dogs from accessing wounds, they are uncomfortable and can cause a dog to panic. So, are there any alternatives that can be worn instead of a cone? Let’s see some options:
Inflatable Elizabethan Collar
Inflatable Elizabethan collars can be positioned around a dog’s neck once it has been filled with air. Inflatable collars create a buffer that your dog will likely not be able to get around, serving a similar purpose to a cone while looking similar to a neck pillow or neck brace.
An inflatable collar is much more forgiving than a cone, as it is a much less daunting task for a dog to wear one of these devices. Though inflatable e-collars work well, they are not quite as effective as a typical Elizabethan cone, as dogs can occasionally navigate around these devices to lick a wound.
Soft Recovery Collar
A soft e-collar is another viable option for fur parents who would like to consider alternatives to a traditional cone. Dog recovery collars look and function much like a standard dog cone, but it is made from a soft material rather than a hard plastic cone.
Soft fabric e-collars will cushion a dog when it is constantly bumping into an obstacle rather than potentially harm a dog. A soft cone like this tends to be comparable in its effectiveness to a plastic one, but much more house safe than its plastic counterpart. The difference is that soft e-collars are made from a soft, breathable material.
Before settling on a cone alternative for your dog, be sure to discuss the situation with your veterinarian.
Recovery Suits are exactly what the name suggests-they are a suit that can be worn by a dog as it is recovering from some sort of injury. These suits are meant to cover up a dog’s wound and much of the remainder of its body while it heals.
While these devices sound good in theory, they are often not tremendously effective in reality. This is so because a dog can easily damage its wound through the soft materials used to make the suit.