Alternatives to an E-Collar

Many dogs can not tolerate the large, plastic, conical, Elizabethan Collars that most veterinary offices provide following canine surgery. If you are dealing with a dog that is able to get their e-collar off, refuses to lay down with the e collar on, is marking up the furniture with the collar, unable to eat, sleep, or rest with the collar in place, or is acting in an aggressive manner toward the ecollar, there are options available!

The ProCollar has an inflatable inner bladder made of a plastic vinyl that is inflated through a two-way air valve much like a beach ball. When the Pro Collar is inflated, the size and thickness of the ProCollar function as a soft deterrent to biting. The inner bladder is protected by a pliable plastic outer jacket lined with a durable canvas material to resist bites and scratches. While wearing the ProCollar, pets are able to eat, sleep and play at ease while staying protected. The ProCollar is held in place by inserting the pet’s everyday collar through the ProCollar’s three inner rings, and the velcro strap should be placed at the back of the neck and then adjusted for a perfect fit.

There are also a variety of soft E-Collars on the market, which simply look like a traditional e-collar made from a soft, pillow like foam material. The Soft-E-Collar is a lightweight foam pillow and is often covered with a durable, attractive vinyl. It is an effective alternative to the plastic elizabethan collar (“E Collar”), and is easily cleaned and stain resistant. The pillow passes over the pet’s head and ties around the neck with a drawstring – sometimes there are also velcro attachments depending on the manufacturer. The Soft-E will prevent a dog or cat from licking or biting most parts of his body.

Being the creative people we are, pet owners have also been known to use their own shirts, pants, towels, etc. to create elaborate, homemade E-Collar alternatives. Be sure to read the comments below for homemade suggestions from the Dog Knee Injury Community or add your own tip!

16 thoughts on “Alternatives to an E-Collar

  1. A word of advice about the inflatable collar.

    My dog has a rather long snout and could still reach her incision with this inflatable ring. I’m guessing it would be perfect for a Boxer or some other stubbier nosed breed. I ended up getting the Comfy Cone instead which, while made her pretty miserable at times, still did the job and wasn’t nearly as irritating at the hard plastic one I had also tried.

    I bought mine at Petco I think but this is their website:

  2. I use a bath towel. Roll it up into a thick tube and secure the ends with duct tape making a shape like the inflatable ring. It has worked great on German Shorthairs and Vizslas and Labs. You can fine tune the sizing to make it as thick and as tight as required to keep the dog’s snout away from the affected area. Some dogs are doggegly determined and agile enough to cicumvent most anything – even the large plastic e-collar. But for reasonably cooperative dogs this towel is quite effective and it seems well tolerated since it is so soft against the skin.

  3. I used a soft cotton washcloth folded tight, wrapped around neck, and secured with plastic packaging tape. My dog is a small Yorkshire terrier. The dog immediately responded happily asking for a treat. She had been greatly distressed with the hard plastic Elizabethan collar the vet had put on her after an incision on her side. It appears the collar will work perfectly to keep her from the wound. She is now walking about normally and delighted to be free of the old monstrosity.
    A million thanks for the idea! God bless all of you.

  4. I used the towel idea, rolled very tightly and then stuffed it inside a stocking to keep from unrolling – I could then tie the stocking ends together, no tape! Great ideas here.

  5. The procollar didn’t work for my golden retriever either. It seemed to work OK at first, but when I woke up the next morning, he was licking his incision (on his back knee) and it was dripping blood. He actually hated it more than the regular e-collar too. Uncomfortable to lay his head down.

  6. My 150lb rott/mastiff mix had CCL surgery (he had meniscus damage also) 2 weeks ago and I got him the inflateable collar. It worked for the first day then he realized he could still reach to lick. I think it may be the body size and the collar does not get big enough. It may work better with smaller dogs that are not as long but I am not sure. My dog actually liked it though. He used it as a pillow and rested his head on it. I liked it better because he could eat and drink easier than the regular e-collar.

  7. Susan Anderson
    I have the blue collar above for my Belgian Sheepdog, he can still get to the surgery site on his hip and lick and chew it.

    This does not work for my dog. Nor do I think it works at all, what a rip off.

  8. My westie just had eye surgery and is having a difficult time with the plastic collar.Would the Pro Collar help or could she reach her eye with it on.

  9. I would try a soft foam e-collar (avail at most big box pet stores now and some vets) on your westie. The Pro Collar is a great tool to keep dogs from chewing at injuries, but would not prevent your dog from scratching at her eye with her paw.

  10. I was wondering if anyone has tried the soft pet cones? Our lab mix is having surgery next week and I’ve seen a couple of different types that may be a good fit since she freaks out when she bangs into stuff normally (she’s a rescue so her reasons for such anxiety is unknown to us). Having a cone on would I think make it worse so we’re thinking of a soft one so it’s more comfortable.

    I’ve seen these two online and some others. Anyone have a suggestion?


    Frank and Biskits

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