Puppy Spay Time: Cone Head

spay cone

Lily, looking despondent

If you ever doubt that pets can get mad at you just like humans, go put a gigantic cone on their head. After suffering through Lily’s first heat, we scheduled her spay appointment.  She came out of the procedure groggy, but healthy, with dozens of dissolving stitches on her stomach. She was also outfitted with an over sized cone—that looked more like a lampshade—intended to limit her mobility and prevent her from gnawing at her wound.

No one wants a huge contraption on their head that destructs your path, stops your from scratching an itch, and makes you look like a ridiculous specimen. But she’s just a dog, right? They’ll get over it. They probably won’t even notice.


Lily acted positively despondent. She refused to look me in the eye or give me kisses like her usual effusive self, and instead loped around like a depressive, groaning in disdain and plopping down on the floor in defeat.

After speaking with fellow dog owners, I’ve picked up a few tips on how you can ease the discomfort and dog shaming after your pet has been spayed.

  1. Cone Alternatives. There are products out there that your vet may not volunteer as an option. The best is a blow up protective collar alternative dog collarakin to an airplane pillow that fixes to the dog’s collar and provides more mobility—but still ensures they can’t get at their wound. Best of all, it is a little more attractive. Other options include cones made of softer, more pliable material. They can include drawstrings or foam that your dog can rest comfortably on.
  2. Skin Irritation Remedies. One unexpected side effect of the cone, for Lily, is skin irritation. As soon as the cone comes off, she’s itching her neck, mouth, and body like a maniac. The plastic seems to irritate her already sensitive skin. Ask your doctor for allergy medication or an anti-inflammatory if this happens.comfy cone dog collar
  3. Spend time with them. A common misconception is that if given a cone by your vet, you’re expected to keep it on your dog at all times.This is not the case. As long as you’re monitoring them, they can go without. If you see them biting at their wound, immediately stop them. This way you’re not forced to look over at their sad, accusing eyes that are surrounded by a cone.

According to our vet, she needs to wear the cone (if we are not around) and limit her activity for ten full days.  I’ve got about five more to go. Putting an end to this dog shaming could not come fast enough, for either of us.



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