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

By John Martin - March 2, 2022

Puppy wearing cone after getting neutered

Puppies who get neutered often require a few days to heal without any kind of interference so that the actual effects of neutering can start being effective, which is why wearing a cone can be essential. Details about how long they should keep this cone on as well as how you can make them comfortable are available below.

Why Should a Puppy Wear a Cone After Being Neutered?

After getting your puppy neutered, one of the main ways in which you can ensure that the neutering site has enough time and space to heal is by making your puppy wear a cone.

This is particularly important since your puppy will otherwise keep trying to lick or scratch the neutering site to make themselves feel better from the pain.

However, this can end up doing more harm than good since they might end up removing or rupturing the stitches or sutures, which can then be counterproductive to the surgery while also being extremely painful for your pup.

To ensure safety and proper healing, it is important for your puppy to wear a cone for a few days. Keeping your puppy from licking or biting the site can also help ensure that you do not need to make another immediate visit to your veterinarian.

How Long Should a Puppy Wear a Cone?

After being neutered, your puppy should ideally wear a cone for up to 14 days or even for 10-14 days. Essentially, they will need to keep this kind of cone on until their stitches heal completely so that they do not end up hurting themselves or harming the stitches.

This time period is necessary to allow for the healing process to take place without any kind of hassle or interference. You might even need to wait until it is time to remove the stitches completely by making a trip to the vet.

Usually, the time period required for removing the stitches is also around 14 days or two weeks. Make sure you consult your vet right after the surgery so that they can give you a detailed brief about this kind of post-neutering care and how to deal with the cone.

Also Read: Are Stink Bugs Poisonous to Dogs?

Can Puppies Remove the Cone at Times?

Your puppies might end up trying to remove the cone to feel more comfortable or to escape from the situation. This can end up hurting your puppy since they might immediately try to lick the stitches, so make sure you (or your vet) secure the cone in a way that prevents them from removing it.

Sometimes, you might also feel the need to remove your puppy’s cone due to the discomfort it might be causing them. However, it is essential for you to ensure that the cone remains on at all times.

All the activities that your puppy can do without the cone can still be done with the cone on, although it might take longer for them to carry them out. This can include sleeping, eating, walking and exercising (although you should avoid heavy exercising such as long walks and runs at this time).

However, in some rare situations such as eating meals, you can remove the cone so that your puppy can eat comfortably. This should only be done if you are around them to keep an eye on them so that they do not end up licking their genitals or the neutering site.

If you think this is too much of a risk (since you will have to put the cone back on), a better solution can be to slightly cut down the cone from the top so that your puppy has better access to their food and water bowls.

Why Are Cones Uncomfortable?

Your puppy can find the cone uncomfortable for a number of reasons, mainly because it can restrict their free movement. After all, their entire head from the neck up will feel restricted by the cone, making them feel discomfort while carrying out tasks that are otherwise easy for them.

For instance, drinking, playing around, sleeping and eating might all require more effort from your puppy. They might also have a hard time walking around since the cone might restrict their line of sight and perception of distance.

This can then end up leading to injuries. The cone itself might also lead to pain and itching, so make sure you take steps to make your puppy feel more comfortable.

Your puppy might also feel more depressed and tired because of the cone. A part of this is also because of the pain they might feel because of the neutering and long healing process.

In fact, according to a study, over 77% of pet owners said that their pets’ quality of life saw deterioration in terms of multiple aspects.

Also Read: Can Dogs Get In Hot Tubs?

How to Make Your Puppy Comfortable

While you cannot really remove the cone for 14 days, you can try to make your puppy more comfortable during this time by trying out the following methods and steps.

Provide Training

Take the time to prepare your puppy in advance so that they can feel more equipped to deal with the time that they need to wear the cone. For instance, if you are aware that your puppy will need neutering soon, then you should introduce the cone to them beforehand by buying it and keeping it around them.

Let them inspect the cone on their own so that they know what it is. You can also try putting the cone near their head or making them wear it for a few minutes every day leading up to the surgery.

If they manage to successfully carry this process out and respond well to it, you should reward them through positive reinforcement instead of forcing or punishing them.

You can also make them eat meals and walk around the house with the cone on.

Give Them Time

Right after neutering, it is possible that the first few days, in particular, might be a bit difficult for your puppy to manage. They might feel the pain from the surgery on a constant basis while also feeling tired, disoriented, confused and drowsy.

The medication might also add to this kind of state.

Thus, you should give your puppy some time to start getting used to the situation as well as the cone until the pain recedes a bit.

In such a situation, making sure you prepare your house is also important, so make sure you clear out objects from their path. You can also teach them how to move around better with the cone still on.

This might take a couple or more days, so make sure you are patient throughout it all!

Be Around Them

You should always be around your puppy so that you can attend to their needs and help them move around. This can also be a good way for you to keep an eye on them in case they try to remove the cones or lick their wound.

This can be a good way to prevent additional injuries to your dog since they might be likely to bump into things or doors or walls in the house.

You can also try to keep their meals near them instead of their usual spot so that they do not need to move around too much.

Of course, another aspect of being around your puppies at this time is to give them affection and cuddles so that they feel emotionally cared for.

Carry Them Around

In some situations, you might need to carry your puppy around in case they are having a hard time walking or moving around. For instance, if you need them to go up or down the stairs, in or out of the car, travel a long distance or pass through narrow and unfamiliar spaces, then carrying them might be a better solution.

Don’t worry too much about making your puppy overdependent and expectant of this kind of behavior from you since what matters here is to ensure that they are safe and comfortable.

Be Observant

Importantly, keep an eye on your puppy at all times during these 14 days. This way, you can ensure that the cone stays on as well as that they are not in too much pain.

If you see them struggling or if you find that they are nursing another injury, then you can catch this in time to take them to the vet. This can also be a good way to prevent such a situation in the first place.

Sometimes, the stitches might tear off and start bleeding even without your puppy licking or biting them, so look out for this.

Give medications regularly and keep your dog occupied without exerting them too much.

Healing Process

The healing process can take time and can include a bit of pain during the first few days. During this process, some things you should do include:

  • Monitoring the site of neutering
  • Giving medicines on time
  • Feeding your puppy on time
  • Providing enough rest
  • Keeping your puppy hydrated
  • Preventing long walks and runs
  • Maintaining cleanliness and hygiene around the house
  • Looking out for issues such as diarrhea, nausea and vomiting
  • Consulting your vet and following up on time to get the stitches removed on time

Alternatives to Cones

Since cones can create such discomfort and pain both physically and mentally, you can ask your vet if you can try out some alternatives such as the following.

  • Collars that are softer in material to ensure comfort can help reduce the pain and itchiness that the regular Elizabethan cones tend to cause.
  • Expandable collars that you can deflate during certain times can be a good way to ensure more movement, although they might not always be as effective.
  • Temporary neck collars can make it more convenient to move around and sleep while also serving the purpose well.
  • Recovery suits for regular movement, no restrictions as well as suitable closings in the right places can help considerably (unless your puppy chews it off).

Also Read: Why Are My Dog’s Paws Pink and Black?

Parting Thoughts

To sum up, your puppy will need to wear a cone for around 14 days after being neutered to ensure that the wound heals well and the stitches are removed. Making your puppy comfortable is essential at this point.

Make sure you also consult your vet in case you want to try out an alternative.