When I saw chatter about the ThunderShirt on Twitter, I quickly jumped in. “Does that thing work?” I asked. Enough folks said yes that I bought one for Bradley, immediately.
Bradley is a relatively calm dog, with some seriously strange anxiety. It’s hard watching your pup get scared and not knowing how to help him. The main reason we purchased the ThunderShirt was to help Bradley with his fear of fireworks and thunder. Second to that, we wanted to try it out on some of other fears. Bradley is terrified of flies. He also has a touch of separation anxiety.
When the ThunderShirt arrived we read all the directions carefully and made sure to follow the rules. It’s hard not to throw it on your dog and see if it works! We started by putting it on him during his favorite moments, like right before he ate, or if he was just lying around relaxing. He was a little uneasy about the velcro noise the shirt makes, but as soon as I got it on him he was fine with it.
After a while, we decided to put the ThunderShirt to the test. If we knew a storm was blowing in, or I knew I would be leaving the house I’d put it on him, before the anxiety started.
During thunderstorms, the ThunderShirt worked great! In fact, it’s helped reduce his anxiety and he doesn’t mind storms as much as he used to.
The separation anxiety improved with the ThunderShirt on. When the Shirt is on Bradley, he’ll go lay in a corner and watch me as I’m getting ready to leave. Without the Thundershirt on he’s a little more unpredictable. Occasionally he’ll run around, nervously herding me or he finds a corner to hide in. Using the ThunderShirt for anxiety has been a little more difficult to test, because it meant Andrew had to be home to take it off of him, once I left.
After I posted a photo of Bradley in his ThunderShirt, the company, ThunderWorks, asked if I’d like to test the Camo Polo. Sadly, I ordered one size smaller, thinking it would still fit him and it didn’t. Make sure to measure your dog before ordering! I decided to test it by trying it out on my sisters dog. Her dog was a stray, and he’s generally always anxious. He was the perfect candidate!
His reaction to the shirt hasn’t been the same as Bradley’s. He’s cautious and not sure about it. It’s hard to place it on him when he’s in a calm state, because he’s always a little on edge. With a little extra work, it could be beneficial, but during my testing, I’ve found the ThunderShirt works best on dogs with occasional anxiety.
Despite the mixed results, I recommend the ThunderShirt. Not only is it a far healthier option then giving your dog anxiety medicine, but it’s a simple solution, if it works. I’m finding that it works best for anxieties that are somewhat predictable. I haven’t tried the ThunderShirt for Bradley’s fear of flies, yet. Flies are unpredictable, and I don’t want to put the shirt on him while he’s already scared. Storms are often predictable, and it’s easier to prepare him. I really think the biggest key to success is following the instructions. If it’s not right for your dog, ThunderWorks offers a full refund, if returned within 45 days.
I’d love to hear from others who have tried it! Have you tried the Thundershirt on your dog? Did it work?