How Long Should A Puppy Wear A Cone After Being Neutered?

how long should a puppy wear a cone
(Last Updated On: December 15, 2022)

A cone prevents your puppy from licking, chewing or biting the wound. Most vets agree that your puppy should wear the cone for 8 – 10 days. 

It’s important you leave the cone on until you return your vet and have the stitches removed.

What’s Neutering?

Whether you own a dog or are intending to adopt one, you might have at one time considered neutering. 

Neutering refers to the surgical removal of the testicles of a male pet, in this case, a dog. 

The opposite is spaying, which is the removal of a female dog’s ovaries and uterus. 

Both neutering and spaying procedures prevent reproduction. However, neutering comes with a host of other lifelong health benefits for your pooch. 

Some of the reasons you might want to consider neutering your puppy include;

  1. Prevention of unwanted litters
  2. Prevention of testicular cancer
  3. Your dog won’t find a reason to wander away from home looking for a mate
  4. As it prevents straying, the dog will not be a problem for the community. It will unlikely run into car accidents, encounter wild animals, frighten children, or otherwise cause damage in the neighborhood.
  5. Neutered dogs tend to demonstrate admirable behavior since the procedure mellows them down
  6. Neutering is more cost-effective than caring for new litters
  7. Saves the dog the possibility of being euthanized someday, due to over-population

Related Topic: How long do 8-week old puppies sleep?

jimmy wearing his cone

About the Cone

Neutering presents many benefits to the dog, its human parent, and the immediate community. But one challenge that comes with neutering your dog is monitoring its condition during the recovery phase.

After the operation, your puppy mustn’t lick, scratch, bite, or otherwise aggravate the wound.

To prevent your puppy from touching the healing wound, you would need to get him a cone.

The cone is known as the “Elizabeth collar” or “the Cone of Shame.” Speaks volumes about how your pup feels about it.

But as a dog owner, you may have asked yourself the all-too-important question – how long should a puppy wear a cone after getting neutered?

See Also: Can puppies leave mother at 6-weeks

Most vets agree that your puppy should wear the Cone of Shame for 8 – 10 days.

However, the answer isn’t as cut and dried as it sounds, as other aspects determine the number of days your pup should have the cone on.

For instance, the dog may be attacked by other pets that might end up biting the stitched area, thereby prolonging the healing process. Some wounds take longer to heal due to the dog’s low immunity.

Whichever the case, the pup has to wear the cone the entire time and only have it removed upon the advice of your vet. Remove the stitches after a couple of weeks.

How Long Should A Puppy Wear A Cone After Being Neutered?

How Long Should A Puppy Wear A Cone After Being Neutered?

When Can I Take the Cone Off?

We’ve already mentioned that the collar should be on throughout the healing process. But obviously, your pup won’t eat while wearing the cone.

Therefore, you can take the cone off during mealtimes. However, always ensure you put it back on immediately after your pup has completed eating.

As soon as there’s nothing more to distract the dog, it will begin to feel the itching from the healing wound and may take a bite at it.

See Also: Can I give my dog Aspirin?

Also, you can remove the cone when cleaning your pup’s teeth, brushing its head, or otherwise grooming it around the head area.

Never be tempted to remove the cone unless there’s a substantive reason for doing so.

As the dog grapples with the pain and itching that emanates from the wound, it will likely be irritable and may often put up a pitiful face.

Being the loving pet parent that you are, don’t be tempted to take the cone off. Well, the consequences may be too grave to contemplate. 

Remember that it only takes a few seconds of scratching or licking to open up an incision. Having the wound redressed will set you back a few hundreds of dollars. 

Besides, your very act of “kindness” will have translated into more days of agony for your canine friend. 

As a caring dog owner, the best you can do is spend a lot of time with your pup. That way, it will get used to the cone much faster and won’t make a fuss each time you want to take the collar back on.

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Jimmy coming home after his surgery

Jimmy coming home after his surgery

How to Make Your Puppy Love His Cone

Right off the bat, let’s emphasize that your pup will most likely hate the cone. You’ll notice that the dog puts up a fuss each time you’re taking the collar back on. 

Thankfully, there are tips you can implement to ensure your puppy somewhat tolerates this strange thing around its neck.

  1. Get a Comfortable Cone: If the collar isn’t comfortable around the dog’s neck, then any other strategy that you’ll try to bring on board will come a cropper. If you had the pup neutered by a professional vet, the vet would likely recommend the right cone size for the dog. Generally, the cone should fit perfectly; it should neither be too loose nor too tight. Should you discover that the cone is too long, you can always trim it.
  2. Guide the Pup: For a dog, wearing a cone is like wearing a blindfold. It takes the dog’s focus away from the things that matter. Therefore, the dog will always feel threatened. As the owner, this is an opportunity to guide your pup and help it navigate the world. You’ll occasionally watch your dog struggling to get onto its crate or to climb up the stairs. Why not carry the dog gently and place it on the desired spot?
  3. Train the Dog to Walk the Right Way: Dogs tend to walk with their muzzles pointed towards the ground. With the collar on, this could be hazardous. The cone may bump into the ground and upset your pup. During the initial days of wearing the collar, train your pup to walk the right way. Ensure your puppy understands the consequences of sticking its nose too close to the ground with the cone on.
  4. Pamper the Dog: Pampering your puppy will not only make it get used to the collar. It’s also crucial during the recovery period. Since the dog will be in pain for some time, it’s prudent to let it have its way. As the dog copes with its new situation, it will likely demonstrate unusual behavior, such as sleeping in unlikely spots. Just be patient with the dog and remember that things will all go back to what they were in a few days.
  5. Be Protective of the Dog: The sight of a collar hanging around your pup’s neck or a stitch on its genital area is likely to get other dogs curious, and they’ll want to check it out. In the process, they might end up biting the neutered pup in the wound or interfering with its collar. Remember that, like any other patient recovering from a surgical operation, your pup is helpless. Therefore, be its chief defender and ward off any potential confrontations. While you’re at it, ensure the dog doesn’t engage in anything that might prolong the healing process. That includes restraining its physical activity, keeping it away from water, and ensuring it eats and drinks as required.

See Also: Things to consider before adopting a rescue dog

Final Word

A cone is an instrumental asset for pet parents that wish their puppies quick recovery after being neutered.

Your puppy should wear a collar for between 1 and 2 weeks. You can help the dog heal faster by implementing some of the strategies we’ve highlighted in this post.

How Long Should A Puppy Wear A Cone After Being Neutered?


I'm a self-employed blogger, life-long pet parent, and lover of dogs. I have always loved animals, especially puppies. So when my family got our first dog 15 years ago, it was love at first sight. We named her Sassy because she was so small, cute, and had a sassy personality! Once we got her home, I wanted to know everything about caring for her, so I researched online. Eventually, this led me to create the PUPPYFAQS website, where I write about nutrition, health, and care of puppies and the latest news in the world of puppies. In my spare time, I volunteer at my local shelter, which is run by volunteers who are passionate about helping homeless dogs find their forever homes. If I'm not working or volunteering for dogs, you can find me spending time with my family, friends, and my puppy. I have been writing professionally online since 2009. In addition to PUPPYFAQS, I also write for several other pet-related publications.

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