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Review: Thundershirt

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Product: Thundershirt

What It Is: wrap to reduce dog anxiety

DogTipper Review: We’ve written about our Irie’s anxiety many times in the past. She is afraid–very afraid–of thunder, gunfire, and fireworks.

So when New Year’s Eve rolled around, we were very eager to test out the Thundershirt on Irie. To be honest, we didn’t hold high hopes for the Thundershirt because Irie is very anxious. We have seen more extreme cases of loud noise anxiety (with urination, shaking) but Irie is still very nervous and typically hides either in the closet or burrows behind Paris on the couch (which is not easy for a 75-pound dog). She sometimes shakes and often runs wildly through the house looking for a safe place away from the noise. We always play the television extra loud during fireworks to help mask the sound but it’s not always effective.

A couple of years ago, we went to a lecture by Dr. Temple Grandin and enjoyed her talk which included a discussion of pressure wraps for dogs to help ease anxiety. We’ve also read her discussion of the principle of the pressure shirts in her books but we’ve never used one on our dogs.

Until now.

We received the Thundershirt to review a few days before New Year’s Eve and immediately we started working to get Irie accustomed to the Thundershirt. We served her some treats using the stretched out Thundershirt like a serving tray, as recommended in the directions for initial fitting and conditioning. So far, so good.

On New Year’s Eve, we put the Thundershirt on Irie as soon as it got dark when we expected fireworks to begin. Just minutes after we had the shirt on Irie, the fireworks began and continued (very loudly) until after midnight. Usually we would expect Irie to be racing through the house.

Irie had a few tense moments but sat with us on the couch and watched TV. Soon, she dozed off. You’ll see her in this video shot on New Year’s Eve below:

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About a week later, we had a thunderstorm in the middle of the night. It had already started lightning when we woke up and put the Thundershirt on Irie. She continued to show distress and tried to crawl under the bed, which was too low, and finally crawled beneath the covers. She shook for a while but then went to sleep.

The next day, another thunderstorm rolled in but this time we were able to put the Thundershirt on Irie before the lightning began. She was jumpy when it thundered but continued to go about her usual routine and ate her breakfast without any problem and as soon as the storm passed she even went out in the yard to urinate. (Usually she will not go out in the yard when there’s a threat of thunder.)

We’re very happy with the use of the Thundershirt and have found it to be a great solution to help manage Irie’s anxiety!

Price: $39.95 (additional charge for colors other than gray or for customized embroidery). A full refund is offered (minus shipping and handling) if you are not happy with the use of the Thundershirt.

For More Information:

Disclosure: We received a Thundershirt to facilitate our review; we were not paid for our review and all statements are entirely our own.

Cindy Ludwig, M.A., KPA-CTP

Wednesday 1st of February 2012

As a professional dog trainer and registered nurse, I have been very impressed with the original pressure wrap, the Anxiety Wrap developed by certified professional dog trainer, Susan Sharpe. The Anxiety Wrap applies more maintained pressure than any other product on the market today. The patented design also works by applying pressure to acupressure points in the neck, shoulder and chest area, belly, mid-section and hind legs. In a recent study conducted by Dr. Nicholas Dodman at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine the Anxiety Wrap was found to be effective in 89% of study participants. I strongly recommend the Anxiety Wrap as part of a behavior modification program for dogs with various types of anxiety.


Sunday 15th of January 2012

We have been amazed at the power of the thundershirt.  Our girl has lots of stress issues, things that worry her...but put on her thundershirt and she is much more relaxed.  We were at our inlaws and they got out their vacuum...uhh back up on the back...barking.   On went the thundershirt and she actually walked up to the vaccuum while it was running and sniffed it -- amazing