Our dogs can be anxious or afraid for a great many reasons, thunderstorms, fireworks, getting ready to travel in the car, a visit to the vet, separation anxiety just to name a few.
The first time I heard of thunder shirts for dogs was when I lost my dog Saffron after taking her to a fireworks night at our local park.
At the time Saffron who was then an 8-month-old Mastiff pup was on her lead and I had taken her as part of her socialization training.
Thunder Shirts For Dogs – Saffrons Story
As I mentioned at the beginning of this blog I first heard of thunder shirts after losing my girl during a fireworks night.
As someone who has owned dogs for over 50 years I should have known better than to have taken her that night.
This was part of her socialization training and all other firework nights I had been to before always gave you ample warning before they started. Well that didn’t happen this night and what ensued over the next 36 hours was probably one of the most worrying times in my dog owners life!
As soon as the fireworks started (With No Prior Warning) Saffron slipped her collar and took off, I will never forget seeing her heading straight to the very dark and vast bush land surrounding the park we were at and me chasing after her calling her name. That was at 8pm.
Once the fireworks had stopped I expected her to come back so I stood where I saw her enter the bush land and continued to call her name. She didn’t return.
I went back to my car and grabbed a flashlight and headed into the darkness in a direction I thought she had gone and went looking for her, continually calling out her name. It was now well after midnight and still no sign of Saffron.
To cut a very long story short, I finally found her the next day at around 2pm huddled up some 7km from where she took off absolutely exhausted but thankfully OK.
That night had now made Saffron terrified of fireworks and thunder. That was until a friend of mine suggested trying the Thunder Shirt For Dogs.
How Thunder Shirts For Dogs Work
For all you mums out there who are familiar with the term swaddling which is the practice of wrapping your bub in a blanket to provide security and that calming feeling of being safe, the thunder shirt for dogs work in a similar way.
In a nutshell the thunder shirt is a pressure type shirt for anxious dogs. It is known for the calming effect it has by resembling the feeling of a hug and has gained a lot of popularity as a drug free option to treat your dogs anxiety.
Dog trainers around the world have also recommended these for dogs who suffer from anxiety through separation, thunderstorms, travel and visiting the vets.
Saffron was now terrified of thunderstorms, fireworks and any loud sounds and it wasn’t until a good friend of mine suggested that I try a thunder shirt during our next thunderstorm (Something we get plenty of where I live) that her anxiousness disappeared!
You can see here how it has worked for this nervous little fella.
Thunder Storms – No Problem!
For so many dogs the sound of thunder rolling over can be an extremely frightening and stressful time.
With the thunder shirt and the gentle pressure it applies it helps your dog to feel safe and as a result gives them a calming effect even during the wildest of storms.
It has been said that the thunder shirt has a success rate of about 85% (Saffron is part of that) and will help relieve panting, scratching, shaking, hiding and anything else in regard to the symptoms of anxiety or fear in our dogs.
Fireworks – Got That Covered.
While fireworks are great fun for us as Saffrons brief story tells you it’s not necessarily the case for our dogs.
In fact for most dogs fireworks can be an anxiety inducing nightmare for them!
With the swaddling effect of the thunder shirt and the calming effect of the wrap it helps to make your dog feel comfortable and safe.
These thunder shirts are a life saver for your dogs around the 4th July, Guy Fawlks night, and New Years Eve and any other time you know the celebrations will end with fireworks!
The Stress Of Travel Gone.
My two dogs love travel so this has never been a problem for us, however many dogs see travel as a stressful time and hate the thought of going in the big shiny thing with four wheels.
The thunder shirt for dogs will visibly help reduce the sign of anxiety related to travel like whining, pacing and drooling (Definitely something you don’t want if you own a mastiff) making it a more enjoyable and less wet ride in the case of drooling for everyone.
Please Dont Go!
What a great song by KC and The Sunshine Band. Woops heading off topic here.
Dogs love their humans and while nothing can replace that feeling they get when they are with you the thunder shirt does help.
Because of the swaddling design in the thunder shirt it is like a continuous gentle hug which greatly helps your dog to stay calm while you are away.
It brings comfort to them just like you do when you are home with them.
So wouldn’t it be great to know that while you are out that there will be no more shaking, panting and whining and a lot more snoozing and relaxing?
What Are Customers Saying About Thunder Shirts For Dogs?
You don’t have to take mine or Saffrons word for how great these thunder shirts are, there are over 30,000 other very happy dogs that will tell you the same and here are a few;
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the BEST product ever
Ummm….Right? A thunder shirt? Give me a break.
This is not going to help me. I was so wrong!!!! Both Ronan and myself are getting a full nights sleep now during rain, wind, thunder, and lightening storms!!!
This is the BEST product ever!!!
Being a skeptic, I followed the directions EXACTLY, meaning, please have your “grandpa scare-de-kat DOG” wear this when they are calm FIRST, with no storm, to promote positive anti-anxiety behavior!!!
Also, to note, you get 45 days to return the product, which is such a nice gesture. However, let me tell you what happened to Ronan. I applied the ThunderShirt and he just stared at me, but smiled.
He then laid down and slept soundly. What? No way? Are you kidding me? I then applied Thundershirt again one hour before a predicted storm and he laid down again and slept in a coma!!!! Again, I wish I could give this product 20 Stars, I’m so happy.
Since Ronan was on the cusp of 2 different sizes, I ordered up to XL, however I wish I would have ordered L instead bc a little to long for him. But that’s okay, I’m so stinking HAPPY !!! T shirt washes and goes straight into the dryer, not one issue. LOVE LOVE LOVE !!!! A MUST BUY!!!!
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes to thunder shirt
Love the thunder shirt.
There is a very obvious difference in our pup when it’s on. He’s more relaxed, less pacing.
We sought out a rescue pit bull and he would become very stressed when I left the house as well as pacing around. This was still during our “trial run” and he was not bonded to us quite yet.
We wanted to make it work with him so we bought the thunder shirt and calming treats. Prior to shirt he broke out of crate several times, destroyed our window blinds and would cry.
Post shirt he relaxes most times except when it’s play time and work time (walking). He’s bonded to us now and he’s doing great. When he’s not wearing it he seems a little more anxious.
He likes the shirt as he stands still waiting for me to Velcro him in. We take it off every day for a while so his coat can breath.
I’ll be purchasing a second so we can rotate to wash regularly. Plus I think he’ll look good in teal green 🙂
Bonus feature is they make him appear might more approachable. His ears were “cropped” (poorly, with scissors) and he’s very large with a big block white head. The thunder shirt makes him look as friendly and sweet as he is.
5.0 out of 5 stars A former skeptic turned believer…
My 7 yr old Lab has major anxiety issues when it comes to getting in the car, riding in the car, going to the vet, the gardeners, the pool guy, bicycles, skateboards, and anyone walking by our house, but couldn’t care less about fireworks and thunderstorms.
My solution to her issue with the gardeners is to do laundry and run the stove fan simultaneously when they come on Monday to drown out the noises.
Also to never be gone on Monday afternoon when they come, in case she breaks the glass window by jumping against it.
Seems ridiculous but it’s amazing what one is willing to put up with and to what extremes one will go! I’d heard of the Thundershirt but thought it was for really hyper dogs. Surely she would grow out of these behaviors and be a laid back dog like a Lab is supposed to be…lol..
After my last trip to the vet where she trembled so badly and they had to actually slide her along the floor to get her in, I decided I would try this shirt, mainly because I didn’t want to drug her, and I hated to see her so stressed.
The shirt came today and the gardeners were due shortly. I thought, I need to acclimate her to the shirt before having a real life situation..so I put it on her thinking she would try to take it off. Hmm, she tolerated it.
Then she stood calmly by my side..we went outside and she lay by my feet and fell asleep. Hmm! Good start I thought. I removed it. About 30 min later the gardeners arrived and she began barking and growling. I put the shirt back on and she settled right down.
Instead of lunging at the window, slobbering all over and barking, she calming lay at my feet, only softly growling. Could this be? Could it be this easy?
So it seems..the real test will be next week when I take her to the vet. But my initial reaction is “Wow, this is amazing,” Why did I wait so long…? It’s a miracle…stay tuned for the vet visit.
5.0 out of 5 stars Must buy for dogs with anxiety!!!!
I recently adopted a second dog, and he came with lots of baggage. Separation anxiety, leash reactivity, and lack of proper socialization – so every experience is scary new thing!
I’d heard about the thunder shirt, but didn’t need anything like it for my first dog, who is the most chill dog on the planet.
My first dog has been helping my new dog a lot with socialization, and by showing him things are fun, not scary – but I knew we needed more.
I have worked with kids on the ASD spectrum, so I get how this works – pressure and weight are very calming, as they counteract over-stimulation.
I was surprised that this was just a thin piece of cloth, I expected it to be more of a weighted vest, especially considering the rave reviews.
If I would have read anything or looked at any of the pictures, I would have known what I was getting, ha – but after a particularly stressful long car ride, I just clicked “BUY”!!
However, this has definitely lived up to expectations and reviews.
My new pup calmed down as soon as I put this on. We worked with it around the house for a while and on some walks around the neighborhood to adjust him to wearing it, and then he wore it when I left the house.
I have doggie-cams so I could keep an eye on him. Instead of crying, barking, and throwing himself at the door, followed by pacing in front of the door for most of the day – at first he would sit quietly in front of the door, then go join my other dog for naps and neighbor watching. (Side note – get a doggie cam, the motion alerts are hilarious!!! I always get them when the dogs are stretching in the middle of the floor – what a life!!)
We have also used the vest under his harness when going to the dog park – getting into the dog park is a nightmare, as my new dog loses his little puppy brain when he is walking on a leash and meets another dog.
He turns into the most vicious sounding animal you will ever hear, but if he actually makes it to the other dog, he’ll just shove his entire head in their butt so he can get a good sniff in.
But with the thunder shirt, while he isn’t perfectly behaved, he is much more calm – no more barking or lunging, just whining and pacing.
Pros & Cons
- Drug Free Calming
- 100% Money Back Guarantee.
- No Training Required To Use It.
- Vet and Trainer Recommended.
- Great Range Of Sizes – Available For All Dogs Between 7lbs to 110lbs.
- No success in 20% of dogs.
Thunder Shirt Quick Facts
- Easy to fit instructions can be viewed here.
With the thunder shirt “One Size” doesn’t fit all but that’s not a problem as I have provided you with your very own shirt sizing chart so you can make sure you get the right fit for your dog.
The thunder shirts for dogs also come in three different styles and do the same amazing job.
Thunder Shirts For Dogs – Saffrons Wrap.
As Saffron would tell you if she could speak human, the thunder shirt for her has taken the “Pet” out of “Petrified”!
She is now no longer afraid of fireworks, thunderstorms or any loud noises at all and it really has bought some calmness back to her life.
Along with Saffron the Thunder Shirts have helped millions of dogs around the world to relax and enjoy their life to the fullest, and as dog owners it is what we all want for our dogs.
So if your dog is suffering from anxiety and you prefer, like me not to have them on medication for the rest of their lives I highly recommend you try the Thunder Shirts. Your dog will thank you!
Another very stressful time for your dogs, and something that is not so far away is Halloween.
I have covered some great tips and things you can do for your dog in preparation for this fun time in an article titled Halloween and Pets which I encourage you to read to help manage any stress for your dog this year.
If you would like to know anymore about the thunder shirt or have experience using this on your dogs please leave us a comment below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
We leave you again with our favorite quote, “May Your Home Be Filled With Love And Dog Hair”.
Founder of Our Dogs World 101