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5 Easy Steps To Make A Pool Noodle Dog Collar (DIY 2023)

Pool Noodle Dog Collar

Sometimes we have no choice but to make Fido wear the dreaded “cone of shame”. 

This is absolutely necessary when they got wounds or stitches. 

However, these dog cones can cause some pups discomfort. 

And honestly, they’re also out of fashion. 

But what if there’s a better alternative?

Keep reading to discover…

  • What exactly is a pool noodle dog collar.
  • 5 easy steps to make one for your pooch.
  • If a pool noodle dog collar is an alternative to a dog cone.
  • And much, much, more…

What is a pool noodle dog collar?

A pool noodle collar is an e-collar made out of a pool noodle. It’s an alternative to the Elizabethan collar or dog cones. The purpose of these collars is to prevent dogs from licking their wounds. However, pool noodle collars are famous because they’re light and less itchy than other types.

Can you use a pool noodle as a dog cone?

You can use a pool noodle as a dog cone.

In fact, many prefer to use a pool noodle over the cone of shame. 

That’s because a pool noodle is light and spongy. So it’s more breathable and less itchy. 

At the same time, it has all the functions of a regular dog cone. 

On the other hand, research was made about the impact of an Elizabethan collar on the quality of life (QOL) of pets. 

And 77% of the fur parents in the study reported that their pets’ QOL worsened with the addition of e-collar.

This can be attributed to the following negative effects of a dog cone:

  • Too heavy.
  • Inability to play.
  • Can irritate dog skin. 
  • Causes difficulty in drinking.
  • Difficulty in grooming, navigating doors, and waste elimination. 

However, VCA says that a dog cone is necessary to prevent pooches from licking at a surgery site or wound. 

Because although it’s natural for a pooch to lick their wounds, it’s not medically beneficial for them to do so. 

Wound licking can promote the growth of bacteria and infection if left unattended. 

To prevent this from happening, your pup must wear a dog cone or its alternative.

Read next: 23 Reasons Why Dogs Lick Their Paws + 5 Dangers & 5 Tips

What you need to make a pool noodle collar

These are the things you’ll need to make a pool noodle collar:

As you can see, the materials are all easy to find. 

They can even be found just lying around your house. 

So you won’t need to buy anything from the store. 

Note: Be sure to use a pool noodle with a hole in the middle. Otherwise, it would be hard to put a string through it.

But aside from these, you’ll need another thing to successfully make a pool noodle collar. 

And that’s creativity. 

Unlike the boring and basic e-collar, you can have fun with your pool noodle one. 

In fact, many fur parents match their pool noodle collar with their Fido’s actual collar. 

Some would also use multicolored pool noodles to make the collar more fashionable.

How do you make a dog collar out of a pool noodle? 5 steps

#1: Measuring your Fido’s neck

Measure Your Dog's Neck To Make A Collar Out Of A Pool Noodle

The first thing that you need is to measure around your pooch’s neck. 

This is important so you’ll know the length of the string you’ll need. 

Bear in mind that your pup wears an e-collar to prevent them from reaching their injuries. 

So making a pool noodle collar that’s too loose can defeat its purpose. 

At the same time, making it too tight can cause harm to your pooch. 

PetMD listed down the following dangers if your Fido’s collar is too tight:

  • Strangulation.
  • Neck damage.
  • Skin problems.
  • General discomfort.
  • Limb or mouth injuries.

Editor’s pick: 7 Risks Of Leaving Your Dog Alone With A Cone On + 5 Tips

#2: Cutting the string

Add 6 in (15.24cm) to the measurement of your Fido’s neck. 

Then cut a string/twine of the same length and set it aside. 

You can use any type of string for this project. 

But always keep in mind to use one that’s not easy to snap. 

Also, if you’re using your Fido’s collar there’s no cutting needed. 

Instead, adjust the collar to the same length as your pup’s neck and add 2-3 in (5.08-7.62 cm).

#3: Cutting the pool noodle

With a serrated knife, cut up your pool noodle. 

You need to use either this type of knife or a bread one to have smooth cuts. 

A sharp straight blade knife can also work, but it might not be as easy. 

Note: I don’t recommend you to use scissors when cutting pool noodles. However, it can be used for trimming instead.

Moreover, cut up the pool noodle into smaller pieces that are 2-4 in (5.08-10.16 cm) thick. 

Be sure that you cut enough pieces to fill the length of your string or collar. 

Others would just cut the pool noodle in half and thread a string through it. 

And although this method also works, it won’t work for all dogs. 

It’s because Fidos have different neck sizes. 

So it would be better, to cut the pool noodles into sections to fit them better for all types of doggie necks. 

Not to mention that the number of pieces you’ll need will depend on the thickness of your Fido’s neck.

#4: Looping the pool noodle through the string

Loop the pool noodles through the string you’ve cut earlier. 

Ensure that you space them out as well. 

Don’t crowd the pool noodles in one place or it won’t be as effective. 

Add the pieces until you have a full necklace of pool noodles (it should look like a beaded necklace). 

Leave out a space to tie both ends of the string. 

If you used a collar, you can just buckle it up after putting all the pool noodle pieces. 

Others would use a longer string so they can loop it back through every noodle piece. 

This would make the pool noodle section stay in its place. 

#5: Wear the collar to your pooch

Secure the collar around your Fido’s neck by tying the ends of the string or twine you used. 

You should also cut off the excess string or twine to make it look better. 

Furthermore, make sure that the collar fits your pooch perfectly. 

Fortunately, there’s a good rule of thumb you can follow to check if a collar fits your doggo. 

If 2 fingers can fit between the spot where the collar is tied up (or where the buckle is), then it’s a good fit.

Aside from that, observe your pooch and how they react to the pool noodle collar attached to their neck. 

They shouldn’t be able to bend their neck around while wearing this collar. 

Which will also make it impossible for them to lick their wounds.

More tips:

Pool noodles have different sizes and each size has a different thickness. 

It would be better to use a thinner pool noodle for small dog breeds and a thicker pool noodle for larger breeds. 

Here are the standard pool noodle sizes with thickness measurements:

Pool Noodle SizeDiameter (Thickness)
Small2 – 2.5 in (5.08 – 6.35cm)
Medium3 – 4 in (7.62 – 10.16 cm)
Jumbo5 in (12. 7 cm)
Mega Jumbo> 5 in (12. 7 cm)

Although a pool noodle is more comfortable than a dog cone, it doesn’t mean that your Fido will like wearing it.

They’ll still try to get it off.  So don’t fall for any puppy eyes they might throw your way. 

You should only remove their collar when their wound is completely healed.

Furthermore, the pool noodle collar might allow most pups to eat normally. 

But that’s not the case for some doggos, especially those with short necks or faces. 

Dog With Short Neck

Examples of these pooches are:

  • Pugs.
  • Bulldogs.
  • Pekingese.
  • Boston Terriers.
  • French Bulldogs.

If your pup has a short neck or face, you can remove the collar during mealtime. 

However, keep an eye on your Fido as they eat. 

So that you can make sure that they’re not licking their wounds. 

After they’re done eating, put the collar back on immediately. 

Another tip is to use a shallow bowl instead of a deep bowl when feeding your injured dog. 

This will make it easier for them to eat whole having the collar on. 

Aside from that, you should expect that it’ll be messy every time your pooch would try to eat with the collar on. 

That’s why always be ready for cleaning up their mess. 

People also ask:

Do pool noodle dog collars work?

Pool noodle dog collars work as an alternative to the Elizabethan collar.

To be precise, it’s a more comfortable and inexpensive dog cone replacement.

What’s more, you don’t need any advanced DIY skills to make one.

And the materials can be easily found in your home.

More importantly, it would only take less than 10 minutes to create as you can see in this video:

However, it won’t work for all Fidos.

Some pooches who are too flexible can still reach and lick their wounds even with the collar on. 

There are also those that have very long tongues and can lick their way to their wounds. 

Plus, a pool noodle isn’t the most durable material. 

So if you have an aggressive chewer with you, then the pool noodle dog collar might not have a chance. It won’t hold up for too long. 

Instead, it will become a choking hazard for your pooch.

In this scenario, it would be better to use the regular dog cone or find other alternatives. 

Something that’s harder than a pool noodle dog collar.

What can I use instead of a dog cone?

Instead of a dog cone, you can use commercial alternatives, DIY hacks, or other methods. 

Commercial alternatives

One famous dog cone replacement is an inflatable collar.

It’s also known as the donut collar because of its shape. 

And it’s made up of an inflatable core and chew-resistant material. 

Moreover, it’s also easy to attach since you just strap it around your doggo’s neck via velcro. 

This type of e-collar is one of the most commonly used replacements for a dog cone.

However, it’s not very effective in keeping Fido’s from licking their wounds. 

Many complained that their pooch can still reach their paws while wearing the collar.

You also have the cloth cone aka the “soft cone” which is like a regular Elizabethan collar.

The only difference is that a cloth cone is made out of fabric. 

So it’s not as uncomfortable as the typical dog cone. 

But some soft cones collapse easily. Hence, it’s not that effective in serving its purpose.  

Next, we have bite-not collars.

This collar looks like a neck brace for dogs. 

It’s very effective in preventing pooches from bending their necks. 

As a result, it also prevents them from licking their wounds. 

Unfortunately, bite-not collars aren’t the best choice for thick-necked Fidos like bulldogs. 

Neither is it recommended for long-haired breeds like Bearded Collies.

Aside from collars, some fur parents also use belly bands instead of dog cones.

Yet vets discourage its use as an e-collar alternative.

According to PetMD, belly bands should only be used by a veterinarian to contain the bleeding.

Furthermore, a store-bought belly band would only trap moisture around the surgical site.

DIY dog e-collars

Most of the commercial dog cone alternatives are more expensive than a regular dog cone. 

That’s why there are also fur parents who prefer to use DIY dog e-collars. 

An example of this is the pool noodle dog collar. 

But what other materials can be turned into a cone of shame replacement?

Here’s what I found about DYI dog e-collars:

Cardboard e-collar

It’s much like a dog cone, but it’s made out of cardboard. 


  • Affordable.
  • Easy to find.
  • Works like a dog cone.


  • Not durable.
  • Not that comfortable.
Bucket/Pail e-collar

It has the same properties as a plastic dog cone. 


  • Durable.
  • Affordable. 
  • Works like a dog cone.


  • Time-consuming.
  • Hard to construct.
  • Can be dangerous if not well-constructed.
Pantyhose e-collar

It’s an e-collar that’s made out of thigh-high, stockings, pantyhose, or tights.


  • Made out of soft materials.
  • Easier for drinking and eating.


  • Not durable.
  • Can be a choking hazard.

You might also like: 5 DIY Dog Food Storage Container (Ideas)

Other methods

The main purpose of an Elizabethan collar is to prevent your Fido from licking their wounds.

And most vets prefer the use of dog cones rather than their alternatives.

In fact, a study about canine Acral Lick Dermatitis (ACL) mentions the cone of shame as one of its treatments.

ACL is a skin condition of Fidos caused by their constant licking. 

But AKC also suggests these methods that can stop your pup from licking their wounds:

  • Asking your vet for an antiseptic spray.
  • Putting a T-shirt on your doggo to cover a wound. 
  • Placing a paw bandage or a modified dog sock on an injured paw (for those with paw injury only).

Whatever method you choose, the important thing is that your Fido’s wounds won’t get worse.