Dogs chew on themselves for a variety of reasons, from allergies to stress, to simple boredom. Many products sold in pet stores are designed to stop dogs from chewing, but some you can make at home. An Elizabethan collar stops dogs from chewing by preventing them from turning their heads far enough to access the wound. These collars can be made with buckets, sturdy cardboard or sheets of plastic. Spreading foul tasting ointment on the area where the dog chews can stop it from chewing long enough for the wound to heal.
Measure the circumference of your dog's head at its widest point, usually just behind the ears. If you don't have a flexible measuring tape, wrap a piece of string or rope once around the dog's head, then measure the string.
Cut a round hole in the bottom of a plastic bucket for large or medium sized dogs. Start the hole using a drill with a large bit, and then use heavy duty snips or a saw to finish the hole. Make it just large enough to slip over the dog's head. Smooth out any sharp or rough edges with sandpaper before putting it on the dog.
Cut a piece of cardboard or a paper plate into a semicircle for smaller dogs. For this type of collar, measure the circumference of the neck itself, just behind the skull. Using a pen or pencil, draw a circle about two inches larger than the size of your dog's neck on the plate or cardboard. This will be the inner edge of your Elizabethan collar.
Draw a bigger circle for the outside edge of the collar. Make the distance between the two lines about half the circumference of the dog's neck.
Cut out the outer edge of the collar with scissors, and then cut a straight line from the outer edge to the inner edge. Cut out the inner circle, so you are left with a fat "C" shaped piece of cardboard.
Punch holes along one edge of the straight line using a nail or hole punch. Form the paper into a cone and wrap the paper collar around the dog's neck. Make sure the end of the "C" that has the holes is on top. Make it tight enough so the dog can't get it off over its head, but not tight enough to restrict breathing.
Make a mark on the paper that shows through the holes using a pen, and then take the collar off the dog. Using your nail or hole punch, punch more holes using the marks as a guide.
Connect the two parts using a piece of string by drawing it through each of the holes. Tie a knot through the bottom set of holes, then place the collar over the dog's neck, and draw the string tight. Tie another knot at the top.
Mix a foul tasting ointment by combining cayenne pepper, lemon juice or Tabasco sauce and petroleum jelly.
Spread the mixture on the area of the dog's body where it is chewing. The bad taste will stop it from chewing the area, but some dogs may like the taste. Try different versions until you find one your dog does not like.
Reapply the ointment daily until the behaviour stops.
If you have a sheet of flexible plastic, you can use it to make an Elizabethan collar that is more sturdy than cardboard.
Tips and warnings
- If you have a sheet of flexible plastic, you can use it to make an Elizabethan collar that is more sturdy than cardboard.