Many dogs and cats understandably dislike wearing the plastic Elizabethan collar or E-Collar that you so often see post-surgery. This clunky, plastic “cone of shame” is uncomfortable for most four-legged friends because of its hard surface and obstruction of peripheral vision. E-collars, though, do prevent pets from getting at a wound or sutures. Is there a better alternative to these safety collars? You bet!

Your friends at Union Lake Veterinary Hospital have compiled some of our favorite alternatives to the cone of shame that are just as effective (without the discomfort).

Alternatives to the Standard E-Collar

Just because your pet has an injury or has had surgery doesn’t mean they have to be subjected to a plastic cone too. In fact, many pet owners dislike those traditional E-collars because they see how often their poor pets bump into walls, furniture, and doors wearing them. Here are some great new collars designed for both safety and security, as well as comfort and ease of placement.

1.  Inflatable Donut Collars
These collars are filled with air and feel cushy against your pet’s neck. They do not impede your pet’s ability to eat, drink, or play. Your pet will also have complete peripheral vision, so they are less likely to bump into things around the home. Better versions of the inflatable collars available on the market are the Cloud Collar by Kong for cats and dogs, Calm Paws’ Protective Disk Collar that comes with an essential oil disk, and Well and Good’s Inflatable Collar.

The downside to inflatable collars is that some dogs are still able to bend down to chew the injury site. Always watch your pet when you put on any collar to see if they can easily remove it or still access the wound site.

2. Soft E-Collar
Soft e-collars wrap like the plastic E-collar, but are made of comfortable, bendable fabric. These are especially great for cats and small breed dogs who don’t have the strength and tenacity of larger dogs. The soft cone works by using a Velcro strip that attaches around the neck. These collars do the same great job of keeping your pet from chewing on the injured site without the rigidity of plastic.

Some of our top picks include the Alfie Pet Recovery Collar (with an adorable design), the Original Comfy Cone by All Four Paws, and Renzchu’s Pet Recovery Cone Collar.

3. Recovery Sleeve or Bodysuit
Body-based solutions eliminate the need for a collar by covering the wound site with a bodysuit or sleeve made of durable fabric. Bodysuits are composed of a lightweight material and are a great option for pets who manage to wrangle out of their cones. Surgical suits and sleeves work wonders in protecting hot spots, sutures, and other areas that need healing. Some options in these styles are the Pop for Pets Postoperative Protection Shirt, Suitical’s Recovery Suit for cats, Kuoser’s Recovery Suit for dogs and cats, and the After Surgery Wear’s Protective Sleeve

No More Cone of Shame

Factors like size, species, breed, weight, and your pet’s reaction to collars or suits will help you determine the right choice. The wonderful news is that the standard E-collar is not your only choice these days. There are a variety of better alternatives for your favorite kitty or pup. Recovery from surgery or an injury doesn’t have to include the awful “cone of shame.” We have many more comfy options for post-surgical attire for our four-legged friends.

If you would like some help choosing the right collar, sleeve, or other protective gear for your pet, call us. We look forward to seeing you and your pet at their next visit.