Why Do Dogs Wear Cones? How Long Do They Have To Wear These Cones Of Shame For?

Every dog will wear a cone at one point or the other for various reasons. Therefore, as a dog owner, you should understand why your canine should wear one and the duration. Despite the mild discomfort, your pooch might experience wearing a cone at least once in its lifetime, and there are several benefits your canine can enjoy by wearing it.

Dogs wear cones because they help prevent dogs from the instinctive action of licking their wounds. Pooches usually wear cones after an injury or a surgical operation. This helps to prevent them from exacerbating or complicating a health issue, like a wound infection. Therefore, wearing a cone for your injured pooch is a wise decision.

Wearing a cone for your injured pooch is one of the best things you can do as a caring dog owner. This sensitive decision is one of the best ways you can contribute to the well-being of your four-legged furry friend. This article will help you to understand why dogs wear cones and how long they should wear them.

Why Are Dogs Made To Wear Cones?

Image from Pet Plate

It is common to see dogs wearing cones. It creates a protective barrier that prevents canines from gaining access to their wounds. Dog owners make their pooches wear cones for the following reasons:

  • Neutered
  • Spayed
  • Injured
  • Surgical operation
  • Prevention of irritation


Neutering is a critical part of dog ownership, and it usually requires the use of a cone. It helps with the population control of dogs while simultaneously preventing potential health challenges in the future.

It is important, but it is not the most pleasant experience for male canines. Neutering is a surgery that requires stitches, anesthesia, and time for your dog to enjoy a full recovery. Your pooch might not like it, but a cone is needed to speed up recovery.


A spay incision is another reason a female dog needs to wear a cone. The skin will be slightly swollen during the healing process, and a pinkish appearance is often seen around the edges of the clean, straight wound.

It is not an easy period for your pooch, and you will need to provide all the necessary support to make the healing process faster. A cone is necessary during the period to prevent the temptation to lick the wound.


There are various ways a dog can get injured. Regardless of the reason or nature of the wound, it is necessary for your canine to wear a cone. It is best if your pooch wears a cone until full recovery.

The good thing is that your dog can sleep and eat while wearing a cone. Therefore, you can leave the cone on throughout the entire recovery period without fear of hurting your dog.

Surgical Operation

A surgical operation is needed once in a while to help your dog to recover from an acute or chronic health challenge. Yet, it is never the best experience for a canine.

Due to the natural inclination to chew or lick their incision as it heals, a cone is necessary for dogs. An incision site is often itchy as it heals. Therefore, a cone of shame is required to keep your pooch at bay.

Prevention Of Irritation

Surgery is one of the most common reasons a canine can be found licking or tearing at a wound. However, there are other factors involved. If you find your dog itching or scratching a particular spot excessively, it is time to introduce a cone.

Yet, you should not hesitate to see your vet as soon as possibleespecially if you are not certain about the cause of the behavior. This will help your pooch to get the necessary, adequate, and timely health care. Timely intervention is one of the hallmarks of caring and sensitive dog owners.

How Long Should Dogs Wear Cones?

Image from Dog.com

The duration necessary for your dog to wear a cone depends on the nature of the wound. Below are how long is considered appropriate for your pooch to wear a cone based on the type of wound:

After Injury

As earlier mentioned, your dog should wear a cone when injured to prevent the natural inclination to lick or chew at the site of the injury. The nature of the injury determines how long it will heal. Still, on average, it takes seven to ten days for an injury to heal.

This fact implies that your pooch will have to wear a cone for seven to ten days. It also means that you will have to restrict your canine from certain activities that can exacerbate the injury. It is recommended that your dog wears the cone throughout the healing period.

After Neuter 

It takes fourteen days on average for the incision of a dog to heal after neutering. Therefore, it is important that your pooch wears a cone all through this period. Of course, fourteen days sounds like a long time.

It gets worse when you consider the fact that it implies that you will not give your canine a bath during that period. As a responsible and caring owner, it is also required that you check the incision site at least twice a day. It is not the best of times, and you need to give your four-legged furry friend the necessary support during that period. 

After Surgery

As a dog owner, there are periods you will have to show your dog “tough love.”

This implies that there are times you will have to prevent your dog from doing certain things that might be dangerous. At other times, you will have to make your pooch carry out some tasks that are beneficial.

Your canine might not like it, but whatever is necessary have to be done. For example, your four-legged furry friend is required to wear a cone for ten to fourteen days after surgery. No dog is happy to do this. Yet, it is necessary for the healing process to run smoothly. 

After Spay

Just as required after neutering, your dog is also required to wear a cone for the duration of two weeks after spaying. It is expected that you restrict the activities of your canine during this period to quicken the healing process.

If your pooch is not completely healed after fourteen days, it can lead to other health complications. Therefore, do not let your emotion get the best of you during the two weeks period.

Let your dog wear the cone throughout and avoid allowing your dog to get involved in any strenuous activity during that period. The experience is not pleasant, but you have to do it for the sake of your beloved pooch.

Are Cones Harmful To Dogs?

It is essential that you know whether wearing a cone can harm your dog. Note that the way your dog feels is not the best way to answer this question because it is possible that your dog is depressed while wearing a cone. The way you use the cone can also determine whether it will hurt your canine or not. 

Are Cones For Dogs Cruel?

Letting your dog wear a cone is not a sign of wickedness. As earlier mentioned, it is tough love that is necessary to help your pooch heal faster without any health complications. 

Of course, your canine might not enjoy the process because it is a regimented period where certain activities will not be accessible.

For example, you will not be able to bathe your dog during that time, and your pooch will not be able to go about playing as desired. 

Sleeping With Cones

Cones are not comfortable for dogs, and you will notice this reality in their expression. Yet, the good news is that it does not prevent them from carrying out essential activities such as:

  • Eating
  • Drinking
  • Peeing
  • Pooping
  • Sleeping

Do not believe the persistent myth that dog saliva heals up the healing process. This is not true.

In reality, licking their wounds complicate the situation and slows down the healing process. Therefore, it is best to let your dog wear the cone throughout the period since it does not affect the basic activities.

Image from Bully Beds

Cone of Shame For Dogs

Many people call it a cone, but the full name is a cone of shame. This name was made popular by the movie “Up,” where the item was used as a form of punishment. The name is used to describe the expression of pooches when made to wear the cone.

Usually, dogs hang their head when they wear them for the first time, which is a sign that they hate wearing them. So, it is natural if you feel compelled to avoid letting your dog wear one because you do not want your four-legged furry friend to be sad.

Cone And Depression For Dogs

According to the University of Sydney, a cone of shame can make your dog depressed. This is not shocking because dogs hate to wear it.

Still, the university, via its Sydney School of Veterinary Science, confirmed that the cone does negatively impact the quality of life of your pooch. It also does not affect the quality of life of the dog owner.

Alternative To Cones For Dogs

Plastic cones limit the kind of movement and tasks your dog can perform. The University of Sydney recommends that you find an alternative when necessary. Some of your best options include:

  • Inflatable collars
  • Neck collars
  • Soft collars
  • Surgical recovery suit
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Pete Decker