The Purpose of Thundershirts
Anxiety wraps are garments designed like vests that help to calm anxious dogs. The theory behind how the ThunderShirt for dogs works is that when pressure is applied to a dog’s torso, it has a calming effect. It works the same way as swaddling a crying human baby or hugging a person in distress.
Some common brands of anxiety wraps are the ThunderShirt, the Calm Coat, and The Original Anxiety wrap. Please read this piece to find out more about ThunderShirts and how they work. You will also learn how to make a ThunderShirt for your dog at home. Let’s dig in!
What Causes Canine Anxiety?
Several external stimuli can cause anxiety in dogs. Some of the things your dog fears include:
- Loud noises, for example, firecrackers.
- Domestic visitors.
- Nail trimming.
- Car travel.
- Vacuum cleaners.
- Separation from its parents (owners).
These are some of the things in your environment that could cause dog anxiety. It is essential to note that there are many stimuli associated with bad weather. Therefore, it is likely that your furry friend will become anxious when it sees lightning bolts or hear the continuous pounding of rain on the roof.
You should also know that your dog detects changes in barometric pressure and the ozone content in their environment that occurs during storms. Dogs become very nervous if they receive a shock from the buildup of static electricity.
What are the Results of Anxiety in Dogs?
When your dog becomes anxious, it will exhibit certain responses. Some typical results of anxiety are:
- Restlessness and pacing constantly.
- Others become destructive. You will see them pawing the windowsill, door, or floor.
- It might seek the comfort of the owner or hide in the bathroom or closet. You will notice that it prefers to stay in confined places.
- For outside dogs, you might see them scaling the fence or breach the boundary of electric fences.
High anxiety makes your canine friend very miserable, and the results might be dangerous. A dog that breaches set boundaries might get lost or hit by a vehicle.
The results of anxiety might manifest differently for different dogs. Therefore, it is upon the dog parents to be aware and take notice of any of the products discussed in this section.
The Effectiveness of Anxiety Wraps or ThunderShirts for Dogs
Anxiety wraps like the dog ThunderShirt works by distributing pressure over the dog’s back and sides of the chest. As a result, it acts as a calming hug. To be effective, the dog should wear the ThunderShirts properly.
In scientific terms, gentle pressure releases chemicals known as endorphins which enhance a sense of well-being. This explains why you can calm dogs by firmly and slowly stroking them. You can also rev up your canine friend by giving it a tap on the head.
So, are the Anxiety Wraps Effective?
There is little data confirming that anxiety wraps are effective. However, there is plenty of subjective proof that the anxiety wraps help. There are numerous reports from pet parents suggesting decreased noxious stimuli when their dogs put on the vests.
The reports state that the dogs seem less agitated, so the owners get the impression that they have found a remedy to their dog’s anxiety. However, animal behaviorists caution pet parents from misinterpreting the calmness of their furry friends.
The experts argue that your dog might still feel uncomfortable and anxious, but it cannot move because the vest inhibits it. They also warn that while you might manage your dog’s anxiety, you might not address the source of the stress.
As a result, it is advisable to acclimate your dog to a ThunderShirt by letting it wear it occasionally during agreeable times. This will prevent the dog from associating the vest with undesirable occurrences helping it tolerate the vest better.
Having your dog wear the ThunderShirt for dogs continuously might render it ineffective. Therefore, experts advise that you should have your furry friend wear it before a stressful event then remove it after that. So weather forecasts are essential in ensuring the success of the wraps.
Even though there are differing schools of thought on the vest’s effectiveness, they all agree that the vests don’t hurt. It is also critical to note that the vests alone are not sufficient to relieve your pet’s anxiety.
You might need to consult your veterinarian or animal behaviorist because your dog might require anti-anxiety medication and behavioral modification. To effectively help your anxious pup, you might have to take the three-fold approach of using a dog anxiety vest, medicine, and behavioral modification.
What is the Best Approach in Keeping an Anxious Canine Calm?
It is usually challenging for pet owners and the affected pets to handle anxiety. After watching your dog struggle through a thunderstorm, you will be willing to do whatever it takes to help it. Here are essential tips you can use to help your anxious dog:
Be there for your dog
Your dog will panic even more if it is alone. Therefore, it will be best to be by your dog’s side during stressful moments. For instance, be by your pup’s side during nail trims, car rides, fireworks, or when you have household visitors.
You can help it by talking to it and petting it during a stressful moment. It is also understandable if you cannot be there all the time. Therefore, make prior arrangements to take your dog to a doggy daycare if the forecast says there’ll be storms.
Create a calming environment
Have a private spot in your house where your dog can stay when you have visitors. When it rains, take your dog to the most sound-resistant area of your home. Consider an interior room like a closet or bathroom that does not have windows.
You can also sit with your dog if possible or give it its favorite toy. Consider turning on your TV or radio to deflect the outside noise. Another option would be to install a soothing pheromone diffuser in your house.
In case you don’t know, your dog usually responds to your emotional state. Don’t show your furry friend that you are irritated or terrified. Ensure that you are upbeat as you speak to your dog and don’t blow the situation out of proportion.
Your pet looks to you for assurance. However, be careful not to overindulge it with hugs and kisses, which will only reinforce its behavior. It will take some patience, lots of effort, and help from an animal expert to calm the storm.
Also, ensure you get a top-quality ThunderShirt dog anxiety vest. Read the next section for suggestions on some of the top-rated dog ThunderShirts from reputable suppliers.
Thundershirts you can get on Amazon:
Available sizes: XX-Small, X-Small, Small, Medium, Large, X-Large and XX-Large
The gentle hugging from this ThunderShirt helps to calm your furry friend. It is arguably the best ThunderShirt for dogs. The vest applies gentle and constant pressure that usually has dramatic results for dog anxiety. It also helps dogs that are overexcited and fearful.
A study conducted involving over 2000 customers revealed that over 80% of dogs using this vest showed significant improvement in symptoms. Furthermore, many veterinarians and trainers recommend ThunderShirt for keeping your dogs calm in frightening situations.
Why we love it
- It uses a patented design that exerts gentle and continuous pressure to calm your dog from anxiety, overexcitement, and fear.
- It helps calm your dog during frightening situations without requiring much medication or training.
- It is comfortable and easy to put on and off.
- The vest is made of a durable, breathable, and soft fabric that you can wash effortlessly.
- It received a thumbs up from veterinarians and trainers. The vest has over 80% positive reviews from current users.
Color: Blue, Pink
Sizes: X-Small, Small, Medium, Large and X-Large
This calming coat will help you create a stress-free environment for your dog. The coat works by applying gentle and constant pressure that allows your furry friend to feel safe. It also reduces anxiety during high-stress moments like traveling, thunderstorms, and loud noises.
It is an ideal coat for canines that are usually skittish or susceptible to separation anxiety. It has a simple design that features fluffy fastener straps. This makes it easy for you to wrap the coat around your dog’s torso. It is safe, comfortable, and does not require drug interventions.
Why we love it
- It applies tender and regular pressure that helps your dog feel safe and experience less anxiety. It has received plenty of positive reviews from current users.
- It is safe and comfortable to wear and does not require any drug interventions.
- It is effective in relieving stress in your dog during high-stress situations.
- The vest comes with a fluffy fastener that makes it effortless to put it on and off.
- It is made using a machine-washable fabric that is durable and easy to clean.
Size: XX-Small, X-Small, Small, Medium, Large, X-Large and XX-Large
This ThunderShirt will keep your dog relaxed during stressful moments. The shirt is stylish yet functional and significantly reduces stress and anxiety-related behavior in dogs. It is particularly effective for dogs that fear loud noises and suffer from separation anxiety. It is also ideal while traveling.
This ThunderShirt can also be used as part of a treatment program for more complicated anxieties. The shirt is also easy to put on and off. Moreover, it does not interfere with the dog’s movement and breathing.
Why we love it
- The shirt comes with a lightweight, breathable material that is machine washable.
- It wraps around your furry friend giving it gentle and regular pressure.
- It works well for dogs with separation anxiety, thunderstorms, travel, and other stressful situations.
- It also comes with an adjustable strap making it easy to customize to fit your dog perfectly.
- There is no need for medication while using this ThunderShirt for dog anxiety management.
This is a trendy and practical ThunderShirt dog anxiety wrap surrounding your furry friend’s body with continuous and mild pressure. The effect is an outstanding calm on your dog’s nervous system. It does not require additional medicine to work.
The pink polo anti-anxiety shirt works in different situations that can cause anxiety to your canine. It was initially designed to help your dog if it fears thunderstorms. You can also use the shirt as part of a more extensive anxiety training program.
Why we love it
- It comes with a lightweight material that is breathable and machine washable.
- It calms your dog during stressful situations without requiring extra medication.
- The shirt is ideal for dogs suffering from separation anxiety, loud noises, and thunderstorms.
- Easy to fit because it comes with adjustable straps.
- It wraps around your canine, exerting gentle and continuous pressure.
Size: XX-Small, X-Small, Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, and XX-Large
This is a ThunderShirt for small dogs as well as large breeds. It has received the endorsement of many vets and dog trainers. Reports suggest that the shirt has an 80% success rate.
Moreover, the ThunderShirt has a patented design that applies gentle and constant pressure that calms dog anxiety, fear, and overexcitement caused by several environmental triggers. The calming effect of the shirt is drug-free.
Why we love it
- The shirt is practical as it has an 80% success rate.
- It has the endorsement of thousands of vets, dog trainers, and pet parents.
- The shirt does not require drug intervention to be effective.
- It also comes with an original dog calming wrap that is easy to put on and off.
- It has a 100% moneyback guarantee meaning the manufacturer is confident with the effectiveness of the ThunderShirt.
With this ThunderShirt dogs’ anxiety combo pack, you get two solutions and one happy pup. With this package, the ThunderShirt relieves your dog’s anxiety while the ThunderCoat keeps it warm and dry.
It is best suited if your pup is usually stressed during thunderstorms; it will relieve the stress and, at the same time, keep it warm. The unique design of the shirt and coat makes it easy to put it on and off.
Why we love it
- It is a two-in-one combo pack that relieves your dog of anxiety, stress and keeps it warm and dry at the same time.
- It also comes with a water-resistant fabric that is fully lined together with a removable hood. You can machine wash it.
- The ThunderCoat effortlessly snaps onto the ThunderShirt, making it easy to put it on and off.
- It has numerous positive reviews from parents currently using it.
- It also allows for drug-free anxiety relief.
Step-by-Step Guide in Making Your Own ThunderShirt at Home
You can take different approaches for the ThunderShirt for dogs DIY. In this section, you will discover a straightforward technique you can use.
What you need
- Dotted pattern paper
- Thick Jersey net fabric
- Matching thread
- Two different lengths and width of acryl
- Pair of scissors
- Sewing machine
- Fold your dot pattern paper in half and mark the length you want your homemade ThunderShirt for the dog to be. Please take the measurement from your pup to get a perfect fit.
- Measure the chest’s length to the collar to get an idea of where the flap will begin and mark it on the dot pattern paper.
- Measure the chest’s length to get an idea of how the flap will be and where it will end. Mark this measurement on the dot pattern paper.
- Draw straight guidelines from the markings in step 2 and step 3.
- It would help if you found an existing well-fitting cloth to help you ensure your pattern is on track (this is not necessary).
- Use the existing cloth to sketch the collar’s curve and get a general idea of the width. You can also use your dog’s collar as a guide as long as you add the length for it to wrap around the neck.
- Draw a horizontal line at the base of the core as a guide and two additional vertical lines at the beginning and the end of your dog’s original length forming a rectangle.
- Darken your guideline and curve out the end of the collar.
- Measure from the top of your canine’s back to the biggest part of its chest and mark it on the dot pattern paper along the horizontal line from step 2. Then connect the collar to the bottom of the flap using a curved line.
- Measure the smallest part of your dog’s waist and use it as a guide at the back of your design to join it to the bottom of the flap using a smooth curve.
- Draw a half-inch seam line around the pattern and transfer it to the other half.
- The main difference is on the other side’s flap, which needs to be longer to wrap around your dog to the other side. You can make it 10 inches long.
- Create another panel piece that will cover the wrap-around flap. Ensure it is an inch longer on each side.
- Use the pattern pieces to cut your piece of cloth. Finish all the rough edges before proceeding.
- You are now ready to start sewing. Ensure you keep fitting your pup as you saw to get a perfect fit. Use your best sewing style to piece together your dog anxiety vest.
You can also follow the Thundershirt DIY instructional video for visual representation.
As you can see, making your pup a ThunderShirt dog vest is a walk in the park. You can follow the instructions shared above to the letter or make minor adjustments to suit your situation. The goal is to come up with a homemade ThunderShirt that best suits your pup.
However, if your dog has severe anxiety issues, consider going for a readymade ThunderShirt from the suppliers named in this guide. Moreover, you can seek the advice of professionals like veterinarians, dog trainers, and dog behaviorists.
Suppose you have read this guide blow-by-blow to this point; you understand better how to deal with dog anxiety issues. You have learned the purpose of a dog ThunderShirt and what causes your furry friend to have anxiety. You also know the results of dog anxiety.
The guide has also let you know the effectiveness of anxiety wraps and the best approach to keep your anxious pup calm. You have also discovered top ThunderShirts by reputable suppliers. Above all, you can do a DIY Thundershirt at home. You have what it takes to keep your anxious pup calm; congratulations!