How to Put a Cone on Your Dog After Surgery

How to Put a Cone on Your Dog After Surgery
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When your furry friend undergoes surgery, it’s essential to ensure a smooth and comfortable recovery. One aspect of post-surgery care that often concerns pet owners is how to put a cone on a dog. Cones, also known as Elizabethan collars, are used to prevent dogs from licking, biting, or scratching their surgical wounds or other injuries.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of fitting the cone securely and providing care to your canine companion during this sensitive time.

Preparing for the Cone Application

1. Measuring the Cone Size

Before you start, measure your dog’s neck to determine the appropriate cone size. Using a flexible measuring tape, wrap it around the neck at the widest point, which is usually just below the ears. The measurement should be taken loosely to ensure your dog’s comfort. Once you have the size, you can purchase or prepare the right cone.

2. Gather Necessary Supplies

To put the cone on your dog, you will need:

  • The appropriately sized cone
  • Your dog’s collar or harness
  • Treats and rewards
  • Patience and a calm demeanor

See>>> Do Inflatable E-Collars Work on Dogs?

Step-by-Step Guide to Putting the Cone on Your Dog

1. Getting Your Dog Ready

It’s crucial to create a comfortable and stress-free environment for your dog. Choose a quiet, well-lit space and gather the necessary supplies. If your dog is anxious, try to calm them with gentle petting or some treats.

2. Proper Placement of the Cone

  1. Slip your dog’s collar or harness through the loops on the cone.
  2. Ensure the cone is facing the right way, with the wider end around your dog’s head.
  3. Slowly guide your dog’s head through the cone while offering treats and reassurance.

3. Securing the Cone

The cone should fit snugly around your dog’s neck without being too tight. Make sure it’s secure but not too restrictive. You should be able to fit two fingers comfortably between the cone and your dog’s neck. The cone’s base should sit just above the shoulders, and the edge should extend beyond your dog’s nose. Double-check the fit and make adjustments as needed.

See>>> Do Dog Cones Work on Dogs?

How to Put a Cone on Your Dog Youtube

Tips for a Smooth Transition

Help your dog adjust to wearing the cone by following these tips:

  • Supervise your dog initially to ensure they don’t panic or get stuck.
  • Be patient and offer treats and praise for good behavior.
  • Remove the cone during mealtimes and potty breaks to make things more comfortable for your dog.

How to Care for a Dog Wearing a Cone

While your dog is wearing the cone, it’s crucial to provide proper care and attention. Check the cone regularly for any signs of wear and ensure that your dog can breathe comfortably. Keep the cone clean and dry, as it may become soiled or wet during daily activities. If your dog is struggling to eat or drink, try raising their food and water dishes to a more accessible height.

Dog cones are effective, but some dogs find them uncomfortable. If your dog is particularly distressed by the cone, you can check alternatives.


Putting a cone on your dog after surgery is an essential part of their recovery. It’s a straightforward process, but it requires patience and a gentle approach to ensure your dog’s comfort. With the right-sized cone and some treats, you can help your furry friend heal and get back to their normal self.


How long should my dog wear the cone after surgery?

The duration your dog needs to wear the cone varies based on the type of surgery and your veterinarian’s recommendations. Typically, it’s for at least a few days to a couple of weeks.

Can I remove the cone at night to let my dog sleep comfortably?

While it’s essential for your dog to get quality rest, it’s generally not recommended to remove the cone at night. Consult your vet for advice on your specific situation.

What should I do if my dog is panicking or struggling with the cone?

Stay calm and offer reassurance. If the distress continues, consult your vet for alternative solutions or calming methods.

Can my dog eat and drink with the cone on?

Yes, your dog can eat and drink with the cone on, but it may take some practice. Consider raising their food and water dishes to make it easier.

Are there any alternatives to traditional cones?

Yes, there are alternatives, including inflatable collars, soft fabric cones, custom-made solutions from your veterinarian. See more alternatives these options if your dog finds the traditional cone uncomfortable.

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