How to Fit an Elizabethan Collar on a Dog

Written by j. johnson
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How to Fit an Elizabethan Collar on a Dog
An injured dog may need an Elizabethan collar. (dog image by Michal Tudek from

An Elizabethan collar is also known as an E-collar. It's a special collar designed to prevent the dog from licking, scratching or otherwise irritating a sore or other type of injury. The collar is made of cone-shaped plastic and needs to be large enough to keep your dog from licking and scratching the area that needs protected. A properly fitted Elizabethan collar will also allow your dog to easily drink water and eat while the collar is in place.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Visit your vet's office to get the Elizabethan collar. Your veterinarian will usually pick the right size for your dog.

  2. 2

    Check that Elizabethan collar circumference fits properly around your dog's neck. It shouldn't be too tight; just tight enough to stay on but not so loose that your dog can slip it off.

  3. 3

    Take a few minutes to look at how the collar is fitted onto your dog. Some of these collars have loops that attach to your dog's normal collar, while others are secured to the dog via a gauze strip looped through the collar and then tied around the dog's neck.

  4. 4

    Secure the Elizabethan collar around your dog's neck. Test to be sure you can slip your fingers between the collar and your dog's neck. Also, make sure you cannot easily pull the collar over your dog's head. If you can remove it easily, so can your pouch.

  5. 5

    Give your dog some food or water and watch carefully. Your dog might hesitate at first, but eventually, eating and drinking should be possible with the Elizabethan collar on. If it's not, then you might need to ask your veterinarian for a shorter cone.

Tips and warnings

  • Some dogs are terribly frightened when fitted with E-collars and will refuse to eat, drink, even walk around with the collar in place. If your dog can't function with the E-collar, ask your vet for other alternatives to protect the wound or injury.

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