This is my dog Susan, a Portuguese water dog. And this is a story about her Thundershirt.
In this picture, we were waiting to enter the Mardi Gras parade in Tavares, Florida. She was two years old and fearless: from jumping into a canal with alligators to tussling and bossing around BIG dogs to loudly wailing in the middle of a pet store. She is now seven years old. She is calmer and wiser. She was not, however, happy with moving from a house with a back yard to an apartment with only a screened-in porch.
So we take lots of walks, go to dog parks, pet stores, sit at outside tables to restaurants and coffee houses, and go to the beach. Susan is happy again. But with aging, she has developed a serious anxiety to the noise of fireworks, thunder and lightening, even heavy windy storms. She paces, whimpers, and constantly jumps up to me as if to say "DO SOMETHING MOMMY, MAKE IT STOP!!" So I pet her and hug her and worry with her--all to no avail. If the storm goes on all night, I'm up all night.
Enter The Thundershirt - "The Best Solution for Dog Anxiety"
My concern (and lack of sleep) sent me to our local small pet shop for help. The owner is really knowledgeable about animals. She suggested I try the "Thundershirt." If it didn't work, I could bring it back and get a full refund. Susan wore it several times prior to an expected violent storm. I always hug and pet her when putting it on her. Then she gets her favorite treat, a dried sweet potato wrapped with duck strips.
Is Susan completely without anxiety when wearing her Thundershirt? Not entirely. But the improvement is tremendous. After a little fretting, she calms down and actually lays down. And I get to sleep all night!
How Does It Work?
The soft knit fabric "applies gentle, constant pressure [to the torso], similar to swaddling an infant." It's advertised as being applicable for a variety of anxiety producing situations:
- Fear of thunder and any other loud noise
- barking problems
- separation anxiety, car or travel anxiety
- any excitability, general fearfulness
- crate anxiety and leash pulling
It works without medication! No training is needed. Comes in seven sizes. It's safe and easy to put on. It can be laundered. The only caveat is to introduce it to your dog prior to an anxiety producing event so that your dog doesn't associate the thundershirt with such events.
Whether or not the Thundershirt can ease all of the canine anxiety behaviors as listed above, I really don't know. I do know, it works for Susan when there is thunder and lighting. And it's sold 100% satisfaction guaranteed or you can return it within 45 days for a full refund. I'll be keeping mine:)