Dog anxiety vests, also known as “thunder shirts,” are a popular solution for pet owners dealing with anxious or fearful dogs. These vests are designed to apply gentle, constant pressure to the dog’s torso, creating a calming effect similar to swaddling a baby. This pressure can help reduce anxiety in dogs caused by thunderstorms, fireworks, separation, and other stressful situations.
In this article, we will discuss the benefits of dog anxiety vests, how they work, and the different types available on the market. Additionally, we will provide tips on how to properly fit and use the vest for maximum effectiveness. If you’re looking for a natural, non-pharmaceutical solution to help your anxious dog, read on to learn more about dog anxiety vests.
How Can I Tell If My Dog Has Separation Anxiety?
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There are several ways to tell if your dog has separation anxiety;
- Instantly starts crying if cannot get to you and an alternative follows you around
- Your dog may start crying or get really worked up and anxious when your leave the house, or even get ready to leave. Picking up your keys or putting on your coat could be a simple trigger for this behaviour to start
- If your dog starts destroying your furniture in your house or even wetting every time you’re not around
- Finally, when you get home your dog over greets you and may wet or take a long time to calm down.
Separation Anxiety in dogs does often occur when;
- A dog that has been rescued. These dogs have a higher rate of separation anxiety due to the situations that they have been brought up in.
- Something has changed at home. This can become unsettling for your dog and confusing.
- You have been away on holiday for some time
- You have spent more time than normal at home with your dog
- Something traumatic may have happened such as a major storm
- Finally, you move home to a new town/city away from the normal surroundings.
Helping My Dog Overcome Separation Anxiety
Training your dog to be comfortable when you’re not around is difficult as your dog should learn to accept that you need to be away from them sometimes. As with all dog training the earlier you start it and the more frequent, the easier it becomes.
To help overcome separation anxiety;
- Always ensure your dog has a nice comfortable, warm bed and plenty of fresh clean water before you leave them alone.
- Take your dog on plenty of walks once or twice a day. This will ensure your dog is well exercised and tired before you leave. Tips on Mastering Dog Walking are available and a great walk will ensure your dog rests whilst you are out
- Dog Toys should also be available to keep the dog entertained in your absence
- It could also be a good idea to purchase an Anti-Bark collar. These are great if your dog barks regularly whilst you’re out. Also, check out the Dog Appeasing Pheromone Collars and Plug Ins that help calm and relax your dog in any room.
- Finally, ignoring your dog whilst you get ready to leave is a great way of getting your dog in the mindset that they are going to be alone. Also, do the same when you return, ignore them for 5 minutes whilst you settle back in the house.
10 Incredible Dog Anxiety Vests To Get Of Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety
These snug-fitting vests create pressure on various sections of your pet’s body just like swaddling a baby. The Thundershirt is recommended by Vets and Dog Trainers around the world as a great alternative to drugs
Choosing a Thundershirt
There are many options available for the Thundershirt and ensuring you have the right size is the most important part. The Thundershirt needs to hug your pet’s body, securing a tight snug fit under its belly. XXS is available for dogs up to 7 pounds in weight and XXL is available for the larger dog, up to 110 pounds in weight.
SEE THE DIAGRAM TO THE LEFT TO IDENTIFY THE PARTS MENTIONED BELOW
- Place the ThunderShirt on your dog’s back and wrap the Short Flap under the torso.
- Wrap the Long Flap under the torso and secure with fasteners onto the Short Flap. Make a comfortable, snug fit.
- Wrap the Top Flap down onto the Long Flap and secure it with fasteners. Adjust to improve the snug fit and keep ThunderShirt securely in place.
- Wrap the Chest Straps Lightly around the front of your dog (the chest straps should not apply pressure to the neck) and secure them with fasteners. The calming pressure is applied by the torso flaps, not the chest straps
a Thundershirt Vest comes with super long sticky velcro straps that make it easy to fit and super snug to your dog. If your Thundershirt is slightly too big, the velcro straps do help to make a snug fit. If you do find a shop that sells the Thundershirt, see if you can try it before you buy. This will ensure you buy the right size.
Some places do allow you to get these personalized to your dog at a small charge and they also come in other colors such as Blue or Pink. The standard version is grey with a logo of a dog hugging itself.
Thundershirt Sizing Guide
The Thundershirt size guide highlights the multiple different sizes and what weight dog they are suitable for. Check the table to find the more suitable size for your dog. If you believe your dog to be of a different shape to a normal dog, then you can go up 1 size or down 1 size. The Velcro straps will ensure you get a snug fit. The Thundershirt is very adjustable and is suitable for different dog shapes. If you go more than one size up or down then you will struggle to get the Thundershirt to fit comfortably.
What works well?
Thundershirt’s four-step instructions and photos on their website, http://www.thundershirt.co.uk/ quickly helped me put the Thundershirt on. Once fit, always suggested to remove the Thundershirt and then try again, so you and your dog get used to it being applied.
What doesn’t quite work?
This is not an instant cure to dog anxiety. Dogs are known to still whine a little and cry but there are improvements made. Although dog anxiety can be a difficult one to fix, Thundershirt has really helped support the development of dog anxiety and helped owners around the world improve the anxiety within their dogs.
Like the Adaptil Dog Collar and the Adaptil Plug-In Diffuser, you can use the Thundershirt as often as you like. I find this to be the perfect product for car journeys and trips to the vet as the snug feel helps your dog be more relaxed and comfortable.
Following on from the Thundershirt, our next dog anxiety vest is the American Kennel Club Anti-Anxiety vest. This dog anxiety vest will help your dog overcome a fear of loud noise and other forms of anxiety that your dog may suffer from. With a wide range of sizes and colours available, the American Kennel Club has catered for all breeds of dogs.
The most important part of choosing any coat or vest is the size. Ensuring the vest fits snug to your dog’s body is a MUST. All of the suitable dog anxiety vests only work well if they are snug, giving the dog the feeling they are being cuddled. The American Kennel Club is simple to fit and remove and is machine washable.
After only a few days, your dog’s anxiety problems will start to fade. Just like the Thundershirt, the American Kennel Club vest helps make your dog feel safe and secure with its snug fitting and comfort. Reviews of the dog anxiety vest have highlighted that this vest is great for dogs with a fear of thunder and lightning.
Most dog owners resort to tablet form medication and can spend hundreds and get a little result. With the American Kennel Club Dog Anxiety Vest, you will get near-instant results.
This amazing dog anxiety vest is designed to cover all of your dog’s body. The Original Dog Anxiety Vest uses the same pressures of the previous 2 reviewed anxiety vests and ensures maximum comfort for your dog. Like all of the perfect dog anxiety vests, reducing anxiety in your dog is the main aim of this product.
Designed with amazing breathable material, you can stretch the vest in several ways to ensure extra comfort. The vest is available in multiple sizes and is practical for all dogs in various anxious moments, including thunderstorms and fireworks. The dog anxiety vest is also great for trips in the car or to the vets to provide additional security in what may be a stressful situation.
Dog owners that have used this product have stated that since introducing the Original Dog Anxiety Vest they have noticed a big change in their dogs. Owners of the vest stated they had fewer sleepless nights and more importantly, a much more relaxed dog. As with all the perfect dog anxiety vests, they are not designed to change your dog’s behaviour but more the mental attitude to stressful situations.
In conclusion, a dog anxiety vest can be an effective tool for managing the symptoms of anxiety in dogs. These vests apply gentle pressure to the dog’s body, which can have a calming effect and help to reduce anxiety. They are easy to use, comfortable for the dog to wear, and can be worn during a variety of activities. It’s important to consult with a veterinarian or a professional trainer before using a dog anxiety vest to ensure that it is the right solution for your dog’s specific needs. With the right care and attention, a dog anxiety vest can help to improve the quality of life for both the dog and the owner.