New (and old) Alternatives to the Canine Pet Cone
The old-fashioned plastic Elizabethan Collar or e-collar is a familiar feature to most pet owners. Unfortunately, some pets cannot resist chewing and licking at their injuries, so the vets have always resorted to the “cone of shame” to allow injuries to heal. The traditional e-collar can be unpleasant for pets. It blocks their peripheral vision, it gets caught on things, they find eating or drinking difficult, and most find it difficult to rest. Some pets become so upset about the cone that the stress delays healing and even makes the pet sicker. Thus, many concerned pet owners look for alternatives. Canine Commander professional dog trainers review some new and old alternatives to a pet cone.
This device resembles a wide, stiff collar; it acts by preventing the pet from bending its neck. It has a strap that runs around the animal’s chest to keep the collar from sliding off over the animal’s head. It works pretty well to keep critters from bothering wounds on their body, although they can get to the paws and tail easily enough. Most animals report it is extremely uncomfortable but at least it does not get caught in doorways, and they can lie down semi-normally.
There are several brands of these devices on the market. When inflated, they resemble a fat donut around the animal’s neck. They seem to be pretty effective at keeping pets away from injuries on the body and upper parts of the legs. Most pets do not like them at all. They are slightly less likely to get caught in doorways, but they block the animal’s view to the rear and prevent the pet from lying down comfortable. One major drawback is pets can deflate or puncture them with their hind claws.
There are also several brands of Soft e-Collars available. They are all shaped like the traditional e-collar but made out of a soft, flexible material of some type. Some pets seem to dislike them even more than the traditional cone. These collars tend to be heavy, obscure vision, flop around erratically and upset the balance of smaller pets, get caught in doors, and prevent the pet from eating and drinking. The pet may be able to lie down easier in them, but they are not as effective as the regular e-collar in protecting injuries. Determined animals have managed to rip out stitches while wearing a soft e-collar.
The frisbee-style collar looks like a giant frisbee attached to the pet’s neck. It works pretty well to keep the pet from bothering wounds except on the front paws. Some animals find the frisbee collar to be just as uncomfortable as an e-collar, possibly even more so due to its weight and width. The pet cannot lie down, can’t get through doors and can’t see behind himself. The pet can eat and drink.
There are two brands of this device. It is a plastic helmet sort of thing that covers the dog’s face. It is clear, so it does not obscure vision. It prevents the dog from scratching at wounds on the face and near the eyes, so it has very limited uses. Although pets can function normally in one of these, some pets seem to dislike them.
A variety of dog clothing, either re-purposed human clothing or specially made for dogs can be applied over the injury in hopes it will keep the dog from getting at it. Boxer shorts, T-shirts, dog sweaters, and baby garments have all been tried by various owners at various times. Sometimes applying bitter apple to the garment can help. While most dogs do not seem to mind clothing all that much after they get used to it, it is not very effective in protecting injuries with most dogs. Some dogs will just rip through the material when left alone.
Canine Body armor
Some companies make body armor for dogs. These heavy-duty garments are intended to stop bullets, and if your dog’s injury is in the chest or abdomen it might stop your dog from getting to the injury. Might. Body armor can be expensive and is not appropriate in all circumstances.
Boots and Muzzle
The boots and muzzle alternative has been used by frustrated pet owners throughout history. The dog wears a basket muzzle and four boots. The muzzle keeps the dog’s teeth away from the injury and the boots keep the claws away from the injury. Depending on the dog, this arrangement may be acceptable in terms of comfort. If the injury site is very itchy, though, a dog can still cause damage to it by rubbing the boots and muzzle against it.
This is the most comfortable, most effective alternative to the pet cone invented so far. Unfortunately, can also be the most expensive if a family member is not available. Most pets will not touch their wound as long as someone is watching them. So the solution here is to hire several people to watch the pet around the clock until the wound heals.
If you are in need of dog training or dog boarding on Long Island, contact the dog training experts at Canine Commander today.