2 Ways to Make Pool Noodle Dog Collar

A pool noodle dog collar may sound funny, but there’s a practical purpose for these silly-looking DIY collars. Keep reading to learn why you might want to make one of these collars and how to do it!

pool noodle dog collar
2 Ways to Make Pool Noodle Dog Collar

What Is a Pool Noodle Collar?

A pool noodle dog collar is an alternative to those plastic cones that dogs have to wear to prevent them from licking or scratching an area trying to heal, either from surgery, a wound or an infection. 

Pool noodle collars are a DIY collar you can make, so your dog doesn’t have to wear the hard, plastic cone. 

Benefits of a Pool Noodle Dog Collar

Below are the benefits of making your dog a pool noodle collar instead of making them wear the dreaded cone. 

Less Itchy

Cone collars can cause skin irritation because the hard plastic digs into their skin when they try to turn their head or lay down. But the pool noodle is soft and cushioned, so it won’t cause any skin irritation

why does my dog scratch his face
Why does my dog scratch his face?


Pool noodles cost less than five dollars, while cone collars and alternatives can be $30+. So this is an affordable choice to keep your dog healthy and safe. 


It’s a pool noodle, therefore super lightweight. Cones can be heavy and uncomfortable for your dog to carry around on its head all day. 

pool noodle and kids
Pool noodle is a lightweight material that can be used for your DIY dog collar.


The flexibility of the squishy pool noodle pieces makes it easier for your dog to lay down, lay on their side, lay on their back, and be more comfortable overall. 

How to Make a Pool Noodle Dog Collar?

Making your dog a pool noodle dog collar is easy and can be fun if you like arts and crafts!

What You’ll Need?

Before you make the pool noodle dog collar for your little pup, collect the following materials:

  • Tape measure
  • Pool noodle
  • Serrated knife or scissors (knife is better)
  • Piece of string, twine, or an extra dog collar (an extra collar is ideal)
pool noodles different colors
Pool noodle dog collar is a good alternative instead of using plastic dog cone collars.

Method 1: Many Pieces

This first method is the more common choice but requires a bit more effort. Below are the instructions to make a pool noodle dog collar with a few small pieces of a pool noodle. 

  1. Cut the pool noodle into five to seven pieces about three inches wide. You can cut a few extra pieces just in case. The larger your dog, the thicker the pieces will be, and the more you will need. But if you have a smaller dog, you can cut pieces about an inch wide, and you may only need a few.
  2. Next, measure your dog’s neck using the tape measure if using string or twine. Whatever the circumference of your dog’s neck is, add two to three inches. Cut the string or twine to this length. 
  3. Now, string the collar or twine through the pool noodle pieces, just like making a beaded necklace! The pieces should touch each other but not be squished together tightly. 
  4. Now it’s time to try it on your dog! Either buckle the collar on your dog or tie the twine, so it’s snug but not too tight. You should be able to slip two fingers comfortably between your dog’s neck and the string. 
  5. Your dog should not be able to turn around to lick its wounds. If it can, you may need to add more pool noodle pieces. If they can’t move their neck, you may want to remove one or two pieces to make them more comfortable
  6. If you used string, cut off the excess where you tied a knot. And then your dog should be all set to comfortably relax and meander without itching or licking what they shouldn’t!

It’s ideal to use an extra collar so you can reuse the pool noodle collar if needed, and this process takes less effort. Plus, a color will more comfortably fit your dog’s neck than a piece of string or twine. 

Method 2: One Piece

The second method requires a little less effort but the same materials. Once you gather your materials, follow the easy instructions below to make a pool noodle dog collar out of one piece. 

  1. Measure your dog’s neck, and then add three or four inches
  2. Cut one long piece of a pool noodle to that length. 
  3. Place the string or extra dog collar through this piece of the pool noodle.
  4. Try it on your dog’s neck and make adjustments if needed. 
  5. Tie the string or buckle the collar and ensure your dog can’t scratch or lick where it shouldn’t.
  6. Cut any extra string or twine, and then you’re all set!

Making this pool noodle collar is much easier than the first method but isn’t as flexible for your dog. But if you have a dog determined to chew on its collar or itch and lick areas that it shouldn’t, it’s a great solution. 

Method two is not recommended for ‘no-neck’ dogs, as they may be able to slip out of it too easily. No-neck dogs still have a neck, but the same width as their head, so they wriggle out easily. 


Below are some tips to keep in mind when making the pool noodle dog collar. 

Pool Noodle Sizes

When choosing the right pool noodle to make the collar, your dog’s size is the most important factor. For smaller dogs, get a smaller noodle. And for large dogs, a thicker noodle is necessary.

Most dogs need a medium or large noodles. 

Below are the thicknesses of pool noodle sizes:

Small: 2-2.5 inches thick

Medium: 3-4 inches thick

Large: 5 inches thick

Jumbo: 5+ inches thick

Dog’s Condition

Is it an ear infection? Is it a problem with their paws? Did they just get spayed or neutered? Consider what area you need your dog to avoid and make sure the collar functions correctly. 

puppy ears check up
Puppy ears check by a vet.


If you have an aggressive chewer and you’re worried they’ll sink their teeth into the collar and tear it apart, there is a solution.

Find a fabric that can cover the pool noodle pieces and then duct tape it to the string or collar. If you want to be fancy, you can sew the fabric around the pool noodle pieces, but not necessary. 

This fabric trick will work with both pool noodle collars, whether you use several pieces or one big piece. 

grinning Jack Russell
Jack Russell being aggressive by showing teeth.

Which Option Is Better?

For more relaxed dogs with larger heads and thinner necks, the first option is best. It will stay on, be comfortable, and prevent them from twisting toward their body. 

But the second option is ideal for aggressive dogs who will want to get out of their collar or chew it apart. And for dogs with small heads or extra thick necks, this one is less likely to slip off them. 

So both options are excellent; it just depends on the build and temperament of your dog. 

Other Alternatives to the Cone

If you don’t want to put your sweet dog in those awful plastic cone collars, but also don’t want to make a pool noodle collar, there are some excellent alternatives where you and your dog will be happy!

Fabric Cones

If your dog still needs the cone shape to prevent them from licking wounds or scratching an infected area, there’s a better option than that hard, cold plastic of traditional dog cones. You can get your dog a fabric cone collar, allowing them to lay down more comfortably. 

The fabric collars are often more lightweight and won’t dig into your dog’s neck, causing them pain or discomfort. These fabric cones are ideal for ear infections and other temporary puppy problems

dog with fabric cone
A Boston Terrier wears a fabric cone to prevent licking skin irritated parts of the body.

Inflatable Collars

Inflatable collars look just like airplane neck pillows. They’re thick and soft and work very similarly to the pool noodle collar. The collar is too thick for them to turn their head around. 

But because the collar is so soft they can still lay down comfortably. But if they’re determined enough, they may be able to scratch their ears still, but unlikely. 

Recovery Clothing

Recovery clothing is like onesies for dogs! They can look like a baby onesie or a doggy jumpsuit, and they’re a great way to prevent your dog from licking or scratching its belly. Recovery clothing only works if the area they need to leave alone is under the clothing. 

But if it’s a different part they need to steer clear from, like their ears or paws, this is not a suitable alternative to the cone. 

Beagle lying on the floor
A Beagle wears onesies to prevent the diaper from coming off.

Final Note

Can you imagine wearing a hard, plastic cone on your head all day for days on end? So why make your dog do it? Even if you don’t make the funky pool noodle collar, consider one of the more comfortable alternatives, so your dog doesn’t have to suffer.