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Posted by: Mysti in The Dog Blog


I was recently given the opportunity to review the thundershirt, as a long time dog owner/lover, and a parent of a very anxious dog I was thrilled by this opportunity. I had read a lot about the thundershirt and heard great things from friends and family alike, but like many remained at least somewhat sceptical. Could it really be this easy?                

For this review I will address 3 primary behaviors that my dog exhibited regularly, all of which are said to be improved upon use of the thundershirt. 1. Excessive Jumping, 2. Fear of thunderstorms, and 3. General anxiety  

When the thundershirt first arrived one of my first thoughts was, 'could this really help a dog that is accustomed to wearing clothes, and sometimes even snug fitting clothes?' We quickly fitted it to her, so it was firmly snug but careful so it was not overly snug to the point she wasn’t uncomfortable.  

The first behavior we wanted to look at was the excessive jumping. While we don’t mind some jumping when we come in the door, others coming to visit obviously don’t always appreciative. Needless to say repeated full force pouncing by a 32 pound dog is over the top for most guests. We were able to witness within the first day that her jumping on guests was greatly diminished. This was with no training or intervention on our part at all, simply by putting the thundershirt on her. With some training and correction on our part I have no doubt the excessive jumping would be controlled completely. So for part 1. Excessive Jumping we consider a success! 

The second behavior was fear of thunderstorms. Her 'typical' behavior during thunderstorms was tail between the legs, running and darting anywhere in total fear and often knocking over furniture in the process. We were "lucky" enough to get a strong line of storms come through within just a few days after the thundershirt arrived. ( little did I know that this particular line of storms were some of the deadliest in years and brought hundreds of tornado touchdowns and large hail with it) This was definitely trial by fire for the thundershirt. The first hour or two with moderate rain and thunder Bella seemed almost completely unaffected by the storm, she quietly layed next to me, I noticed the occasional quiver but very minor in comparison to what we had seen in the past. AS the storm progressed and became more severe we noticed a slight bit of fear, such as crawling in behind the couch - her safe place. But she even would come back out occasionally and sit close to us. By much later in the night the storm had intensified to include very large hail and some tornado touchdowns close by. Now by the time the hail hit and it was so loud that we couldn’t even hear ourselves talk over the golf ball sized hail hitting the roof, our poor Bella was scared and darting around in panic - although needless to say it is a thundershirt, not a hailshirt! So for purposes of 2. Thunderstorm fear, another success! I doubt there would ever be a hailshirt, but if there is I will be the first to buy it!

And for the last behavior we were closely watching, general anxiety. For me this was the most important, for any pet parent of an anxious dog we are willing to try just about anything to help alleviate some of their fear. For Bella one of the times this fear was really displayed was at the dog park. If big dogs are running and playing she would rather sit on my lap where she knows she is nice and safe. The first trip to the dog park after havong her thundershirt, the difference was night and day. She didn’t display anywhere near the same level of fear she had in the past, she was content to wander off by herself at least 40ft or so from us, in the past the most was probably 15ft before turning around and running back close to us. If she did jump up on me it was a much different kind of jump, more along the lines of 'Hi mommy, look at me!' versus the typical 'Help! Help! Save me mommy!' It’s hard to describe my own excitement at this, watching my little girl have fun and want to share that joy with me, instead of terrified and feeling like she needed my protection. So for general anxiety, thumbs up Thundershirt! As a pet parent I am willing to try just about anything to be able to alleviate some of her fear, and with a price tag of just $36.00 for the thundershirt, it is well worth the small investment as the return is priceless!


For more information on the thundershirt please visit their website at http://www.thundershirt.com.

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I have "fostered" a lot of animals. Generally until they died of old age and I've never regretted a day of it. If my financial situation would allow me the option I probably would end up on one of those hoarder shows. Seriously, it can make the difference between a happy life for an animal and either being put down or ending up in a bad place. What is a little emotional trauma compared to the good that we can do by opening our homes to those who have so little control of their lives.smilies/grin.gif
corin , October 20, 2011

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