Dogs are oftentimes prescribed a cone after they have undergone surgery or if their head has been injured.
The purpose of the cone is to keep them from licking the wound, which could cause infection and prolong recovery time. But do dogs really need to wear this uncomfortable device overnight?
This blog post discusses how you can tell whether your dog requires a cone overnight and what other options you may want to explore before making any decisions about treatment.
Do Dogs Have to Sleep With a Cone?
It’s helpful to have your dog sleep with their cone because this ensures that your pup won’t lick the surgery site and potentially cause an infection.
The more time you keep the cone on your dog, the more used to it your pup will get. This is especially important if you want to make your dog comfortable enough to not try to remove their cone when you’re not there to stop it, such as when you’re at work or asleep.
This will help to speed up the recovery time by protecting and promoting quick healing in the wound.
How to Get a Dog to Sleep With the Cone On?
Dogs may have a hard time sleeping with a cone during the first night, but you can do a few things to get them more comfortable with it.
Put the Cone On When They’re Calm
Try to put the cone on your dog when they’re calm and relaxed. This will make it less stressful for them and help them to make more positive associations with the cone. You can pet your dog, scratch its tummy, and speak to it in a calming voice while you put the cone on.
Do Not Put On the Cone as a Punishment
Don’t put the cone on your dog as a punishment. This will only make them dislike and fear the cone. This means that you shouldn’t use a cone to train your dog to stop scratching or licking in general. Over time, your dog will learn that the cone is a symbol of something bad and they’ll start to show signs of stress or anxiety when you put it on.
They may also try to remove the cone when you’re not there, which can be very dangerous if they manage to dislodge it and injure themselves.
Make Sure They Can Still Eat and Drink
Your dog should still be able to eat and drink while wearing the cone. If they can’t reach their water or food, this will only make them more frustrated and anxious about the cone.
This can be potentially dangerous if they become dehydrated or overeat due to stress and anxiety, so it’s important that you’re always on top of making sure your dog has access to their food and water bowls when wearing a cone.
Give Your Dog Time to Get used to the Cone Once You Have It On Them
Keep in mind that it can take some time for dogs to get used to wearing a cone. Initially, they may be stressed or frustrated by it and try to remove it with their teeth.
Make sure that you give them enough time to relax before bedtime so that they don’t fight against the cone and get exhausted. If you keep your pup comfortable for at least a few hours before bed, they’ll be more likely to relax and fall asleep.
Give Your Dog Treats
Treats are a great way to calm your dog down and distract them if they’re expressing discomfort with the cone.
You can also use treats to reward your dog for good behavior while wearing the cone, such as not trying to remove it or licking the surgery site. This will help them to associate the cone with positive things and make it a less stressful experience for them.
Make Their Sleeping Area Comfortable
Your dog’s sleeping area should be comfortable and stress-free. This will help them to find a comfortable position even with the discomfort of the cone.
You can put a few pillows around their bed to make them feel more secure or cover the entire surface with a soft blanket. You can also put a few of their favorite toys in the area to create an enjoyable and safe environment for them.
Leave Some Space Around Your Dog’s Neck
Make sure the cone is a comfortable fit and doesn’t pinch or rub against their skin. If it’s too tight, you may need to get a bigger size or adjust how it fits on their neck.
Pad the Neck Area Of the Cone
Having some space between the cone and their neck will help to prevent skin irritation. You can also use a bandana or fabric wrap to cover the area around the cone to protect their skin from friction.
Let Your Dog Join You In Bed
If your dog is comfortable with sleeping in bed with you, let them join you. This can help to reduce their anxiety and make them feel more comfortable.
Just make sure that they don’t try to remove the cone while they’re sleeping.
Is It Safe for a Dog to Sleep With the Cone On?
Cones are designed to be safe for dogs both when supervised and unsupervised by an owner. They are adjustable, so you should be able to make sure that it fits snuggly, but not too snug, which could cut of airflow or blood circulation.
In order to keep your dog safe when sleeping in a cone overnight, try to keep your pup in the same room. You can also let them lay with you in bed. This way, if there is any issue or problem, you will be able to address it immediately.
What if a Dog is Scratching Due to the Cone?
If your dog is scratching at the cone, you may need to make some adjustments. Try loosening it by removing one or two straps and see if this helps them be more comfortable.
You can also try adding extra padding around their neck area with a bandana or fabric wrap to prevent any chafing on their skin from occurring due to friction. If your dog is still scratching, you may need to get a bigger size cone.
How Long Does It Take for a Dog to Get Used to Wearing the Cone?
It can take anywhere from an hour or two, up to several days. Some dogs may never get used to wearing cones at all. Following the above-mentioned guidelines should help to make the experience less stressful for them.
Your dog will wear a cone for anywhere between a few days and a couple of weeks. It all depends on the reason for wearing it and how long your vet recommends that they wear it, as well as factors such as temperament and whether or not you’re following instructions from your veterinarian.
The longer your dog wears the cone, the more likely they are to get used to it. If you’re having trouble getting them to wear it or if they’re constantly trying to remove it, consult your veterinarian for further instruction and tips on how to make the experience less stressful for them.
Can Dogs Eat and Drink with the Cone On?
Yes, dogs can still eat and drink while wearing a cone, as long as they can reach their food or water bowl. You may need to adjust the height of the bowls depending on the size of your dog’s cone.
What Is the Cone Made Of?
The cone itself can be made out of a variety of materials, like plastic, fabric, or metal. The straps or snaps are often adjustable, allowing you to make sure that it fits snugly on your dog’s neck without rubbing against its skin and causing chafing.
Do Dogs Get Depressed Wearing a Cone?
Some dogs may get depressed or anxious when wearing a cone. This is usually due to the fact that they are unable to engage in their usual behavior and may feel restrained.
You can help alleviate some of this stress by ensuring that your dog has a comfortable place to sleep, plenty of toys to keep them occupied, and by keeping them close by so that they feel safe and secure.
Can I Take My Dogs Cone off to Walk Him?
It can be challenging for a dog to walk with a cone, especially if they are used to sniffing the ground and carrying their head low. However, it’s best to try to keep your dog’s cone on at all times.
Some ways you can make a walk a more pleasant experience for your dog while using a cone is by keeping the walks short, using a harness instead of a collar, and rewarding them with treats for good behavior.
You may consider using a translucent or transparent cone to allow your dog to see where they are going.
You can also cut down plastic cones to make them more comfortable for your dog to wear. As long as the cone extends slightly past your dog’s nose, it is sufficient enough to stop your pup from being able to access the surgery site.
Should I Take My Dog’s Cone off at Night?
As mentioned above, it’s best to leave your dog’s cone on at night, as well as all other times throughout the day. This will help you to make sure that there is no licking, scratching, or biting on the wound or surgery site.
If your dog is struggling with sleeping while wearing its cone, here are some other options you can use to help keep it safe and comfortable:
Use a Kong Inflatable Collar
Kong, the popular maker of dog chew toys, also developed a soft inflatable cone that can be used as an alternative to the hard plastic cones.
The collar is made of fabric and has a rubber ring inside that helps it stay inflated. It also comes with a storage pouch so you can take it with you on trips or when visiting friends and family.
Use the Foam BiteNot Collar
Another alternative to a plastic cone is the BiteNot collar. This foam neck brace is made of soft, breathable fabric and contains a thick internal band that helps prevent dogs from licking or biting their wounds.
Use a GoodBoy Inflatable Collar
This inflatable collar is a great budget buy and is similar to the Kong model. It’s made of a soft, removable fabric that is easy to clean.
Consider a Different Type of Cone
You may want to get a different type of cone that can make your dog feel more comfortable. A cloth cone is softer and may be less daunting to your dog than a hard plastic cone. A clear cone is also an option, as it allows your dog to see its surroundings.