“ Brand: Kong / Inflatable dog collar to aid recovery after surgery. „
* Prices may differ from that shown
~~*~~*~~ Kong Cloud Collar ~~*~~*~~
I have two Labradors, Pig & Oink, and not much luck. My vet bills are usually rather large as the girls don't do things by halves - take, as a wee example, the time Pigsy had to have two thirds of her stomach* removed costing a mere £2,316.16 or the time the now deceased Puddle tore a hole in her nose or the time Pigsy cut her foot and needed staples. My point is that on many an occasion I have had to endure the pain of the 'cone of shame'.
~*~ The alternative to the Cloud collar ~*~
The old style lampshade is a contentious item - we, as pet owners, know the purpose and sense behind it, the dog unfortunately, does not. They cost about £15 for a Pig or Oink sized creature so immediately we expect the dog to appreciate the initial layout which is often an unanswered prayer - not only is the collar disrespected, so too is furniture, doorways and human calves as the dog proceeds to career into all of the aforementioned destroying precious family heirlooms and creating suspicious bruises on family members. Not only that, the poor creature finds it difficult to eat, drink and sleep, looses peripheral vision and becomes spooked by the noise of the ruddy thing.
~~*~~ How pretty is the Cloud? ~~*~~
When I lent my Cloud to mother for her Tiffin (another chocolate Labrador with a tiny brain) after her spey, her first words were 'Ooh it's blue'. Colour is important because if we're going to put an inflatable ring around our pooches, we want them to look good and boy, do they ever, in this plush royal blue beauty. It really brings out the colour of Oink's eyes. Anyway, the material is pretty and soft to the touch so it's not abrasive to either the dog or your leather settee. Unfortunately, your dog will still look a pratt - imagine those neck pillow things that inflate for air travel - it's essentially one of those so not particularly pretty, but invariably hilarious. The packaging is quite nice - a plastic box with the trademark red 'Kong' on a white background with a picture of somebody's poor pet wearing the collar - the large one I ordered appropriately had a chocolate lab on the front.
~~*~~ Did it stop Pig snuffling her truffle? ~~*~~
Absolutely. The poor Pigsy was suffering from razor rash, a 4 inch incision, numerous itchy stitches, and later on, a stinking abcess from a cut milk duct. She was unable to reach the area for a good lick or pull on the stitches so I was very happy. In the case of Puddle Permhead (if you know anything about Irish water spaniels, you'll know they're persistant sods with a knack for destroying absolutely anything including a photo frame whilst wearing the collar) she too couldn't reach her belly or lady-foo. However, she was a long legged freak and I suspect that if it had been her with the foot staples, she'd have found a way to chew on them. She tried her best to pop the collar by basically throwing herself at door jambs, scratching at it with all her might and even by trying to pull it over her head with her front paws - that dog may have been bloody clever, but she was no match for the Cloud.
~~*~~ Uncinus Arcus ~~*~~
The collar requires inflating which takes less than a minutes worth of puff and this creates a U-shape. You then thread your dog's collar through the 3 black straps on the inside of the 'U', then reattach your dog's collar to your poor dog. There is then a strap of Velcro to convert the U to an O thus creating a perfect circle around your now bewildered pet's neck. That's it. You sit down with a brew and a camera and let the world know through the miracle of facebook that your dog is in recovery. If the collar is too tight either loosen the Velcro fastening or reduce the air a little - the collar will need re-inflating to its full potential after 8 ish hours. As long as the dog's collar is a good fit and unable to be pulled over your dog's head, you can be pretty certain that the inflatable collar can't come off either. Once your dog is healthy and happy, the outer material of the collar can be removed and machine-washed ready for the next accident.
~*~ To catch a Cloud ~*~
My vet had these collars at £19.99 but I got Pigsy's online for £14ish - pet planet have them on offer at the time of this review at £7.79 for small. The advice given by Kong is to go larger rather than smaller if you're unsure of the size appropriate for your pooch but they do try and give you an idea of the size of collar according to breed.
The Kong website had no real detail on the Cloud but here are Kong's details if you're interested:
Kong Company Ltd,
PO Box 7253,
Like all of the Kong products I've been fortunate to sample over the years, this is a keeper. £14 has lasted for over 2 years whereas we'd have gone through many a lampshade in this time. The girls are able to eat, drink and sleep at their leisure in this collar and they don't bump into the world wearing it - mostly because they have peripheral vision. The pros of this collar over the traditional are numerous and the fact that none of my girls have been able to exacerbate their many injuries is testament to the product. Although it may have worked for me, I would watch a new dog in this collar for the first few hours just to check it fits properly.
Thanks for reading.
Review will most definitely appear elsewhere.
Me, Pig & Oink
*Pig threw up for a week, finally stopped eating on the 8th day which for a Labrador means imminent death. She stayed at the vets overnight and they rang in the morning to say she'd eaten brekkie and could go home. By midday, they'd opened her up to discover a massive hole in her stomach which grew each time they tried to stitch her as the tissue was necrotic (they took photos as they couldn't believe the heifer had eaten her breakfast with her stomach in that condition). Eventually Piggly was sewn back up with a very poor prognosis and I was allowed in to say 'bye' - even the vet stayed overnight with her and rang me at 3am to say she was still alive. 2 days later the Pig was allowed home and to be fed a teaspoon of very very very expensive canned mush food each hour. After two weeks she was back to normal and eating like a Pig. 8 weeks later she won 7th place in an agility competition - Labradors are fricking ace!