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Traditional recovery e-collars have earned a bad reputation among pet owners, and most dogs dislike wearing them. The next best alternative are inflatable dog collars, which are more comfortable, do not scratch the furniture and are easy on the eyes.

When shopping for one, note the size of your dog – it will determine the size of the inflatable collar you pick. Your dog should not be able to lick or paw at the area you need protected. Ideally, choose an inflatable dog collar that is easily washable, is durable enough if the dog bumps into things, and of course comfortable for your pet.

How to use inflatable dog collars:

  1. Open the package, and inflate the collar until it feels full, but not too hard.
  2. Place the collar around a dog’s neck and tighten the Velcro strip until the collar is securely in place. Make sure there's two-finger space between the collar and neck.
  3. Slide the collar around in a position where the collar's opening is at the back of your dog's head. This is to prevent the dog from biting at the Velcro strip.
  4. You should monitor your pet when using an inflatable collar, especially during the first-time uses, to ensure they are not able to reach their wound or surgery site. Some inflatable dog collars may not work for all dogs or conditions.

How to use an inflatable collar

What is an inflatable collar

Pay attention to the manufacturer's sizing chart. Most inflatable collars for dogs use a very similar design and the sizes will also nearly the same. Here's a general chart to pick the right size for your pet:

Extra-Small: Neck circumference from 3 to 5 inches
Small: Neck circumference from 5 to 7 inches
Medium: Neck circumferences from 7 to 11 inches
Large: Neck circumferences from 11 to 18 inches
Extra-Large: Neck circumferences from 18 to 26 inches

Alternatives to Traditional Recovery Collars for Dogs

Traditional e-collars (recovery cones, Elizabethan collars, etc.) have been referred to by many names, including “cone of shame”, “lampshade” and even “dog radar dish.” Those old-school collars have gained a bad reputation all around, but they serve a necessary function for dogs recovery from surgery or with specific conditions.

Fortunately, there are alternatives to the dreaded recovery cones. Other than some of the best inflatable dog collars listed below, you can also choose among:

  • Cloth cones. Made from cloths, they will be more comfortable for your pet, can be easily stored, and generally look good. The downside is that they are likely to collapse way too easy, meaning your pet will end up getting at their wound.
  • Padded collars. Also better than e-collars, they allow for better field of vision for the dog, much more comfortable to wear, and look good. Generally, they're better for large breeds, and due to their design, it's essential to always monitor the dog when they are wearing one of these.
  • Pillow collars. Inflatable collars (what we're discussing here) are sometimes referred to as pillow collars, and on the list of alternatives, they're likely the best option. They look better, they're comfortable and simply to use, all while serving the primary function of not allowing the dog to get at their wounds to lick.

Finally, you can also make your own DIY homemade recovery dog cone or collar. You can make it feel just as comfortable, look good and spend little to nothing on it. Here's a guide on how to make your own recovery collar in a few simple steps.

This is what it would look like:

How To Make A Dog Cone

If the “do it yourself” is not something you're interested in, and your pooch refuses to wear traditional recovery cones, then one of the below inflatable dog collars will be your best bet. While they're ranked in order of how we liked them, they're all generally use the same design, materials and look similar. Prices vary only slightly.

10 Best Inflatable Dog Collars

1 Inflatable Dog Collar
by Pet Link

Find it on Amazon ($14.99)
Unavailable on Chewy

Available in five sizes (from 3 to 26 inches), the Pet Link inflatable dog collar is as durable as it is comfortable. The first thing you'll notice is how it's made from a very soft plush material, compared to many others. Your pet’s neck won’t get irritated (a somewhat common issue) and they will still be able to easily eat and drink. The Velcro strap located at the front of the collar can be adjusted for added security or for dogs that neck’s size is in between the suggested circumferences. Finally, the durable air valve easily pops up for inflation or deflation (when not in use).

Sale
Inflatable Dog Collar, Recovery Cone, After Pet...
1,085 Reviews
Inflatable Dog Collar, Recovery Cone, After Pet...
  • INJURY PREVENTION: Our...
  • COMFORTABLE DESIGN: Your...
  • ADJUSTABLE STRAP: At the...
  • EASY TO MAINTAIN: Our...
  • QUALITY MADE: Our inflatable...

» PROS: Affordable, durable, adjustable, soft and comfortable, available in five sizes, easy to clean, economical.

« CONS: Read the manufacturer’s guidelines because this collar will not be suitable for many breeds.

 

2 Cloud E-Collar
by KONG

Find it on Amazon ($22.13)
Find it on Chewy ($31.99)

The KONG company has designed one of the best inflatable dog collars for an affordable price. It is available in five sizes (x-small to x-large), and made from durable yet easily washable material. Similar to the above collar, this one was also soft and comfortable enough for our dog to wear all day. It does not scratch neither the dog's neck nor our furniture like most traditional recovery e-collars. This one also includes collar loops on the inner part of the product for added security.

KONG - Cloud Collar - Inflatable Collar - For...
5,263 Reviews
KONG - Cloud Collar - Inflatable Collar - For...
  • Comfortable to wear while...
  • Doesn’t interfere with a...
  • Machine washable
  • Will not mark or scratch...
  • 13" - 18" Neck Size

» PROS: Budget-friendly, three collar loops, uses a soft, washable outer fabric, durable inflatable bladder, won't scratch the dog's neck or furniture, comfortable.

« CONS: May not be suitable for some conditions (front paws, facial), as the dog may still be able to reach those spots.

 

3 Inflatable Recovery Collar
by ZenPet

Find it on Amazon ($24.69)
Find it on Chewy ($24.95)

One of the great features of the ZenPet recovery collar is its washable and comfy cotton fleece cover. Simply unzip it, remove the inflatable “bladder” and machine wash. This unit not only comes with an adjustable Velcro piece but you can also slip your pet’s collar through the three inner rings for added security. The bladder itself is designed with heavy-duty PVC material which is both durable and waterproof, and the inflation valve can be used by mouth or with a balloon pump.

Sale
ZenPet Pro Collar Comfy Pet E-Collar For Dogs...
442 Reviews
ZenPet Pro Collar Comfy Pet E-Collar For Dogs...
  • 12 YEARS OF VETERINARY USE:...
  • DURABLE: Outer protective...
  • EASY TO INFLATE: Just locate...
  • COMFORTABLE: Protects while...
  • COMES IN 6 SIZES: X-Small,...

» PROS: Available in four sizes, removable and comfortable cover, easy to inflate and deflate, adjustable Velcro and inner rings for the collar, comes with a hand pump for inflating, durable PVC material.

« CONS: May not be suitable for very small or active dogs.

 

4 Protective Inflatable Collar for Dogs
by BENCMATE

Find it on Amazon ($12.98)
Unavailable on Chewy

The BENCMATE inflatable dog collars are all made with a soft, yet durable zippered cover that can be easily removed for machine washing. It's available in five sizes to fit most pets and ours came with handy collar loops and an adjustable strap for added security. This recovery dog collar is mostly designed to keep your pooch from licking the “affected” area, but will still allow it to see, eat, drink, and sleep without issues. There's even a loop to attach your dog's leash too. Although this unit is available in x-small, the sizing for some tiny dog breeds (and cats) may still be tricky.

Sale
BENCMATE Protective Inflatable Collar for Dogs and...
2,868 Reviews
BENCMATE Protective Inflatable Collar for Dogs and...
  • SCRATCH AND BITE RESISTANT -...
  • COMFORTABLE - Inflatable...
  • EASY TO STORE - Inflatable...
  • ADJUSTABLE - There is a strap...
  • DURABLE AND STABLE - The...

» PROS: Durable, collar and leash attachments, machine-washable, soft material, tough inner bladder, easy to inflate valve, comfortable.

« CONS: May not be suitable for all injuries or affected areas, may not work on smaller breeds (and cats).

 

5 Dog Cone After Surgery
by E-KOMG

Find it on Amazon ($11.98)
Unavailable on Chewy

Here is another very durable e-collar for dogs which came with a soft protective cover which we can easily unzips for washing. These inflatable dog collars are available in four sizes (from small to x-large) to fit most breeds, but we recommend going up in size for those dogs that fall in between the stated sizing chart. The E-KOMG inflatable pet collar also came equipped with three inner collar loops and an adjustable strap for a secure hold. It will be more comfortable for post-op dogs than most traditional e-cones.

E-KOMG Dog Cone After Surgery, Protective...
545 Reviews
E-KOMG Dog Cone After Surgery, Protective...
  • Comfortable: Inflatable...
  • Scratch and bite resistant:...
  • Easy to store: The inflatable...
  • Adjustable: The collar has an...
  • Durable and stable: The...

» PROS: Economical, three inner collar loops, adjustable strap, removable and washable cover, soft and comfortable.

« CONS: May not be suitable for all injuries, collar sizing varies.

 

6 Pet Inflatable Collar for After Surgery
by Calm Paws

Find it on Amazon ($19.94)
Find it on Chewy ($19.94)

Made from comfy, breathable, “non-stick” cotton, Calm Paws top rated inflatable dog collars are generally a better alternative to the “cone of shame.” Our unit was made to fit snugly around our dog’s neck with three inner collar loops and an adjustable metal buckle. The inner bladder is made from durable PVC and is available in five sizes to suit most breed’s necks. This recovery collar is large enough to keep a dog from licking their wounds, but is not so bulky that it would be obstructing your pet's line of sight.

Calm Paws Protective Collar (Box), Large
49 Reviews
Calm Paws Protective Collar (Box), Large
  • Alternative TO cone is easy on...
  • Also helps break the lick/bite...
  • Airy, lightweight design...
  • Use with the Calm Paws calming...
  • X-small fits neck...

» PROS: Adjustable buckle-strap and inner collar loops for added security, soft, washable fabric, inner bladder made from PVC material, comes in five sizes

« CONS: Sizing may be off, some dogs may be able to slide out of it.

 

7 Protective Inflatable Dog Collar
by YFFSUN

Find it on Amazon ($13.99)
Unavailable on Chewy

This scratch and bite resistant inflatable pet collar feels like it is built to last. It has three inner loops and an adjustable strap to keep it secured in place. This will likely to work well on short-nosed breeds and will not prevent them from seeing, sleeping, eating, or playing. The material is soft enough to be comfy for the dog and it won’t scratch your furniture. The outer fabric is also easily washable, and it came with a zippered cover. These best inflatable dog collars are available in four sizes to fit most breeds.

Sale
YFFSUN Protective Inflatable Collar for Dogs and...
72 Reviews
YFFSUN Protective Inflatable Collar for Dogs and...
  • Scratch And Bite Resistant:...
  • Adjustable Design :There is a...
  • Durable And Stable : The...
  • Soft And Comfortable:...
  • Easy To Use:Inflatable...

» PROS: Adjustable, durable, washable, soft, won’t scratch the furniture, comes in four sizes, easy to store.

« CONS: Some dogs may be able to get out of the collar due to its sizing. May not work for all affected areas, too.

 

8 Comfortable Recovery E-Collar for Dogs
by GoodBoy

Find it on Amazon ($13.99)
Unavailable on Chewy

This economical post-surgery collar for dogs is durable, and can be easily folded when not in use. The inflation tube is simple to use – just pinch and blow – and the collar is available in four sizes. The GoodBoy comfort dog collar came already equipped with a quick-release buckle that did not catch our dog’s fur unlike a few others, and its soft outer cover is easily washable. This company also offers a full refund if your pet manages to chew through or puncture a hole in this collar.

GoodBoy Comfortable Recovery E-Collar for Dogs and...
316 Reviews
GoodBoy Comfortable Recovery E-Collar for Dogs and...
  • COMFORTABLE – This...
  • RESTRICTS BITING AND LICKING...
  • ADJUSTABLE FIT – The soft,...
  • FOUR DIFFERENT SIZES – See...
  • WARRANTY COVERS CHEW DAMAGE &...

» PROS: Affordable, available in four sizes, comes with a quick-release buckle that won’t snag the fur, puncture and chew-resistant, collar loops and an adjustable strap, removable, washable cover, soft and comfortable, dog and vet-approved.

« CONS: Only available in pink with grey.

 

9 Protective Inflatable Recovery Collar for Dogs
by ProCollar

Find it on Amazon ($16.95)
Unavailable on Chewy

Made from a high-quality, water-resistant nylon fabric, the durability and quality of ProCollar inflatable dog collars is just one of the many features you'll notice quickly. It’s available in six sizes – from x-small to xx-large – with three strong inner collar loops and Velcro to secure it into place. This unit also features a heavy-duty zipper that keeps the outer cover in place, and the pinch-and-blow valve is easy to use. Plus, it’s lightweight, and comfortable for most breeds to wear.

ProCollar Protective Inflatable Recovery Collar...
462 Reviews
ProCollar Protective Inflatable Recovery Collar...
  • PREMIUM PROTECTIVE INFLATABLE...
  • REMEMBER - LOOK AT IMAGE 2 for...
  • SOFT & COMFORTABLE - The...
  • PATENTED DESIGN - Soft...
  • BITE AND SCRATCH RESISTANT -...

» PROS: Made from quality nylon, water-resistant, six sizes, heavy-duty zipper, Velcro and three inner loops for added security, the pinch-and-blow valve is easy to inflate and deflate.

« CONS: May not work for all affected areas.

 

10 Inflatable Protective E-Collar for Dogs
by PAWISE

Find it on Amazon ($14.99)
Unavailable on Chewy

Soft and plush, available in three sizes, Pawise inflatable dog collar is an economical alternative to a traditional e-cone for dogs. The three durable inner loops and Velcro adjustable strap helps support the inflatable collar when in use. It also incorporates “durable fusion seams” for added strength, and the washable fabric makes cleaning this unit a breeze. However, it may not be suitable for all injuries.

PAWISE Inflatable Protective E-Collar for Dogs and...
20 Reviews
PAWISE Inflatable Protective E-Collar for Dogs and...
  • Protect Your Dog: Premium,...
  • Comfortable and Durable:...
  • Adjustable Length: The dog...
  • Easy to Clean: Machine...
  • MONEY BACK GUARANTEE: Your...

» PROS: Adjustable inner straps for the collar and Velcro strip for tightening, economical, durable fusion seams for extra strength, airy, lightweight, comfortable.

« CONS: May not be wide enough to keep the dog away from the affected area, only available in three sizes.

In Summary

If your dog has been spayed, neutered, or has an injury, one of these best inflatable dog collars may be a more comfortable alternative to a traditional recovery e-collar for dogs (e.g. Elizabethian, cone-style).

All of these are designed to be comfortable for the dog and not scratch the furniture. They are easily washable and can be stored away when not in use.

Before buying, measure your dog’s neck and pay attention to the manufacturer's sizing chart to ensure a proper fit. Monitor your pet while the collar is in use, especially during the first few times, to make sure the dog cannot reach the affected area or the Velcro straps, and is feeling comfortable wearing the collar.

READ NEXT: 5 Best Dog Recovery Cones to Prevent Dogs from Licking Wounds

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