Alternatives to Elizabethan Collars

Does an Elizabethan collar make your dog miserable? The Dog Trainer has some effective alternatives.

Jolanta Benal, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA,
August 11, 2012

Alternatives to Elizabethan Collars

Usually, when your pet’s had surgery (or for some other reason needs to leave a particular body part alone for a while), the vet will send her home with an “Elizabethan collar.” This is a plastic cone that fits over her head and neck and keeps her from licking and biting at the body part or surgical site. Some dogs, maybe most dogs, seem to accept the Elizabethan collar without distress. But it makes others miserable. They paw and bite at the collar, or maybe they just shut down entirely, lying around passive and unhappy.

If that’s your dog, there are alternatives: soft, inflatable collars that look like tires; a cone that looks like a regular Elizabethan collar but is made of flexible padded nylon; a collar that looks like a super-wide version of a regular dog collar and that prevents your dog from flexing her neck far enough to reach the trouble spot. Of course, they’re more expensive than generic Elizabethan collars, and you may have to try a couple to find the one that works best for your dog. But they’re all reusable, and avoidance of misery is worth a few bucks!

Sad dog photo from Wikimedia