How to make a dog cone collar

Updated February 21, 2017

Dog cone collars, known in veterinary care as Elizabethan collars or E-collars, are used to keep a dog from licking or biting wounds or stitched areas after surgery. In most cases the vet will recommend you purchase a dog cone collar while you're at the office but if you were not provided with one and your dog has started disturbing a wound area one alternative is to make a dog cone collar at home. These dog cone collars might look funny on your dog, but they work.

Use the flexible measuring tape to measure the length from just in front of your dog's nose to his collar (on his neck).

Cut the edges off a large piece of poster board so that the remaining board is in the shape of a big circle.

Draw a small circle in the centre of the big circle. The diameter of this circle should be 2.5 cm (1 inch) smaller than the diameter of your dog's neck.

Cut a straight line from the outside edge to the drawn centre circle. Continue to cut along the drawn circle line until the centre of the board is a hole. Remember, the diameter of the hole should 2.5 cm (1 inch) smaller than the diameter of your dog's neck.

Cut a series of straight lines 1 to 4 cm (7/16 to 1 9/16 inch) along the edges of the inside hole directed toward the outside edge of the collar. The larger the dog, the larger the cut should be. This creates numerous small tabs to help hold the collar in place.

Put the collar around your dog's neck. Fold the tabs back so that the edges of the tabs point toward the rear. Overlap the edges of the collar to shape the collar into a cone. Fasten the collar with staples or duct tape.


Cover the edges of the tabs with duct or masking tape if they are too sharp. Check tightness of the collar with two fingers between the tabs of the collars and the skin. If you can fit more than two fingers then the collar is too loose; if less than two fingers fit, the collar is too tight.


Since the dog cone collar is made from poster board it can become damaged or bent. If that happens, make a new collar.

Things You'll Need

  • Flexible measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Poster board (large)
  • Pencil
  • Duct tape
  • Stapler (optional)
  • Staples (optional)
  • Masking tape (optional)
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