Have you heard the phrase “cone of shame”? If you are a seasoned dog parent, chances are you have. This phrase is the clever name of the E-collar, a cone usually made of plastic, and used to hinder dogs and other domesticated four-legged pets from chewing or licking on their site of injury or surgery.
Aside from “cone of shame”, this pet implement has also been referred to as “pet radar dish” and “lampshade”.
At least four decades ago, ready-made e-collars were not available. During that time vets improvised by making a cone-shape early version of the e-collar from cardboard or X-ray film. It is only when indoor dogs became more and more popular that the e-collar as we know it was developed, alongside many other products designed specifically for domesticated animals.
Alongside the popularity of the E-collar was the growth and advancement of pet-specific surgery as well as pet-specific medications. This allowed for pets to live longer. Meanwhile, the E-collar has allowed for pets to heal quicker.
If you have internalized the supposed shame of having a dog sporting an E-collar, you can always choose some of its alternatives. They are as follows.
1. Pillow collars
This is pretty much like E-collars. The only difference is that instead of plastic, these are made of either foamy cloth or inflatables. Compared to E-collars, pillow collars are arguably more comfy, but if they are not properly fitted, your dog might still reach their injury or wound with their mouth.
2. Neck bands, padded rings, and donuts
These products are collars with the added benefits of a padding. They are better looking compared to E-collars and possibly more comfy as well. The major selling point of these doggy implements is how they do not significantly compromise your dog’s peripheral line of sight.
As for their disadvantage, these padded collars make it difficult for dogs to stretch out on their tummy.
3. Cloth cones
This E-collar alternative is made of collapsible but resilient cloth. Cloth cones look comfortable, and it does not hurt that they look presentable, too. The only problem with them is sometimes they collapse way too easily that it won’t take much for your dog to get their tongue and teeth on their wound or injury if left alone and unsupervised.
If there’s a downside shared by all of these alternatives, it has to be this: compared to E-collars, they are typically pricier. Moreover, most vets would still recommend the old-fashioned plastic collar as opposed to these newer options.
Experts argue that E-collars are most reliable for the exact purpose that it, and its competing alternatives, try to address. Dogs can also adapt to E-collar usage quite easily. As for its name, most dog experts suggest there is not a grain of truth to it.
Yes, E-collars are shaped like a cone, but, no, having your dog wear an E-collar is not shameful at all. It is not shameful for your dog. It is not shameful for you. And if you want your pup to recover fast, shame should be the least of your concerns.