Elizabethan collars, also known as E collars or dog cones, are the "lamp shade" collars used on dogs who are injured or who have recently undergone surgery. The collars prevent a dog from biting or chewing on injured body parts while these body parts heal; however, alternatives to the traditional Elizabethan collar are available.
Dog Cone Alternatives
The ProCollar inflatable protective collar is as effective as a traditional E collar but offers a comfort factor that an E collar does not. The inflatable collar is made of vinyl covered in canvas and can be inflated using a two-way valve. Your dog can eat, sleep and play comfortably with the inflatable protective collar on while protecting his injuries or surgical wounds. Another benefit of the inflatable collar is that it's soft, so it won't scratch up your flooring or furniture. The inflatable collar attaches to your dog's regular collar and comes in sizes extra small to extra large.
If you need a dog cone in an emergency but don't have the means to get the real thing in time, you can make a temporary collar at home. Simply cut the bottom out of a plastic bucket that is just large enough for your dog's head to fit into. Sand off the rough edges after you cut the bottom out of the bucket so that your dog doesn't get hurt. You can also use a flame to melt the rough edges away (let the bucket cool completely before slipping your dog's head inside). This type of collar is especially good for large-breed dogs. This is only a temporary solution to a dog cone; you need to pick up the real thing as soon as possible.
Plate Collar (Small Dogs Only)
If you have a toy-breed dog and are in immediate need of a dog cone, you can make a temporary collar with a paper plate; simply cut a hole in the middle large enough for your dog's head to fit inside. Slip the plate over your dog's head to protect injuries until you have a suitable E collar (or alternative). A homemade paper-plate dog cone is only to be used temporarily because it cannot effectively protect your dog the way that a traditional E collar can.
The Comfy Cone soft E collar works the same way a plastic E collar does, only without the plastic and clunky feel. This collar is made of nylon fabric that can be folded back to adjust the length of the collar. The collar is lightweight and has a thin layer of foam inside to help it keep its shape while staying soft. The collar is reusable and attaches to your dog's regular collar for a perfect fit. Available in sizes small to extra large, the washable collar is even trimmed in reflective material for your dog's safety at night.