Are you constantly noticing your dog's getting more and more frightened during thunderstorms? Or perhaps they're become overly anxious or excited while traveling? If you answered yes to either of these two questions, or notice that your dog is going through something else that's somewhat similar, then you'll want to carefully read this Thundershirt review for dogs as it might be just what you need.
In a nutshell and before we get into the nitty gritty details about the Thundershirt for dogs, this shirt was created to give your dog one big hug and make your dog feel safer and happier in stressful situations.
The shirt acts as a snug wrap around your dog’s body to simulate a human hug and alleviates any current stress your dog may be going through.
Makers of the Thundershirt For Dogs claim that it's a simple solution that eases any form of your dog’s stress can simply be solved with the Thundershirt, but just how true is that?
In this article, we'll be going over why you should buy a Thundershirt for your dog, who should get one and who shouldn't, how and why it works scientifically, and all the pros and cons we can muster.
Our List Of The Top 5 Thundershirts For Dogs – (Updated List For 2018)
Top Pick: ThunderShirt Classic Dog Anxiety Jacket
Pick #2: American Kennel Club Anti Anxiety and Stress Relief Calming Coat
Pick #3: ThunderShirt Polo Dog Anxiety Jacket
Pick #4: ThunderShirt Sport Dog Anxiety Jacket
Pick #5: Anxiety Wrap Pressure Wrap
*Note: The links in the table above, as well as several links in the remainder of the article below, will take you to over to Chewy.com where you can find out more information about the products, such as current prices and customer reviews.
Why Should I Buy The Thundershirt For My Dog?
Did you know that research has proven that around 29% of dogs suffer from anxiety related problems?
Seperation anxiety is the most common of these anxiety issues, especially when talking about young dogs that are still growing up, need the most affection from their owner and need to spend as much time with them as possible, but different kinds of anxiety such as noise and reactive anxiety are also fairly common in dogs occur.
Now, how do you know if your dog has anxiety that can be treated with something like the Thundershirt for dogs?
The following list discusses some of the common symptoms that dog owners notice in their dogs before later getting them checked by a professional and being told they suffer from some sort of anxiety.
- Dogs that frequently crouch down in fear behind you their owners
- Dogs that tend to shake all over their body when meeting new people
- Dogs that panic and start to bark uncontrollably at loud noises
If any of these symptoms sound familiar to you and you notice (or have noticed) them in your dog, then it's a real possibility that your dog may have an anxiety condition that you seek to immediately treat.
The good news is that treating your dog from an anxiety problem they have doesn't have to be too costly or time consuming.
As a matter of fact, treating a dog from an anxiety condition they have can be done in a period of days or months.
Sadly enough, though, 75% of today’s pet owners end up leaving their pet untreated, which can result in an array of problems including being sent back to the shelter and later on euthanized, all because of lack of knowledge on a very important topic that every pet owner should educate themselves about before ever getting a pet home.
Introducing The Thundershirt For Dogs
Thundershirt was created by Phil Blizzard after his dog Dosi was suffering from severe anxiety attacks during loud events such as fireworks and thunderstorms.
Prior to taking things into his own hands and creating the Thundershirt for dogs, Phil had talked to a variety of trainers and “healers”, but couldn't find the results he was looking for.
As you can imagine, this would be frustrating to just about any pet parent, especially one that's seeing anxiety their little boy/girl being torn apart from anxiety right before their eyes.
A friend contacted Phil about a snug wrap which is used to comfort anxious infants, and after trying it on Dosi, it worked perfectly!
This gave Phil an excellent idea to create a similar snug wrap that's specifically designed for dogs and can have the same effect on them.
After many different designs, Phil mastered the final product of his own snug wrap and called it the Thundershirt.
How Do Thundershirts Work For Dogs?
The way this wrap works is by applying small amounts of pressure on your dog's stomach, which stimulates a hug.
Thin cloth wraps around your dog's back and belly, and Velcros around the neck area help keep the Thundershirt on and prevent it from falling off.
Because putting on the Thundershirt on your dog may be a bit intimidating and difficult to figure out if you haven't done anything like this before, there are tons and tons of resources online that break this into detailed, easy steps for you to follow.
For a quick idea of how to put on the Thundershirt on your dog the proper way, check out this super helpful Youtube video.
Pros of the Thundershirt For Dogs
Let's go over some of the most notable benefits that the Thundershirt wrap has to offer any dog suffering from anxiety.
- Suitable For Different Weather: No matter what the climate is like where you're at and what weather environment is present over there, the Thundershirt wrap is comfortable for your dog to wear in any weather.
The Thundershirt is made out of thin fabric that is breathable for the summer and can easily slip under winter gear for colder climates.
- Easy To Wear: Thanks to instructions that can be found on the packaging, the Thundershirt website and all over videos on Youtube (such as the one we showed you above), there are plenty of resources at your disposal to provide clear and easy to follow instructions on how to put this jacket on your dog.
- Easy To Clean: Besides being easy to wear, the Thundershirt is also fairly easy to clean. Just a simple wash is needed when it gets dirty, and you're good to go when it dries off.
- Instant Gratification: One of the most notable pros the Thundershirt has to offer your dog is instant gratification.
Customers report time and time again that the Thundershirt works as fast as one, two, three - where they quickly noticed their dog’s anxiety dropping as soon as they applied the Thundershirt.
- Not Medicine Related: One of the most important benefits you'll be getting with the Thundershirt for dogs is that it's as natural as natural gets.
Think about it, is there anything more natural about calming your dog down than a hug?
You won't have to worry about your dog breathing in any harmful chemicals that may alter their behavior, any harmful chemicals making their way onto their skin which may cause skin and coat damage down the line, and any harm that may make its way to you by coming into contact with your dog.
- No Training Required: Another benefit that dog owners appreciate about the Thundershirt is that there's barely any training that you need to put your dog through for them to be able to benefit from it.
Besides a few instructions, your dog will feel more than comfortable in their Thundershirt in no time.
In almost all cases, the most you'll have to worry about is having to make use of a few treats to reassure your dog and help ease them into the transition of getting used to wearing this wrap around their body.
Cons of the Thundershirt
- Not For Extended Periods Of Time: One of the issues you should note about the Thundershirt before you have your dog wear it is that it's not good for them to wear it for extended periods of time.
The Thundershirt for dogs is not recommended for long term use, you have to think about it more as a short term solution that acts right on the spot, for when your dog needs it most.
If left on for an extended period of time, the Velcro straps can cause chafing in the under arm region and around the neck area.
There are also some dogs who, when left wearing the shirt for a long time, may become bored or irritated enough to start chewing on the Thundershirt, which can easily lead to its destruction if your dog is a strong enough chewer.
- Proper Size Hassle: There have been some complaints that it's somewhat difficult for dog owners to find the proper size of a Thundershirt for their dog(s), mainly because the manufacturers chose to size these wraps by different ranges of dog weight and not ranges of measurements.
We decided to mention this as a con since two dogs that weigh the same don't necessarily have the same body type, and in such a case a range of measurments for a dog owner to follow would have been more practical.
- Velcro Phobia: Even though the Thundershirt is one of the most comfortable pieces of equipment you could ever wrap around your dog, because at the end of the day its aim is to calm your dog down and make them feel as comfortable as possible, the velcro scraps can sometimes scare the life out of some dogs.
Just like some humans may get nauseated just from the sound of velcro straps, some dogs can also get very afraid from the sound of these velcro straps when their owner wants to wrap the Thundershirt around them and/or take it off. Granted these cases are not so common, they do exist and we had to note this issue for transparency purposes.
- Not 100% Effective: No matter what anyone ever says about their product in whatever category that product falls under, there is no such thing as 100% effective all the time.
And, this is only normal. So, you'll have to keep in mind that the Thundershirt will not work the same for every dog.
For some dogs, the Thundershirt may prove to be the perfect solution to their problem, while for other dogs, it just won't work.
Manufacturers of the Thundershirt don't claim to have a 100% success rate with their product, anyways, as they have a disclaimer that this wrap has an 80% success rate, meaning that it wasn't a success for 20% of dogs that tried it.
This product may work miracles for some dogs and do nothing for others, but regardless of whether it ends up working for you or not, an 80% success rate is most certainly something impressive.
When Should I Have My Dog Give The Thundershirt A Try?
The following list mentions some of the most common cases in which dog owners consider, and see the most success in, having their dogs try out the Thundershirt.
- Fireworks: Whether the 4th of July or any other celebratory event is coming up and you're expecting a whole lot of fireworks going on around you (which your dog is afraid of), the Thundershirt is known to do a great job in calming your dog during these difficult times where there's no other way for them to understand that these loud sounds are nothing more than people celebrating and are nothing to be afraid of.
- Thunderstorm: We don't know whether this product was called Thundershirt in an attempt to reference it to thunderstorms in any way, but we do know that it does one very good job in calming dogs that are afraid of the loud sounds and sudden bright lights that accompany them, just like it does an amazing job in calming dogs that are afraid of bright lights and loud sounds that accompany fireworks.
- Road Trips: Some dogs are known to panic and get very scared when in a moving car that's headed from destination A to destination B. If that's the case with your dog and you don't want to go down the road of medication to have them calm down on the road, then giving the Thundershirt a try is a very good idea at first.
- New Environments: When moving houses (or anything similar) that may mean your dog has to get accustomed to new environments and surroundings, this may mean big problems for dogs that have some form of anxiety.
- New Faces: Just like getting exposed to new environments and surroundings may bring all the anxiety in the world out of your dog, getting exposed to new people they haven't met before may, many times, greatly frighten them.
- Over Excitement: The Thundershirt doesn't only do a good job during times when your dog is in fear or stressed out, it can also come in very handy during times when your dog tends to get overly excited, to the point where they're not manageable anymore.
Some dogs can get way too overly excited when playing around with entertaining toys or little kids, other outgoing dogs may become as such when meeting new people, etc ..
The point is, there's a thin line between an excited dog that's cute and makes you go "awww", and an overly excited dog that has you lose control over them and begins to pose danger to its surroundings.
In the case of the latter, the Thundershirt can do a really good job in calming your dog down and getting them back to normal, allowing you to be in control of the situation once again.
Concluding The Thundershirt For Dogs Review
If you have a dog with anxiety problems, then the Thundershirt is absolutely worth a try.
Whether your dog suffers from everyday separation anxiety or only gets stressed during thunderstorms and fireworks, the Thundershirt is a wise investment, especially considering the one time, relatively low investment associated with it.
The Thundershirt for dogs offers a very safe and simple alternative treatment to medication or extensive training, with the former carrying extensive risks on both your dog's health and yours, and the latter costing much more in the long term.
Of course, success rate is going to vary between one dog and the other, as the Thundershirt does not provide the same level of success for every dog, nor does it claim to.
When it works, it works really well. If for some reason it does not appear to be effective for your dog, you can take advantage of their helpful money-back guarantee.
If you've given Thundershirt a try and it hasn't proven to be successful for your dog's anxiety case, only then will you know that you need to spend more money on other forms of treatment to help your dog overcome whatever they're going through.
But, if you were to spend a lot of money right off the bat on forms of treatment that could have easily been solved by a wrap like the Thundershirt for a fraction of a cost, then you'll never know what money you could have saved by at least giving it a shot.