How to Keep a Dog Cone on After Neutering

Written by amy l. gouger
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How to Keep a Dog Cone on After Neutering
Your dog will likely spend the first day recuperating after being neutered. (dog image by Michal Tudek from

After you have your dog neutered, you need to watch him so he doesn't lick or chew the stitches. Veterinarians usually recommend a cone-shaped, plastic apparatus called an Elizabethan Collar (E-collar) to keep your dog from reaching his wounds. Securing and maintaining the collar will keep the cone on even active dogs.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • E-collar
  • Gauze
  • Collar

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  1. 1

    Purchase an e-collar, if your vet does not provide you with one. Visit a pharmacy and purchase extra gauze.

  2. 2

    Place the e-collar around your dog's neck. Slide the tab through the slot, leaving room for two fingers to fit. The collar should not pull off the dog's head. A collar that is too snug irritates the dog, enticing him to redouble his attempts to remove it. Tie the gauze snugly around the bottom of the e-collar.

  3. 3

    Adjust the collar as necessary. The first few days he will run into furniture and even walls as he gets used to it. Even the most rambunctious dogs can manoeuvre with it. You may need to take the collar off while the dog eats. Take off the collar only when you can watch your pet.

  4. 4

    Replace the gauze daily. For active dogs, wrap the gauze through his collar several times and tie the gauze at the back of his neck. If the dog's collar fits in the tabs of e-collar, you can thread the collar through them. Then, put the e-collar/collar combination back on the dog by tightening his collar. You can also use gauze looped through the tabs, wrapped around the collar and tied in a bow.

  5. 5

    Keep the collar on for the specified time instructed by your vet. Dogs usually must wear the e-collar for at least seven days.

Tips and warnings

  • Attach the e-collar in front of the dog's normal collar to make it easier to walk him.
  • You can purchase soft e-collars.
  • Do not tie the gauze too tight as it can choke the animal.

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