Why won’t My Dog sleep with cone or lay down?

Cones (also known as E-collars) are not fun for your dog or you. They serve a purpose. Dogs can feel uncomfortable inside the cone. Dogs may have difficulty sleeping or lying down due to the cone.

Why can’t my dog have a cone while he sleeps?

Your dog might not be able to sleep with the cone on for one reason or another. E-collars may make it more difficult for your dog to fall asleep in a comfortable place.

The Cone’s Importance

It’s crucial to understand why your dog must wear the cone. Cones should be worn after surgery, injury or severe rash. An e-collar is required for any skin injury to your dog.

Because your dog may naturally bite or scratch the wound, It is their way to care for the wound. This increases the chance of infection. The cone stops your dog accessing the site and reduces their chance of infection.

Improper Fitting or Placement

Your dog might not be able to sleep in a cone if it isn’t fitted properly. You may find it too small or not properly fitted.

Two fingers should be sufficient to pass between the collar of your dog and its skin. It can pinch or scratch your dog if it is too tight. It can make it difficult for your dog sleep, and may feel restrictive.

Uncomfortable cone

The “cone of shame” is the e-collar. Because it is uncomfortable for both the dog and its owner, it is a very well-known scourge.

The cone can become very stiff if it is an older model. It can be uncomfortable for your dog. Imagine trying to fall asleep with something stiff around your neck. It would be difficult to fall asleep with something stiff and scratchy around your neck. Cones made of softer materials are more comfortable and offer greater comfort.

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Itching or pain

The collar is not always the problem. The collar is there to protect your dog from biting or scratching at an injury or incision. It can be painful, and can make it difficult for your dog to go to sleep. In the beginning stages of healing, it can cause severe itching.

You’ve probably tried to sleep with itching or pain and you know why your dog doesn’t get their rest.

Why is my dog refusing to lie down on a cone?

Your vet said that your dog should take it easy but they won’t let you get them to lie down. Your cone could be the problem. Your dog might find it difficult to lie down on a cone.

Improper Fitting or Placement

As with sleep, if the collar doesn’t fit properly, it can make it difficult for them to lay down. They may feel pinched or scratched by the collar when they try to lie down.

Uncomfortable cone

The cone should not be uncomfortable or made from scratchy material. This will discourage your pooch from relaxing. They may be discouraged from lying down if they feel the cone. This is especially true if they feel the cone against their skin while lying down.


Anxiety may be a problem for your pooch. It could be because they aren’t used to the cone or that the procedure or incision is bothering them.

You’d probably be anxious following a serious injury, or a surgical procedure. We humans understand at least the whys and hows of these things. Our dog’s don’t.

Imagine going to the doctor, only to find out that you have a neck brace on and not understanding what happened. Anxiety can be completely normal.

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Your dog might seem restless or pacy if anxiety is the reason. An anxiety-related sign is excessive panting, barking, or drooling.


Even if they are uncomfortable, cones shouldn’t be used to restrict your dog from moving about and doing his daily activities. They can be disorienting.

Recently, I bought a large hat. It blocks out a lot of my peripheral vision. Because it blocks my peripheral vision, I am more likely to get into things.

A collar can severely limit your dog’s ability to see around you. They don’t have the ability to see below them or to their sides. This can lead to disorientation. They may be reluctant to lie down if they don’t have a clear view of the floor.

What should I do if my dog refuses to sleep?

There are steps you can take if your dog refuses to sleep or lay down with the cone on. You don’t have to be an insomniac if the collar is removed.

Replaceable cone

Your vet might send your dog home with an old cone. These can be very large and stiff. There are options available that will be more comfortable for your dog.

The cone is designed to keep your dog’s nose from getting into an incision or injury site. It’s okay to use as long as your dog isn’t able to reach the area by using the collar.

A soft cone is one type of cone. This cone looks very similar to a regular plastic one. It’s not made of rigid plastic but soft material. You can adjust the cone’s firmness with the plastic inserts.

Another option is the donut collar. These collars look like a donut, or an inflatable swim band. It can be wrapped around the neck of your dog, just like other types. It doesn’t alter their vision in the same way as cones. This is especially important if your dog seems confused by a traditional cone.

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This last option doesn’t even have a collar or cone. It’s actually a surgical recovery suit. It looks very similar to a human diving costume. It is usually made from neoprene.

The suit is placed on your dog’s body and prevents them from reaching the incision site. The end of the suit is accessible so that your dog can go to the bathroom as normal.

You can relieve itching and pain during recovery

Itchy incisions can make it difficult for your dog to rest. There are several ways to help your pooch get relief.

Simplest of all is to use water or an icepack. Temporary relief can be provided by a spray bottle containing water. Reusable ice packs can offer greater relief and last longer.

Moisturizers are also helpful. Vitamin E and aloe Vera are both good options for itch relief. A warm oatmeal bath may also be helpful. You should always follow your vet’s advice when bathing. After surgery, you may be restricted from bathing your pet for up to two weeks.

Creams may be able to help. Caladry and Cortaid, both anti-itch creams, are safe for dogs’ incisions. Talk to your veterinarian about prescription anti-itch creams if all else fails.

Your vet might send your dog home with pain medication. Your vet may recommend that you give your dog pain medication if they seem to be experiencing discomfort.