Top 3 alternatives to your dog’s plastic cone of shame

For many dogs who undergo surgery or another medical procedure, the days and weeks after the operation will be an uncomfortable time spent in a plastic immobility cone, affectionately known as the "cone of shame."

While these devices are extremely effective in preventing dogs from biting or licking at a specific area of their bodies, they have a number of negative side effects. They can inhibit hearing, sight and movement, and some dogs with anxiety issues may feel very restricted when being forced to wear one. Luckily, there are a number of great alternatives on the market and even around your home that could be a wonderful way to ditch the plastic cone for good. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind.

Plastic, inflatable and cloth alternatives

According to, there has been an explosion of new investment in plastic cone alternatives over the past several years, and there are a number of quality products on the market that can give your dog increased comfort after an operation. When choosing one of these cones, it's important to be mindful of where your dog's procedure took place so the cones can do an adequate job of preventing him or her from getting at the area. For instance, an inflatable or brace-style collar will not prevent a dog from licking his or her front legs and paws, so shop wisely when you're on the lookout for a plastic cone replacement.

Paper collars

While they don't last as long as conventional designs, paper collars are a great choice for pets who are a bit more relaxed and don't showcase signs of hyperactivity, anxiety or other negative personality traits. A paper collar will give your dog a greater degree of movement, won't restrict his or her hearing or vision as dramatically as a plastic cone and will still prevent your companion from being able to lick or scratch at a specific area.


According to, there are various pieces of clothing you may have around the house that could work beautifully to prevent your dog from reaching an area of interest. Combining sturdy bandages with boxer shorts, sweaters, onesies and even booties can be extremely effective in deterring your pet from licking or scratching. While this may not work for all dogs, it's a good trick to try out after an operation and can be far more liberating than the cone of shame!

This content is provided by the pet wellness experts at Hartz. We know that adopting a dog or cat is a huge commitment, so we're here to help you feel confident and become the best pet parent you can be.