How do dogs eat with a cone?

In this brief discussion, we will answer the question “How do dogs eat with a cone?” We will also talk about how to help a dog become comfortable wearing a cone and whether it is advisable to take the collar off at mealtime. 

How do dogs eat with a cone?

Even when he is wearing his cone, your dog can still eat and drink. Getting your dog’s muzzle into a feeding bowl could be challenging depending on how big he is and how big his e-collar is. 

Give him additional space by moving the bowl away from the walls. Invest in an elevated bowl to allow him better access if the cone restricts his mouth from getting close enough to the ground.

When your dog pokes his snout straight out, the wide end of the cone should be slightly shorter than his nose. Your dog should be able to access his food and water bowls even while wearing the cone collar if it is fitted properly.

Can I remove the cone to help a dog eat?

Yes, but sparingly and under strict supervision. If at all possible, an e-collar should never be taken off, however there are situations when you have little alternative. It’s acceptable to remove the cone if your dog simply cannot seem to get the hang of eating while wearing it. 

Watch him intently while he eats, and immediately after, put it back on. Put it back on right away if he tries to remove the stitches or his wound dressing. Even at night, he must always wear his collar when he is not in view.

Can dogs sleep with a cone?

Yes, dogs can indeed sleep, eat, drink, urinate, and defecate with a cone on. Additionally, one of the greatest ways to guarantee they heal as rapidly as possible is to keep the cone on at all times. 

Moreover, Licking an incision is a surefire way to stop the healing process, despite the longstanding notion that animal saliva promotes faster healing. Therefore, it is important to not take it off.

What to do if my dog is refusing to eat with the collar on?

Rather than taking off the collar, it is advisable that you look for a cone alternative that is suitable and more comfortable for your dog. 

The alternatives range from straightforward tweaks to a conventional cone, including those that are soft or see-through, to completely unique designs, like an inflatable doughnut-shaped collar and one that resembles a life preserver. 

Your dog  will have easier access to his meals thanks to the doughnut, and the transparent cone can help him feel more situated and aware of his surroundings. This will help prevent your dog’s urge to take the collar off.  

Inflatable collars, gentle E-collars, and collars with neck braces are alternatives to the plastic cone. To stop licking, try wrapping the incision in a soft material and securing it with medical tape. Keeping your dog occupied with other enjoyable activities would also help greatly as a distraction from the wound.

How can I help my dog get used to wearing a cone?

There are some important tips to follow when your dog has undergone surgery or an injury and the e-collar becomes an everyday essential to allow your furry friend heal:

Become your dog’s guide

Your responsibility as the owner is to assist your dog in using his new equipment to navigate the world, just like a guide dog is meant to help a blind human. He runs into walls, stairs, doorways, and your legs, and it’s easy to feel frustrated, but he needs your assistance to see more clearly. 

Be sure to gently direct him toward the centre of openings and through hallways so he doesn’t stumble into a wall.

Teach your dog to walk with a collar

Dogs who walk with their noses to the ground frequently bump the e-collar and become trapped. Treats are favourable in teaching your dog to walk with a collar on. Wave it in front of him so that he feels motivated to keep his head up as you move, preventing him from dragging the floor. 

Remove any obstacles 

Your dog will navigate better if you clear the house of any hurdles.  You should move any furniture that the dog could easily run into until the collar is removed. Reposition his bed so that it is convenient for him to access and free of any obstacles that he might trip over. 

Keep the breakables hidden as well.


We answered the question “How do dogs eat with a cone?” We also talked about how to help a dog become comfortable wearing a cone and whether it is advisable to take the collar off at mealtime.