Shirt Instead Of Cone For Dog

Anyone who has ever owned a dog knows that they have a tendency to get into scrapes. From ear infections to paw injuries, from foreign body ingestion to parasite infestation, there’s a lot of things your dog can get into. And while treating these medical conditions is the vet’s job, helping them recover at home is yours.

To help your dog heal from any injury, hotspot or when recovering from spay / neuter surgery, you will need something to prevent them from licking, biting, scratching, or dirtying their wounds or sutures. This is where the Elizabethan collar comes in. This is considered a must-have in any responsible dog owner’s arsenal.

But this product is nicknamed the “cone of shame” for good reason. Dogs appear uncomfortable wearing it, and even if we know it’s for their own good, it’s still hard to watch. There have been very few studies on the effects of e-collars, but the ones that do exist support anecdotal evidence. A study by Shenoda et al. (2020) found that as much as 77.4% of dog owners believed that their dog’s quality of life diminished whenever they were wearing the cone.

There is indeed! The dog onesie, also known as the dog recovery suit, operates under the same principle as using a t-shirt on a dog to prevent licking or touching a specific area. But since this is designed with dogs and their activities in mind, a dog onesie holds distinct advantages over a plain t-shirt in preventing self-trauma.

Medical Pet Shirt®

There is an animal-friendly alternative for the cone: medical protective apparel. The Medical Pet Shirt

Medical Pet Shirt
Protection after neutering

That is why Medical Pet Shirts has developed an animal-friendly alternative: the Medical Pet Shirt®. This versatile shirt protects the surgical area after neutering/spaying. Prevents pets from licking, scratching or biting the wound or sutures. › products

® protects and covers the pet’s body after a medical procedure like neutering, during recovery, in case of skin problems or whenever protection is needed.

For a tutorial on how to construct a protective wrap for a pet using a tank top, check out this video posted to YouTube by Susan Holt:

For a medium cat, your material needs to about 20 inches square, and you’ll need to size up or down accordingly, depending on the size of your pet. The author notes that the jacket should fit snugly without being too tight.

If your dog or cat has ever had to wear the dreaded “cone” after undergoing a medical procedure, you know that most animals are not the biggest fan of the device. Although it’s designed to keep pets safe by stopping them from licking or biting a wound or incision, they can also make them pretty uncomfortable. The traditional cone limits an animal’s range of motion, and it can also make it difficult for your pet to eat and drink. It may also impact their ability to see or hear.

If your pet struggles with the cone, there is actually a pretty easy DIY alternative to keep your furry friend comfortable while they recover at home. You can make your pet a “jacket” out of an old T-shirt, and it can cover wounds or scars just like the cone.

The Instructables author says it’s OK if they lick or bite the material, but if they actually bite or lick through it, the cone may be your only option.

What can I use instead of a dog cone?

Just because the vet instructs you to force the dog to wear a cone for post-op care doesn’t mean you go with it without complaints. While the “cone of shame” is quite effective in restricting access to the wound and stitches, it is not a sensible option when it comes to comfort. Your dog will eventually heal its wounds, but it could end up getting depressed in the process. when faced with the question “can your dog wear a surgical onesie instead of a cone?” The dog medical onesie is clearly a practical alternative.

Dog onesies come in different forms, styles, and sizes. The location of the wound and stitches determines the type of onesie that you need to buy for your dog. A full onesie is an excellent choice because it conveniently snaps at the bottom. Don’t expect a pre-made onesie that you buy in stores to fit perfectly. So, be prepared to do some minor modifications using a pair of scissors to ensure that you get a snug fit for your furry buddy.

Dog onesie vs. Dog Cone. Key Factors To Consider:

So the question now is: should you use a dog onesie instead of a cone? The short answer is: it depends. A dog recovery suit is great for some situations, while an e-collar is more appropriate for others–in some cases, it might be helpful to use both! So what are the important factors to consider when you’re choosing between a dog recovery suit vs a cone?

If the site you’re trying to protect is on your dog’s trunk or abdomen, you can use either a dog onesie or an e-collar. Both of these contraptions will be effective at preventing access to sutures from gastrointestinal, urogenital, chest, and spine surgeries, as well as any injury or skin condition in the back or belly. However, for medical conditions affecting the limbs, face, and tail, an e-collar is your best bet. The e-collar works by limiting the reach of the tongue, it also limits the animals ability to scratch at its head. So, it is more versatile than the dog recovery suit that covers only the dog’s chest and abdomen.

There are some dogs that are driven by an intense desire to get at the very area they’re not supposed to touch. And while you might think that a dog with strong willpower to lick or bite the site would benefit from using a sturdy and durable cone as opposed to a soft, cotton onesie, you’d be surprised to know that the opposite can be true.

The discomfort of using a cone may make our furry friends restless, making them much more likely to engage in self-traumatizing behavior. There have been cases wherein dogs that keep trying to get at their wounds when placed in a cone suddenly mellow down when wearing a onesie.

But for dogs who just won’t stop going for their wounds or sutures, combining a cone and a onesie may be an option. You can opt to remove the cone to give them a break from the discomfort, but be sure to supervise them even while they’re wearing their onesie.

Your dog’s comfort during the recovery stage is not just an animal welfare issue, but a medical one. During times of chronic stress, the hormone cortisol tends to depress the immune response. Studies have shown that this leads to slower wound healing, increased incidence of gastric ulcers and diarrhea, and inefficiencies in the digestion and absorption of nutrients. It is clear that recovery can be enhanced by preventing stress in dogs recovering from surgery or illness.

Unfortunately, canine comfort appears to be vastly impaired when they are wearing a cone. This can manifest in two ways. Some dogs seem depressed and sad, with their ears lying flat on their heads and their eyes wide with discomfort. Others are manic and restless, engaging in desperate attempts to take the contraption off. It is for this reason that fur parents begin to look for a dog cone alternative to help keep the animal calm and relaxed.

This intense discomfort is likely caused by the cone’s interference with sight and sound reception. A dog’s peripheral vision becomes much more limited with the e-collar’s wide brim. The cone also tends to amplify sound waves as they bounce around the animal’s head and into its ears. We know that the canine’s sense of hearing is much more sensitive than ours, so it’s easy to understand why it would cause them discomfort. With poor range of sight and painfully loud sounds, dogs can get disoriented and scared–which explains their pitiful expression when they are wearing the cone.

In the study by Shenoda et al. (2020), owners reported that their pets experienced difficulty with a number of daily activities, including drinking and eating. This negatively affects recovery, as dogs need nutritional input to bounce back from disease and surgery. In the same study, approximately 25% of those interviewed reported their dogs getting injured from bumping into objects, falling down stairs, stumbling, and skin irritation around the area of the cone. Again, this is not good news for pets recovering from medical conditions.

On the other hand, using a dog recovery suit or t-shirt instead of an e-collar is much less restrictive when it comes to hearing and sight. Many dogs, particularly those used to wearing clothes, have no problem going about their day in a onesie. They can eat, drink, and play just fine, which tells us that the stress they feel from wearing it is negligible, if non-existent.

Facilitating your dog’s recovery demands your time and attention. It calls for administering medicines and ointments, making sure they eat and drink, watching out for symptoms of infection or recurrence, and constantly making sure they’re healing well. Ideally, what you use to keep them from getting at their stitches should remain intact so you can go about your day without worrying too much.

If your dog is used to a cone, then this should be no problem. But if they’re not, you may need to remove it intermittently to allow them to do their other activities. For example, if the cone prevents them from drinking, eating, or doing potty time, then you’ll need to give them a break every few hours. Depending on the design of the e-collar, this can take time to remove and put back on. While you can train your dog to be comfortable in a cone, it will take time, effort, and patience to achieve.

Many pet owners find that using a recovery t-shirt instead of e-collar for dogs is more convenient. Onesies for dogs are designed to accommodate the needs of our four-legged friends, with a clip-up system that makes it very easy for them to do their business without getting their recovery suit dirty, or needing to take it on and off each time a dog goes outside. The only time you have to take it off is to wash it.

When comparing a dog recovery suit vs a cone in terms of convenience, it’s worth considering that the suit allows for stabilization of the bandage. It helps hug the bandage against the skin, preventing it from slipping or sliding–even with some scratching. Dog onesies even come with a small pocket to insert gauze sheets for absorbing wound exudates and excess topical ointment. This is conveniently situated in the belly portion, where many surgical incisions are made.


What can I put on my dog instead of a cone?

Soft Collars. Flexible Fabric E-Collars. Inflatable E-Collars. Onesies or Clothing.

Can I put a onesie on my dog instead of a cone?

T-shirts. Forelimb wounds: Long-sleeved T-shirts knotted at the waist to secure them are a handy way to protect sutures located on your pet’s forelimb. Abdomen wounds: Short-sleeved T-shirts knotted at the waist are a good way to protect sutures located on your pet’s abdomen.

Can you put at shirt on a dog?

One of the simplest alternatives for the cone of shame is to dress your cat or small dog in a onesie. A onesie will provide full coverage for your pet, covering their torso, preventing them from licking or tearing at any stitches. It’s also a far more adorable option.