Calm Before the Storm: The Thundershirt

We have a storm hater on our hands. Catching the weather forecast is not optional in our home: we actually plan around storms, making sure we’re home when the big ones hit. Sola loses her mind when the pressure changes and storms roll in over the mountains from the west. We’ve tried medication (mainly sedatives) with no luck. Our vet has recommended Prozac, but if I could find a less intrusive (and chemical-free) solution it would be ideal.

Enter the Thundershirt. The manufacturer claims that this piece of apparel will calm your dog during inclement weather. For around $40, and with a money back guarantee, this may be the answer many of us have waited for. Does it really work? Owners report mixed results, but considering the return policy I think we’re going to have to give this a try.

I’ll offer updates in the future, but would love to hear from those of you who have tried this. Did it work for your dog?

Life With Dogs post end paw print

from KOMO 4

19 thoughts on “Calm Before the Storm: The Thundershirt

  1. Woo-Hoo! We have had good success with this product. Karroo …our retired racing Greyhound has …at the age of 7…developed a GREAT fear of thunderstorms. At the first rumble….we put on the shirt and she is MUCH calmer now. Mind you…it doesn’t CURE her…but makes her feel MUCH calmer about the whole mess. Before she was a shivering mess, trying to find a safe place to hide, and never quite finding that place. Now she lays down with the rest of the houndies and is OK with it.
    Put it on as tight as you can…that’s how it works best. And don’t let Nigel laugh at Sola. Some day it might be him. Karroo didn’t start this fear until age 7!!

  2. We do the same thing with our Parker using a $5 Ace bandage. Check out Tellington Touch to see how to do the wrap – it’s pretty simple.

  3. Who would have guessed? Read the comments above and am amazed that something so simple can help calm a dog. Jan had a cat once that because so terrified of storms, he would run around looking for a safe cupboard to hide in long before the storm arrived. Good luck with Sola.

  4. Works pretty well on my dog. I won’t say it’s a complete cure, but it sure takes the edge off of the fear. She’s still uneasy, but doesn’t seem to go into full on panic mode with the product on. The key is to get it on and tightly, before the storm gets to your area.

  5. My German Shepherd, Annie (rip), was terrified of thunderstorms. If they came through at night, she’d try desperately to squeeze her 100lb self into an 8 x 12 inch space between my bed and dresser to hide near me. I had to try to sleep with my hand resting somewhere on her back or neck. I found that covering her with a sweatshirt (or two, depending on the storm) while she was there really helped her trembling stop, and kept my arm from falling asleep while hanging over the edge of the bed. Well, until she would try to spin and lay in the other direction. Then I’d have to recover her. Wish I would have thought of this or realized there were other options, like the Ace bandage trick. It’s good to spread the news about how other people help their pets get through a fearsome ordeal. Thanks!

  6. I’ve read about a couple of success stories, with regard to the thundershirt, on blog land. I hope it works for you!

  7. It seems like it would be worth it. Some doggies suffer so much when the boomers start, or even before they start.

    wags, Lola

  8. We haven’t tried this, but we feel your pain! Lilac is our stormophobe here and storms just send her over the edge. I’ve heard that giving them melatonin as a daily supplement helps, but we haven’t found it easily available here near us. I’ll be very curious to see if it works for you!

  9. I’ve heard about using t-shirts for nervous dogs through T-Touch, so I would imagine that the Thundershirt would work as well. A better fit, too! 🙂

  10. We left a comment earlier but then got a connection error message. Joey Stains has one and it seems to work well for him. Phantom senses storms coming 24-36 hours ahead of their arrival and gets very anxious. When the storm actually hits, he is much better. He didn’t react well to his t-shirt last summer, so not sure this would work for him.

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  11. I had a dog once who used to stick her butt up in the air and bark at thunder. I don’t know that she was scared of it necessarily though. She didn’t run and hide or act like it upset her.

    My current pets don’t seem to even pay any attention to storms.

  12. I hope it works as well for you as it has for Daisy. It has worked like a charm during the many Thunderstorms we have had this year. As soon as the thunder starts to rumble, Daisy starts pacing. But now, I just put on her Thundershirt and she goes to her kennel and falls alseep in her kennel. It has worked with mixed results for fireworks. It seems that if I get it on her prior to the big ones starting she does great, but if I wait too long then it doesn’t seem to calm her as easily. I still love it. Worth the money in my book!

  13. Thundershirts were just recently one of the topics for discussion on the Clean Run Yahoo group (for Agility enthusiasts). I’d say most people felt they were helpful, some saying it was mildly helpful, to others saying it was amazing. Several people mentioned that getting the correct (and snug) fit is very important. It’s a risk-free purchase so it’s worth a try!

  14. What an interesting concept! I don’t have a problem with storms and thunder but I know a lot of doggies do – and I have a blog friend (Darwin the Great Dane in Seattle) who has tried the Thundershirt – I think her humans thought she was calmer, although they weren’t sure it was all due to the shirt as she had also had a very big playdate that day! 😛

    Honey the Great Dane

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