Watching our beloved dogs struggle with a “cone of shame” after a medical procedure or dealing with a skin irritation can be heart-wrenching. As they walk awkwardly, knock over their water bowl, and gaze at us with pleading eyes, we seek alternative solutions to replace the cumbersome plastic dog cone. Thankfully, there are creative and comfortable DIY options available using common household products. From the soft and lightweight pool noodle collar to the simple and easy-to-make paper plate shield, these alternatives aim to fulfill the purpose of preventing dogs from scratching, licking, or biting their wounds while ensuring their safety and comfort. So let’s explore these DIY dog cone alternatives and find the best option that suits our furry friends.
The Pool Noodle Collar
1.1 Materials needed
- Pool noodle
- Ribbon or shoelace
1.2 Instructions for making
To create a comfortable alternative to the traditional dog cone, we can use a pool noodle. Start by measuring the length of your dog’s neck and cut the pool noodle to size, leaving extra length for overlap. Make a slit along the length of the noodle, being careful not to cut all the way through. This will allow you to open the noodle and place it around your dog’s neck. Finally, secure the ends of the noodle together with a ribbon or shoelace, ensuring a snug but not too tight fit.
1.3 Alternative method with a regular collar
If you have a regular collar that can be adjusted to a larger size than your dog normally wears, you can also use the pool noodle to create a DIY dog cone. Cut smaller rings of the pool noodle and insert them onto the collar. Once you have added enough pieces of the noodle to fill out the collar, attach it as you would normally. This creates a DIY dog cone that is more like a comfy neck pillow.
The Poster Board Cone
2.1 Materials needed
- Poster board
- Ribbon or shoelace
2.2 Instructions for making
If you prefer a more traditional cone shape for your dog, but still want to ensure it is lightweight and comfortable, the poster board cone is a great alternative. Start by drawing a large semi-circle on the poster board, with a radius roughly the length from your dog’s neck to its nose. Cut out the semi-circle and form it into a cone shape that fits comfortably around your dog’s neck. Use tape to secure the edges and punch two holes near the base of the cone. Thread the ribbon or shoelace through the holes to create a secure fastening. You can also decorate the poster board cone with your dog’s name or fun patterns.
The Paper Plate Shield
3.1 Materials needed
- Sturdy paper plate
3.2 Instructions for making
For small breeds or puppies, a simple paper plate can act as the perfect makeshift cone. Start by cutting a semi-circle out of the center of the plate, making sure the remaining hole is large enough for your dog’s neck. The paper plate shield may not be as sturdy as other options, but it is quick, easy, and perfect for minor wounds or irritations that just need a little protection. Plus, it is so light that your little one will hardly notice it is there.
The Towel Collar
4.1 Materials needed
- Safety pins or ribbon
4.2 Instructions for making
A towel collar is another comfortable DIY dog cone alternative, especially for larger breeds. Simply roll up a towel to the appropriate thickness and place it around your dog’s neck like a scarf. Use safety pins or a ribbon to secure the ends together. This collar restricts your dog’s movement enough to prevent them from reaching their wounds, but it is soft and comfortable for them to wear. Just make sure to keep an eye on your dog to ensure they are not able to wriggle free.
The Egg Carton Foam Collar
5.1 Materials needed
- Egg carton foam
- Ribbon or shoelace
5.2 Instructions for making
Egg carton foam, with its soft texture and flexibility, makes an excellent material for a DIY dog cone. Cut a piece of the foam to fit around your dog’s neck, allowing for overlap. Secure it with a ribbon or shoelace, making sure it is snug but not too tight. This collar is lightweight yet sturdy, providing a good level of protection for your dog’s wounds. Plus, it is a great way to recycle egg carton foam that would otherwise go to waste.
The Bucket or Plastic Bowl Collar
6.1 Materials needed
- Small bucket or sturdy plastic bowl
- Ribbon or shoelace
6.2 Instructions for making
For those who have a knack for improvisation, a small bucket or sturdy plastic bowl can make an effective dog cone. Make sure to choose a bucket or bowl that is the right size for your dog and that the rim is not sharp. Cut a hole in the bottom of the bucket or bowl, large enough for your dog’s neck. Then, secure it with a ribbon or shoelace threaded through small holes drilled around the rim. While it may not be the most elegant solution, it is effective and readily available in a pinch.
The Baby Onesie (Instead of Collar)
7.1 Materials needed
- Baby onesie
7.2 Instructions for using
As a simple and straightforward DIY dog cone alternative, a baby onesie can act as an excellent barrier for dogs with wounds on their torso or hind area. It is also a great option if you are in a pinch and need something to stop your dog from licking or scratching right away. Depending on their size and shape, you can experiment with putting the onesie on the normal way or putting it on backward, with their tail coming out through the neck opening and their legs through the armholes. Ensure that the onesie is not too tight and that your dog can move freely.
Keep an eye on your dog while they are wearing the onesie, especially when they need to go outside for toilet breaks. You will need to remove the onesie or unfasten the snaps to allow them to do their business.
8.1 Factors to consider when choosing an alternative
When choosing a DIY dog cone alternative, there are several factors to consider. These include your dog’s temperament, the location of their wound, and the intensity of their licking or scratching behavior. Each alternative has its advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to assess which option will best suit your dog’s needs.
8.2 Importance of monitoring your pet
It is crucial to closely monitor your pet while they are wearing a DIY dog cone alternative. While these alternatives can provide comfort and protection, they may not be as effective as a traditional cone in preventing your dog from reaching their wounds. Ensure that your dog is not able to remove or damage the alternative and that their wound is healing properly.
8.3 Consulting with a vet
If you have any concerns or questions about using a DIY dog cone alternative, it is always best to consult with a veterinarian. They can provide guidance on the most suitable option for your specific situation and offer additional advice on caring for your dog’s wounds.
In conclusion, whether you are searching for a quick replacement for a broken cone or seeking a more comfortable option for your pet, these DIY dog cone alternatives can be achieved with a little creativity and effort. Remember, the well-being and safety of your pet should always be the top priority.