7 Best Alternative to Dog Cones | DIY, Vet-Recommended & More

alternative to dog cone

If you have a pet in your home, you’ve probably had to deal with getting your dog a cone at some point. A pet-injury is heartbreak as it is, and watching your fur baby deal with that cone of shame just adds to that pain. This traditional recovery cone was designed to prevent your dogs from licking or chewing on surgical sites, hot spots, or injuries. But are they the most comfortable thing to wear? Well, my dog does not think so.

For years, I have looking up alternative to dog cones. Judging them on their effectiveness, comfort and ease of movement, I am proud to share this list with you all. In this exhaustive guide, I am collective every single cone that is a better alternative to dog cones. The list includes vet-recommended cone alternatives for dogs, and DIY dog cone alternatives as well.

Check out the list down below. And hey, if you have other recommendations, I am all ears. Write to me at In the meantime, let’s get started with this list.

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Challenges with Traditional Dog Cones

Challenges with Traditional Dog Cones

Before we get to the list, let’s talk about the main problems that we have with the traditional cone. For context, the first recovery cone was invented in 1962 with inspiration from the ruffed collars worn by nobles and Queen Elizabeth I. This is where dog cones get the name of the Elizabethan cone.

The original collar was made from a very thin plastic sheet to allow movement, but today, most recovery cones are made from cheap, single use plastic.

While traditional dog cones can prevent pets from licking or chewing on wounds, they come with many challenges. These cones can be uncomfortable and cumbersome for your pets, making it difficult for them to eat, drink, or move around comfortably. Adding to the discomfort is the rigidity and bulkiness of traditional cones. These cones have made my pet feel extremely disoriented and stressed.

Experts have also stated that the cone increases anxiety and lowers the quality of life during their recovery period. Now, we don’t want that, do we?

Alternative to Dog Cones

That’s precisely why we need good an alternative to dog cones and the best dog cone alternatives that are tailored, comfortable, and practical. The options we’ve found aim to minimize stress and discomfort while ensuring that your pets heal safely and efficiently. Scroll to find our dog cone collar alternatives including DIY dog cone alternatives that work!

7 Best & Usable Alternative to Dog Cones

You want the best for your fur baby, and so do we. Which is why we’ve handpicked these great cone of shame alternatives, including vet-recommended cone alternatives for dogs, to ensure your baby’s comfort and safety during recovery. Let’s check them out: 

Face Mask

alternative dog cones - Face Mask dog

Face masks encircle the entire head with masks that fit closely around the face. These are made from transparent, rigid, or semi-rigid materials to provide a clear field of vision, making them a great alternative to dog cones.

Offers clear visibility less disorientationDogs may need some time to get used to it
Minimizing collisions Requires constant vigilance as it restricts drinking and eating
Reduced echo sounds
More comfortable for resting/relaxing

Face masks for dogs offer clear visibility and less physical restriction compared to traditional cones, making them a good dog cone collar alternative. However, they might be unsettling for dogs with little tolerance for facial coverings. Always consult with a veterinarian to ensure it’s the right choice for your pet’s specific needs.


Alternative to Dog Cones - Muzzle

Muzzles are devices typically used to cover a dog’s mouth to prevent biting or eating inappropriate items. When used as an alternative to dog cones, muzzles can prevent dogs from licking or biting wounds or surgical sites, making them a good dog cone alternative for large dogs. They come in various designs, including soft fabric types and more rigid basket muzzles.

Allows for better mobility and movementRequires constant vigilance as it restricts drinking and eating
Comes with adjustable traps Risk of lack of ventilation
Available in many sizes

Muzzles can be a practical alternative to dog cones for certain injuries, offering greater visibility and mobility. However, their use should be carefully considered to ensure the dog’s comfort and safety, and they are generally not suitable for extended periods. Proper fit, ventilation, and regular monitoring are essential.

DIY Cloth Collar

Alternative to Dog Cones - DIY Cloth Collar

DIY cloth collars are homemade alternatives to traditional plastic cones. Made from soft materials like fabric, foam, or towels, they prevent dogs from reaching wounds while offering a comfortable and customized fit, making them one of the best dog cone alternatives out there.

Softer than plastic conesMay not be as durable as commercial cones
Can be tailored to fit any shape or sizeRequires regular cleaning and maintenance

Can be made at home as well

Way less restrictive

DIY cloth collars are a viable and customizable alternative to dog cones, offering comfort and ease of use. Ensure homemade collars are safe, secure, and appropriate for your dog’s situation.

Inflatable Collars

Alternative to Dog Cones - Inflatable Collars

Inflatable collars are a comfortable alternative to dog cones, preventing dogs from reaching injuries or surgical sites. Resembling a travel pillow, they are made from soft, inflatable material encased in durable fabric and fasten around the neck.

Way more soft and lightweight wearNot fit for dog with long bodies
Allow enhanced peripheral vision Not for dogs with ear and face injuries
Can be inflated as desired
Way more durable and sturdy

Inflatable collars offer a comfortable and less stressful alternative to dog cones. While not suitable for all injuries and breeds, their benefits make them a popular choice for many pet owners seeking a gentler way to aid their pet’s recovery, in addition to being a good dog cone alternative for neutering.

Soft E-Collars

Alternative to Dog Cones - Soft E-Collars

Soft E-collars are a gentler alternative to dog cones which are rigid, designed to prevent dogs from licking or biting wounds. Made from fabric or foam, they are more flexible and comfortable for pets.

Is comfortable for long-term wearProne to dog chewing
Is way familiar to other dogsMay not offer full protection
Allows better mobility to move more freely with less hindrance.
Comes in many sizes

Soft E-collars provide a more comfortable and less stressful alternative to dog cones, making them popular among pet owners. While offering significant comfort, they may not be suitable for all pets, especially those persistent in reaching their wounds.

Flat Frisbee-type Collars

Alternative to Dog Cones - Flat Frisbee-type Collars

Flat, frisbee-type collars are an innovative alternative to dog cones. Shaped like a disc, they fit around a dog’s neck and extend outward, preventing access to wounds or surgical sites. Developed to address the discomfort of traditional cones, these collars offer a more comfortable and less obstructive option.

Offers better movement while eating Offers limited mobility to move in narrow spaces
Generally more comfortable and causes less stressDogs may bump into objects
Is made of durable material

Flat, frisbee-type collars offer a balance between effective wound protection and increased comfort and mobility for pets. Their suitability depends on the injury location and the dog’s size and behavior. Pet owners should consider these factors and consult with their veterinarian to determine if this type of collar is the right choice for their pet’s needs.

Neck Brace (Cervical Collar)

Alternative to Dog Cones - Neck Brace

Dog neck braces, or cervical collars, are an alternative to dog cones. Designed to restrict neck movement, they prevent dogs from turning their heads to lick or bite wounds, especially useful for injuries or post-surgical care involving the neck, upper spine, or head. Inspired by human medical devices, these braces are adapted for canine anatomy and needs, offering specialized and comfortable care.

Dog neck braces offer specific support to the neck and spineNot suitable for all injuries
It is generally more comfortable than Elizabethan conesSome dogs set it free with little ease
It reduces stress on the spineCan be on the expensive side
Has adjustable fit

Dog neck braces, or cervical collars, are valuable alternative to dog cones, especially when neck support and restricted movement are required. They balance effective protection and comfort, making them suitable for specific medical conditions. However, their suitability depends on the dog’s needs and the nature of the injury or surgery. Pet owners should consult with a veterinarian to determine the best option for their pet’s care.

DIY Alternative to Dog Cones

If you’re looking up “dog cone alternative near me” but can’t find any in your area, try a DIY method instead! We have some comfortable, creative solutions that just might work!

DIY Alternative to Dog Cones

T-Shirt Method: Using a T-shirt instead of cone for dog involves using a snug-fitting T-shirt to cover a dog’s torso, preventing them from licking or scratching wounds on their body. Sleeves can cover leg injuries, ensuring the area is protected, making this a simple and efficient alternative to dog cones.

Bandage Wraps: Bandage wraps use medical-grade bandages to cover and protect wounds on the body or limbs. They prevent licking, biting, or scratching while allowing some movement and flexibility.

Bodysuits: Bodysuits, unlike a t-shirt instead of cone for dog, is a recovery suit that cover a dog’s torso and sometimes limbs. Made from breathable fabric, they prevent licking, biting, or scratching at wounds, providing a comfortable alternative to cones.

Protective Sleeves: Protective sleeves, like the Lick Sleeve, are designed for leg injuries. Made from durable, flexible fabric, they protect wounds or bandages on the limbs, ensuring proper healing without the discomfort of traditional cones.

Summing Up!

Choosing an alternative to dog cones completely depends on your dog’s injury’s location, your dog’s behavior, and their comfort needs. It’s important that you balance effective wound protection with your pet’s overall well-being. Also be sure to consult with a veterinarian so you can make an informed decision that suits your pet’s individual needs.

We hope this guide helps you navigate your dog’s recovery with options that make the process more comfortable and less stressful for both you and your fur baby.

At Ecowiser, we’re all about sustainable care, even for your pets. If you’re looking for more sustainable lifestyle guides, check out our blog!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why consider dog cone alternatives?

Traditional cones can cause stress and anxiety in dogs, disrupting their daily activities. Alternative recovery devices focus on your dog’s comfort and well-being, promoting a more humane and stress-free recovery experience. By choosing alternatives, you create a more positive healing environment for your furry friend.

What are the drawbacks of traditional dog cones?

Traditional cones can increase stress and anxiety in dogs, limiting their mobility. These cones might also lead to behavioral changes, causing additional accidents or injuries at home. The obstructive nature of traditional cones poses risks to both pets and owners.

What kinds of dog cone alternatives are available?

There are several alternatives, including soft e-collars, flexible collars, inflatable collars, recovery suits, torso wraps, recovery sleeves, and bandages/wraps. Each option has its own pros and cons, catering to different recovery needs and preferences.

How do I choose the right alternative to dog cones?

Consider factors such as security, comfort, fit, unobstructed movement, and durability. The chosen alternative should effectively prevent access to the wound, fit your pet properly, ensure comfort, and allow free movement. Prioritize your pet’s well-being and comfort during their recovery.

Why choose Lick Sleeve as a dog cone alternative?

Lick Sleeve is a leg protection sleeve designed for optimal comfort, breathability, durability, and flexibility. It surpasses the limitations of traditional cones, providing a superior alternative for a swift and trouble-free recovery. Choosing Lick Sleeve ensures your pet experiences the best in protection and comfort during their healing process.

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Sneha Sridhar

Sneha is a seasoned editor at Ecowiser. Passionate about sustainability and adept at forging connections with eco-conscious brands, she is dedicated to learning and living a sustainable lifestyle, one step at a time.

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