Probably, you’ve already thought about the advantages and disadvantages of sterilization, and if you weren't going to breed your pup, you chose to neuter him.

Neutering is considered a major surgery procedure because it implies using anesthesia, stitches, and time to heal.

Why Is My Dog Using a Cone

Dog cones, also known as Elizabethan collars, are meant to keep your dog away from a wound, itchy skin, topical medicine, or other injuries. This includes any kind of surgery that involves a wound that is reachable for the dog.

When a dog feels itchiness, feels dirty, or has any wound, the normal behavior would be licking and scratching it with his mouth. When this happens, dogs can worsen the situation if stitches are involved.

If a dog removes or harms any suture, it could be a mess. For avoiding this, he will need to use the cone until the wound is fully healed and the stitches are removed. Therefore if your dog went through neutering, he’ll need a cone.

How Long a Dog Does Need to Use a Cone After Neuter

Most cases of neutered dogs need a cone for 10 to 14 days after the surgery. This is because before day 10 your dog will begin feeling itchiness that will be overwhelming for him.

Early retirement of the Elizabethan collar could cause a setback in the process of healing and may include new stitches as well.

Your dog will try to convince you to remove the cone, don’t comply. Never hesitate about the matter of this peculiar tool in your dog’s healing process.

Can I Take Cone Off For Sleeping

Of course not, your dog can perfectly sleep wearing one. Just give him a comfortable place to rest because of his condition. Where the wound won’t rub against anything.

Can I Take Cone Off For Eating or Drinking

Absolutely no, these were designed to let the dogs make their normal life with minimum changes. Although at first, your dog may have some difficulties eating or drinking, he will get used to it.

Perhaps you will have to clean it sometimes because it can be splashed by saliva or food. Keeping it clean will reduce the possible itchiness caused by it.

What If My Dog Refuses to Eat

Well while it’s not recommended, you can remove it just for eating. Just under strict control, even a few minutes are enough for your dog to hurt himself.

Once you took off the cone for something, your dog will likely start to try to convince you of taking it off for other activities. You must refuse of doing so, it’s important to keep it on, reducing this way possible accidents.

Can My Dog Go For a Walk After The Surgery

At first, he needs to rest. When a week or so has passed, short walks are allowed, and even could help. At the end of one week since the surgery, the stitches will start to itch like hell. Distracting your dog could help to cope with this.

Always wearing the cone on.

Can I Take Cone Off After Removing the Stitches

Yes, and you may notice that your dog will start to lick the wounded area. Licking is normal in the healing process.

So far this won’t become excessive, constant and long periods of licking could lead to reopening the wound. As well as prevent scarring or facilitate infections. If this happens and you aren’t able to stop it, consider putting the cone on again.

Is It Safe to Leave My Dog Home Alone with a Cone On

Elizabethan collars aren’t exempt from risks, you should never leave a pet wearing one on its own. Try bringing your dog with you whenever you’re going. If you have no choice but to do it, make sure you have someone to check on him.

The Risks of Wearing an Elizabethan Collar

Wearing cones certainly is uncomfortable for pets but in addition to that some researches found that:

  • 60% of pets had difficulty drinking.
  • 68% couldn’t play.
  • 25% experienced collar-related injuries.
  • 10% had other issues, including grooming, sleeping in a crate, and navigating indoors.

In order to avoid the majority of these problems, we have to follow the vet's indications.


The relation between risk-benefit it’s clear. Even some possible replacements for the cone exists, none of these are close to its efficacy. To avoid deteriorating our pup’s quality of life for too long, we must keep the cone on while needed.

Removing it too early could take us to put it on again, for a similar period of time, going through the same situation again. Wait until the veterinarian states it’s safe to retire.