CLEVER FIND: ThunderShirt for Dogs with Anxiety
By Anne-Marie Kovacs, Chief Wife
My 10 lbs clown-of-a-dog Toy Poodle is actually a real scaredy cat. As much as he'll let any visitor to our home know to “beware” 'cause he's watching them, he's also the best snuggle-bunny when he's just with us. And, he also turns into a nervous mess as soon as the skies thunder in the slightest. It does seem that his anxiety has gotten worse with age (he's celebrating his 9th birthday this week).
I discovered the ThunderShirt at the International Housewares Show this past March and got a sample. The Thundershirt is an anxiety treatment for dogs. It works by applying a gentle pressure (like a constant bear hug) which has a calming effect on the dog.
I knew I wanted to try this on Skippy (btw, before you make fun of his cliché pet name, know that he rightfully earned that name by accomplishing some awesome jumping acrobatics). This morning was the day to do it. The sky was so dark at 8:00 am this morning that all the lights were on in the house. The sky burst in rain and thunder and Skippy anxiously scampered around, shaking and whining.
On went the ThunderShirt.
As you can tell, Skippy doesn't exactly look ecstatic, but he almost immediately stopped trembling and whining once the ThunderShirt was put on. The ThunderShirt works like a big, calming – but more sustainable – hug which applies a gentle & constant pressure on the dog's (or cat's) torso to calm the pet.
We've known that swaddling and pressure can ease anxiety in babies, cattle and persons with autism (remember Clare Danes in the Temple Grandin movie?). Now, it's a great solution for cats and dogs too.
Though the storm persisted, Skippy was able to calm down enough to watch the deluge from his favorite resting spot. While not as relaxed as usual, he was no longer frantically and hopelessly looking to be comforted. The ThunderShirt did the trick.
What a great find and an easy, safe and drug-free remedy. The ThunderShirt is available in many sizes for dogs under 7 lbs to dogs over 110lbs. It can be purchased online here for $39.95 with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.