Some dogs have to wear one of those Elizabethan collars or simply pet cones at some point in their life.
As entertaining as it is for us humans to watch our pups running around with something like a giant lampshade around their neck, wearing pet cones can stress them out.
For instance, it gives them a hard time eating kibbles or drinking water from their bowls.
Even more so, their vision and hearing become slightly different with those barriers on. But why do pets need to wear them?
E-collars, although some dogs hate them, serve an essential purpose to a canine’s welfare and recovery.
In case you didn’t know, E-collars are actually protective medical devices worn by animals, particularly cats and dogs.
They are designed to help prevent animals from scratching, chewing or licking surgical areas all over the body.
While a dog’s saliva may contain nutrients that can help defend against infection, licking harms more than it helps during the healing process.
In most cases, this impulsive habit can break down stitches and reopen wounds, which requires a trip back to the vet and slows down recovery in return.
Surgical sites need time to heal, and any contact with the dog’s saliva is best avoided.
Dogs do not understand the importance of wearing cones, so it will take time for them to adjust to that kind of set up.
To make it easier for you and your dog, here are some easy steps you can take when introducing your pet to E-collars.
Prepare your space
If your dog has surgery coming up soon, it’s best to prepare their den in advance.
Even small and well-behaved pups are likely to get anxious and become destructive at home if they feel strained wearing a cone.
That’s why it’s important to make your house safe from your cone-wearing dog.
Before you take your pup to the vet for surgery, be sure to keep your valuables and fragile items away to avoid being accidentally hit by the cone.
It’s also ideal if you could free up some space to make it easier for your dog to move around.
Train your dog in advance
The adjustment process will usually take about two to three days, so try to pick up your dog’s cone from your vet’s office as early as possible.
This gives your dog enough time to be familiarised with the cone and get the hang of wearing it.
All you need to do is buy/prepare some delicious dog treats to help your dog cope with the pressure of cone wearing.
You can also consider CBD with options like CBD capsules, oil tinctures or treats with various pet-friendly flavours to help soothe stress and anxiety (after prior consultation with your veterinarian!).
It’s important to be patient with your dog, do not rush them to wear the cone. Instead, place it on the ground and wait for your dog to approach it out of curiosity.
Reward them with a treat once they show some interest in the cone. Repeat as needed, and don’t forget to praise your dog until they become more comfortable in the presence of the cone.
This time, try to hold the cone with its opening facing your dog. Be sure to have a treat in your hand to lure them to follow until they move their head towards the cone’s opening.
Again, do this trick more often as far as your dog shows no signs of stress placing its head through the cone’s opening.
Once your dog is wearing the cone, give them a few more treats to create a sense of positive association.
Try to walk them around with the cone on help your dog learn to control their movement with it on, but keep this session short and sweet.
Around three to five minutes will do. Remember your goal is to let your dog view cones as something that is unlikely to cause harm.
When to Remove the Cone
How long dogs should wear the cone depends on the condition and severity of the wound.
Generally, it must be worn on the entire time for about seven to 10 days while the surgery sites are healing.
You may take the cone off during walks as long as you keep your dog with a longer leash.
But until your dog becomes well aware of what is going on and your vet gives you the green light to remove the cone completely, it’s best to keep it on, especially if no one is around to watch your dog.