We all love our pets and want them to be happy. But should pet owners really resort to canine Prozac to keep dogs calm during thunderstorms and other stressful situations? Vets across the country are saying no, thanks to one of the most popular new products in pet accessories. It’s called the Thundershirt.
Simply velcro your pooch into the lightweight shirt (it comes in 7 different sizes) and let the Thundershirt work its magic. The makers of Thundershirt claim that the “gentle, constant pressure” of the jacket has a calming effect on dogs and reduces the need for anxiety medication in excited, nervous, or fearful dogs.
They aren’t the first to claim pressure and a treatment option. World-renowned veterinarians and experts like Dr. Temple Grandin have used gentle physical pressure on cattle and horses to reduce anxiety before vaccinations or exams. Furthermore, humans swaddle their infants up tightly for comfort, and even children with autism or other behavioral problems have found focus and solace from pressure shirts or vests.
But is a $36 jacket really going to fix Fido’s fear of fireworks? The people at Thundershirt say maybe. Out of 2,000 dogs that sampled the contraption, 80 percent of their owners reported a significant improvement. And while the jacket may not exactly quell all discomfort of loud noises and triggers, it can prove to be very helpful to dogs that dislike vet visits, riding in the car, traveling, or being home alone.
However, Thundershirt’s makers realize it may not work for every dog’s anxiety or fashion sense, and offer customers a generous return policy for up to 45 days after purchase. As far as solutions for worried pups, the Thundershirt definitely can’t hurt.