An Alternative to the Dreaded Cone

July 13, 2019

Written by:  Megan Esherick CPDT-KA

Almost anyone who has had a dog recover from a surgical procedure has probably experienced an Elizabethan Collar, or the dreaded “cone” used to keep dogs from chewing or damaging an incision. While these are effective, there are some downsides. Being slammed in the knees by an exuberant dog in a cone is a big one. Fitting into a crate while wearing a cone can be a challenge and many dogs are intimidated by the fact that they lose most of their peripheral vision to the cone. I even know of one Labrador who removed his cone, ate it, and wound up requiring an additional surgery for an intestinal obstruction.

Over the years I have tried a few cone alternatives, such as the Kong Cloud Collar, which is effective for dogs who are not overly determined to damage an incision. Your dog’s body type and flexibility will make a difference in how effective this tool is, as well as the location of the incision.

More recently, I have tried The Surgi-Snuggly. This is a bodysuit designed to cover the incision fully to allow for healing. The dog wears the suit full-time, but the back section can be rolled up for potty walks. This worked really well for both Wally’s post-neuter recovery and Elf’s post-spay. If I were to use this with a male dog again, I would make sure I had an extra one on hand so one could be in the laundry at any given time- boy dogs have the tendency to pee on themselves and whatever they are wearing. This might not be a great option for dogs who are inclined to chew clothing, but both dogs were used to wearing Back on Track and cool coats already, so this wasn’t an issue for them. The medium long was a good fit for Wally, an average sized (14 inch, 29 pound) male PBGV and the large fit well on Elf, a small (21 inch, 42 pound) female Golden Retriever. This would be my post surgery go- to in the future, since it kept incisions clean and dry with minimal stress to the dogs.

This post contains affiliate links.


  1. looking

    Ugh huh I haven’t been able to leave my 15 yr old poodles side for more than 10 mins.he has severe skin issues and he bites at his back,legs,between his legs,pretty much everywhere not to mention he has anixty and we have moved around alot due to my personal issues,anyways I bought the dreaded cone at the local pet shop but he can still get to his skin and cause problems with hot spots.I need a better alternative..HE NEED ONE THAT WORKS..HELP PLEASE

    • admin

      Depending on the location of the hot spots, the bodysuit described in my post may help, but you should also consult your vet to address the cause of the skin problem.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

About Me


I am a professional dog trainer, dog sports addict, and small scale breeder of PBGVs.  For more information about The Clever Hound LLC dog training: