A cone-shaped collar that surround a pet’s neck like the elaborate ruff of an Elizabethan noble are called Elizabethan collars or E-collars. They can be purchased or can be made into a variety of sizes to fit any pet. These collars are used to prevent dogs from pawing head or eye wounds or from chewing body injuries.
Unfortunately, this lampshade-like contraption is almost universally disliked by caregiver and companion animal. In spite of the sling and banging dogs tend to do while wearing the collar, the E-collar is indispensable because it keeps the dog from pawing or rubbing at head injuries or biting at body wounds causing further injury.
For an Elizabethan collar to do any good, it must fit properly and be worn at all times-even at night. The exception may be at meal times. Dogs may have trouble eating while wearing an E-collar, so you may need to remove it during meals and supervise his activity. If it is possible, provide water and food dishes that fit inside the collar so he can eat and drink while wearing it.
The collar fit is important. The cone must be long enough to prevent the dog from reaching around it with a front or hind paw to scratch an eye or head injury. Additionally, the Elizabethan collar must be secured snugly around the upper neck so he can’t push the collar back toward his shoulders to get at his head or eyes.
To help ease the annoyance of wearing the E-collar, there are a few things you can do to help. First, you may need to hold the collar while your dog travels up and down stairs. Second, you can help your dog maneuver through doorways by guiding his head through the opening. Third, distract your dog by taking him on long walks (if the injury does not prevent walking). Forth, remember that the Elizabethan collar is serving an important function and he won’t have to wear it forever.
How to Make an Elizabethan Collar for Dog at Home
Making an Elizabethan collar (dog head cone) for a dog can be accomplished at home with a little guidance. This cone is placed around a dog’s neck to prevent the dog from chewing himself, especially at wounds or suture lines. A homemade Elizabethan collar can also be used to protect you from being bitten by a dog that is frightened or in pain.
To make and Elizabethan collar for your dog , you need a soft plastic or rubber flower pot; or a piece of heavy corrugated cardboard, at least 2 inches (5 cm) longer than your dogs face. Additionally, you need a sharp tool for making holes, a fabric strip, and strong adhesive tape.
If you use a flower pot, cut out the bottom and then tape over all of the cut edges to protect your dog from sharp surfaces. If using cardboard, cut out a large crescent shape, then tape along one side to form a cone (tape over any edges that may poke into your dog’s skin). Make three or four holes near the narrower end, and thread fabric through them. Slip this end over the dog’s head. Tie the fabric to your dog’s collar to secure the cone collar in place.