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Has Anyone Tried the ThunderShirt or Anxiety Wraps for Dogs

 
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Do these really work?  I have been wanting to get the ThunderShirt for our dog, who is constantly barking at every little noise she hears.

Then I found out about the anxiety wraps and the Temple Grandin and Tellington Touch: methods.

Two resources have researched the issue on how pressure soothes.The first source is TTouch practitioners. TTouch was developed by Linda Tellington-Jones to help train horses and relax the horse's mind and body. It was eventually adapted for other animals too. It uses a system of specific touches, and stretches to relax the animal, and increase body awareness.

One of the tools used to continue TTouch benefits for a longer time is a body wrap.

The second resource is the famous autism researcher Temple Grandin who was herself an autistic child. Inspired by how cattle calmed down while being gently squeezed in a chute she developed a “hug machine”.  

The hug machine helped maintain constant pressure and proved to be effective in soothing the anxiety of autistic people. On the same lines a pressure wrap is a way to give the maintained pressure and contact that the dog craves for in times of anxiety.  




 
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My parents use a thundershirt on their dog (pure bred english setter used for bird hunting) and they say it works wonders, I have a little chunk of a dog (pit bull mutt used for keeping the couch warm) that I squeeze into a sweater and it keeps her much calmer during fireworks or storms.
 
Anne Miller
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Stephen, thanks for sharing.

I may try a sweater, she has some that are a little too small.

It will be an interesting experiment.
 
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I bought a thunder shirt for my old dog, Levi. As he got older loud noises bothered him. Thunder, fireworks, gunfire, and I live 6 mile from a navy bombing range and their practice would make him get all nervous and panting. The shirt helped, but he'd get hotter in it. For him, I could only use it in cooler weather. Wearing it made it so that if it was booming he could lay down beside me and be ok. Instead of the constant panting/sweating profusely and trying to get... on top of me. He was a sixty pound lap dog... And as he got older an the things set him off it was like he wanted to be one with me. That was only the last couple years of his life. He passed in January. I loved that dog an miss him. But glad the anxeity problem is no longer...
 
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We have a rescue Great Pyrenees mix named Bella.  We think she used to live in the wild because she is an excellent hunter.

She is extremely afraid of thunderstorms.  We got her a thundershirt.  

Honestly I can't tell any difference between her when she wears the shirt and when she is not wearing the shirt.  

She shivers and pants like crazy and hunkers down in my closet.  

Q
 
Anne Miller
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The lady in the video seems so considerate to explain about introducing the wrap slowly so that the dog is introduced to something new.

The other thing that I got from the video is that a person should never leave the wrap on the dog when it is unattended.

That is a bummer because that is the main reason I was considering getting one.  Our dog seems to have separation anxiety.
 
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We have a ~5-pound chihuahua who is afraid of any load noise, including road noise on the interstate. We bought a ThunderShirt three years ago. The first, an extra small, was terrific at calming her panic episodes. However, she "porked up" a bit (from 3 to 5 pounds) and the extra small grew too small. We upgraded her to a small, which is not as effective because it does not fit as tightly.

What is tight? Think of spandex leggings: close to the skin under which a finger feels a bit tight. The animal should feel a solid "hug" while being able to breath. As someone pointed out above, the ThunderShirt also functions well as a base layer for our ever-cold chihuahua.

One other thing to keep in mind - our chihuahua has very short hair so a ThunderShirt fits next to her skin. On a dog with more hair, I am less certain about sizing so I would consult with the pet store about how the shirt should be "tailored."  

Maybe we're daredevils, but our chihuahua wears her ThunderShirt when we are not home with her. I'm not sure how she could be harmed any more by a ThunderShirt than by any of her numerous sweaters. Maybe if she were more rambunctious, I would be more concerned.
 
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I have a Jack Russell with separation anxiety and the shirt made little or no difference in her behavior plus it is too hot in the warmer months.
 
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These are very much like anything else, they work for some very well, some they work somewhat for and others they just don't do as advertised, it depends mostly on the animal's anxiety levels.

Just recently there came on the market a full body design that is marketed for keeping hair off you and your furniture, it is also a body hugger like the thunder shirt, the difference is the material they are using is cool cloth so it doesn't make the animal become overheated.
If your animal calms when you pull them close to your leg (if you bring them to your chest they focus on your heart beat just like a child does), then most likely one of these products will have some benefits to your animal. If it doesn't calm, then no hugger shirt is going to help much.

Good description Christopher Scott! spot on the money with that description of how tight these things should be to the animal.

Redhawk
 
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Consider using"Rescue Remedy" for the anxiety. I have used it with my dogs and the results are great. I used to do quite a bit of animal rescue work, and used this when transporting anxious dogs, and during storms.
Last summer I ran out of it, and had to use a Valerian tincture I had made during a particularly stormy day. That really worked too. For dogs, mixing the tincture in molasses helped with the administration of it.
 
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Hi Anne, we have a German Shepherd we rescued from the shelter, and he is just a bundle of issues, but two of the worst have been how gun-shy he is (lots of hunters round here) and how thunder-shy he is. The thunder shirt definitely helped, but didn’t completely solve, the issues. It was sorta like it took things down several notches, so that instead of bouncing off the walls, he paces back and forth between them, agitated but not flipped out, if that makes sense. Which is consistent with Bryant’s theory, because while holding him close helps, he is still agitated and not entirely soothed.
 
Anne Miller
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Thanks everyone for the replies.  I am still "sitting on the fence"  on the Thunder Shirt as I am afraid if I buy one it will be too big or too small.

Barbara Martin wrote:Consider using"Rescue Remedy" for the anxiety. I have used it with my dogs and the results are great. I used to do quite a bit of animal rescue work, and used this when transporting anxious dogs, and during storms.
Last summer I ran out of it, and had to use a Valerian tincture I had made during a particularly stormy day. That really worked too. For dogs, mixing the tincture in molasses helped with the administration of it.



I had a product like that for our other dog (before she died).

I have Valerian capsules so I would like to try giving it to her.  How much Valerian would I use for a 10 lb dog?  The capsules are 450 mg, would half of one be OK?

“The dose range for the dried herb and tincture is very large and dependent on the dog’s level of anxiety or stress,” McFaddin says. “And a lower dose may be needed if the dog is taking other medication for anxiety or sedation.” According to Veterinary Herbal Medicine, by Wynn and Barbara Fougere, the recommended dose of dried valerian root for a dog is between 1 and 7.5 grams, and for tinctures is between 7 and 15 milliliters.

Dosing depends on the form of valerian—capsule, drops, or whole-dried root—says Morgan, but generally speaking, “It should be administered three to four times daily in small doses starting a few days before the anxiety-inducing event.”



https://www.petmd.com/dog/wellness/valerian-root-dogs-does-it-work
 
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i know someone who gives their dog cbd for anxiety while they are at work
 
Artie Scott
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We had a pretty big storm here this afternoon. Max was pawing the furniture and tipping things over, including my Christmas cactus. That ain’t right.

So, I broke out the thunder shirt and sat with him on the porch - he laid at my feet, still agitated, but at least not pacing around destroying things.
177567DD-873A-431C-989D-8EDC5C62ADEA.jpeg
[Thumbnail for 177567DD-873A-431C-989D-8EDC5C62ADEA.jpeg]
Thunder Shirt
 
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