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Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:10 PM

Anyone have any experience with Thundershirts for anxious pets?

Honey seems to be getting more and more anxious/hyper as she... settles in doesn't seem like the right word since she's getting more anxious, but maybe it's more like, as she becomes more comfortable with us she feels freer to let her true self show...

Anyway, along with the pretty obsessive barking in the yard, she's having a very hard time winding down at night, wants to pace when we go to bed. Last night she woke me around 2am by barking at something (one of the cats in the living room?), so I brought her in the bedroom with us and closed the door, and she started eating the carpet! I opened the bedroom door to walk her to the kitchen for water and she started eating - as in ravenously devouring - a staffed animal. Not the stuffing - the toy itself! To the point of her then immediately puking it up, like some weird doggie bulimia. She woke me again this morning by eating the carpet again.

My bf wants to medicate her, but I don't like drugging myself, really don't want to drug my dog if I don't have to. The Thundershirt looks promising, based on Temple Grandin's hug therapy for cattle and autistic people, 4 star rating on amazon with a thousand reviews. Company claims it works for 80% of dogs. Anyone have any first-hand experience with it?

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Reply Anyone have any experience with Thundershirts for anxious pets? (Original post)
intheflow Feb 2013 OP
Stinky The Clown Feb 2013 #1
intheflow Feb 2013 #2
hamsterjill Feb 2013 #3
intheflow Feb 2013 #4
Auntie Bush Feb 2013 #5
ellisonz Feb 2013 #6
intheflow Feb 2013 #7
TrogL Feb 2013 #8
phylny Feb 2013 #9

Response to intheflow (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:30 PM

1. I have no direct experience, but there have been several threads in this group about them.

Most report that they work.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:40 PM

2. Ah, must do a search of the group.

Thanks, Stinky!

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Response to intheflow (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:48 PM

3. I have two dogs and two thundershirts.

The first dog is a very old guy who I inherited when my dad passed. He's pretty laid back, but gets antsy about some specific things (like certain noises, etc.). His thundershirt seems somewhat helpful to him, but makes no great difference in him. I see some benefit to him wearing it at times, but I don't see any drastic difference.

The second dog is a dog that I rescued from some jackass neighbors. She is a dachund mix. She was left out on a chain in all kinds of weather. To make a long, horrid story as short as possible, once she came to live with me and has been treated reasonably well - she has settled down enormously but still has a great amount of anxiety when it storms. Her thundershirt does wonders for her. If we have a storm of any magnitude, she pants so hard that she shakes my queen size bed. I've found that putting her thundershirt on her AND putting her in her crate for a few minutes allows her to settle down and relax. I do see a drastic difference with her. I believe the thundershirt is helpful to her.

So, how does any of this help you? Not much, I'm afraid. But if I were asked if I would buy the thundershirts again knowing what I know now, I WOULD buy them.

What you are describing with your dog, however, seems pretty severe and may require a good vet and/or a good trainer.

The best of luck to you and Honey!!!



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Response to hamsterjill (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:56 PM

4. I don't know how severe it is.

We've only had her for two weeks and this behavior has only started in the last couple days. She was found in the desert, so my bf's theory is that she gets more active at night because she would sleep during the hot days and be more awake for predators at night. It would be nice if the barking would lessen, but it's really the nighttime anxiety that I want to address with this shirt. She's mostly pretty mellow, for a puppy. But of course I'll take her to the vet if this keeps up at this pace for any length of time.

Edited to add: some of the reviews on amazon have said it works for general anxiety. And when she's been real hyper once or twice while we're watching tv at night, my bf has picked her up and held her like a baby. (She's 50 lbs, so this is not as easy as you might imagine!) But that seemed to help her calm down on those nights. That's what made me think of the shirt in the first place.

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Response to intheflow (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 01:33 PM

5. My dog could use one of those shirts if they really work.

She trembles and shakes all over, drools puddles of water, and climbs in my lap and trembles for hours. She's scared of any loud noises...far away thunder, fireworks, gun shots and even lid of dump truck banging after unloading. The wood deck cracks due to extreme temperature changes and sends her scare mode a lot this winter. Sometime she starts this shaking even when I don't hear the noise...but maybe if I had better hearing I would. lol

Medicine doesn't seem to help...so I'm hoping the thunder shirt might. Keep us informed if try one. I hate to spend the money as I've also read they don't really work.
I don't see how it can help more than my holding her tightly. Her spells last for many hours after each incident and I can't hold her that long. I feel so sorry for her being so frightened.

Honey sounds like she's been through many awful traumatic experiences in her short life. I feel sorry for her and you and your BF too. You two are wonderful people to try and help this poor dog. Have patience! Good luck! Thanks for your posts.

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Response to intheflow (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 04:09 AM

6. We've seen no great difference.

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Response to ellisonz (Reply #6)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 08:43 AM

7. I got one and it's helped her tremendously.

She'll fight it for about 10 minutes like a little kid who doesn't want to go to bed, but she finally succumbs and curls up to sleep like a baby.

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Response to intheflow (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 11:59 AM

8. Works for one of my doxies.

The other two, less so.

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Response to intheflow (Original post)

Wed Feb 27, 2013, 03:02 PM

9. Yes, we've used it for our shelter dog Jack during thunder storms.

It works quite well for him.

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