Six weeks or so after the first Cone of Pride! and Triumph!, we finally have to admit that deterring Bowdu from chewing his footsies is turning into a longer term challenge than anticipated, so I got him something that’s hopefully a little more comfortable.
This the KONG E-Collar, XL size (for neck sizes 14″ – 21″), priced at $19.99 from our favorite Pet Store A (where my cumulative discount kicked in, so they actually knocked $10 off everything I bought that day). Shiba Inu are hardly “extra large” dogs, but this was the only size where the depth of the cone (at least 20 cm) was sufficient to keep his muzzle from touching his feet. KONG’s size specs only mention the circumference of the cone, so this is something to keep in mind if you’re purchasing the item online, or without fitting.
Set on the smallest sizing, the cone hangs loosely on Bowdu’s neck, but it doesn’t seem in danger of coming off. We did not attach it to a collar. If he learned to be really sneaky — like wedging himself under a chair and then backing out, for instance — it could be removed. But since he’s had some time to acclimate to life in a cone, this isn’t an upsetting change. The KONG E-collar seems slightly heavier than the old cone, even after cutting off the excess that we don’t need. However, the padded rims and see-through plastic really do seem more comfortable all around (for me too, when he charges against my legs!). Not so sure about the hard plastic clips used to hold the cone into shape. I’ve left them alone for now, but I may cover them with Band-aids or something if they prove to be an irritant.
I just hope it isn’t magnifying the intensity of the sun and creating some kind of greenhouse effect around his head… Not that it ever really gets too hot hereabouts. Bowdu is always free to come in when he wants. He does find the cone an inconvenience at the water dish, so he hasn’t been drinking as much as I’d like. Lately, I’ve been compensating for that by sharing watermelon with him, which he loves. At any rate, we trust that he knows how to self-regulate when it comes to basic physical needs like thirst, being too hot/cold, etc.
Unfortunately, he can’t do anything to help himself when he feels dirty. Bowpi is free to lick whatever she pleases, but Bowdu hasn’t been able to groom himself for weeks. This must be doing more to strip him of his Shiba pride than the funny cone itself.