Thousands of dogs suffer from severe anxiety attacks during thunder storms. They typically shake violently from head to toe until the storms pass. Unfortunately, there is nothing their owner can do to calms them. They can wrap them in a blanket, hold them tight, rock and sing to them or try to distract them with treats and toys but nothing takes their anxiety away. Some well-meaning dog owners have resorted to vet prescribed drugs. Usually, by the time these drugs kick in, the storms are over and you have a 'loopy' dog that just wants to lick himself. There is a natural way to help your four-legged friend through their fear of storms.
The thunder shirts have been on the market for a few years and are proving to be beneficial for dogs who suffer from severe anxiety during storms. These T-shirts are more of a wrap than what one would think of when they think if a T-shirt or a shirt that goes over the dogs head. These 'storm absorbing' outfits calm and sooth a dog almost immediately by placing constant, mild pressure on their bodies, almost like swaddling a baby. But you've tried that you say? Most of these thunder shirts are made of a durable stretchy material that allows the dog to move about, yet feel secure in snug fitting comfort.
The majority of the thunder shirts are easy to put on the dog. They lay on the dogs back and wrap around their chest, just under their neck with a large patch of Velcro®, then attach under their stomach the same way. They are meant to fit snug, but not tight. It is important to measure your dog, around their stomach and over the back, and then order the correct size for your dog's breed and size or this will probably not work. Another not about the Velcro®, it is very important to remove extra hair from the loops in the attachments. When dogs are anxious, they shed even more than normal. Pulling out the excess hair from the thunder shirts will help them work better by fitting better.
Many of the companies that sell the thunder shirts online have videos of anxious dogs, some afraid of storms, others afraid of vacuum cleaner, all running around trying to find a 'safe' place to hide from the noise and irritations. Once they are outfitted with the thunder shirt, they are still aware of the thunder or the vacuum, but they are very calm, they relax on the couch and simply wait out the noise.
There is no training involved with a thunder shirt. A dog will know what to do once they have their shirt on. These thunder shirts can be used for any anxious situation that seems to upset your dog. Thunder shirts can be used for storms, separation anxiety, noise apprehensions, excessive barking and travel nervousness.
Purchasing a thunder shirt for your dog is one of the best things you can do for him if you live in an area where there are many storms, a lot of loud noises or other anxieties that are bothersome to him. You will be amazed at the change that overcomes him in a matter of seconds.
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About the author:
I'm a writer/dog trainer/rescue volunteer.