If it’s time to get your dog neutered you may be wondering; how long does a dog wear a cone after neutering? A dog wears a cone after neutering for between 12 – 14 days. The cone must stay on your dog until the neuter incision is fully healed, or the sutures are removed. The average time for this is 12 – 14 days.
This article will fully answer the question: How long should a dog wear a cone after being neutered? And all the other related questions and factors.
Do Dogs Need A Cone After Neutering?
Yes, dogs need a cone after neutering. A dog collar, which also known as an Elizabethan collar or e-collar, is used to prevent a dog from biting or licking the area of the neuter incision. The incision area needs to remain undisturbed so that it can fully heal. If your dog is disturbing the incision area with biting or licking, the incision will take much longer than 14 days to heal, or may not fully heal at all. If the incision does not fully heal, or heals improperly, then this could create health complications for your dog.
For these reasons, it’s vital that your dog wears a cone after being neutered.
Benefits To Dogs Of Wearing A Cone
As already mentioned, it’s crucial that your dog wears a cone after neutering. The main reason and benefit is to aid quick and proper healing of the surgery site. Below is a full breakdown of the benefits to your dog of wearing a cone as below:
- Facilitates faster neuter incision healing
- Promotes proper healing of the surgery site
- Prevents your pooch from habitually licking or biting at the incision site
- Stops your dog from further hurting themselves by preventing them from ripping away sutures.
- If your dog is wearing a cone due to any type of facial injury or wound, then the cone will protect the facial wounds or incisions from being rubbed or scratched by the dog.
Risk Factors Of E-Collars And Why Dogs Don’t Like Wearing Cones
It’s clear that dog cones, or Elizabethan collars are an essential part of the healing process after a dog has been neutered. With that said, few dogs, if any, enjoy wearing a cone due to how it restricts their movement.
On top of that, the University of Sydney carried out a study that established potential risk factors related to a dog wearing a cone. Below are the some of the university’s findings, along with other reasons why your dog may not like wearing a cone.
- 60% of dogs and cats wearing a cone had difficulty drinking
- 68% of dogs and cats wearing a cone couldn’t play or be as active as they would usually be
- 25% of dogs and cats suffered collar related injuries, such as bumping into doors and walls, slipping or falling down stairs, and psychological distress.
If your dog is wearing a cone then their field of vision will be more narrow and most of their peripheral vision will be blocked or obscured. This can cause your dog to become anxious, stressed or frightened.
How Long Should A Dog Wear A Cone After Being Neutered?
Typically, a dog should wear a cone for between 12 – 14 days after being neutered. In the vast majority of cases, this is enough time for the neuter incision to be fully healed or when the sutures can be removed. Your veterinarian will tell you if there’s any reason the time period should be longer for your particular dog. It’s important that your dog wears their cone for the entire prescribed time period.
Does My Dog Need To Wear A Cone After Neutering?
Yes, your dog will need to wear a cone after being neutered. Dog cones are a crucial part of the neutering healing process as it prevents your dog from disturbing the neuter incision area. The neuter incision area needs to be left alone undisturbed in order to heal quickly and properly.
If your dog does not wear a cone then they will be able to lick and bite the incision area, and potentially rip out the sutures. This will result in your dog causing themselves a lot of harm. Not only that, it will result in the incision taking a lot longer than 2 weeks to heal, but moreover, the incision is unlikely to fully heal at all. An improperly healed incision could create health problems for your dog.
For these reasons, it’s essential that your dog wears a cone after neutering.
There are other reasons besides neutering why a dog may need to wear a cone. For example, if your dog is suffering from a skin irritation or from impacted anal glands resulting in a sore and swollen bottom. Your veterinarian is likely to tell you that your dog should wear a cone to aid healing for those conditions.
How Do I Know When My Neuter Incision Is Healed?
You will know when your dog’s neuter incision is healed when it looks visually similar to the skin on the other areas of your dog’s underside or tummy. This means the incision area should not be swollen and there should not be any redness. The incision area should not be tender, if you gently press against the area it should not cause your dog any pain or discomfort.
Further, there should not be any discharge, fluid, or liquid of any kind in the incision area. Crucially, no stitches, sutures or staples should be needed to hold the incision together. If your dog was given dissolvable staples or sutures, then you should check that they have completely dissolved.
You should check the neuter incision on your dog twice a day to review how it’s healing. Get your dog to roll over and really inspect the incision area. You should be looking for things like swelling, tenderness, redness and discharge. All of those elements should be steadily improving and healing each day.
It may be helpful to take a picture each day of the incision area so you can keep a detailed record on how the scar is healing.
How Long Does A Male Dog Take To Recover From Neutering?
Your veterinarian will give you specific advice, but typically speaking, a male dog will recover from neutering withing 14 days. This is how long it takes a neuter incision to fully heal, assuming there are no post surgery complications. With this in mind, your dog will have to wear a cone or e-collar for the full 14 days. This essential is promoting fast and proper healing of the neuter incision area.
Generally speaking, after 10-12 days you can gradually return your dog to his regular exercise routine. But do seek the advice of your vet for specific instructions.
Alternatives To A Dog Cone After Neuter
It’s true to say that some dogs do really struggle with wearing a cone. Below are some alternatives to dog cones and e-collars that your canine friend may prefer.
Soft Dog Collars
Soft collars give your dog a warmth and softness not found in PVC plastic collars.
The Comfy Cone Recovery E-Collar
This comfy cone E-collar is made from soft foam and padded nylon, making it very different to the PVC plastic of a traditional cone. Your dog may prefer this softer more padded material and it has rave reviews.
Alfie Pet – Cobalt Recovery Collar
The Alfie Pet recover collar is also a type of soft collar. It doesn’t have the padding and foam found on the comfy cone e-collar. However, just like the comfy cone, it has top reviews with many dog owners being very happy with it.
Alfie Pet – Noel Recovery Collar
This recovery collar offers your dog a bright sunflower design in soft padded material. With that said its foam padding isn’t quite as thick as the padding on the comfy cone e-collar. However, it also has top reviews, like the other Alfie brand e-collar.
Inflatable Dog Collars
Inflatable dog collars give you the flexibility of inflating to deflating the collar to suit the size and weight and comfort of your dog.
Kong – Cloud Collar – Plush, Inflatable E-Collar
The Kong Cloud collar is a plush inflatable collar. So not only does it avoid the PVC plastic that can’t be tolerated by some dogs, it gives the dog the feeling it’s got a soft silk plush toy. And we all know how much dogs love soft cuddly toys.
Goodboy Comfortable Recovery E-Collar
This Goodboy comfortable E-Collar is another of the inflatable types of dog cone. It boasts a soft neck donut design that’s made ergonomically for dogs. It has over 5,000 reviews and with lots of positive feedback.
Dog Neck Collar
Neck collars for dogs look very much like the neck braces people wear to help support their neck after an injury. These neck collars for dogs mean your dog does not lose the peripheral vision like they would if wearing an E-collar or cone.
The BiteNot collar offers your dog the full width of vision and periphery of their vision, rather than restricting it the way a dog cone does. Do note, if your dog has an injury or surgical incision around their ears or eye area, the neck collar is not suitable for protecting those incisions.
Surgical Recovery Suit
This type of suit is not a cone or an E-collar that restricts your dog’s ability to reach the incision, wound or surgery site with their mouth. Instead, it’s a suit that provides a barrier between your dog’s mouth and the surgery site or incision.
Recovery Suit For Dogs Cats After Surgery
This recovery suit for dogs after surgery offers your dog a breathable polyester and cotton material. The recovery suit protects the wound or neuter incision area and prevents your dog from licking, biting or scratching at the wound.
Bellyguard – Dog Recovery Onesie
This dog recovery onesie protects your dog’s stitches, incision or wound without restricting their movement or range of vision. it’s also designed to allow for convenient toilet breaks,
Can I Take My Dog’s Cone Off After 10 Days?
You can take your dog’s cone off after 10 days if that is what your veterinarian has advised you. A dog’s cone should not be taken off until the incision, wound or injury has completely healed, and any stitches or sutures have been removed.
You can check if your dog’s incision or wound has healed by doing a thorough inspection of the surgery site on your dog. Check the incision area or wound area to see if it looks similar to the surrounding skin.
You should be checking that the area is not red or swollen. The surgery site should not be tender or cause your dog discomfort if you press gently against it. There should not be any discharge or fluid in the Incision area. The incision or wound area should not require staples or sutures to hold it together. If dissolvable sutures were used on your dog, then they should have completely dissolved.
Can I Take My Dogs Cone Off After 8 Days?
You can take your dog’s cone off after 8 days if your veterinarian has advised you it’s safe to do so. A dog’s cone should only be removed if the surgery site or wound has completely healed. If your dog has had stitches or sutures, the cone should not be taken off until they have been removed.
If you remove your dog’s cone too early, your dog could bite or lick at the incision or wound, causing harm to themselves and preventing the incision from properly healing.
Your veterinarian will be able to tell you if your dog’s incision or wound has fully healed, however, you can also check this yourself.
To do this, you need to carry out an inspection of the incision or surgery area on your dog. The visual inspection should involve checking that the skin looks similar to the surrounding skin. There should not be any redness or swollen areas in the surgery site. The surgery area or incision area should not be tender or cause your dog discomfort if you press against it with your fingers.
There should not be any discharge or secreted fluid in the incision or surgery area. The incision should not require sutures or staples to hold it together. If your dog received dissolvable stitches, they should have dissolved completely.
How Many Hours A Day Should A Dog Wear A Cone?
A dog should wear a cone for 24 hours a day, every day, for the time period your veterinarian has prescribed. If your dog’s wearing a cone because they’ve been neutered, then it will typically take between 12 – 14 days for the neuter incision to completely heal. This means your dog should wear a cone for 24 hours a day for 12 – 14 days.
It’s important that you keep the cone on your dog throughout the entire day. Ensuring your dog is wearing a cone all day is vital in promoting fast and proper healing of the incision, wound or injury.
You might be tempted to remove your dog’s cone, perhaps for sleeping or just to give them a ‘break’ from it for a short period. But this is a bad idea. If you remove your dog’s cone, your dog will be free to lick, bite or scratch as the incision or wound. As a result, your dog could rip out any stitches, causing themselves harm, or the wound could become infected, and the incision could be prevented from healing properly.
Can A Dog Sleep With A Cone On?
Yes, a dog can sleep with a cone on. It may take your dog a little getting used to, however Elizabethan collars are very flexible and do allow for your dog to rest comfortably on their side. This means your dog should not have any issues getting a good comfortable night’s sleep.
Can I Take My Dogs Cone Off To Sleep?
No, you should not take your dog’s cone off to sleep. Dog cones, or E-collars are actually made of flexible material which allows your dog to sleep on their side without any trouble. Your dog may not be used to sleeping with an Elizabethan collar, so the first couple of nights they may be slightly restless. But after that your dog will have no trouble resting and getting a good night’s sleep.
It’s important you keep your dog’s cone on and don’t take it off for sleeping. If you do, when your dog wakes, they’ll be able to lick and bite the incision or wound, preventing it from healing properly and potentially causing it to get infected.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Cones And Neutering
You may still have questions about how long your dog will have to wear a cone after neutering. Below are some of the most common questions about the subject.
My Dog Won’t Wear A Cone After Being Neutered
This is not unusual. No dogs enjoy wearing a cone or E-collar after being neutered or for any other reason. The good news is there are alternatives to a traditional e-collar that your dog may be happy to wear. These include soft padded collars, plush soft collars, inflatable collars, neck collars and recovery suits. See the above section of this article to discover more about these dog collar alternatives and why they may be preferable for your dog.
How Long After Neuter Can Dog Run?
Generally speaking, 10-12 days after your dog has been neutered you can gradually return your dog to his regular exercise routine, including running and playing. The keyword here is ‘gradually’. It’s important that you don’t jump straight into his full exercise regimen and instead build up slowly over 2 weeks. Be sure to seek the advice of your vet for specific instructions.
Can I Put A Shirt On My Dog Instead Of A Cone?
It’s not recommended to put a shirt on your dog instead of a cone. However, you can potentially have your dog wear a surgical recovery suit instead of a cone. This type of suit is not a cone or an E-collar that restricts your dog’s sight or makes it difficult for them to eat or drink. Instead, it’s a suit your dog wears that provides a protective barrier over the surgery site or incision. This prevents your dog from licking, biting or scratching at the wound. See this section in this article for more information on dog surgical recovery suits.
How Do I Comfort My Dog After Neutering?
You can help comfort your dog after neutering and make their recovery period as smooth and as comfortable as possible by doing the following:
- Provide your dog with their own tranquil and quiet place to rest and sleep. This area should be away from any other animals and away from any loud appliances in your home.
- If your dog likes to sleep with a soft plush toy, make sure their favorite toys are available and nearby.
- Offer your dog a few of their favorite treats, but be sure not to overfeed them or give them too many unhealthy treats.
- Ensure your dog has a comfortable cone or e-collar. There are foam padded collars available. Or, depending on your dog, you may prefer to have them wear a surgical recovery suit. A surgical recovery suit is preferable for many dogs as they don’t restrict the dog’s vision or make It difficult to eat or drink, yet they still protect the neuter incision area. See more about surgical recovery suits here.
Final Thoughts On How Long Does A Dog Wear A Cone After Neutering?
Two weeks may seem like a long time for your dog to wear a cone after being neutered. But you’ll find the two weeks actually whizz by. Not only that, it’s likely your dog will quickly adapt to the cone. Moreover, there are other alternatives to wearing a cone that can be more comfortable and preferable for your dog.
The key point to take away is that after your dog has been neutered, it’s crucial that the neuter incision area is left alone undisturbed to heal. Therefore, measures must be taken to ensure your dog does not lick, bite or scratch at the incision.