Dog Care Tips

Thundershirt Dog Anxiety Treatment | Do ThunderShirts Really Work?

If you have an anxious dog, you’ve probably heard about the ThunderShirt. It’s a wrap-style vest that’s been around since 2009 and has become really popular. But the big question is, does it actually work? In our ThunderShirt review, we take a close look at this product to see if it really does help calm down nervous dogs in stressful situations.

Thundershirt’s Impact on Dog Anxiety

We decided to try the Thundershirt on our Welsh Corgi, and we were pleasantly surprised by the results. Our corgi became noticeably quieter and appeared less anxious while wearing it. Although many users commonly report this positive outcome, it’s worth noting that the Thundershirt may have a different effect on some dogs. Some dogs may need to use it multiple times before experiencing the desired results. Overall, we recommend the Thundershirt as an affordable and drug-free option when your dog is anxious. It’s worth considering as a first step in helping your furry friend during stressful moments.

What is a Thundershirt?

Thundershirt Dog Anxiety Treatment

Thundershirt is an innovative and highly effective pressure wrap designed to alleviate dogs’ anxiety, fear, and overexcitement. Similar to swaddling an infant, Thundershirt’s patented design applies gentle and constant pressure, providing a calming effect. It has been proven successful in calming millions of dogs, with an impressive 80% success rate. Whether during fireworks, thunderstorms, separation anxiety, travel, vet visits, or other stressful situations, Thundershirt offers a drug-free solution without training. Thousands of veterinarians and trainers widely recommend it, and renowned behavior scientists like Dr. Temple Grandin have scientifically studied it. Each ThunderShirt style is lightweight, machine-washable, and suitable for dogs of all ages. Your dog’s comfort is ensured with its soft and breathable fabric.

Size

ThunderShirt SizeWeightChestBreeds (example)
XX-Small< 8 lbs9″-13″Chihuahua, Pomeranian, Terrier
X-Small8-14 lbs13″-17″Cairn Terrier, Mini Dachshund, Border Terrier
Small15-25 lbs17″-21″Beagle Dachshund, Pug, Boston Terrier
Medium26-40 lbs21-25″Whippet, Pinscher, Schnauzer
Large41-64 lbs25″-30″Basset Hound, Bulldog, Small Labrador
Extra Large65-109 lbs30″-37″Large Labrador, Boxer, Doberman, German Shepherd
Extra Extra Large110+ lbs37-50″Great Dane, Newfoundland, Mastiff

Discover the perfect fit for your furry friend with ThunderShirt’s range of sizes tailored to meet the needs of various breeds and weights. From the tiny XX-Small size, ideal for pint-sized pups like Chihuahuas and Pomeranians, to the mighty Extra Extra Large size, suited for majestic breeds such as Great Danes and Mastiffs, ThunderShirt has got your dog covered. Each size corresponds to specific weight ranges and chest measurements, ensuring a snug and comfortable fit. So, whether you have a little Terrier or a big-hearted Labrador, ThunderShirt offers a calming solution to help soothe their anxiety and bring them the peace they deserve.

Styles

While some may question having multiple styles for anxiety wraps, ThunderShirt goes above and beyond by offering a diverse range of options to suit individual preferences. Their collection includes the classic, polo, sport, and even the ThunderCoat—a fashionable outer layer that seamlessly complements your dog’s ThunderShirt. Despite each style serving the same purpose, it’s important to note that ThunderShirt ensures a consistent approach to anxiety relief. However, they also understand the importance of personal taste, offering a variety of styles, colors, and materials. Notably, the ThunderShirt Sport even incorporates a distinct fabric, providing an additional choice for those seeking a unique touch.

Materials

ThunderShirt offers a diverse selection of anxiety jackets crafted from carefully chosen materials. The ThunderShirt Classic and Polo styles are expertly constructed from a blend of polyester, rayon, and spandex, ensuring a comfortable and flexible fit. On the other hand, the ThunderShirt Sport boasts a composition of 100% polyester, providing a sleek and durable option for active pups. Regardless of your style, all ThunderShirt anxiety jackets share features, such as being lightweight, breathable, and conveniently machine washable. When it comes to cleaning your ThunderShirt, it’s recommended to opt for a cold water wash using a standard laundry detergent. Remember to hang the ThunderShirt to dry for optimal care, avoiding the tumble dryer to preserve its quality and longevity.

How ThunderShirt Calms Dogs in Stressful Situations?

When it comes to calming dogs in stressful situations, ThunderShirt has emerged as a trusted solution, recommended by veterinarians¹. ThunderShirt mimics the soothing effect of swaddling an infant or a comforting hug by applying gentle, constant pressure to your dog’s torso. This unique approach aims to help your furry companion feel more at ease and relaxed. ThunderShirt’s safety, ease of use, and drug-free nature make it even more appealing. With no training required, all you have to do is put the ThunderShirt on your dog and let its calming properties work their magic. Discover how ThunderShirt can provide comfort and tranquility for your beloved canine companion.

Thunderstorms

During thunderstorms, many dogs experience intense fear and anxiety. Thankfully, ThunderShirt provides a helpful solution. By wearing a ThunderShirt, dogs may experience a reduction in anxious behaviors such as panting, drooling, and shaking. However, if your dog still feels nervous during storms, there are additional steps you can take to create a sense of security. Closing the blinds and leaving their crate or kennel open, with a cozy blanket inside, can make a dark and comforting “safe space” for them. It’s worth noting that some dogs may also be frightened by the flashing lightning of a storm, so providing a calm and secure environment is crucial for their well-being.

Fireworks

Fireworks can be a source of immense stress for our furry friends, especially during occasions like the 4th of July. However, ThunderShirt has proven to be a valuable ally in keeping dogs calmer during this holiday. To ensure their safety, keeping your dog indoors during fireworks displays is crucial, as the loud noises can easily frighten them and lead them to run away. Equipping your dog with a collar that has updated contact information and the comforting embrace of a ThunderShirt can help them stay safe and calm during fireworks and other loud noises throughout the year. With ThunderShirt, you can give your dog the peace of mind they need during these stressful times.

Traveling

Traveling with your dog can be a more enjoyable experience with the help of ThunderShirt! Using ThunderShirt during car rides can make your furry friend feel more comfortable and at ease. Some dogs may associate car rides with visits to the vet, which can trigger anxiety. To help them overcome this association, you can take them on short and fun trips in the car to disassociate them from negative emotions. However, if your dog still experiences stress, you can combine the calming effects of ThunderShirt with the ThunderEase Spray for an added boost of relaxation. With ThunderShirt, you can transform travel time into a more peaceful and pleasant journey for both you and your dog.

Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety has become a significant concern, especially in recent times. It’s impossible for us to be home with our dogs all the time, but ThunderShirt offers a wonderful solution to help ease their anxiety when we are away. Whether you’re returning to the office or need to be away, ThunderShirt provides a comforting option for your dog. With ThunderShirt, you can have peace of mind knowing that your furry friend is being soothed and comforted even when you’re not there.

Who Can Experience the Benefits of a Thundershirt?

Although the name “Thundershirt” might imply a specific focus on thunderstorm-related anxiety in dogs, its utility extends far beyond that. Thundershirts have proven to be invaluable for various scenarios, including soothing dogs during fireworks displays, calming them during vet visits, alleviating stress during car rides, providing comfort during air travel, and addressing separation anxiety. Whether a dog is fearful, anxious, or easily overexcited, the gentle and consistent pressure exerted by a Thundershirt can bring remarkable benefits for their well-being.

When properly fitted, a ThunderShirt is designed to offer long-lasting comfort, allowing your dog to wear it for extended periods without experiencing any discomfort. The lightweight and breathable fabric used in its construction significantly minimizes the risk of overheating, ensuring your dog’s well-being throughout the duration of wear.

To guarantee your dog’s utmost comfort, it’s important to conduct a careful check when initially leaving them in a ThunderShirt for an extended period. Periodically removing the anxiety jacket and examining your dog’s skin for any signs of irritation is crucial. While instances of irritation are rare, they can occur with prolonged use. It’s particularly essential for male dogs to ensure that the straps do not cover or exert pressure on the genital area, as this can also lead to discomfort or irritation. By attentively monitoring your dog’s comfort and ensuring a proper fit, you can confidently provide them with the benefits of a ThunderShirt for an extended duration.

Expert Opinions: The ThunderShirt’s Efficacy and Potential Benefits

Renowned author, esteemed animal behaviorist, and respected professor of animal science, Dr. Temple Grandin stands as a strong advocate for the effectiveness of anxiety jackets like the ThunderShirt. Drawing upon her extensive expertise, Dr. Grandin asserts that the gentle and constant pressure exerted by these jackets can profoundly calm a dog’s nervous system, leading to a notable reduction in anxiety levels.

While opinions among veterinarians and animal experts may vary, a prevailing consensus emerges regarding the ThunderShirt’s potential benefits. Many professionals maintain that, in some instances, the ThunderShirt may offer relief while also emphasizing that it is unlikely to cause any harm. However, it remains uncertain whether the pressure wrap genuinely induces a deeper state of calm in dogs or modifies their response to stressors. Nonetheless, the positive experiences reported by numerous trainers, veterinarians, and behavioral specialists continue to underscore the potential value of utilizing a ThunderShirt as a complementary approach to address canine anxiety.

Does the ThunderShirt Work?

Unlocking the Potential: Assessing the Effectiveness of the ThunderShirt

Customer surveys involving a vast sample of over 2,000 ThunderShirt users have provided compelling evidence, showcasing the product’s efficacy in reducing anxiety-related symptoms in over 80% of cases. While individual results may vary, these findings indicate that the ThunderShirt holds promise as a valuable tool to alleviate anxiety in dogs, making it undoubtedly worth considering for your furry companion.

The versatility of the ThunderShirt shines through as it has proven successful in addressing various types of anxiety and behavioral issues. From reactive canines and dogs with noise phobias to general anxiety, aversion to car rides, and separation anxiety, this anxiety jacket has garnered positive outcomes across various conditions. However, it is essential to note that the ThunderShirt may not yield the desired results if a dog’s underlying issues are under-exercised, under-stimulated, or experiencing severe anxiety.

Our own experience with the ThunderShirt further affirms its effectiveness. During our trials with our test dog, Callie, we observed a noticeable reduction in her vocalization and stress levels when exposed to new environments. As a result, we continue to rely on the ThunderShirt as a reliable companion during our travels and on days when Callie is likely to encounter heightened environmental stimulation. The ThunderShirt has proven itself as a tool worthy of consideration, backed by both customer feedback and our positive encounters with its potential.

Conclusion

The ThunderShirt has garnered widespread recognition and support from experts, trainers, veterinarians, and dog owners. Its gentle and constant pressure design is believed to have a calming effect on a dog’s nervous system, potentially reducing anxiety and stress. While individual results may vary, surveys indicate that most ThunderShirt users have reported positive outcomes in managing canine anxiety. Whether addressing reactive behavior, noise phobias, general anxiety, car rides, or separation anxiety, the ThunderShirt has showcased its versatility in tackling various issues. While it may not be a solution for all dogs, it remains a tool worth considering for pet owners seeking a non-invasive, drug-free approach to alleviating anxiety. With its promising track record, the ThunderShirt provides hope and relief for many dogs and their devoted caregivers.

Brenda Thompson

Brenda Thompson is an expert in dog behavior with more than a decade of experience who is also passionate about working with cats and birds. Besides contributing pet content to The petdogplanet.com, she's a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant. Brenda received her Bachelor of Science from Colorado College in 2014. She has taken classes on writing and remote animal behavior consulting in addition to classes on how to deal with aggressive dogs and problems with litter boxes. In 2016, she got her dog behavior consulting certification and joined the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.

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