What to give your dog instead of a collar after a surgery? 5 comfortable ideas

László Enikő

2023. May 20 - Photos: Getty Images Hungary; YouTube

It's a well-known fact that no dog likes going to the vet, especially if they leave with an uncomfortable collar around their neck. Here are 5 great alternatives to avoid the hassle!


After surgery, it is particularly important to protect the wounds to prevent them from becoming infected or the stitches from coming out. Dogs instinctively want to lick their wounds, but this can easily open the door to infection. If you find that your pet is very uncomfortable with a plastic collar, or you want to spare them the discomfort in advance, it’s worth looking at other options. Some dogs can even be depressed by the funnel, as it prevents them from lying down, sleeping, seeing and even eating or drinking properly. It is therefore important to help him with these activities, pack away objects in his way and keep an eye on him to make sure he has normal access to his feeding and drinking bowls.

Most dogs feel uncomfortable in a huge plastic collar.

If you want to avoid these problems, you should use an inflatable or hypoallergenic collar, post-operative clothing, and special socks and shoes for foot injuries. You can buy these at most veterinary surgeries, but they are also easily ordered online.

Antiallergenic surgical collar

This type of collar is much more comfortable than a plastic collar and gives the dog more room to move and see. It is made of soft material with polystyrene beads inside, so it doesn’t weigh on the dog’s neck like a traditional plastic funnel. It is also hypoallergenic, so it is highly recommended for pets with skin conditions or allergies. However, it is not recommended for head wounds, as the dog may rub against something while wearing it to scratch the wound.

Inflatable collar

Similar to the previous variation, except that this type is inflatable, making storage easier. There are no pearls inside, just air. This type also has the disadvantage that it is not recommended for head injuries, and dogs with more flexible pets may be able to reach wounds on the hind legs. But it is a great choice for deflowering or other surgical wounds!

Post-operative footwear

Foot protection is specifically designed to protect the wounds on the feet, so it’s a great choice in summer. It is available for all limbs and will not cause any discomfort to your dog. It is strongly recommended after patella or other foot operations. However, your pet may also try to lick the wound through it, so it’s worth keeping an eye on it while wearing a safety suit if you can.

Post-operative dress

A full-body version of the foot suit. Not only does it cover the wounds on the leg, it essentially protects the whole body. Its soft material is non-irritating, easy to put on and much more comfortable than a collar. Available in male and female versions.

Dog shoes

If your dog’s paws are sore, it’s worth trying dog boots. Although there are lots of funny videos of how animals get around in it, with a bit of practice you’ll soon get used to it.

In some cases you have to, because it’s the only way to protect the sore pads from pain and bacteria.

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