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.
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 thundershirt.com website.
Does your dog suffer from anxiety? What methods do you use to help relieve anxiety?
Related PostsScared Dogs
Anxiety Under Pressure