Alternatives to Cone of Shame

Elizabethan collar or commonly known as E collar or cone collar is a protective medical device worn by pets having specific medical conditions. It’s also called ‘cone of shame’ because of the shame it brings to the pet that is wearing it, well, in a funny way. Its truncated cone shape has a specific purpose of preventing your pet from reaching their body parts with their mouth. The collar got the name Elizabethan collar because of its similar shape to the ruffs worn by people in Elizabethan times.


The cone of shame is sometimes so irritating and cumbersome for some pets. But fortunately, there are alternatives that are more convenient, do the job, and are not so costly either. In this article, we will discuss the E collar or the cone of shame in brief and their alternatives.

Why Would Your Pet Need a Cone Collar?

The purpose of using a cone collar is to prevent your pet from licking, biting, or scratching at the wound on the body or any parts in general. If your pet has a wound and stitches on the site, cone collar would restrict your pet from removing stitches while they groom themselves.


In addition, pets under flea treatments or allergic conditions have medicines and ointments applied to their bodies and ingesting them while they lick themselves is harmful to their health. A cone collar would restrain their urge to do so. Also, some allergies caused by viruses and fungus can be spread to other body parts by their licking and scratching. Hot spots are common skin conditions that spread by a pet’s scratching and licking behavior.


Anna from Doglovesbest says, “Cone of shame is not new. Vets, for so many years, have been making cone-shaped collars from used X-ray films and put them on the needy pets visiting their office. But with the advancement in pet supplies and in our lifestyles, cone collars are available in shops and made out of plastic.”

Some Alternatives to Cone of Shame

If you search online for alternatives to cone collars, you will be puzzled with so many choices. I have categorized them and included their types in this section.

Neck Bands, Padded Rings, and Donuts

All three types of collars are padded collars. The positive side of them is they look attractive, nice, and are more comfortable for pets. Moreover, they provide a better peripheral vision of your dog or a cat than a conventional cone of shame as the collar won’t cover the space around their eyes.


Because they are padded, sometimes the thickness of the collar is not sufficient to keep pets from licking and biting the wound sites and body parts. So always make sure that the diameter and the thickness are big enough. If you’re planning to keep your pet alone for longer times, the collar might cause a problem in lying down. You will need to remove it when your dog wants to sleep.

Pillow Collars

This type of collars is inflatable and more comfortable. They look better and attractive on pets than traditional E collar. But again, some unruly pets might still be able to lick, bite, and scratch. Pillow collars also let your pet lie down comfortably and improves peripheral vision like its alternatives do.

Cloth Cones

As the name suggests, the material used to make the collar is cloth. They are comfortable, fancy, but not sturdy like plastic ones. As they’re not so strong, some dogs and cats may able to collapse it and can reach their body with their mouth. Cloth cones can also be the shape of the original cone of shame but you will have a variety of shapes, colors, and designs to choose from.

Neck Control Collar

These are the collars worn on necks to keep your pet’s head straight. It is similar to a human cervical collar. It works well but some tough chewers and high-energetic dogs may find their way out.

Surgical Suit

Well, this is a closely fitting dress for your dog or a cat so that they can’t lick the medicines applied or scratch at the wounds. However, surgical suits do not work for every dog. So, before choosing this alternative, ask your vet if it’s ok to use the surgical clothing instead of E collar and its other alternatives.

When to Go For Alternatives

We always want to give our beloved pets a comfortable life. And we definitely want to opt for the alternatives. But there’s a caveat. If you have a multiple pet household and choose to go with pillow or neck bands, the purpose of cone collars will fail.


Why? When there are multiple pets, mutual grooming and licking are possible and even if you put on neckbands or pillow collars on other pets, they still can lick the pet that is under medical treatment. In that case, the conventional cone of shame is the best option for a multiple pet household. And importantly, your all pets have to wear a cone of shame.


Moreover, the cone of shame is not permanent. Most dogs and cats have to wear it for about seven days. Sometimes it is a bit longer as much as 10 days and also it’s fewer as much as five days. That being said, the discomfort it causes is temporary and you don’t have to go for the alternative.


But in the case when your pet is not feeling comfortable at all and feels stressed about it, you should try different alternatives. Ensure that the size of the cone is too big, your pet won’t be able to eat or walk properly and if it’s too small, the purpose will fail. In a nutshell, choose your pet’s cone of shame and its alternatives that fit them well.