The Thundershirt for Dogs uses acupressure principles to soothe fearful, anxious dogs. The shirt wraps firmly around the dog's torso and stimulates pressure points to induce a calmer state. The effect is similar to that of swaddling a baby.
Applying the shirt
The shirt fastens to the dog with velcro straps. First, fasten the strap around the dog's neck, and then velcro it shut such that it is very snugly fitted around the dog's torso.
The shirt can be worn for long periods to help with general anxiety. It can also only be applied during scary environmental events like thunderstorms and fireworks or worn to the veterinarian or groomer.
The manufacturer says wearing the Thundershirt can decrease problem barking, destructiveness around the house, car sickness, pulling on the leash, and ease the symptoms of separation anxiety. Basically, the product is intended to make the dog calmer at all times.
Styles, colors, and sizes
The Thundershirt comes in seven different sizes to fit every breed and breed mix. Each size is very adjustable due to the velcro closure system.
It comes in three styles, the classic style, which is only available in grey. It also comes in the Polo style, which has four color combinations available, dark blue with a light blue stripe, pink with a light blue stripe, camouflage with an orange stripe, and red with a light blue stripe; and the Sport Jacket, which is available in grey or pink.
If desired, the owner can get the Thundershirt custom-embroidered with the dog's name or a contact phone number.
The company says the Thundershirt has been proven to relieve anxiety and induce calmness in around 80% of dogs who wear them. They do, however, recommend that dogs with severe thunderstorm and firework phobias also be treated with a sedative obtained from their veterinarian in addition to wearing the Thundershirt; they report that many dogs can be gradually weaned off the medication as their fear abates and then just wear the Thundershirt during these events.
Alternatively, dog owners can combine several other products sold by the same company with the use of a Thundershirt to achieve maximal calmness. The company sells a calming pheromone, calming essential oils, calming treats, a calming cap, and a machine that emits calming noises. All of these products can be used simultaneously along with a Thundershirt.
The Thundershirt for Dogs can be machine-washed and tumbled dry.