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If you’re a dog owner, you know that hearing a rumble of thunder or fireworks can mean increased anxiety and distress in your dog. Nothing is worse than seeing your dog cry, pant and shake because they’re scared and anxious. Car rides, vet visits, and separation anxiety can also cause your dog to become nervous and upset. While minor anxiety is relatively harmless for your pet and can be dealt with on a day to day basis, chronic anxiety and stress can lead to more serious health problems. In the last few years, the Thundershirt by Thunderworks has provided dog owners with a natural, long-lasting solution to their dog’s anxiety. Here is some information and customer testimonials about the Thundershirt.

What is a Thundershirt?

A Thundershirt is a slightly weighted vest worn by your dog to help them feel calm and comforted, similar to swaddling a baby or wrapping yourself in a weighted blanket. The vest is designed to apply constant, light pressure on your dog’s torso to provide relief from anxiety caused by thunderstorms, fireworks, travel, vet visits or separation anxiety. According to the company’s website, the Thundershirt has helped millions of dogs combat anxiety and comes recommended by trainers and veterinarians. The Thundershirt has also been featured on tv and in magazines.  

Dalmation in ThunderShirt; Image from products page.

A Natural Anxiety Reducer

If your dog suffers from chronic anxiety, some veterinarians may suggest anxiety medication. Common anxiety medications that are given to dogs include Prozac, Sileo, Amitriptyline or Trazadone.   However, these medications can have side effects such as lethargy, loss of appetite and vomiting but are still used commonly when anxiety issues are severe.  Thundershirt is a natural alternative and won’t disrupt your dog’s cognitive abilities or eating habits. Many veterinarians recommend Thundershirts or other natural remedies over medication, depending on the cause and severity of the anxiety.  

Where can I Find a Thundershirt?

Thunderworks has their own website where you can purchase specific sizes, colors and styles. They offer a classic vest that can be worn anywhere, a breathable “sport” model and a “polo” model. They can also be purchased at other online retailers and stores such as Petsmart.

Things to Keep in Mind Before you Buy

Before you buy a Thundershirt for your dog, here are some things to keep in mind,

  • Make sure you’re buying the right size to fit your dog securely.
  • Look at different Thundershirt styles to see which one will be best for your dog.
  • Read over the fitting and sizing information before fitting the vest. 
  • Thunderworks offers a money-back guarantee if the Thundershirt doesn’t work for you.

Customer Testimonials

Looking at customer reviews for the Thundershirt on Thunderworks, Amazon or any pet blog, you’ll see that the response is overwhelmingly positive. The company website claims the Thundershirt is proven to be at least 80% effective in calming your dog and preventing anxiety.  Here are some customer testimonials taken from the Thundershirt review page,

“Both our dogs LOVE their Thundershirts. We ask them if they want it and they run to where we put them. They sit there waiting for us to put them on and their tails are wagging like crazy. They bark less, are less restless and sleep better! I wish I would have tried the shirt a long time ago!!”

“Anytime during a thunderstorm my Yorkie would hide. After I saw your ad I purchased a ThunderShirt for her. WOW…now with the shirt on, she will stay on the sofa with me, or in her bed. No more running around trying to get away from the noise!”

In addition to customer reviews, most  veterinarians are fans of the Thundershirt too. In an experiment conducted by licensed veterinarian Dr. Debra Primoiv, the Thundershirt and a similar product called the Anxiety Wrap were tested on various dogs and cats and the vests were very successful. Dr. Primoiv explains that Thundershirts and Anxiety Wraps are a great alternative to drug therapy and they generally work for most dog breeds. 

Ask Your Veterinarian

When it comes to the health of your dog, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian before treating your dog’s anxiety. Here at Longview Animal Hospital, your pet’s well-being is our highest priority. If your dog is having anxiety issues and you aren’t sure if the Thundershirt is right for you, we can help you find the best remedy for your dog or cat and help them feel more calm and safe. Contact us today at Longview Animal Hospital, we’ve been serving the area for over 70 years (475 dog years!).