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  • Writer's pictureSmart Bark

Best Dog Cone of Shame Alternatives 2024

Updated: 4 days ago

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Whether they’re suffering from a little cut, skin allergy or recovering from an operation, keeping your four-legged friend away from their wound is difficult.

The traditional way of preventing a dog from licking their wounds is to fit them with a dog cone.

These have various names - Elizabethan Collar, E collar, Buster Collar or simply known as the Cone of Shame they all work in the same way - stopping your dog accessing their wounds and licking them.

Whilst these dog cones are very effective (although they look like lampshades), the downside is that your poor pooch is undeniably uncomfortable and you need them to stay calm.

Luckily for them, the traditional dog cone has evolved and there are now a whole range of dog recovery collars, cone alternatives and surgical suits for dog parents to choose from.

Cartoon dog wearing a cone of shame


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Buying Advice for Dog Cone Alternatives

Ultimately you have two options to consider -

💛 A more traditional dog cone, collar or doughnut which is worn around their neck.

💛 A dog surgical recovery suit or onesie, which covers the affected area.

The dog cone or collar option offers a wide range of alternatives. Inflatable collars with soft zipped covers, cones with transparent sections for you dog to see through or even cones which can flip back so your dog can eat and drink easily.

Pug dog in a protective cone
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

If you prefer the look of a recovery suit to a dog cone, you could opt to use a human baby grow or a t-shirt fashioned to cover the affected area instead.

However, if you'd rather invest in a product designed specifically for dogs, we feature two different options for you to take a look at. Ultimately it depends on the wound and recovery time.

Whichever option you choose, our advice is measure and check the sizing carefully to make sure the collar, cone or surgical recovery suit is as comfortable as possible whilst making sure your dog can't manage to reach the affected area.

We've searched high and low to bring you today's best alternatives to the classic dog cone of shame. They didn't all make the cut, let's have a look at which brands did.

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Our Top Picks for Dog Cone Alternatives

1. Best Inflatable Soft Collar

KONG Cloud

Internationally renowned dog toy company KONG, have extended their gold standard range of products to include a range of three traditional dog cone replacements.

Kong Cloud e collar for dogs

Let's face it, KONG certainly know a thing or two about dogs, and we rate their inflatable dog collar the best dog cone alternative on the market.

We love the simple design that improves your dog's field of vision compared to a traditional cone.

Ultimately this will help keep your dog calm and less distressed whilst they heal.

One of the major benefits of an inflatable collar is that your dog can still eat and drink easily and independently.

The inner 'donut' tube is easily inflated by mouth and fits snugly inside a really soft nylon cover. Although it's soft so won't rub, it's also tough and importantly machine-washable so incredibly easy to keep clean.

There is a strong loop and hook strap on the inside for you to attach to your dog's own collar and keep it firmly in place.

The KONG Cloud E collar also has an adjustable velcro strap to give you some flexibility to ensure the best fit for your dog.

Dimensions - (neck circumference ) : X Small 15-20 cm, Small 17-30 cm, Medium 25-35.5cm, Large 38-50 cm, X Large 50-63.5 cm

Reasons to Buy

+ 5 size options

+ Adjustable velcro strap

+ Washable cover

+ Good value

Reasons to Avoid

- If your dog is a power chewer

Buying Options


2. Best Dog Doughnut

Dirty Little Paws

UK company Dirty Little Paws have featured on Dragons Den and recently won the The UK's National Pet Industry Exhibition Award for new product.

The Original Dog Doughnut

Their inflatable dog collar has been designed to ensure unrestricted vision for your dog and they can eat, drink and sleep in their bed whilst wearing their collar.

We love that it's crafted from soft material so it's comfortable to wear and is designed to resemble a sprinkled doughnut.

Your pup will be insta-ready !

Available in a range of three sizes, once fully inflated, you can either attach it via loops to your dog's collar or wear it without.

To help you achieve that perfect fit, the design has a degree of flexibility built in so you can release some air or adjust the straps.

The cover is easily removable and can be machine washed at 40°. Available in pink or blue.

Our verdict - we think that this is a well designed and really fun alternative to a more traditional dog cone.

Dimensions - (neck circumference) : S 19–23 cm | M 35–50 cm | L 45–60 cm

Reasons to Buy

+ 3 size options

+ Fun design

+ Super soft material

+ Machine washable

Reasons to Avoid

- If your dog is a power chewer

Buying Options


3. Flexible Dog Cone

All Four Paws

Founded back in 2007, All Four Paws is a family-owned business based in California. They have developed several versatile recovery and health aids for dogs of all sizes.

All Four Paws Comfy Dog Cone

This patented and innovative soft cone-shaped collar is the first of their products to feature in our list.

There are removable plastic rods which slot into the material. This offers you a degree of flexibility as the cone can be more rigid or flexible depending on your dog's needs.

It's also worth noting that it's reversible, water resistant and wipe clean.

We love that it can easily be flipped down to the neck and shoulders to allow your dog to eat and drink.

Ultimately, the All Four Paws Comfy Cone is vet tested, approved and available in 8 different sizes (the option for an additional extender would be ideal if your dog has a particularly long snout).

Available in black or tan with a detailed sizing guide with neck to snout and neck circumference measurements to ensure you order the most suitable size for your dog.

Our verdict - we think that this is an innovative and flexible alternative to the traditional lampshade collar.

Dimensions - (neck circumference) : extra small to extra large

Reasons to Buy

+ 8 size options

+ Removable rods

+ Vet approved

+ Ideal option for long snouts

Reasons to Avoid

- Pricier than some options

Buying Options

Read our review of Whimzees Dental Sticks


4. Best Soft Recovery Collar


The Canadian designed ZenCone from ZenPet is soft and flexible making it a comfortable solution as a recovery collar.

ZenCone recovery cone for dogs

The clever design incorporates soft canvas along with windows sections to help with all important visibility.

We love that the cone can be fully opened so it can be wrapped around your dogs neck to attach it rather than being pushed over their head. This is key for puppies who may not like cones being pushed over their heads.

ProCone is lightweight and durable with the added bonus of being machine washable.

Just like the Comfy Cone featured above, it can fold back for eating and drinking from a bowl.

Dimensions - (neck Circumference ) : Small (20 - 30 cm) thru to Extra large (45 -58 cm)

Reasons to Buy

+ Good value

+ Window sections

+ Machine washable

+ Wrap around

Reasons to Avoid

+ More expensive than a basic cone

Buying Options


5. Best Value Cone of Shame

In Hand

If you are looking for a more traditional looking collar, this one from In Hand, has an extra padded liner for comfort around your dog's neck.

In Hand recovery cone for dogs

They've also thought about your home by adding a soft padded outer edge

So your paintwork isn't scratched as your poor dog manoeuvres round their home.

A slight update on the traditional cone, it's available in pink or blue in a range of 7 sizes with a handy sizing guide online.

The In Hand dog collar is a great value option and definitely an improvement on the traditional cone.

Dimensions - (neck circumference) : Small (17 cm) thru to Extra large (42 cm)

Reasons to Buy

+ Lots of size options

+ Puppy size available

+ Great value

Reasons to Avoid

- Possibly not as comfortable as other options

Buying Options


6. Best Dog Recovery Suit


For dogs who dislike having anything around their neck whatsoever, a full body surgical recovery suit could be your best option.

Suitical's dog recovery suit

Onesies have the added bonus of providing a second line of protection if your pet is a budding Houdini with a collar.

The design is not too fitted around your dog's belly, to allow air to circulate around the wound and also to help keep it dry.

We recommend a surgical recovery suit for spay and neuter surgery.

This recovery suit by Suitical is available in an adorable blue or pink camouflage or a plain black.

It's available in a wide range of 10 sizes to suit all breeds of dog. The handy video online explains how to measure your dog before ordering to get the best fit possible.

Pro tip - Consider ordering two suits, so you have one available whilst you wash the other one.

Dimensions - (length of back) : XXX Small -22 cm thru to X large - 92 cm

Reasons to Buy

+ Lots of size options

+ Colour & pattern options

+ Machine washable

+ Could work with a collar

+ A second line of defence

Reasons to Avoid

- Pricier than a basic cone

Buying Options


7. Best Dog Leg Sleeve


If your dog has a wound, sutures or shot spot on their front leg, a possible alternative to a cone or full suit is a leg sleeve.

Suitical's dog leg sleeve for dog's recovering from surgery

These sleeves from Suitical are an innovative way to prevent your dog from further aggravating woulds which may well be sensitive to licking or scratching.

Soft and comfortable, they are constructed from a breathable fabric and can be used on either from leg.

The fabric is also designed to be tough and enables you to add a slight pressure around the chest which has a calming effect.

To offer the best fit for your dog, the sleeve comes with two rows of poppers and velcro.

There are lots of sizes available from XXX small to XX large with a handy on line chart offering chest circumference and sleeve length measurements.

Comments from customers suggest that the sleeve does come up large and it is stretchy so we would recommend that if your dog is between sizes, opt for the smaller size.

Dimensions - : XXX Small chest circumference 27-33cm, sleeve length 10cm to XX Large chest circumference 96-124cm, sleeve length 48cm

Reasons to Buy

+ Ideal for leg wounds

+ Lots of size options

+ Machine washable

+ Provides a second line of defence

Reasons to Avoid

- Can be tricky to put on

Buying Options


8. Best Recovery Torso Wrap

All Four Paws

The second product from the All Four Paws brand to make it to our list. Their Comfy Wrap is an innovative surgical suit with a whole range of hidden extras.

All Four Paws Comfy Wrap for Dogs

Ultimately a non-compression wrap that covers your dog’s torso, helping them to heal whilst enjoying their full range of motion.

Super durable, it's designed to be water repellant and chew/scratch resistant.

We love that the Comfy Wrap has integral inside pockets you can use for hot or cold packs to further aid the healing process.

Oh, and did we mention that the Comfy Wrap also has a handle. A handy addition to help your dog with standing, walking or climbing the stairs.

Available in a range of 6 sizes to suit all breeds of dog.

Undoubtedly a pricy option, but if your dog has had major surgery or has an abdominal injury, the Comfy Wrap can really help the healing process when used on its own or alongside the Comfy Cone featured earlier.

Dimensions - (length of back/chest circumference) : XX Small - 29cm/53cm | X Small - 35cm/63cm | Medium - 52cm/76cm | Large - 56c,/79cm | X Large - 60cm/96cm | XX Large 68cm/99cm

Reasons to Buy

+ Durable surgical suit

+ Lots of size options

+ Machine washable

+ Provides a second line of defence

Reasons to Avoid

- Pricier than a basic cone

Buying Options

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Our Verdict

We recommend the extremely popular KONG inflatable dog collar. KONG collars are well designed and a great alternative to the old fashioned cone shape. They have limited impact on your dogs field of view, so are less likely to cause further distress.

The cover is washable (which is a must) and it is easy for your four legged friend to eat and drink whilst still wearing it. At a great price, it definitely ticks a lot of boxes.

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How is a Dog Cone measured ?

Cone sizes vary based on the size and face shape of the dog. Ideally you want the cone to extend a couple of inches beyond your dog's nose.

Most cones are sized on the neck circumference. Use a fabric tape measure to measure around the base of your dogs neck. Make sure you can fit two fingers between your neck and the tape measure to avoid the cone fitting too tightly.

If you haven't got a fabric tape measure, use a piece of string and then measure the string with a ruler.

Are Dog Cones necessary ?

Nobody likes to see their dog looking sad or distressed and research shows that a dog cone can indeed impact on your dog's quality of life.

Just remember that it is short term and the alternative is allowing them to irritate their wound which could possibly lead to further complications.

Can my Dog Sleep in a Dog Cone ?

Definitely! Don't be tempted to remove the cone at night as your dog is likely to wake and further irritate their wound. If you concerned about your dog sleeping wearing a cone, we recommend the soft or flexible cones we feature in our review.

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Thanks for dropping by and taking a look at our article - Best Dog Cone of Shame Alternatives 2024


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