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Has anyone seen a pooch wandering around at the dog park wearing a metrosexually fitted dog shirt? Did they look cool, collected, and most importantly calm? You may have just seen a pooch sporting a thundershirt.
The company, Thunderworks, initially developed thundershirts with the aim to help the founder’s pooch, Dosi, with her storm phobia. They noticed that the hugging confirmation of the jacket helped to calm her anxiety both before, and during storms.
Along the way, however, they found the product tended to help ease all type of anxieties , and not just for dogs. The company started to differentiate their product offerings for both dogs, and cats, and pet parents found good success in treating separation anxiety, stress associated with travel, visits to the vet clinic, and of course storm phobias.
And the testimonials on their site certainly support the statements made above.
“This thundershirt has literally saved my life! My dog had severe anxiety to the point that he shook and cried so severely that I was afraid to leave him. I was to the point of going to the vet for medication. When I got the shirt, I figured I had wasted my money but after putting the Thundershirt on him the first day he was so calm and relaxed, I couldn’t believe the difference. He stopped crying and shaking. Now any time he is distressed by anything, I put the shirt on him and go on throughout my day.”
Before we go any further, to clarify, this is an independent review done by Vetico, looking at the value of the product for anxieties for pets (which is an all too common condition). There is no financial incentive to promote the product, other to ascertain whether it works or not, and if so, whether anxiety ridden pets would benefit from wearing one.
So how do they actually work? The snug fitting shirts target certain pressure points on the pet, ideally instigating a calming sensation. Therefore, as you can imagine , getting the correct fit is critical. So it may not be unreasonable to assume that as a pet owner, you may need to try before you buy to ensure you get the right size for your pooch.
The company has done it’s best to offer a shirt for all dog sizes, with 7 sizes available, whilst cats have 3 sizes, which should cover cats of all shapes and sizes. The general consensus that seems to be agreed upon when choosing a thundershirt is as follows. When in doubt, choose one size smaller than anticipated.
I guess the next question to ask, is how complicated is it to actually use the jacket? And do pets tolerate it? In terms of the challenges of fitting the jacket to your pet, the product comes with easy to follow directions, and gives you guidance and reassurance on what to expect. Ie, cats often freeze and flop when you first put it on, but they soon get used to it.
Don’t expect it to resolve the problem 100%
Limitations on purchase options. Can buy online, but risky as the success of the product depends upon its fit
Tolerability – Animals may not tolerate it
Based on the information on hand, testimonials, and pros and cons, we give this product a Vetico Pet Product Rating of 4 paws out of 5.
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