Can a Dog Sleep in a Crate With a Cone? Is it Essential?

Last Updated on July, 2024

A viral question that all dog owners ask is,

“Can a dog sleep in a crate with a cone?”

Dogs STRUGGLE to sleep with a cone on. For owners, this can be just as painful and deeply saddening.

It is predestined. 

Your dog will likely require an Elizabeth collar, also known as the “Elizabethan collar,” at some stage. 

Despite the humorous appearance, the cones play a crucial role, particularly during the healing process after an injury.

In this article, you will learn why keeping cones on dogs when they sleep is essential and crucial. 


Quick Summary

YES, A dog with a cone can sleep in a crate.

Dog cones should not be too tight or restrictive, as it hinders the dog’s ability to rest. Different alternatives, such as Kong cloud collars and Goodboy comfortable recovery E-collars, should also be taken into consideration.

Veterinarians recommend keeping the cone on your dog until the wound is fully healed or the stitches are removed, which typically takes around 10-14 days. It is not recommended to leave the dog alone with a cone for an extended period.

Can a Dog Sleep in a Crate With a Cone?

A dog with a dog cone on its head laying on the floor

You wouldn’t have this question if you knew a cone’s impact on your dog. Period.

To answer your question, Yes. Dogs can sleep in a crate with a cone. Using dog cones aims to prevent dogs from licking their wounds following surgery.

This precaution is implemented to reduce the risk of infection and promote a timely recovery, as excessive dog licks or gnawing can hinder the process of healing.

Adjust the cone for a proper fit around the dog’s neck, and confine them to a smaller area. And closely monitor your dog’s behavior. 

It can seem impossible, but trust me, there’s no way around it.

Is it Essential for the Cone to Stay on the Dog During Sleep?

*sighs in relief*

No. A cone doesn’t have to stay on a dog during sleep.

*spoiler alert*

But. It depends on the specific particulars and the reason the cone was prescribed.

Cones prevent your dog from licking, biting, or scratching at surgical wounds, injuries, or skin irritations. Therefore, if you do otherwise, it will only do more harm than good.

When allowing your dog to sleep in a crate with a cone, you should ensure that your dog’s crate is spacious enough for your dog to sleep comfortably and has ample room to move around a bit.

The cone should not be too tight or restrictive, as it hinders your dog’s ability to rest.

You should monitor your dog very closely to ensure that they are not experiencing any distress or struggling with the cone while inside the crate.

If you want to leave your dog alone, ensure it’s inside the crate. Crates provide a sound and comfortable space for dogs to rest. Dogs sleep comfortably when in a crate.

Your dog may find it challenging to sleep or settle with a cone on, so it’s crucial to observe their behavior and make adjustments as necessary.

How Does Wearing a Cone Help the Dog?

Two pictures of dogs with cones on their heads

If you know dog care, you know that using a dog cone is essential for aiding dogs in healing more effectively and efficiently.

Dogs have the natural instinct to lick, bite and scratch at wounds or irritations on their bodies. 

Just like we do. But, unlike us, dogs have rough tongues.

It can impede the healing process and cause further damage. Wearing a cone prevents the dog from reaching the affected area. Saving your dog from self-inflicted injuries and saving you from an extra trip to the vet.

These cones are typically longer than their facial length, preventing them from accessing their wounds.

Dont ever wrap your dog around a plastic cone, a dog’s WORST NIGHTMARE. Plastic cones will trigger your dog’s destructive behavior.

As a dedicated dog lover, it is important to prioritize using cones to facilitate your dog’s healing process, despite the potential discomfort they may experience.

Let’s Look At Some of the Benefits

  • Preventing self-inflicted injuries
  • Protecting surgical sites
  • Managing skin conditions 
  • Avoiding ingestion of substances
  • Minimizing post-surgery grooming interference

What Are Some Effective Methods for Helping Your Dog With a Cone to Sleep in a Crate Comfortably?

A dog is in a cage with a cone on his head and a dog outside wearing a cone

It’s critical to prioritize your dog’s comfort and safety when making your dog sleep comfortably in a crate with a cone.

Here are some tips to give your dog a good night’s sleep;


Line the crate with soft bedding or blankets to make it cozy and inviting for your dog. Ensure there’s enough space for your dog to lie down comfortably.


Introduce the crate with the cone slowly and positively. Start by allowing your dog to explore the crate with the door open, encouraging your dog with treats and praise. Gradually increase the time spent in the crate with the door closed.


Provide a calm and quiet environment around the crate. Keep your distractions and loud noises to a minimum to help your dog relax.


Place an item with your dog’s familiar scent inside the crate, such as a blanket or a piece of clothing that carries your scent. This will help your dog feel more secure and at ease.


Modify the crate if the cone is causing discomfort or difficulty for your dog.

For instance, you can attach a towel or a blanket to the crate door to act as a buffer between the cone and the crate, providing more space for your dog’s head. 


Establish a consistent pre-bedtime routine that includes a calm, relaxing activity such as a short walk or gentle play session. This helps your dog associate the crate with positive experiences.


Reward your dog with treats or a favorite toy whenever your dog willingly enters the crate or settles down calmly. 


It’s a good idea to supervise your dog initially while in a crate with a cone, especially if they seem restless or anxious. This way, you can intervene if necessary and provide comfort or reassurance. 

Alternatives to Try if the Dog Does Not Lay Down With a Cone on

Every dog owner MUST HAVE one of these! It’s two of the most comfortable dog collars ever made.

1. Kong – Cloud Collar

The KONG Cloud Collar is an innovative alternative to a traditional plastic cone for pets.

It’s an inflatable cone that offers MAXIMUM COMFORT and reduces stress.

It will make them feel much more comfortable than a plastic one. 

The collar provides an effective barrier, preventing your dog from tarnishing its wounds while allowing them to eat, drink, and move around FREELY.

Faster recovery and keeps your dog happy.

What more could you ask for in a cone?

2. Goodboy Comfortable Recovery E-Collar

The Goodboy comfortable recovery E-Collar is a pet-friendly alternative to traditional soft cones, designed for a comfortable and stress-free recovery experience.

Most dogs prefer this over traditional cone-shaped collars since it allows them to move freely and engage in daily activities.

It’s easy to use, can be adjusted to fit your dog’s specific needs and help prevent destructive behavior.

They are also responsible for the best-selling alternative which allows your dog have a comfortable sleep at night.


How Long Should a Dog Wear a Cone?

Four pictures of dogs with cones on their heads

As a dog owner, I get where this is coming from. It is perfectly safe for a dog to wear a cone for longer in enclosed spaces.

Remember, your dog’s health and well-being should be the priority, even if they seem temporarily inconvenienced or uncomfortable.

Veterinarians recommend keeping the cone on your dog until the wound is fully healed or the stitches are removed, which typically takes a well-behaved dog around 10 to 14 days. 

Although dogs are resilient, and most adjust to sleeping with a cone within 24 hours, initially, it can disrupt their sleep and may take some time for them to settle down. 

Most dogs prefer to sleep with their head between their paws, which becomes challenging with a cone on. 

However, a few dogs may need help finding a comfortable sleeping position and may take longer than 24 hours to adapt. Your dog will soon recover and resume their everyday life with proper care and attention.

Relevant contents:


The best way for a dog to sleep with a cone is to provide a soft cone, cozy bed, or neck pillow to cushion and support them while they sleep.

No, it is not recommended to leave your dog alone with a cone for an extended period without supervision.

No, you should not leave your dog’s cone on all the time. It is recommended to limit its wear to when necessary and allow your dog to adjust to wearing it. Additionally, it is essential to prevent any wounded areas from becoming infected.


I never wanna hear another “Can a dog sleep in a crate with a cone?”.

Your dog doesn’t necessarily need to wear a cone all the time. But you should NEVER take your dog’s cone off at night. If you remove the cone at night and reattach it in the morning, your dog will perceive it as a form of punishment.

As long as their comfort needs are met, you should be good. Cones should only be taken off once the wound has fully healed or has healed enough for it not to be irritating your dog anymore.

You need not feel guilty about your dog sleeping with a cone on. Dogs won’t hold it against you; they have a forgive-and-forget mentality. 

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Stefano Giachetti
Stefano Giachetti is always excited to share his knowledge and love of animals with you through our blog, IPetGuides. And he has always loved animals and has been blessed to have many pets throughout his life. Currently has a Pomeranian Dog Breed.

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