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Thundershirt Calms Dogs with Fear and Anxiety

Thundershirt Calms Dogs with Fear and Anxiety


My daughter and I craned our necks out of the car window yesterday to see a double rainbow as we drove along the puddle-filled streets of our sleepy New England community.  In the wake of mild thunderstorm we were having a wonderful time, yet I couldn’t help wondering how many of the homes we passed contained a quivering dog.

The truth is that for every one of us who loves a good storm, there’s at least one who fears it.  And when it comes to the canine community, a good clang in the clouds can feel like a gun shot.

I recently received a follow-up email from a woman whose recently rescued puppy mill dog Abby had never been sheltered from a storm.  For her entire life as a breeding mom, Abby and her puppies had seen them head on through the bars of the cage.  And even now in the safety of her new home, the sounds would send her spinning.  But thanks to a relatively new product called the Thundershirt, her fear is beginning to subside.

Abby actually wears her shirt quite often as a method of calming her overall anxiety, not just during thunderstorms. (Sweet Photo of Abby in her Thundershirt). The snuggly fitted shirt has an effect similar to the swaddling of a new born baby, and pet parents are raving about the impact it’s having on their dogs.

Separation anxiety, fear of fireworks and overall nervousness are all coming under control with the use of this new pet care tool. During an age when many veterinarians are pushing Prozac and other drugs to ‘calm’ dogs in emotional distress, it’s exciting to see such promising results from a more natural alternative. The shirt runs about $40 and comes in an array of colors.

More Natural Pet Calming Tips?

What do you think?  Do you have any techniques that are successful in calming fearful pets?  Any natural products that work for you?  What about suggestions for cats, birds, bunnies and other species who may also need help?


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11:00PM PST on Jan 31, 2012

I'm a professional trainer and registered nurse and highly recommend the Anxiety Wrap, the original patented pressure wrap designed for dogs and cats by Susan Sharpe, CPDT. The Anxiety Wrap was recently studied by veterinarian, Dr. Nicholas Dodman at the prestigious Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine and found to be 89% effective in reducing anxiety in thunderstorm phobic dogs. I have found the Anxiety Wrap to be 100% effective in reducing general and separation anxiety in the dogs I have used it on in my own practice. The unique, patented design of the Anxiety Wrap works by applying pressure to acupressure points in the neck, shoulder and chest area, belly, mid-section and hind legs. Elastic and adjustable elements provide an optimal fit, and the Anxiety Wrap provides more maintained pressure than similar products on the market. I use the Anxiety Wrap along with behavior modification and have found it to be reliably effective at reducing anxiety as evidenced by behavioral calm. More information about the Anxiety Wrap can be found on the Anxiety Wrap website:

10:53AM PDT on Oct 19, 2011

I have a puppymill breeder dog who was rescued 3 yrs ago this month. She has severe separation anxiety & doesn't like loud noises. I tried doggie prozac the first 4 months I had her, didn't work; tried all the natural remedies, including Rescue Remedy, don't work. I bought the thundershirt recently. While she is not totally cured, it has made a big difference. She used to bark hysterically nonstop when left alone, no matter how many hours I was gone. Now she barks, but not for hours, not hysterically. Didn't get her til I retired & she is not left alone for long periods or often. and they have a moneyback guarantee if it doesn't work for your dog. (she's a toy poodle)

3:45PM PDT on Oct 18, 2011

I'm glad this shirt is helping little Abby. I know several people who could use one. Sort of a "recession shirt".

7:02AM PDT on Oct 18, 2011

how is this different from other pet "clothing?"

7:04AM PDT on Oct 14, 2011

I'm glad this is helping! great idea

5:48PM PDT on Oct 13, 2011

Swaddling newborns is certainly calming. Kudos to the people who have found out how to use the same type of action to calm our 4-legged friends. My Sheltie will definitely have one!

6:29PM PDT on Oct 12, 2011

My dog wasn't bothered by storms and used to watch the fireworks through the window.I think that it is great to have a non-drug alternative to help animals.

6:16PM PDT on Oct 12, 2011

I'm glad this product works, at least for some dogs.

9:59AM PDT on Oct 11, 2011

what a great idea

9:01AM PDT on Oct 11, 2011

Very interesting!!!

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