If you have a dog who’s prone to anxiety, then the Thundershirt may just be the perfect solution for you.
There’s no denying the wide range of triggers that can upset an anxious or nervous dog, but no matter whether it’s fireworks, thunderstorms, knocks at the door, traveling in a car, separation anxiety, or even hyperactivity, then it’s possible that the Thundershirt may be a quick and effective way to provide some real relief to your dog.
In this guide, we’re going to examine a few of the key features that Thundershirts have to offer, and we’ll also learn more from real dog owners who’ve given the product a try. Keeping this in mind, let’s get straight to it.
What Is The Thundershirt And What Does It Do?
The Thundershirt was first created back in 2011, and it has since grown in popularity to be one of the most well-loved modern innovations for any dog owner who’s looking to support their pet during stressful times.
The Thundershirt is a tight-fitting (yet comfortable) piece of dog apparel that’s designed to apply continuous pressure along the chest, stomach, and back of your dog, which helps to keep them feeling relaxed and reassured, particularly during anxiety-provoking situations. The pressure isn’t extreme, but it’s enough to provide some relief.
For many dogs, these situations will involve loud noises such as fireworks and thunderstorms, but the shirt can also help in other scenarios, such as trips to the vet, traveling in the car, or even coping with separation anxiety.
How Does The Thundershirt Work?
The main reason behind the effectiveness of these products is due to the constant pressure they provide, which many animals find surprisingly reassuring and comforting when they’re stressed.
In many ways, it’s comparable to swaddling a baby in a tight wrap. Of course, while swaddling babies isn’t such a popular practice these days, there’s no denying that a similar principle is at work behind the effectiveness of the Thundershirt for dogs.
Importantly, there are several studies which show the potential for these pressure wraps to be useful when keeping a dog (or even a cat, for that matter) calmer and more relaxed during stressful experiences.
#1 – A Wide Range Of Sizes
One of the most vital things you’ll need to get right when buying the Thundershirt will be the sizing. While each shirt does come with a fair amount of adjustability, buying a size that’s either too small or too large will render the design ineffective.
Fortunately, there are 7 different sizes available to choose from, and this means that every common size of dog breed is covered.
The smallest size begins with the XX-Small for animals less than 7 lbs, while the biggest XX-Large size can accommodate dogs over 110 lbs.
Here’s a quick size rundown:
# 2 – Excellent Construction Quality
It’s nice to see that the construction quality of the Thundershirt remains high, so you won’t feel like it isn’t worth the money. The fabric is both durable and washable, and it’s tough enough to survide a wash in the machine on a regular cycle, although it’s best to use cold water and hang it to dry.
The fabric is also lightweight and breathable, so it shouldn’t weigh your dog down or make them feel uncomfortable over time. in fact, you can leave the Thundershirt on your dog for quite some time, with some owners having no issue with leaving it on their dog for up to 10 hours each day.
Of course, it’s best to check every few hours to ensure there’s no irritation if you’re just starting out with the Thundershirt.
The breathability of the construction is also an important thing to consider, as it’s thin and breathable enough to not interfere with your dog’s natural cooling processes. Even if you live in a warmer location, the Thundershirt shouldn’t cause your dog to overheat.
# 3 – Noticeable Stress Reduction
It’s safe to say that the Thundershirt provides noticeable anxiety and stress reduction for most dogs, and many owners are delighted to see how quickly the shirt can provide relief.
So, if you’re concerned about your dog when firework season comes around, or during a particularly scary thunderstorm, or even for general anxiety, then the Thundershirt is a worthy option to consider.
Does The Thundershirt Work For Fireworks & Thunderstorms?
Yes, the Thundershirt is a fantastic way to keep your dog calm and relaxed when loud, unexpected noises are happening. Most dog owners find that it greatly reduces their dog’s desire to run away or feel unnerved during storms or fireworks.
Does The Thundershirt Work For Separation Anxiety?
The separation anxiety issue can be very difficult for many dogs and owners, especially if you work a job that keeps you out of the home for 8 to 10 hours a day, or even more. While it’s always best to ensure your dog has some company and activity in the day, you can certainly use the Thundershirt to help soften the impact of separation anxiety and help to keep your dog calmer and happier whenever they’re unattended in the home.
Does The Thundershirt Work For Car Rides & Traveling?
Many owners find the shirt works tremendously well for dogs who are scared on car journeys, and you may well be surprised at the change of behavior it can elicit. Additionally, it’s great for when you’re taking your dog to the vets as well, which tends to make many otherwise calm dogs more anxious than usual.
What We Like
The main reason why we’re fans of the Thundershirt is the fact that it delivers real, genuine results for many dogs and their owners. Ultimately, this makes it a great option to try before turning to any drug-based anxiety treatments, and it’s also incredibly simple and effective to use.
It’s also worth noting that there’s no special training involved in order for the shirt to work either. All you need to do is put the shirt on your dog, and it should provide instant relief in the majority of cases.
- It’s a safe, drug-free solution for many dog anxieties caused by loud noises or separation.
- It’s easy to use and most dogs will find it very comfortable.
- The wide range of sizes means it can work for any dog breed.
- There are studies supporting its benefits.
- It provides immediate relief without any training required.
- It’s worked for millions of dogs (and cats), and around 80% of pets seem to experience relief from it.
- It may not work for every dog. (Around 20% of dogs don’t seem to respond well to it).
- If your dog is adamant about not wearing ‘clothing’, it can be a tougher sell to keep your dog happy while wearing it. However, it’s still often worth a try, because the pressure of the shirt may be all it takes to keep your dog happily relaxed anyway.
What Are People Saying?
The reviews for each size of the Thundershirt are generally very positive, with the vast majority of dog owners being happy with the results.
Furthermore, well-respected scientists such as Dr. Temple Grandin have published studies that support the use of pressure wraps for easing canine stress and anxiety, particularly when it comes to reducing heart rate in dogs who are wearing the pressure wrap.
Just as you’d expect, there are some reviews from people who haven’t had as much success with it, so it can be hit or miss for some dog owners.
Although there are many positive write-ups from dog bloggers and professional review websites alike.
Who’s It Best For?
While the Thundershirt can be useful for any dog (just as long as you pick the right size) it’s certainly a fantastic buy if you have a stressed or nervous dog on your hands.
Of course, it’s also good to have for more confident dogs too, even if they’re only stressed around the 4th of July! Ultimately, anything that can help your dog to stay calmer around loud, unexpected noises is a great thing to have, and it’s clear to see that the Thundershirt is one of the best, all-natural and side-effect free options available for calming an anxious or nervy dog.
At the end of the day, it’s easy to see that the Thundershirt is one of the best solutions for keeping an anxious dog calm, and it generally works well for most dog owners who give it a try.
The variety of sizes makes it easy to pick one that’ll work for your pooch, and it’s very quick and easy to put on, while the added adjustability makes it comfortable for your dog without impacting its effectiveness.
Overall, it’s an excellent drug-free way to reassure and calm down an anxious dog, and if you have a particularly nervous pet, then it should be one of the first options to consider.