Thundershirt Dog Anxiety Treatment Review: It Works If You Follow Directions

Our 12-year-old Terrier mix Muffin goes bonkers when she even smells thunder coming our way.

The normally tough (I tell people she is a cross between a Terrier and a German Shepard) and calm girl starts barking and running around demanding she be taken outside, where she will simply try to run away.

Muffin sporting the Thundershirt

We had lost her several times for hours before realizing the issue.

Recently I saw a display for the Thundershirt and decided to give it a try. It works wonders. But it doesn’t work for all situations and for all dogs and YOU HAVE TO FOLLOW DIRECTIONS.

First of all make sure you get the right size. The Thundershirt has to fit tight, so as to embrace your pet.

You have to introduce your pet to the Thundershirt so he or she will like it and associate it only to good things. The company recommends letting your dog first smell the garment, and then place treats on it, so she will associate it with food.

Let your dog wear it FIRST before there is any anxious moments coming up. Your dog should not associate the Thundershirt with anxiety. Have your dog wear it for a few hours at a time when everything is good.

If there is a storm coming. Put the Thundershirt on early and leave it on hours after it went away.

Now we have a second head case – Nitza – a 97 pound Rhodesian Ridgeback who has anxiety issues after the breeder kept her crated 23 hours a day during the first 18 months of her life.

I bought a large one for her and used it to take her to the vet recently Рnot a fun trip for anyone  especially for the annual physical where shots are given and blood is taken (I could probably wear one myself when its my time). Frankly, I did not put it on properly. While it worked a little, I will have to practice with it. Maybe its the wrong size, a little too big.

Anyway, check it out at Amazon where it sells for $40 – cheaper than many stores – and has a four star rating from 445 customers.

The company offers a money back guarantee.

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8 Comments on "Thundershirt Dog Anxiety Treatment Review: It Works If You Follow Directions"

  1. We have found the Thundershirts to be excellent for thunderstorm phobias. Two of our pets are afraid of thunder and fireworks. The Thundershirt greatly reduced their fear response during storms. I’m looking forward to trying them around 4th of July next year!

  2. It’s an outstanding product, George, and you’re on target in your suggestion to simply follow the directions. We’ve found that it’s helpful to put the shirt on our dog before the storm arrives or at least before she begins to panic and burrow under our furniture. Or dog tends to try to dig into places underneath things where there are typically a lot of electricity cords and power strips – worst place she could be in a thunderstorm. Generally the thundershirt calms her down and she can lay on the floor nearby without running and trying to tear apart the house. It’s like swaddling an infant.

  3. I have had great success with the original pressure wrap, The Anxiety Wrap designed by Susan Sharpe, CPDT. The patented design with elastic and adjustable elements applies pressure to acupressure points in the neck, shoulder and chest area, belly, mid-section and hind legs. In a recent study conducted at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine by veterinarian, Dr. Nicholas Dodman the Anxiety Wrap was found to be effective in 89% of dogs afflicted with Thunderstorm phobia. I have seen consistent results with the Anxiety Wrap and highly recommend it as part of a behavior modification plan for dogs with anxiety. More information can be gleaned from the company website:

  4. Thunder Shirt didn’t work for my Elkhound.

    Just as anxiety-ridden and terrified with the Thunder Shirt on. Made no difference whatsoever. I think many perceive an improvement where there is actually no improvement.

    I put the Thunder Shirt in the “gimmick” category.

    • Terry Spencer | July 5, 2015 at 10:28 pm |

      Me too. I agree with you.

      • Lacey Mattsen | July 5, 2016 at 8:30 pm |

        Agreed! It does NOT work for our dog either! Tried giving it longer to work and it does not. And of course, ThunderShirt will not let us return it because it has been more than 45 days…..

  5. Doesn’t work for my Chijuahua. Returning it.

  6. We have definitely have noticed an improvement with our Schnauzer’s Storm/fireworks anxiety. He has gained a few lbs as he has aged, & I am going to order a bigger size now.

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