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"thundershirt" for dogs/storm anxiety

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  • "thundershirt" for dogs/storm anxiety

    Anyone have experience with the "thundershirt" for dogs who are afraid of thunderstorms? I have been thinking of getting one for my blue heeler mix who seriously stresses out when he hears thunder. I have been rubbing dryer sheets on him when a storm is coming (on advice of a friend). This seems to help somewhat, and he smells great, too.

    Any thoughts? Other ideas?

  • #2
    I bought one for Puff, the COTH Giveaway. He has always, per his first owners and foster mom, been a wreck in storms, which I did not believe until I had 40 lbs of sheperd mix in my lap during a thunderstorm, shaking like crazy. I bougth the Thundershirt figuring hey, worst case scenario I'm out $36 and he can wear it to keep warm in the winter. While I won't say it has CURED him (he still needs to be RIGHT NEXT TO YOUj or hiding in a very dark room if there are booms, and he's visibly uneasy about it) he can now go to sleep during heavy rains and storms and doesn't try crawling into my lap or onto the bed in the middle of the night. Yesterday morning when I got up we had a storm system just starting. I got the shirt on him, and despite some nice bright lightning and big boomers, he stayed on "his" chair the entire time and went to sleep. So I don't know if it works for all dogs, but it certainly makes Puff's life easier.

    I will say watch their size chart. Per his chest measurement Puff takes an L, but I think he really would fit a medium better.
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    • #3
      I just ordered one for my greyhound. I haven't tried it out in a storm yet, but it's on her today because we're finally supposed to get some rain. She has been a little anxious lately outside of storms, which is not normal for her, and I've put the shirt on her a couple of times when she's been in that state. It has seemed to help her a bit, so we'll see how it goes with the T-storms.

      It seems that for some dogs it works quite well and for others, it does nothing. Many have the same experience as Puff: it helps but it certainly doesn't cure the issue.

      I ordered mine from Amazon (best price, free shipping, easy returns).

      There is also the "Anxiety Wrap" that other people have. I went with the Thundershirt because Amazon sold it, but some have had better luck with the Anxiety Wrap. It has some back leg straps that supposedly provide pressure at a calming point, but I'd imagine some dogs might not be so keen on that.

      I think they both come with a 30 day return policy if it doesn't work for your dog, so it wouldn't hurt to get one.

      Another thing that I know has helped some anxious dogs is a D.A.P. diffuser: http://www.petcomfortzone.com/comfortzone_dap.php Some people like to pair this with a Thundershirt in the dog's safe spot/room.


      • #4
        We got one from our vet for our male GSD, and have had about the same experience as danceronice has. Except our dog is 85 lbs and we have a toddler, so decided we needed to do something when he would scratch frantically at the bedroom door, then stand (over us) on our bed, panting heavily, during nighttime storms.

        He's noticeably less clingy with it on. Not completely cured, but appears much less anxious and will lie down and rest and just keep us in sight, rather than gluing himself to our kneecaps.

        Now if there's a storm coming and I pull it out, he'll come right over to have it put on. If there are storms predicted during the day, I put it on in the morning before we leave.

        Oh yes, one of the last storms before we got it, he apparently tried to climb onto the kitchen counter while we were gone, in the corner under the cabinets, and knocked off a bunch of stuff including a crockpot, breaking it and cutting his paw.

        So while the shirt's not a complete cure, for us it's been more than worth it!
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        • #5
          I just ordered a Thundershirt for my dog, after having spent a 3-hour thunderstorm feeling her tremble. God, I hate thunderstorms. I went with Thundershirts because they were the ones I knew about, but I looked at the anxiety wrap site later, and the sizing looks a little more exact. I do like that the Thundershirt comes in three colors I haven't gotten it yet, so obviously have no idea if it works, but I'm hoping it will. Google for free shipping codes.


          • Original Poster

            Thanks, everyone. I'm going to order one. It's worth a try. Meanwhile the dryer sheets seem to be working. Big storm here (purple! on the radar) and not a peep out of him...


            • #7
              Never bought a thundershirt, but used one of my own, smaller t-shirts on our Golden who used to whine, cry and pace ALL night during thunderstorms. Put the t-shirt on, tied the "waist" in a knot on top of her back, and voila! Golden went to sleep. It was like a miracle for her. Save your money and try a small t-shirt of your own, or a child's size. I was told by our vet that having your scent on it also eases their anxiety. The t-shirt has to fit snugly to work I think.


              • #8
                Considering the weather we have had this spring, do they make them in adult human size?


                • #9
                  Another thread on these on the first page of this forum. Many successes. Check it out. Hope it helps your baby too.


                  • Original Poster

                    thanks again for the advice!