Can a dog sleep with a cone on?

Can a dog sleep with a cone on?
Can a dog sleep with a cone on?

Did your dog start wearing a cone after surgery? They might be standing around awkwardly and refusing to lay down, making you question, can a dog sleep with a cone on?

Yes, dogs can sleep with a cone on. Once your dog becomes comfortable wearing a cone, they will discover how to lay down, sleep, eat and drink, go potty, and walk around easily. 

Your dog may even forget they’re wearing a cone until bumping into doorways and trying to pass through the doggy door.

This article explores ways to ease your dog’s comfort in a cone and ensure a good night’s sleep to help a speedy recovery.

Can my dog sleep with a cone on?

Even the fussiest house dog will be resilient when faced with struggles. Dogs require a lot of sleep — 10 to 12 hours on average — and after surgery or an injury, extra rest helps the body repair faster.

When wearing a cone, you can expect your dog’s first day to be the most challenging. Standing about and refusing to lie down is very common, as well as staring, hoping you’ll take it off.

But your dog will eventually grow comfortable with the cone and learn the proper sleeping position. 

To assist your dog with a comfortable recovery, here are a few precautions you can take:

Make sure the cone fits properly

Elizabethan collars (also known as E-collars) are the classic plastic lampshade-style dog cone. E-collars are the most effective way to prevent a dog from self-harm caused by licking and biting.

When your veterinarian supplies the E-collar, they typically secure it with a piece of fabric or gauze. You may use your dog’s most comfortable collar instead.

An E-collar must fit snug but not too tight with the ability to fit two fingers between the E-collar and your dog’s neck.

The two-finger test ensures enough room for your dog to be comfortable without the chance of slipping out of the cone. 

Can a dog sleep with a cone on? A small dog recovers while sleeping in its bed with a cone on.
Adding extra blankets and pillows can help a dog sleep more comfortably in bed.

Provide some extra comfort to their bed

If your dog has a go-to bed or sleeps in a crate, they can benefit from extra padding and comfort while living with a cone.

A cone limits a dog’s head position when sleeping, so adding blankets and thin pillows can provide options for comfort. 

Use an alternative to the Elizabethan collar

Elizabethan collars aren’t the only option, but they are the most effective. The E-collar should remain on when your dog is not within your reach and eyesight. 

But comfort and sleep are essential for your dog. 

After the first day, if you continue to find your dog struggling to find a comfortable lying position, there are alternatives to E-collars, including:

  • Inflatable collars
  • Flexible E-collars
  • Suitical recovery suit

Since these options provide more flexibility, your dog’s ailment, and advice from your veterinarian, will determine which, if any, of the alternatives to E-collars are suitable. 

Can a dog sleep in a crate with a cone?

Although cones limit a dog’s mobility in confined spaces, your dog can sleep in a crate with a cone. To help, focus on adding cushioning support to provide the most comfortable bed for your dog. 

Consider purchasing a bigger crate if your dog has outgrown the current one and has little room without a cone. When picking a crate, recommends measuring your dog’s height and length and then adding four inches to the measurement. 

Help! My dog won’t sleep with a cone on

Dogs have many responses to wearing cones. Some accept it and go on with their day, while others fight and attempt to rip the cone off. My dog is the freeze and becomes a statue type.

Our dogs are more manipulative than we would like to believe. Their behaviors and attitude are attempts of guilt to convince you to remove the cone.

To help your dog adjust to wearing a cone, make up a comfortable bed in a secluded room and lay your dog down gently on it. Dogs often need time to themselves to acclimate to a cone.

When your dog continues to show difficulties adjusting to a cone over multiple days, verify the size and fit of the cone are correct.

Avoid removing the cone unless it’s necessary. Removing a dog’s cone only recreates the initial discomfort and forces your dog to readjust to life with an E-collar.

Final thoughts

No pet parent wants to put their dog through the frustrations of wearing a cone. But, they are a necessary evil that prevents your dog from causing an infection, opening a wound, or further aggravating an area.

Most dogs detest cones and act out, leaving you with many questions. How will my dog eat? Can a dog sleep with a cone on? 

More than 80% of dogs are spayed or neutered, which means millions of dogs each year have surgical procedures that require a cone. Rest assured, your dog, too, will adjust to wearing a cone and get through this tough time.

Wishing your pup a speedy recovery — and an easy recovery for you!

How did your dog react the first time you put a cone on? Share this article and your story to help others going through similar struggles.

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