What is a ThunderShirt and How Might It Benefit Your Dog?

When the sky starts to cloud over and rain starts to fall, does your dog run and hide. Sometimes even the biggest of dogs can be the biggest of babies when it comes to loud noises like thunderstorms. If your dog is frightened by loud noises you can work to condition him so that he has a positive rather than a negative response to such things, though this type of training takes a while. In the meantime, you might think about getting him a ThunderShirt.

What is a ThunderShirt?

The ThunderShirt is essentially a vest that comes in different sizes and can be worn by your dog to help him feel less anxious. When you put it on your dog, the ThunderShirt applies gentle but constant pressure similar to the effect of swaddling an infant. Not only can this vest be worn by your dog during thunderstorms, but its calming effects can be applied to other causes for anxiety as well such as car rides, fireworks, air travel, vet visits, and more. It comes in a variety of different sizes to fit all breeds and ages, as well as a number of different colors and patterns to suit your preferences. The ThunderShirt boasts a more than 80% success rate and millions have been sold.

Other Tips for Calming an Anxious Dog

If your dog suffers from separation anxiety or is otherwise very nervous at times, there are some other things you can do to help him calm down. Here are some simple tips for soothing an anxious dog:

  • Give your dog plenty of love and attention. When your dog is feeling anxious, human contact can be very helpful. Give your dog a big hug and spend some time sitting with him and petting him until he calms down.
  • Take your dog for a walk. If your dog is displaying signs of anxiety, it may help for you to distract him by taking him for a quick walk or run. Exercise can also be a source of stress relief for dogs as for humans.
  • Make sure your dog sees you acting calmly. Dogs respond to cues from their owners so if your dog starts to get nervous and you immediately coddle him, you’ll simply be reinforcing the idea that there’s something to be nervous about. If you remain calm, your dog might as well.
  • Distract him with a special toy. If your dog becomes stressed or anxious he may work off some of that nervous energy by chewing on things. To protect your home and soothe your dog, give him a special toy to play with. Interactive toys and food-dispensing toys are great for this purpose.
  • Talk to your veterinarian. If you have tried multiple tactics to calm your dog down or condition him to reduce his fear and nothing seems to work, talk to your veterinarian to see if there might be some kind of underlying health problem contributing to his anxiety.

All dogs are different so you’ll need to adapt to your dog’s specific needs. If your dog tends to be very anxious, you might want to look into training opportunities to help him overcome his fear instead of coddling him every time he gets upset. It will be better for your dog in the long run if you condition him to reduce his fear response and help him become a more confident, well-adjusted dog.