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9 Dangers When Leaving Your Dog Alone With A Cone On + 3 Tips

Leaving Dog Alone With A Cone On

You just came home from the vet.

Your furry friend is wearing a cone.

The cone will be on them for several days.

It looks uncomfortable.

They try to drink water from the bowl and it splashes.

You start to think:

“Can I leave my dog alone while they have a cone?”

Keep reading to find out:

  • 3 tips on how to keep them safe while you’re out
  • How to know if your dog is stressed while wearing the cone.
  • 9 possible dangers your dog may face when alone while wearing a cone.
  • And a lot more…

Can I leave my dog alone with a cone on?

You can leave your dog alone with the cone on but make sure you prepared the place. Remove furniture that they may bump into. You can also leave them with toys to entertain them. Try alternatives such as soft or inflatable cones if they are uncomfortable.

Is it safe to leave a dog alone with a cone on? 9 dangers

#1: Your dog may bump into things

A cone or Elizabeth collar is to protect your dog from touching, licking, or scratching a wound from surgery.

Research says it aids in the healing process. It prevents your dog from self-trauma.

We may not be able to supervise our dogs all the time when they’re wearing cones.

There are things to do in the house. But we must be keen not to leave them unattended for a long time.

Your dog can bump into things around the house. They may crash into furniture or to the wall.

The cone will prevent them from doing things freely. They’re not used to it.

Your dog won’t be able to see stuff around the house clearly. 

It’s expected that when they try to navigate their way, they can bump into chairs or tables.

#2: Your dog can get stuck

Your dog may try to get out of the house but will get stuck at the door.

My neighbor’s dog got stuck at the back door when their parent left to attend to a delivery man.

I was walking my pup at that time when I saw their dog with the cone stuck at the back door.

The doggo whined and barked but it wasn’t loud enough for my neighbor to hear at the front yard.

I called them up to tell them what I saw.

Of course, it’s not my neighbor’s fault. It’s not our fault either if we need to attend to some errands.

You see, daily life still goes on.

The best thing to do is to prevent them from getting stuck.

As they say, prevention is always better than cure.

#3: Your dog will try to remove the cone

Your Dog Will Try To Remove The Cone If You Leave Them Alone With It

Let’s be honest here. The cone looks uncomfortable. And yes, it’s truly uncomfy for your furry friend.

They won’t be able to move as freely as before.

Their instinct will tell them, “Remove this uncomfy thing from you.”

And if you aren’t around, they most probably will.

Removing the cone by themselves may hurt them more.

It may affect the incision. We don’t want that to happen.

Aside from being uncomfy, your canine has a natural instinct to heal its own wounds.

Did you know that a dog’s saliva is cleaner than ours?

Yes. Nature has gifted our furry friends with saliva enzymes that are antibacterial.

Study says that healing enzymes in our dog’s saliva are higher compared to humans.

Your doggo may be wondering, “Why do I need this when I can heal on my own?”

What we’re preventing to happen is for the incision to open up. 

It can lead to a further infection that saliva alone can’t heal.

#4: Your dog can’t eat and drink properly

Proper nutrition is important for the healing process of our beloved canines.

The problem with leaving them unattended for a long time is that they might not be able to drink and eat properly.

It can be challenging for our dogs to reach their food with the cone on.

We can help them reach it or elevate their doggie bowl.

But what if your dog refuses to eat with a cone on?

It occurs as a problem for other parents. Some canines refuse to eat while wearing a cone.

You may think it’s sort of a hunger strike. It can be very effective because we’re worried about their health.

You can remove the cone for a while if they refuse to eat.

Put it back once they are done.

If they tend to scratch their wounds when the cone is removed, out it back.

In this way, your doggie will understand that scratching the wound means putting the cone on.

Editor’s pick: 9 tips to get your dog to drink water after surgery

#5: Your dog may feel stress

Put yourself in your doggo’s shoes.

You just came from surgery.

The incision wound hurts.

The cone in your head is preventing you from moving freely.

It’s uncomfortable. You’re not used to it.

Doesn’t it sound stressful?

We all get stressed in challenging times.

Your furry friend is going through it as well.

How to know if your dog is stressed?

There are behavior indicators that you can watch out for such as:

If your dog shows these signs, their current situation is stressing them.

Stress is a normal reaction when we are in difficult situations.

But it doesn’t mean that we’ll just let them be.

As fur parents, we can help our furry friends cope when they are under stress.

Stress can also affect you as a fur parent if you’re not prepared and well informed.

Need to lighten up? Watch this funny cone of shame video:

A lot of dogs can easily adjust to life in a cone.

#6: Your dog can’t sleep well

How are you when you lack sleep? 

I don’t know about you but I’m not very pleasant when I don’t have a good night’s sleep.

A cone may hinder your dog from doing activities comfortably.

Sleep is one of them. 

If you’re gone for an extended period, your canine may not find a comfy position when sleeping while wearing the cone.

A night of good sleep is important for our dogs. They need to get at least 10 hrs of sleep a day.

Especially after surgery or when they’re in the stage of healing, dogs need adequate rest.

Poor sleep can make your canine prone to infection and other illnesses. 

Although it’s just usually a week of sacrifice, poor sleep can lead to behavior problems.

What are the signs that your dog is not getting enough sleep? They’re very much like us humans.

Look out for these signs:

  • Irritable.
  • Grumpy.
  • Forgetful.
  • Disoriented.
  • Unable to concentrate.

Aside from the cone, there are other reasons why your dog isn’t getting the sleep they need.

Loud noises, uncomfortable rest areas, or too hot or too cold can be some of the reasons they are having difficulty sleeping.

7: Your dog can get bored

If your dog’s wound is quite big, they may not be able to play as much as they wanted to like before.

Do you have an energetic dog who’s used to an active lifestyle?

The cone may prevent them from enjoying their day.

I remember when I had minor surgery. I wasn’t able to move a lot.

It wasn’t just because of the incision pain but the meds made me dizzy as well.

Your dog’s feelings can’t be farther from that.

How to know if your dog is bored?

They can’t obviously whine like kids and say, “I’m bored.”

But you can see it in their body language. 

Bored dogs tend to do these things:

Bored dogs will find ways to entertain themselves.

It may not be a good idea when they’re on the cone.

Supervised activities are still best while they’re on the healing stage. 

Read also: Why do dogs scratch the couch? & Why does my dog scratch at the wall?

8: Your dog may feel lonely

They May Feel Lonely

Dogs are social beings. They don’t like being alone.

They love to spend time with you.

In the wild, dogs live and work together in a pack.

They thrive in a community.

Now that dogs are domesticated, you’re their family.

If they’re left alone for a long period, your dog may feel lonely.

Their condition may also hinder them from doing daily activities with you

Dogs enjoy doing activities, especially with their fur parents.

Is there a way to know if our dogs feel lonely?

Yes. You’ll notice signs that they’re sad.

Keep a lookout for these signs of loneliness:

  • Pacing.
  • Hiding.
  • Barking.
  • Howling.
  • No appetite.
  • Urinating anywhere.

Our canine friends need us to stay cheerful especially in challenging times.

9: Your dog may get injured

Injury can be the most dangerous thing that can happen to your dog while you’re away.

Your doggie may not fully understand why they need to wear a cone.

Although they can still do daily activities while wearing the cone, it takes time to get used to it.

Your furry friend might injure themselves while trying to do their usual activities.

Reaching for their toy, drinking from a bowl, and running around may seem like normal activities.

But it can be extra challenging for your dog after surgery.

They may bump into walls or won’t be able to drink properly.

The cone can get damaged and expose its wounds.

These scenarios have happened to other fur parents.

You wouldn’t want it to happen to you too. 

How can I keep my dog safe while leaving him alone with a cone on? 3 tips

#1: Prepare your place

A safe space is the first thing you should prepare for your dog with a cone.

Remove any stuff that they might bump into, especially breakable ones.

You can also put it in higher areas that are out of their reach.

To ensure that your dog sleeps well during this time, get their comfy bed ready.

A cold floor or a hard bed isn’t the best option for your pup, especially at this time.

What do you think makes them comfortable?

A soft and warm bed is nice. Assist them on how to place their head with the cone on properly.

Let’s talk about preparation for mealtimes.

A deep dish bowl can be quite difficult for your canine with the cone.

Choose a shallow bowl for their water. A plate will also be a great idea for their dog food.

Place their food and water in an easy-to-access area. Safe from bumps and injuries.

Hallways should also be free from stuff so you can guide them easily.

Preparing your place will help this become a smoother experience for both of you.

#2: Create activities

If the surgery requires them not to be too active for a while, create activities that will stimulate them.

Do you need to leave them for a few hours?

Leave puzzle toys to mentally stimulate them.

Softballs can also entertain them while you’re out.

A lot of fur parents find it convenient as well to bring their dogs with a cone on car rides.

If your dog especially likes riding in cars, it’s a treat for them.

You can even bring them while running errands.

Is your dog still allowed to go outdoors?

If walking isn’t a problem, bring them outside.

Walk slowly and enjoy the view. It’s also a good distraction for your furry friend.

Remember that your dog’s life can still be happy and exciting while on the cone.

Minor adjustments can do the trick.

Most dogs can get used to the cone easily.

#3: Try alternatives

The plastic cone or Elizabeth collar as vets call it is the most effective way to prevent your dog from scratching its wounds.

What if your dog really hates the cone?

If your doggo feels uncomfortable with it no matter what you do, you can try some alternatives.

Fortunately, a lot of cone alternatives are available.

It’s a great option for your furry friend if the wound isn’t too big or deep.

They can try the soft cone, which is a lot like the neck pillow.

It’s comfier since it’s soft and fluffy but not as sturdy as the plastic one.

Are you ready for a fun alternative?

An inflatable cone is also a great choice. It looks like a floater that you use when swimming.

It allows your canine to move more freely compared to the plastic one.

Keep in mind that since it’s not as sturdy, you have to be attentive if their wounds are exposed.

What if you tried everything but they still hate it?

If you’re ready to ditch the cone, surgical recovery clothing is the way to go.

From the word itself, it’s simply an item of clothing that your dog can wear so the incision will not be exposed.

It can also keep their fur clean. 

But if your doggo can tolerate the cone, then let them wear it.

Give them treats when they don’t whine while wearing it.

If you remove the cone and they sniff and get near it, reward them with treats again.

A few days won’t hurt. The important thing is their full recovery.