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A black pug looking up at their pet parent and wearing an e-collar.

Health & Wellness

Five tips for wearing an e-collar for dogs

To help make the uncomfortable, a little more comfortable

When dogs have surgeries, your vet may send them home wearing an e-collar, also called an Elizabethan collar. If you and your pup are feeling a little stressed, don’t worry. Adjusting to wearing the large cone can be difficult for your best friend — that’s why Fetch's on-staff veterinarian and pet health advocate Dr. Aliya McCullough is sharing some tips to make this experience a little easier for them.

01: Help your pup get around the house

The cone is a lot wider than your dog’s head, so learning how to move through usual spaces can be tricky. Be sure to guide them and move anything that may trip them up. 

02: Stay close and cuddly

It’s likely that your dog will need a little extra help, so stay close by to lend some support (this also doubles as a great excuse not to leave the couch).

03: Give your dog all the praise

When your pup shows good behavior with the collar, give them compliments (a little extra attention never hurts). The boost of confidence will help your pet know that they’re doing the right thing and get used to the e-collar faster. 

04: Take the collar off for meals

Your pet’s eating space may need to be reimagined given the shape and size of the e-collar. Most dogs learn to eat with an e-collar but in some cases it’s too tricky. To make mealtimes a breeze, it’s OK to remove it for eating and put it back on immediately afterwards. Be sure to keep an eye on them. 

05: Safe fun is encouraged

Don’t feel guilty for enforcing the e-collar. It’s necessary for your pet’s speedy (and safe) recovery to keep it on at all times (with the possible exception of meals). And your pup can still have safe fun — follow the doctor’s orders when it comes to playtime. 

If your dog is really struggling, ask your vet about some other options. Donuts (inflatable collars) are great alternatives to the traditional e-collar.

Most dogs get used to wearing the e-collar within 24 hours. In the meantime, these tips will help make the experience a little more comfortable for your pet (and you). 

The Dig, Fetch's expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too.

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