If you haven’t heard about the Thundershirt, it’s basically an anxiety reliever for dogs. In scientific terms, and according to the Thundershirt website, “The effect of moderate to deep pressure on soft tissue has been studied in both humans and non-human animals with positive results shown in reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation”. Meaning, by just wrapping this thing snugly around your dog you greatly increase your chances of keeping him or her calm while they’re in a ‘stressful’ situation such as when you need to leave your dog alone for a stretch of time or during heavy thunderstorms (hence the name).
This item has the distinction of being tested and reviewed by a number of scientists and veterinary professionals such as the world famous Animal Science professor, Temple Grandin.
Having my interest piqued about the Thundershirt, and being that I have a husky who in the past has shown no apprehension at tearing up a couch or two while I’ve been away, I enthusiastically got one to test.
While there were no thunderstorms or loud obnoxious noises to attempt to startle her with, I did try putting it on her and stepping out for a significant amount of time. Huskies being as they are, leaving one alone in a fully furnished house can be quite a dangerous endeavor, so imagine my relief when I returned and she was calmly resting her head on the floor close to where I had left her. While this review probably comes off more as anecdotal then say a review with multiple stress tests and stats to pore over, I will say I was very impressed at how calm her demeanor became as a result of wearing the Thundershirt.
As their own site states, the Thundershirt is a great and cheap alternative to behavior lessons and other possible solutions to dog anxiety. Interestingly enough, the Thundershirt people also claim that it works well in over 80% of dogs, so if anything that does seem like a more honest claim than saying it works 100% on all dogs.
No need to take my word for it though, countless owners have chimed in on plenty of retail sites such as Amazon and Petco.com and lauded the great effect this outwardly simple vest has had on their pets.