Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thundershirt Review

Homer In His Thundershirt

Last year, I heard about dog clothing to help relieve separation anxiety in dogs. Last week, my mom saw a dog wearing one at a local festival. Homer was left alone quite a bit as a puppy and goes through a huge case of separation anxiety everytime he's without humans.

I was curious about the Thundershirt, and contacted the company to learn more. Thundershirt sent me a complimentary shirt for review, for which I am very appreciative.

Its Purpose

There are many dogs who get anxious because of thunderstorms or just being left alone. While Homer took thunderstorms in stride, leaving him alone in the house was very traumatic. He would destructively chew items like paper, books or shoes. When someone in our house would come home, he would run around and cry loudly because he was so happy to have company again. He was always in an altered state.

The purpose of the Thundershirt is to have a swaddling effect that counteracts the anxiety in a dog. It gives the dog extra security the same way swaddling gives a baby.

A Closer Look

The Thundershirt at first glance came in a package with an in-depth information packet which was very useful. The shirt itself is a cotton/lycra combination. It fastens around the neck with velcro as well as around the body of the dog. You want it to have a smooth fit and make it tight enough to produce a swaddling effect.

Testing It Out

The first time I put the Thundershirt on him, he was up for it. I was in a rush but was able to put it on Homer very quickly. He was a sport, and I was able to put him downstairs while I was out. Sure enough, he was calmer when my mom came home.

The second time I tried this out, Homer was upstairs. I put it on him again. I had put all three dogs in the basement. When I came home, Homer's reaction was more subdued. He wasn't running all over the house and his welcoming cries were a little less loud. One mistake I made was letting him outside while he was still wearing his Thundershirt. He wound up rolling in the snow to try to get it off.

The third time I put on the Thundershirt, Homer was receptive to it. Usually when I put something on him he gets nervous and will act up. This time, he knew what it was and let me do it. When it came time to put him in his usual spot, he went along without the fuss. When I came home a few hours later, he didn't feel the need to rush around like a banshee. He was excited but was calmer than without it.


I recommend the Thundershirt if you have a dog who suffers from anxiety. It's a smart solution because there is no medication needed and it gives the dog the extra security they need. It's priced at $36.00USD which isn't much considering there are other dog clothes that cost much more.

Where To Find It

You can find this shirt at the website.

Let's Discuss!

Does your dog suffer from anxiety? What methods do you use to help relieve anxiety?

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Anxiety Under Pressure


  1. I'm really curious about the psychology behind this, in light of the baby swaddling analogy. has the research behind the Thundershirt ever been published, like in a peer-reviewed journal or on the manufacturer's Web site?

  2. Actually Thundershirt has an article about this here. Also you can find additional research here at this website.
    Thank you for your comments.

  3. I didn't believe all the hype, but I'm really astonished, yes astonished I said, this thing is amazing, but it scared me becuz I just don't get it, it has like magical powers or what for example my dog has been with us 3 weeks and I'm housewife with no kids yet, so basically my pup is with me alomst 24/7 for the last 3 weeks, sleeps with me and goes i the car with me etc...Yeah, I know...., creating a monster, but anyhow, my anytime I get up off the couch, he follows and so my hubby and I needed some alone time ya know? So he was scratching the door, howling, crying, whining like the end of the world was coming, I threw o the thundershirt and put him on the couch and he toppled over like he was doped up and fell out asleep, I was sure he'd still follow me back into the bedroom as I lwalked away as always and nope, he watched me keep walking leaving him all alone and didn't even look at me twice, then 20 minutes later I was like holy crap no scratching, crying or howline, I go check on him his still in the same spot, the part that scared me is, I pick him up, since he had been laying down and stood him up as he'd normally stand and he did not even TRY to remain standing and just let himself go limp, like he was unable to even try to stay up, now is that extreme relaxation or how is this happening...I never seen a dog just go limp in the legs and kinda roll over and fall asleep and yes it only happens when he has the thundershirt on and No its not hurting him or cutting off and blood, its by his choice becuz if he didn't like the feeling of it or it was bothering him, he'd could still whine, or show some discomfort, but it like the opposite he's just limp with extreme relaxation and falls out...Has this extreme happened to anyone else's dog and is this like good or too much???

  4. It probably givs your pooch the extra reassurance that he needs. It is a extreme reactuion but as long as he's himself I guess that's ok. My dog Homer still gets a little anxious by trying to chew through the baby gates we have to get into the livingroom, so I guess that it affects all dogs differently.



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