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Replace the Cone of Shame

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The Cone of Shame

There are occasions when our beloved pets must have surgery or have wounds or skin afflictions that require them to wear an Elizabethan collar aka the cone of shame.

frustrated dog vet collar

Our veterinarian recommended that our sweet girl wear one to prevent her from licking or pulling her stitches out when she was spayed. Unfortunately, she was so sick following the procedure it was nearly two days before she’d even lift her sweet head, let alone attempt to lick the stitches.

Replace the Cone of Shame

Once she started moving about, we followed the vets’ advice and adorned her with the pet medical collar, as we were instructed to do.

She was beyond miserable. You’d have thought that we had attached a medieval torture device from the way that she looked at us. Quite frankly, it was more than I could stand. Thus the pool noodle collar was born!

Cone of Shame Pool Noodle Replacement

The Pool Noodle Collar

Luckily I happened to have a cheapie dollar store pool noodle in the garage. I was just lamenting to my spouse a few days earlier about how chintzy the noodles had become, about half the size they used to be and how one needed to use two or three in the pool now for the same level of buoyancy.

It was, however, the absolutely most perfect thickness for cutting into small sections and creating a noodle collar for our sweet girl, Luna. I cut several 2-3 inch long pieces of noodle using kitchen shears.

pool noodle collar step 1

Thread them on your dog’s collar or on a wide piece of ribbon. If you’re using ribbon it helps to loop the ribbon back through the noodle to prevent them from sliding around.

pool noodle collar step 2

Pool Noodle Size

The number of pieces you’ll need will depend entirely on the size and breed of your dog. Larger pieces can be used for larger dogs and obviously thinner pool-noodle pieces should be used on smaller dogs.

To restrict movement, licking or chewing choose a pool noodle that is thick enough around in circumference to prevent your dog from reaching the area you’re trying to protect. This thinner noodle was more than enough to remind Luna not to lick or chew her stitches, allowing the area to heal.

luna spayed stitches


Once the noodle pieces have been threaded onto the collar, secure it in place on your pet. This is considerably more comfortable for them to move around but also prevents them from licking or biting at wounds.

Unlike other alternatives, there isn’t any fabric to cause excessive heat or itching to occur either. It also doesn’t interfere with their ability to eat, drink, or sniff around.

dog struggling plastic vet collar


But how well does it work?

Like a dream! Not only did she not bite or lick her belly, but she also didn’t scratch at the collar trying to remove it as she did with the cone of shame.

homemade pool noodle collar

In addition to being a great replacement for the cone of shame, the pool noodle collar doubles as a great swim collar for dogs!

luna pool noodle necklace
Pool Noodle Swim Collar for Dogs


While this pool noodle collar worked great for our Luna, it obviously won’t work for every dog. Luna is not a “chewer”, that is to say, she doesn’t chew on things that she’s not supposed to. If your dog has a tendency to chew items he or she shouldn’t this isn’t a good replacement for the Elizabethan collar.

cone of shame 3



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1 thought on “Replace the Cone of Shame”

  1. I always kind of wondered why they called it the cone of shame. It is also referred to as a Buster collar, Elizabethan collar, cone of shame, or pet lamp shade (which can be humorously called a radar dish, dog saver, cat lamp shade or cone of shame). The collars are modeled after Elizabethan collars.

    I got my answer when I had to put one on my dog and he would no longer make eye contact with me, I’m not sure who was more ashamed, him or me! Thanks for the pool noodle idea, he has seemed to cheer up quite a bit since I removed the cone of shame and replaced it with the noodle collar.


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