As a dog owner, you know how frustrating it can be to see your pup hobbling around with the cone of shame. However, this is necessary for your dog’s safety and is the only way to prevent biting and licking of wounds after surgery or injury.

You and your pup may be wondering when the cone can finally come off. In order to make sure that your dog has healed enough, you can remove the cone as early as one week after the surgery. However, if you feel like your dog is still licking or biting at his wounds and starts chewing on the cone, it would be best to keep him in this uncomfortable contraption for a little while longer.

Learn more about how to deal with your dog’s cone and when you can take it off by reading on.

When Can I Take My Dog’s Cone Off?

While you can remove your dog’s cone as early as a week after surgery, it’s usually best to wait at least ten days until it comes off. Since cones are meant to prevent an animal from scratching or biting the incision site, they are not removed until the wound is completely healed. If your dog’s incisions are still red or swollen after ten days, ask your veterinarian how much longer you should keep them on before reevaluating their condition.

For more intensive surgery or wound sites, your dog may need to wear a cone for up to two weeks. This is especially true for dogs who regularly scratch or lick at their incision or younger, more active dogs. In any case, keep the cone on as long as your veterinarian recommends, to ensure that healing goes smoothly and without interruption from scratching or biting at stitches or scabs.

Can My Dog Sleep With a Cone On?

Although you may feel bad making your dog sleep in their cone, many dogs feel more comfortable with their cone on while they sleep, and some will even fall asleep during the day with it on. The longer they have the cone on, the quicker they will get used to it.

It’s important to never take the cone off at night because your dog could get injured by scratching or biting its stitches. Since you’ll be asleep, there will be no way for you to catch them in the act and discourage this behavior.

When Can I Take My Dog’s Cone off After Neutering?

When a dog is neutered, it will take about two weeks before its cone can be removed. These surgeries usually take 10 days to two weeks to heal, and there may be a small amount of additional healing occurring after stitches or staples are removed.

In addition to keeping a cone on at all times, you will want to be sure that your dog is not licking or scratching at the site of its incision. Make sure that your dog doesn’t have too much time unattended or is exposed to other dogs that may give them the opportunity to lick at their stitches.

The cleaner and less disturbed the incision site is, the faster it will heal and you can take off the cone. If your dog has stitches or staples removed before they are completely healed, there may be a risk of them opening up again while playing or running around too hard with other dogs.

What if My Dog Doesn’t Want to Wear Their Cone?

There’s nothing worse than having to deal with a pet that refuses to put on its cone, but this is one of the unfortunate realities that you have to face when your dog needs surgery.

If your dog seems particularly agitated by wearing the cone or tries scratching it off, try placing some treats in and around it while they are distracted. If you don’t give your dog the opportunity to investigate or eat, they will eventually settle down and get used to wearing it.

Another option is to try moving the cone higher up on their neck where there are more loose skin folds. This can make it more difficult for your dog to reach the cone with their paws, which reduces the likelihood of them trying to get it off.

Make sure that the cone is properly fitted and that it is adjustable. There should be enough room for your dog to eat, drink and go outside without having their cone on too tight or small. You should be able to put a couple of fingers between your dog’s skin and the cone, but not too much more.

Can You Leave Dog Alone With a Cone?

If your dog is responding well to the cone and is relaxed wearing it while you are around, it should be fine to leave it unsupervised for short periods of time. However, you should never leave your dog unattended with a cone on if it is likely to try and take it off or get injured.

Try to limit your trips to the bank or grocery store, and choose a time when your dog is likely to be sleeping so they don’t have too much opportunity to try scratching at their stitches.

In addition, you should never leave your dog unattended with a cone on if it’s likely that other dogs will come by and bother them while wearing one. This can increase the likelihood of your dog becoming stressed out and agitated, which can lead to them trying to get their cone off.

If you must leave your dog unattended regularly during their healing process, install a camera in a room where they regularly spend time. This way, you can check in on them to make sure they are behaving and not trying to take off their cone or scratching at the site of their stitches.

Are There Different Types of Cones?

There are several different types of cones available at most pet stores, but they all serve the same purpose. There are some that your dog cannot see through and others that are translucent. Some are made out of plastic while others are made out of stiff fabrics. Some other variations include cones that can be folded up in a pocket when it’s not being used and some that have a soft outer lining.

Some cones have different types of fasteners that allow you to adjust the size and fit of the cone, while others have Velcro or buckles that need to be adjusted before each use.

When choosing the right cone for your dog, you want to make sure that it is not too small or loose. The cone should fit snugly on your dog’s neck and be adjustable so you can adjust the size as needed.

Usually, your vet will have a few different options available to you and will advise you on which one is best. If your dog doesn’t seem particularly bothered by wearing its cone, then there may be no need for a different one.

How Do I Clean My Dog’s Cone?

It’s important to clean your dog’s cone every day. A quick and easy way to do this is by using a wet wipe to clean their neck and then use a dry cloth or towel to completely dry them. This is a great way to make sure that no food gets stuck in the folds of their neck and it’s also a good way to make sure that they don’t get an infection.

You’ll also want to clean the cone itself by giving it a quick wipe-down on both sides. Make sure to be very gentle when cleaning the cone so that your dog has a pleasant experience and doesn’t feel the need to try to remove the cone or shake it off.

Are There Cone Alternatives?

Some alternatives to traditional dog cones include neck wraps, onesies, and inflatable collars.

Neck wraps are a great option for dogs that keep removing their cone or have a history of chewing at them. They look similar to an ace bandage, but they come in different sizes depending on the size of your dog’s neck circumference. You use them by wrapping them around your dog’s neck and then they hold the cone in place.

One-piece outfits are another alternative to cones that can be used when you need to keep the incision site covered but don’t want to use a regular cone. Most of these one-pieces have an opening for the head, shoulders, hips, or all three.

Inflatable collars are another alternative to regular dog cones that you can use when your dog needs protection around its neck. They look like a traditional inflatable collar, but they have an opening in the middle for their head and body, so it doesn’t need to be adjusted multiple times throughout the day.

Can I Take My Dog’s Cone off After Surgery?

It’s generally recommended to keep your dog’s cone on at all times, especially immediately after surgery. If your dog is feeling uncomfortable or acting aggressively in the cone, you can try to soothe them by wrapping an ace bandage around the base of their neck. This will help them feel more comfortable and calm down quickly.

Some dogs may struggle with having their cone on during walks and owners may take them off at this time so that they don’t get snagged on anything. If you choose to do this, make sure you are able to keep an eye on them at all times to discourage any licking, scratching, or biting at the surgery site.

Don’t feel too bad for your pup at this time. The longer they wear the cone, the more comfortable they will become, so you will actually help them feel better faster by leaving it on. If you feel something is wrong with the cone itself or it seems to be causing a lot of distress for your dog, it may be a good time to look into alternative options or to have a chat with your vet.

Can I Take My Dog’s Cone off To Eat?

Your dog should keep its cone on when eating, and the same goes when drinking water. If you take it off to eat, your dog may feel more comfortable and tempted to scratch at their surgery site. This can lead to a bad infection or even result in them needing re-surgery for repairs.

Cones are designed to allow your dog to eat, drink, go outside for bathroom needs, and move around without getting their incision site dirty. If you are worried about them feeling uncomfortable with the cone on while eating or drinking water, then it may be a good idea to ask your vet if there is another way that they can help protect your pup’s surgery area other than using a regular cone.

You can also consider adjusting the height of your dog’s food and water or using a different type of dog bowl. Some people even use elevated feeders, which are great for dogs that have a hard time bending down to eat, as well as dogs with cones.

Author

I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.