Your dog's instinct to lick his wounds is a problem if he has an open sore or stitches. An Elizabethan collar deters dogs from licking or scratching during recovery. Collars can be pricey but a homemade one will do the trick for little to no cost.
Making an Elizabethan collar
Cut out the bottom of the pot or bucket to form the cone. Slide the cone over your dog's head. To ensure that the cone is not too tight, check that you can slide two fingers between the cone and your dog's neck. The cone should extend at least 1 inch past your dog's nose when the opposite end is resting on the dog's collar.
Remove the cone and drill four to six evenly-spaced holes around the bottom of the pot, approximately 1 inch from the bottom. Make the holes large enough so the tie material slides through easily.
Slide the cone over your dog's head. Thread the tie material through the cone's holes and tie the cone to the dog's collar.
Monitor your dog to ensure that he is not able to reach his wound while wearing the Elizabethan collar. If he can, tighten the tie material to your dog's collar or make a new cone using a longer pot or bucket.
- Your dog may be freaked out at first. Encourage your dog's acceptance of the Elizabethan collar by offering lots of praise and some treats when he wears it.
- Some dogs may be reluctant to eat or drink while wearing the collar. You may have to remove the collar for short periods to allow him easy access to his bowls.
- If you can't supervise your dog while he wears the collar, it is safest to crate him while you are away to avoid potential injury.