How to get your dog used to a plastic cone around its neck

Updated February 21, 2017

After a trip to the vet, your dog may come home wearing a plastic collar around its neck. Known as an Elizabethan collar, this plastic cone prevents your dog from licking or biting wounds, sutures or bandages. However, your dog will likely find this new accessory somewhat uncomfortable and will need time to adjust to its restrictions. Although your dog will adjust in time, there are some things you can do to help it get used to this plastic collar.

Check that the collar fits snugly around the dog's neck without causing chafing or irritation. If you notice signs of missing hair or redness, loosen the collar a little.

Stroke your dog to soothe it if you notice it struggling in the collar. Do not take the collar off since the dog will associate struggling as a way to get out of the collar.

Allow your dog to stumble about without interrupting your normal routine. It will eventually get accustomed to wearing the collar and manoeuvring with it around with its neck.

Use raised bowls for food and water to help your dog eat and drink. Your pet's collar should be on while it is eating or drinking. If you notice it struggling to eat or drink, do not remove the collar but position its bowl so it is easier to access. For example, move the bowl away from the wall to allow easier access.


Do not allow your dog to go outside unattended with its cone collar on as it could get itself stuck in certain places, for example, in a plastic bag while looking for food. However, it is important to continue exercising your dog; just keep it on a leash.

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About the Author

David Harris is a writer living in Portland, Ore. He currently is the editor-in-chief of the online magazine Spectrum Culture. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College.