First Aid for Pets

bandaged face cat in a bag




Making an Elizabethan collar is very easy. Elizabethan collars are best made from a non-brittle plastic. Round fast food containers or margarine tubs can be used for cats and tiny dogs, ice cream containers for small dogs and laundry buckets for large dogs. Plastic flower pots are made in various sizes and make excellent Elizabethan collars.

  • First estimate the size of the Elizabethan collar you will need. Measure the length from just in front of your pet's nose to its collar (on its neck). Loosen the collar until it slips easily over your pet's head then measure the diameter of the collar while it is still fastened.

  • Find a suitable container. The container length can be trimmed down but do this after you try the Elizabethan collar on your pet.
  • Cut the hole for the neck out of the bottom of the container (the same size or slightly larger than your pet's collar diameter).

  • If the cut edge feels sharp cover it with tape.
  • Make small holes about 1 cm back from the cut edge with sharp scissors or a skewer.

  • Thread string or gauze through the holes and loop onto your pet's collar.
  • Place the whole lot over your pet's head and tighten its collar until it won't come off if you try to pull it over your pet's ears.

  • Knot the string on the collar so the Elizabethan collar is securely held onto your pet's collar.
  • Cut the Elizabethan collar's length if necessary. To prevent your pet licking at a wound or removing a bandage the Elizabethan collar needs to extend just past the tip of your pet's nose. Your pet should still be able to eat or drink as when it does the Elizabethan collar hits the ground and it is pushed back up the neck slightly.

  • Where the Elizabethan collar is being used to protect the eyes or the ears the collar doesn't need to be as long.

Commercially made collars are readily available from your veterinarian.


Collars can also be made from x-ray film or flat cardboard (though this won't last long).

  • Cut a large circle out of the film then cut a second hole in the centre of the first. It should be larger than the diameter of your pet's collar.

  • Cut a wedge out of one side. The size of the wedge will determine how conical the Elizabethan collar will become.

  • Overlap the edges and staple them together. Fasten the Elizabethan collar onto your pet's collar as above.

  • Sometimes it is necessary to make birds, rats or mice collars. They can be made from x-ray film as in the above technique. Generally the collars only need to be flared slightly so don't cut a wedge out of the collar but simply cut from the inner and outer circle and overlap. Fit the collar directly on the pet and staple the edges. The collar needs to be tight enough on the neck it won't pull off.


Send mail to Administrator with comments or questions about this site                Fiona Anderson 2001