How The Thundershirt Works For Canine Anxiety<< Back to Pet Health Blog
If you have a dog that has intense anxiety during thunderstorms or other loud, persistent noises, such as fireworks, nearby construction or your neighbor revving their engine every morning and evening, a solution called the Thundershirt may work for you to help your pet overcome their response to these stimuli without the use of medications.
Basically, the Thundershirt is a garment that uses constant, steady pressure to relieve anxiety in dogs as well as cats. It fits over your pet’s chest and torso, much like the way that a life vest would. You put the garment on your dog’s back, wrap the long flap up under your dog’s torso, and the top flap will wrap over your dog’s back and hook onto the long flap to create a full circle around your pet’s chest. It should be snug, but not so tight that your pet cannot breathe easily. As a good rule of thumb, you should always be able to slide your fingers easily between the Thundershirt and your dog’s chest. The last set of flaps will cross and secure just under your pet’s neck. Once properly secured, the Thundershirt helps calm your dog’s anxiety by suppressing your pet’s central nervous system, which becomes overactive in stressful situations.
Eighty percent of dog owners who use the Thundershirt noted marked improvement in their pet’s anxiety level when exposed to thunderstorms or other stress provoking stimuli. One theory as to why a body responds so well to pressure over large areas is that it comes from the distant memory of being in the confines of the womb, a comforting, familiar place where all basic needs were met. The brain associates the compression with security and thereby reduces the heart, respiratory, and metabolic rates. There are even similar garments used for humans with chronic anxiety disorders & Canine Anxiety.
If your dog has intense anxiety provoked by thunderstorms or other loud, persistent noises, for around the $35 to $50, the Thundershirt may very well offer relief for your pet. You can check with your veterinarian’s office to see if they carry this product, or you may order the product online.