How to assemble a dog cone

Updated November 21, 2016

Elizabethan collars, also known as E-collars or dog cones, are a popular means to prevent dogs from further injuring wounds or from pulling out stitches. These plastic "lamp shade" looking collars provide a protective shield around your dog's head to prevent biting, licking or scratching of wounds or stitches. Purchase E-collars from your veterinarian, pet store or even online. If, in the event of an emergency, you need an E-collar and are unable to get out and purchase one, you can fashion your own E-collar out of items you already have laying around the house.

Place the E-collar around your dog's neck. The collar should be snug, but it should not be so tight that it chokes your dog.

Arrange the snaps on one side of the E-collar so that they align with the snaps on the other side.

Snap the snaps closed to form the collar into a cone shape.

Check to be sure the E-collar fits your dog snugly. If it is still too loose, attach the E-collar to your dog's regular collar using string, twine or ribbon.

Cut the bottom out of a plastic bucket, making sure to sand away the rough edges so your dog is not injured. Fit the bucket over your dog's head. Purchase a traditional E-collar as soon as possible for your dog. This do-it-yourself model is best for medium-large sized dogs.

Cut a hole large enough for your dog's head in the centre of a paper plate. Fit the plate over your dog's head. Purchase a traditional E-collar for your dog as quickly as possible. The paper plate model works best for small dogs.

Trace the outline of your dog's collar onto a piece of cardboard.

Measure the length of your dog's neck. Multiply that by 1.5. For example, if your dog's neck is 5 inches long, your final measurement should be 7.5 inches.

Place the end of the ruler/measuring tape on one end of the circle you drew. Find the calculated measurement on your measuring tape. Make a mark on the cardboard next to this measurement on your ruler or outstretched measuring tape.

Draw another circle. Start at the mark you made until you come all the way back to it.

Cut out your collar. Start by cutting around the large circle first. Once you cut the large circle, cut the smaller circle.

Fit the temporary collar over your dog's head, but make sure to purchase a traditional E-collar as soon as possible. This method is more complicated than using a bucket or plate, but it can be used to make a collar for any sized dog.


Remember, it takes time for your dog to adjust to an e collar, so don't be afraid or discouraged-- e collars are only worn for a matter of time and your dog will adjust. Temporary homemade e collars may not work as well as the real thing, but should get the job done until you have a real e collar to use. Temporary e collars can also be fastened onto your dog's actual collar using string, twine or ribbon.

Things You'll Need

  • E-collar
  • Dog collar
  • String
  • Plastic bucket or paper plate
  • Scissors
  • Cardboard
  • Ruler or measuring tape
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