Certain dog breeds are prone to injuring themselves because of their high energy and their easily excitable personalities. We know how difficult it is to have a dog wearing a cone in your home along with the high possibility of broken furniture.
We have researched different ways on how to keep a dog from licking a wound without a cone, whether you have access to one or not, and compiled this handy list!
14 Tips on How to Keep a Dog From Licking a Wound Without a Cone
We recommend following any instructions your veterinarian may have given to you. If any concerning behavior develops, or if the wound begins to look infected we recommend bringing your pet to their veterinarian as soon as possible.
1. Soft Bandage
Covering the wound with a soft bandage that has good airflow is a great alternative to the cone of shame. A soft bandage will protect the wound while it is healing, and discourages your dog from licking at the area.
We recommend changing this bandage frequently and giving the wound time to breathe to avoid infection.
2. No-Lick Spray
No-lick spray is an alternative to the cone, but you will need to verify that what you purchase is safe for dogs. We recommend consulting a veterinarian who may have a no-lick spray product that they deem safe for use on dogs.
You can spray this on the dog’s bandage, so when they go to lick the wound they get a taste of the terrible flavor that no-lick spray has.
You can use a t-shirt to cover any wounds that your pet may have.
If you want to try this method, you will need to put their head through the head hole, their front legs through the arm holes, and then you will take the lost fabric of the bottom of the shirt, and use a rubber band to secure it around your dog’s abdomen.
There is a wide variety of collars available that can act as a substitute for the cone. There are soft collars that have a good bit of cushion, which makes it more difficult to turn around and lick at their wound.
You can find these products at pet supply stores as well as online. These products are generally inexpensive and can be washed and reused.
5. Neck Brace for Dogs
You can find canine neck braces online. This type of product generally helps dogs with arthritis and joint problems, but it does limit the mobility of their necks, so they will not be able to turn their heads or lick at a wound.
6. Dog Boots
If your dog has an injury or wound on its paws, you can look into boots that were made for dogs!
Dog boots can be used for a multitude of reasons ranging from protecting paws from hot cement and cold snow, as well as protecting them from licking at a paw wound.
7. Anti-Lick Strips
As we mentioned earlier, there are anti-lick products that you can place on a dog’s wound that gives off a very bad taste. You can also find bandage anti-lick strips to put over a wound that discourages your dog from licking and chewing at a wound.
8. Travel Neck Pillow
This suggestion may sound silly, but it works! If you are in a pinch and need an immediate tool to get your dog to stop licking at an injury.
All you need to do is grab a travel neck pillow, place it around the neck of your pet, and secure it in place. You want to verify that the neck pillow is not too tight so as to not restrict your pet’s breathing.
If you have a large bath towel lying around, you could use this instead of a cone. You’ll use the same process as the travel neck pillow; you will want to roll the towel along the longest side, wrap the towel loosely around the neck of your pet, and secure it in place.
Again, you want to verify that your pets’ breathing is not restricted.
A muzzle could be a great way to prevent your dog from licking at a wound. We would recommend a basket muzzle for this issue. Basket muzzles have long slats and completely cover a dog’s muzzle while still allowing them room to pant and breathe properly.
You shouldn’t leave a muzzle on at all times, so out of all the options on the list, this would be the last resort method or just used for a smaller wound that doesn’t need much healing.
11. DIY Gauze Muzzle
You can fashion a safe muzzle for your dog out of a roll of gauze. This method is fairly easy to figure out, and veterinarians around the world will use this if needed.
Again, we do not recommend leaving a muzzle on your dog for long periods of time, but this method could work as a quick solution until you can find a better option. You can find videos on how to fashion a muzzle out of gauze on YouTube.
12. Pool Noodles
If you have pool noodles in your possession, you can use this to your advantage. You will want to cut a pool noodle into smaller sections, and then slip your dog’s collar through those sections.
You may have to loosen the collar to ensure that your dog is able to breathe properly. They will definitely look silly, but this method really does work!
If you have a small dog with a wound that they will not stop licking at, you can find a baby or toddler onesie to cover up a wound. Just make sure to cut holes for the tail, and ensure there is a way for them to use the bathroom.
If this sounds like a lot of work, there are onesies that you can purchase that have been made for dogs in a variety of online pet stores.
If you have tried a few options that just do not seem to stop the licking and biting, try creating safe distractions for your pet. You can play with them if approved by the veterinarian, let them discover treats with puzzle games for dogs, or just relax with them on the couch and give them lots of love.
We compiled a list of various solutions on how to keep a dog from licking a wound without a cone. We recommend listening to the advice of your dog’s veterinarian first before you start trying other methods. We hope your dog is able to heal fast and get back to its normal daily routine!