Members Speak: Do Thundershirts Really Work for Dogs?21 June 2023
Written by Dr Jill McMaster BVM&S MBA MRCVS, Veterinary Surgeon and in-house expert at BorrowMyDoggy
What are thundershirts?
Thundershirts are shirts for dogs and cats meant to mimic the idea of being swaddled like a baby. This swaddling action is said to produce light pressure which in turn can reduce anxiety in your pet.
Do thundershirts work?
There are lots of different anxiety products on the market, some better than others. It’s fair to say that there isn’t one product that works for all dogs.
So it’s all about digging around to find what works for your individual pooch. It might also be a case for you that a thundershirt works a bit, but you need to use other products too, and in all cases, working on your dog’s behaviours with a trained professional, and making sure your dog’s environment is set up to encourage calm is necessary too.
There are some people who swear by a thundershirt and feel it is a wagtastic product that has improved their dog’s anxiety.
What our members have to say about Thundershirts:
We asked our members about their experience of Thundershirts. There was some positive feedback:
Bobby says yes:
Bobby is a bit highly strung, but he calms down once his thundershirt is on.
Willow, the cockapoo's experience:
Willow is scared of fireworks and loud bangs but we find that by keeping her relaxed and putting on her thundershirt she is a bit better.
He hates thunder but a combo of his "Thundershirt" and his anxiety medication tends to help.
Rio, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier:
Rio is a happy wee dog and loves company of people and other dogs and cats who are used to dogs. She doesn't like wind and rain or thunder, fireworks are a problem but I got her a thundershirt that helps.
Marley, the chihuahua's experience:
Marley has separation anxiety which makes him go to the toilet or chew things when he is alone. He now has a thunder shirt which has helped a lot but he sometimes still pees indoors.
Cassie, the cross breed:
doesn't like fireworks or loud noises, but we have a thunder shirt which helps with the stress of fireworks.
Freddy, the Jack Russell Terrier's experience:
A combination of his thunder shirt and a quiet environment along with his chew toys help to calm him.
But there were also some people and dogs who they did not work for:
When working on her separation anxiety, we tried various techniques, but unfortunately for us the Thundershirt didn’t work.
Cooper, the boxer:
Cooper is a big old softy and a very good boy when you are with him, he is not any bother in the house what so ever if you are with him. This is our problem; separation anxiety, we have tried various techniques, had a behaviourist and thundershirt but nothing works.
Benji, the Jack Russell Terrier's experience:
We’ve tried barking collars, a thunder shirt, medication from the vets, dog walkers coming in the middle of the day, he has a radio on, he’s got plenty of toys but nothing is helping his separation anxiety.
Barkley, the cockapoo is
quite nervous around other dogs when out on his walks and although he has seen a dog trainer about this and now wears a thunder shirt on his walks, he is still quite nervous.
Guides on calming your dog
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