How to Make an E-Collar

The Elizabethan collar is used in medical situations on dogs, but doesn't hurt them.
The Elizabethan collar is used in medical situations on dogs, but doesn't hurt them. (Image: Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

The Elizabethan or E-collar is typically used after a dog or cat has had surgery and is intended to prevent the animal from licking or pawing at stitches. The collar looks uncomfortable, but is just used to prevent the pet from reaching sensitive areas. The collars provided by your vet can be pretty pricey, but you can make your own E-collar easily out of a plastic bucket or flowerpot.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic bucket or flowerpot
  • Marker
  • Power drill
  • Small jigsaw
  • Gauze tape
  • Gauze strips
  • Pet's collar

Measure the bucket or flowerpot in relation to your pet's head. The bottom of the container should be at least one inch wider than the head, and the nose should extend beyond the rim. Place the container open end down on your work surface.

Draw a circle on the bottom of the bucket, leaving about 1/2 inch of space on the inside of the flower pot or bucket. This circle should be wider than your pet's head, so the head can fit through the hole. Draw an X over the center of the bucket to indicate you will throw this piece away.

Drill a hole through the bottom of the container, on the inside of the piece you will discard. The hole should be near the line you drew previously.

Drill a hole into the side of the container, about 1/2 inch from the bottom. Move 1/4 of the way around the bucket and repeat. Repeat until you have drilled four holes into the side of the bucket.

Insert the jigsaw into the bottom-most hole on the container and cut the circle out of the bottom. Discard the X-marked circle.

Line the edge of the cut hole with gauze tape. This softens the edge of the collar, so it doesn't cut into your pet's neck.

Test fit the collar around your pet's neck. Slip it over the head so that the mouth of the collar points away from dog's body.

Cut the gauze into four 6-inch long strips. Thread one strip through each of the holes on the side of the collar. Tuck the strips under the pet's actual collar and tie the ends together so that the E-collar stays in place.

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