Does the Thundershirt for Dogs Really Work?

Does the Thundershirt really work?

Note: This Thundershirt review is written by my mom Nancy Stordahl. She maintains the blog Nancy’s Point.

Thundershirt review

My golden retriever Elsie is a bit nervous during thunderstorms OR fireworks.

OK, that’s an understatement.

Elsie is extremely nervous during thunderstorms. In fact, it doesn’t even need to be an actual thunderstorm.

Elsie seems to have some kind of built-in barometric pressure reader. She seems to know when a thunderstorm is coming. Then when it finally does arrive, the real fun begins.

Does your dog need a thundershirt

When Elsie senses an approaching thunderstorm, all the classic canine symptoms of anxiety begin to kick in:

  • She becomes restless.
  • Her body language “screams” worry.
  • She paces. She sniffs the air.
  • She pants – a lot.
  • She whimpers.
  • She forcefully nudges her way under my legs or chair.
  • She “digs.”
  • She tries to find a safe spot. She can’t – in her mind, there isn’t one.

Thundershirt for golden retriever Elsie

These behaviors start off on the mild side, but quickly escalate, becoming highly annoying and frustrating. Elsie ends up in full-blown, panic-attack mode. I kid you not.

Whenever these symptoms begin to happen, I immediately put her in her kennel in my basement and turn a fan onto its highest setting in order to cool her down and hopefully drown out some of the “terror.”

Other things I’ve tried:

  • Ignoring the behaviors. No luck.
  • Providing comfort verbally and physically by speaking reassuringly while petting and stroking her gently. No luck. See the post, Can you reward a dog’s fear?
  • Putting her into a confined space such as a bathroom.
  • Anti-anxiety drug via her vet. Again, to no avail.

The Thundershirt review – did it really work?

Does the Thundershirt really work

When That Mutt offered me an opportunity to test out a product called the Thundershirt, I was thrilled.

As it turned out, our trial run came at the perfect time. The Fourth of July was also fast approaching.

In addition to thunderstorms, my dog is afraid of fireworks and firecrackers. Since we live in Wisconsin where such noisemakers are legal, we get to hear such sounds for more than a few days before and after the Fourth.

More opportunity for testing!

Now a bit about the Thundershirt.

The particular product I am critiquing is called the Thundershirt and is marketed as “The Best Solution for Dog Anxiety.”

It has a patent-pending design that applies constant pressure on a dog’s abdomen. This pressure is intended to calm the dog, much like swaddling an infant is supposed to calm her. It’s basically a “wrap” for your dog held in place with Velcro.

The Thundershirt for dogs is labeled as safe, effective, drug free and easy to use, so I will comment on these four claims.

Safety – Yes, it’s a safe product to use as far as I can tell, although I did not leave it on my dog while she was kenneled as she tends to chew/destroy things in her kennel when she is agitated.

I didn’t know if she would “eat” the product or harm herself with it in some way. She probably would not have, but my choice was better safe than sorry.

Drug free – Yes! I don’t like drugs for myself or for my dogs. See the post, Medications for dogs during fireworks.

Easy to use – Hmm. I am not good with puzzles. Thankfully the Thundershirt came with a good diagram. Let’s just say I needed it! Most people will probably figure it out more quickly than I did.

Effective – Well, for my dog, not so much. See what others thought of it here.

Will a Thundershirt stop my dog’s fear of storms?

Thundershirt for dogs review - Does the Thundershirt for dogs really work?For our particular situation, the Thundershirt did not prove to be very effective in reducing my dog’s stress.

I did notice a slight decrease in her anxiety with a gentle rain (no thunder or lightening, just drizzle), so this was something I will keep testing. Yes, my dog starts to get nervous even when there is a gentle rain!

Maybe she can progress. Who knows?

One positive thing is that Elsie did not seem to mind one bit about putting on or wearing the Thundershirt. There was no struggle to put it on her at all.

Another observation I made was that part of the Velcro came undone after only one use.

All in all, the Thundershirt did not solve our problem.

Could the Thundershirt work for other dogs?

The Thundershirt did not help Elsie overcome her thunderstorm anxiety. However, every dog is an individual and this product may or may not help your dog.

It’s important to point out that my dog is an extreme case. If you have a dog only beginning to exhibit signs of anxiety, this product might be of help in keeping the problem from getting worse.

… every dog is an individual and this product may or may not help your dog.

The Thundershirt could help with dog separation anxiety or other issues like barking, travel anxiety, excitability, leash pulling and fearfulness.

It can also be used as a general training tool. For example, it could be used to keep your dog more focused on the lesson at hand.

It may or may not come in handy for these uses. I did not test it for any of these purposes.

If you have a dog suffering from anxiety, the Thundershirt might be worth a try, especially since the company does offer a 100-percent guarantee that it will work or you can return it for a full refund.

You gotta love that!

How much does a Thundershirt cost?

The Thundershirt is priced at $39.95 on Amazon – get one here.

Does your pet suffer from thunderstorm anxiety? What (if anything) works for your dog?

Read more Thundershirt reviews.

*Remember to check out Nancy’s Point, a great blog about grief, breast cancer and other topics.

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  1. Kate on July 7, 2012

    I have a lab/J Russell mix who is sensitive to storms with all the anxious behaviors. The pheromone spray worked for awhile ( it says spray the dogbed, etc.) Not to waste it, I spray it on a washcloth and lay it near her face so she can smell it, calling it her ‘blanky.’ It worked a few times but not during really bad storms.
    I have some vet prescribed valium but feel that is extreme and have not used it.
    I have used vet prescribed Composure with GREAT success, a tiny bone shaped chewy which I give when the panting/drooling starts, not regularly, not right away. Even tried just a half of one for less dosage. It calms her so she can rest through a storm but is still responsive, lying on bed, floor or couch next to me.
    I would like to try the Thundershirt as an alternative when I don’t have or want to use medication. I once tried a ‘hugging’ mesh-type vest for leash walking but like a Thundershirt as a trial but it was too small/tight and noticed no effect so I will try the real thing, probably so the presssure is in the right place to be effective.
    My younger dog is starting to learn to be anxious when the first one starts panicking, so I want to prevent her from copying the first one. If the older one is calm It may solve most of our problems.

  2. Chris on July 14, 2012

    Thanks for your review of this product! I thought $40 was a bit much at first, but I may still try it since they offer the guarantee.

    My 4 year old rescue Border Collie exhibits about the same symptoms as your golden. But my dog’s are more focused to just thunderstorms. I live on base and there are jets regularly flying over which needless to say are loud. This doesn’t seem to bother him. Rain doesn’t either. The only two things that get to him are thunderstorms and any TV shows with loud noises like explosions or gun shots.

    He starts by going room to room trying to find a safe spot, he’ll hide in the tub and go under the table. He even has issues with submissive urination. When he’s in my room he will try to dig through the carpet to get under my bed. If he is confined in another room he will actually chew the wood molding and chew the door knob to try to get out

    • Patty on July 21, 2012

      I have 2 dogs, a lab and a border collie. The 6 year old lab gets nervous when he sees ligntening or when we have a fire in the outside firepit, but he manages to go to a quiet spot and calm himself (garage or bathroom where he can’t see the light source). Now in the last 4 months our 3 year old border collie has started exhibiting extreme behavior during thunderstorms. He has run away during the storm; chewed door knobs, ripped out screens, chewed the door frame, anything to get into the house and to be close to one of his “humans”. He starts freaking out before I even know a storm is coming. I don’t know why this behavior started, but he doesn’t seem to be afraid of any other loud noises. I appreciate all the comments about the thundershirt. I was planning on buying one and now I will. Thanks!

  3. DES on July 15, 2012

    I have a Chihuahua cross aged approx 2 years,that I got from the RSPCA a few weeks ago and she has SEVERE separation anxiety as well as general anxiety and this may end up causing problems with my neighbours.Took her to the vet who put her on Clomicalm and gave me a crate so she could have somewhere secure to go( if eventually I was able to leave the door open when I go out) Everything ws going fine until I reduced the dosage as recommended by the vet.Within 24 hours of lowering the dose she was going completely “crazy” and we were back to square one.Last week I put her in the crate and she became so distressed,I thought she would have a heart attack,it was terrible to see.She also damaged her nose and it took several days to heal.So now she is back on the full dose of Clomicalm and with her nose healed I am starting the crate usage again.I have just purchased a Thunder Shirt,in the hope that this may help solve her issues and I am taking her away to a friends empty unit for a few weeks.If none of this works and she hasn’t settled by the end of the year,I will have to have her euthanised.It breaks my heart to even thinking of doing such a thing,but I would not surrender her to the RSPCA,because I know how hard she would take it and I love her too much,to cause her more pain.So heres hoping the Thunder Shirt works!!!

  4. DES on July 18, 2012

    Well shirt arrived Tuesday and initially my dog became stressed when I put it on her,so I only left it on for about five minutes that night.It is now Thursday morning and there are signs the shirt will actually help her.She has had it on for several hours and is very calm,even going in and exploring the crate on her own which she would not have done this time yesterday.I know it is early days yet but I am impressed.Seems the combination of Clomicalm,crating and the shirt is what she needs.Hopefully sometime soon she will not need the drug.

  5. Patty on July 21, 2012

    What’s the difference between a Thundershirt and a Thunderjacket? The measurements are slightly different but I see they are both made by the same company. Is one heavier than the other? Does anyone know?

  6. Ursula Nilsen on July 26, 2012

    My dog lulu is unbelievable during a storm. She pants like crazy and just tries to get behind the dryer which she litteraly pushes away from the wall. Both my husband and I have an awful time getting her out…she is very strong! She is 11 years old and we are afraid she will have a heart attack during a storm. We can’t leave her alone and have had many sleepness nights when there are storms. I have ordered the jacket as a last restort. We just don’t know what else to do.

  7. cindi on July 28, 2012

    Bought the thundershirt after researching on the web at Petsmart. Not only did it calm his anxiety it also kept him from obsessively licking at a small injury he had on his foot that i had taken him to Banfield/vets office for that day.He had been licking the area almost nonstop. for 24 hours. My dog is a terrier mix with typical terrier traits and with a big personality to match. Part of the reason I love him so. Does not appear drugged when its on. In fact he will still bark at strangers,other dogs but does not escalate to the manic stage and appears calm enough to respond to commands and direction.Its a tool like any other and if it helps use it like any other tool. Nothing does all your work/training for you.It appears. to make my dog feel relaxed. without being drugged.

    strangers and other dogs bit appears to tale commands

  8. joyce on July 29, 2012

    My 7 yr old; 3.6 Pd yorkie suffers from anxiety do you make a jacket to fit her.

  9. Anonymous on August 5, 2012

    For the company claiming that they have an 80% success rate amongst surveyed customers there seems to be an awful lot of posts here stating the exact opposite… Think about it people.. It’s a “hug” for your dog, right? So try this.. the next time your dog exhibits the undesired behavior.. hug him. Does he/she stop the behavior? If it does then the shirt may help. If not, (and my guess is more than likely, just like this product, it won’t accomplish much…) it probably won’t.

    Mystery revealed! You’re welcome. 😉

  10. Bonnie on August 13, 2012

    Ever since I had a car accident on the way home from the dog park of all places with m two dogs in the car I have had a problem with my minpin. It was a slow speed but front end collision so the air bag deployed like a bomb in my face. When i realized the car wasn’t on fire I looked and saw four freaked out eyes on my passenger floor board. I took their leashes and alked to the curb knowing in rush hour everyone would call 911 and I was black and blue with burns from bag and concousion. The dogs were unusally calm with all the fire trucks, cops, medics…. After that day the minpin has severe car aniexity. She will ride only on the floor behind my seat. She shakes and pants.Today I tried the drive with her in a thundershirt. At first she bolted out of her collar and ran away; quickly captured we got in. She rode the whole development and only went behind my seat twice. When I called her back up front she came. Looked out windows, etc.. Overall a very positive ride for her. Both my dogs have issues but both show inprovement in most areas. Still experimenting but the car was amazing.

  11. Bonnie on August 13, 2012

    Sorry about typos . That was “my dogs” and ” walked”

  12. Bridget on August 15, 2012

    I have a 8 year old mix breed that has become terrified of thunderstorms recently. We moved 2000+ miles from our home and she has developed a fear of storms and loud noises here. After much research and discussions with vets, I have concluded that a lot of her sudden fears of storms are due to a different barometric pressure than what she was raised in. I have seen mixed reviews on the Thundershirt, but am curious and wondering if it really is worth it. Has anyone experienced anything close to my story and used the shirt? If so, what are your thoughts on it? Thanks so much

  13. Laura on August 15, 2012

    I did not have a chance to read all the posts about the thundershirt. I have been researching to see if it will work. I came across a excllent article/video on Cesar Milan’s website. He said that most people make a mistake and try the shirt on the dog when the storm is coming, at the point the dog is already anxious. So at that point, it is too late to calm them. The shirt should be put on in happy times, positive situations. He said it is meant to slow breathing and if you try to pu it on during the storm, you will find that it won’t be successful. Just wanted to share that. I apologize if someone already wrote this in the posts.

  14. June Kaatz on August 16, 2012

    Does the thundershirt work for dogs who do not like to ride in a car? My dog shakes and our last trip hid under my seat. It was and 16 hour drive and when we would stop he would come out with out any problem.

  15. Melissa on August 25, 2012

    I purchased the thunder shirt and I was skeptical. I followed the directions of putting a treat on the shirt and giving my dog a treat when I put it on him…..before a storm came. At first he would growl when I put it on, but after several on/off applications, he is now use to it. By the time the first storm came…I pulled it out and put it on him. It worked! He was calm…no hyperventilating, pacing etc. I am a believer! When I bought the shirt from the pet store the manager said it was very important to get the dog use to the thunder shirt before a storm. When ever I pull out the thunder shirt I give him a treat, and I put it on him for 30 min or so on nonstorm days occasionally ….so he doesn’t associate it with a storm. It was well worth the $40 I paid to have my dog at peace.

  16. Melissa on August 25, 2012

    As a follow up to my previous post…I think many people are making the mistake of putting the vest on their dog when the storm arrives and the pet owner does not do the prep work. The shirt comes with clear directions stTing that the dogs needs to be oriented to the shirt before the event occurs… have to invest some time in your dog and the product. not just slap the thundershirt on your dog when it starts to storm. I am very happy with the product and highly recommend it!!

  17. Kevin on August 27, 2012

    My dog gets nervous in the car and has anxiety when approached from behind by other dogs, she’ll turn around and try to snap at other dogs. I’m hoping the shirt will work for her, our trainer recommended a shock collar, but I’d rather try other things first. Any other ideas to calm aggression? She’s seems ok once she becomes familiar with the same dog, but it’s that first greeting that is a big hurdle.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on August 27, 2012

      Do you use a Gentle Leader or Halti type collar for control? Or perhaps a prong collar? I think the Thundershirt might help a bit, especially in the car. But I don’t think it will be the total solution you are hoping for.

      I’ve written a post on dog leash aggression. You might find it helpful:

      The book Feisty Fido by Patricia McConnell is a good resource, too.

      • Kevin on August 29, 2012

        We’ve tried gentle leader and the Star collar…which is a spiked collar, we’ve been walking her everyday around a park, taking her closer and closer to other dogs behind fences, which helps alot, she’s curious and wants to smell the other dog, but if it barks or growls then she does the same, maybe thats normal?
        She’s made a lot of progress over the last month, but as you said, it’ll take more time getting her more socialized, can’t take her to a dog park yet..too many out of control dogs. She’s ok once she gets to know the other dog but there’s still some times when a familiar dog will come up behind her and she’ll trun around and snap at it…we’d just like her to remain calm when that happens.

        I will read your post thanks!

      • joyce on September 16, 2012

        I’m surprised to hear that someone who professes to be working with dogs would recommend a prong collar absolutely inexcusable… how would you like a prong collar around your neck with someone pulling you around a leash??? Think about it. Also, Cesar Milan is a very punitive person and any reference to him in any blog about dig care makes me wonder on that blogs credibility.

        • Lindsay on September 16, 2012

          Joyce, I’m sorry my blog was not helpful to you. A refund is on its way.

  18. Leslie on August 28, 2012

    I’ve been using Thundershirt on my dog for about 3 weeks now. It does not work on his separation anxiety. He only seems to urinate less while kenneled, but he still exhibits high stress levels and he still pants, spins and barks on and off for hours. Other than that he just looks cute in it.

  19. Mary on September 5, 2012

    We recently adopted a minpin with a lot of issues, her previous owners had her vocal cords shaved because of the obsessive barking at every little noise outside of the house. (I severely disapprove of this, she was still barking, just not annoying but sorta sad.) My brother and I are both in very limited incomes but he invested the $40 in the shirt because the pet supply store has a liberal return policy. The change has been immediate and positive. She has calmed down to the point where she rarely even torments the cat anymore. She doesn’t wear it all the time, only when she starts getting very agitated. She likes it and sits still to have it put on. Training is still important, lots of positive reinforcement of good behaviors, with and without the shirt on is important.

  20. Crystal on September 7, 2012

    I have heard that dressing your dog in the shirt when the storm’s COMING but before they’ve sensed it is the best way to get it to work.

  21. Tami on September 19, 2012

    I have a 10mo old minpin, who has separation anxiety. He’s potty trained, obedience trained. We are having problems crate training him because of the anxiety.

    We talked briefly to the vet about meds, because we’ve tried everything else. Rescue Remedy seems to have the opposite effect on him. He’s broken out of his crate several times now to the point we had to buy padlocks to hold the doors closed, since he’s learned to unlatch the doors.

    Do you think the shirt would work for our situation? I am afraid in investing the money for it, and not getting any results. We want our little guy to be comfortable and not afraid. Makes me sad!!!

    Please feel free to email me with your comments. I’d appreciate it.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on September 21, 2012

      I don’t think it will solve your problem. It might help slightly.

  22. katie on September 24, 2012

    My dog Mollie has separation anxiety. When i am gone for more then a day she wont eat will the thundershirt help her?

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on September 25, 2012

      Probably not

    • Grace on October 28, 2012

      My dog flips out and destroys my house when I leave for only ten minutes, I am also hesitant to get this because I fear she will find a way to rip it off and eat it.

  23. victoria on September 27, 2012

    My dog suffers, anxienty of everything, Kids shouting and being roudy, fireworks, thunderstorms, shouting and she even cowers if some used swearing language and she has travel sickness…..she is 14yrs old and i know she is old but here the golden questions….Do you think it would work for her..(i think i know your response)

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on September 27, 2012

      You know my response, yes. It probably won’t help very much, but it may help a little.

  24. Duane on October 9, 2012

    I have used the Thunder Shirt on my Great Pyrenees and it reduces his stress from storms about 60%. It has allowed us to enjoy storms again!

    • Jackie on October 17, 2012

      I had to reply to your comment because I just can’t imagine trying to control a 125-pound dog that is having a panic attack. My Aussie mix weighs about 45 pounds and I can barely control her. She’s not stressed by thunderstorms, but the Fourth of July noises send her right through the ceiling.

      • Grace on October 28, 2012

        Its terrible when large dogs freak out, mine destroys my house when I leave. I cant hide anything from her, shes huge and can reach everything when she stands, shes taller than me.

    • Grace on October 28, 2012

      I am happy to finally find a review of how it works on larger dogs, I also have a Great Pyrenees.

  25. Sarah on October 12, 2012

    I have a 3 yr old Austrailian Shepard who went insane when we USED to take him on walks if another person or animal would pass by. Since we are not able to walk him anymore because of this (fearing he might do something) we let him and our other dog take over the back yard which is about a full fenced in acre. But again, of course when any person may be walking down the side walk, another animal, even a squirrel on the other side catches his eye he goes insane and now has been able to figure out how to jump the fence. We’ve gotten tickets from the cops and a dog warning in the mail…He’s never bitten anyone, and as soon as we know hes out we can get him back in insantly…NOW he’s learned to open the sliding back door by himself that we try to keep locked so sometimes we have no idea that their even out!!! We are getting so frieghtened because hes jumped the fence and gone insane with barking and jolting up to the mail man at least 8 times in the past 3 months……we are getting so scared that we might have to put him down. Do you think this is cause of anxiety? And do you think the thundershirt will help??

    • Jackie on October 17, 2012

      Since it has a money-back guarantee, I’d sure be willing to try it. Have you tried the electric dog collar? I know it’s a little severe, but it might help control your dog so you don’t have to put him down. Just a suggestion.

      • CJ on December 30, 2012

        NEVER use any punishment with a fearful dog. It will make the problem much worse, and may actually cause aggression, which will require the dog to be euthanized if it gets bad enough.

        The best solution is desensitization and counter-conditioning.

        • Laurie on May 19, 2013

          I’m a little late, but hoping you’ve found a way to help out your pup. It sounds like a lot of anxiety and maybe even protection of the humans he so dearly loves. A good trainer should be able to help you. It will make both of you much happier. 🙂

          I wanted to comment on the electric fence/collar. While I do agree that punishment is a very bad idea for fearful dogs, I don’t at all consider the underground fence a punishment. We have four dogs, three of witch don’t think that over an acre of land is enough space and will dig under the fence to wander for a while. Even though we have a fence, we put in the underground fence inside it to stop their behavior.

          If they are trained correctly on the fence, which can certainly be done with positive training, they understand that it is a boundary and not a punishment. The collars we have provide a training level…beep only… and several levels of shock. The three dogs who wear the collars only need the beep. After training they NEVER get shocked because we trained them to stop at the beep and we don’t even take it off the training mode.

          That being said…still with proper training…if they needed to have the level turned up, I would rather have that than for their safety or someone else’s safety to be at risk. It is not painful, they simply don’t like it. I’ve held the collar tight and run it over the fence to see how it feels. I wouldn’t use it if I thought it brought harm to my furry children.

          There are very strong feelings about shock correction on both sides of the fence (haha) and I can see both sides. It also doesn’t work for all dogs. However, for ours it works wonderfully and I don’t have to worry when we are home or out of town.

          Again, I hope you found a solution. I know it’s difficult, but hang in there!

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on October 18, 2012

      I am so sorry to hear about the aggression issues. That is hard on everyone. No, I do not think the Thundershirt will help. Worth a shot, i guess. I think he needs a lot of exercise, training and structure. Would it be possible to hire a trainer to help you? Best of luck to you.

    • Angel on October 24, 2012

      Sarah, have you contacted a professional trainer or animal behaviorist? You really should. Your local shelter or humane society can probably help you find someone who can help. Look for someone who uses positive reinforcement training.

    • Emma on December 31, 2012

      Please get your dog some training from a well reviewed dog trainer. This behaviour can be and should be changed. Your dog deserves it. Take care

  26. bob on October 13, 2012

    Thundershirt worked great for my 1 year old German Shepard mix I just got from He cries non-stop to get attention. I have not slept since I got him, 3 days ago. I picked up a Thundershirt this afternoon at Petco. He stopped crying and is sleeping right now. I take it off, he starts crying and looking for attention.
    This product is awesome.

  27. Octavia on October 23, 2012

    I have a 7 year old lab mix…very hyper, seperation anxiety, fear of storms, fireworks, etc….and it did not work with her.

  28. Claudia on November 2, 2012

    Looks like my Golden Retriever Sunny May is exactly like your Elsie… She has the same symptons when a storm is approaching and does not calm down long after it is over. I do not think a Thundershirt would work for her either. Nevertheless, I will put her raincoat on, a little tighter than I would normally do, just to check this thing about pressure… We live in Brazil where Thundershirt is not sold yet. So we will have to do with something similar…

  29. Lee on November 3, 2012

    It works for us!!!! we just bought a Thundershirt on the recommendation of our son whose 1 yr old had huge anxiety issues – it really calmed her down. Over the years our 6 yr old terrier’s reaction to storms and fireworks has become extreme – we were concerned that he would have a heart attack if he continued. It is pitiful to watch the violent shaking and panting – he can’t settle, wanting to hide in a corner, but also needing to be near us for protection. The Thundershirt arrived this morning. We put the Thundershirt on quite snugly. The fireworks started a couple of hours ago. Our terrier is lounging relaxed as you like on the sofa taking absolutely no notice of the noises outside. We can barely believe it. With the money back guarantee I’d recommend anyone who has a dog with issues to try it. I can send a pic of Josh chillin’ in his Thundershirt if interested.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on November 4, 2012

      I’d love to see your photo. I’m glad it has helped your dog!

  30. Blanca M on November 6, 2012

    The thundershirt is amazing!! It worked immediately with my puppy. He is a 4 month lab chow mix. I am pleasantly suprised!!

  31. Carl on November 6, 2012

    Bailey came from a rescue shelter. Ten year old 22 pound Cocker Spaniel !
    He was wearing a thunder coat. I am not sure why? I was told he suffered anziety at being caged at the shelter. But, I doubt that is where he was given a coat.
    He is a very laid back dg after just three days here. He and I attached almoast momentarily.

    Should I leave it on always or most of the time, or only at day time or only on possible stressful events. Thunder storms are rare around here. Same for fireworks. Even the visit to the Vet didn’t seem to cause him any stress.

    Bailey is anything but hyper.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on November 6, 2012

      Maybe just take it off and use it in the future if he seems stressed.

  32. keri on November 11, 2012

    can someone explain the theory behind this Thundershirt, also, whats the material and does it have zippers because my 7 month old Coton du Tulear who loves to chew anything. she has anxiety when we leave her sight or the house.can it be washed? she is crated when we leave the house but can hear her yelping and carrying on. could she be left alone with it on?

    • Reba on February 19, 2013

      I believe the theory behind the Thundershirt is that deep pressure over a large part of the body is calming to many people and animals. I have seen the effectiveness of deep pressure in calming the anxiety of autistic children and my own dogs.

      Temple Grandin is an autistic woman and associate professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University. She grew up on a cattle farm, and used her observations to help herself (she developed a “squeeze box” to help her relieve her own anxiety after seeing the squeeze chute vets use with cattle), and to help the animals (she developed more humane slaughter yard environments to reduce animal anxiety and panic). She believes that what makes her different as an autistic person helps her see the world as animals see it…with pictures, not words. She has written several books that I have found extremely helpful. “Animals in Translation” is one of them. They are very readable, and are available at local bookstores and at Valuable insights even if you are not interested in the Thundershirt!!

      • Lindsay Stordahl Author on February 19, 2013

        I read Animals in Translation and I thought it was interesting.

  33. Lindsay Stordahl Author on November 11, 2012

    The company says it is safe to leave on the dog, so I don’t think there are any materials that would harm your dog if she chews it. You may want to contact Thundershirt directly, but I know of many, many people who put it on their dogs and then crate their dogs – leaving them unsupervised.

    I hope it helps your dog!

  34. Dawn on November 16, 2012

    I’ve heard a lot of great things about Thundershirt first hand but haven’t tried it on my dogs. If it helps with excitability, I wonder if it would help my Labrador Maya on our upcoming road trip from Kansas to Texas. She loves to ride in the car and whines excitedly for the first 15-20 minutes, then starts all over again every time we make a pit stop. It’s cute for the first 5 minutes but then it gets really annoying. Oh my, oh my, oh my Maya.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on November 19, 2012

      Ace has a similar whining problem in the car, and I agree, it’s very annoying! I do think the Thundershirt might help for both our dogs. I wil let you know if I try it.

  35. Blanca M on November 16, 2012

    🙁 only worked when I put it on him the 1st day. It no longer works for my dog and the velcro ripped of so easily… VERY DISSAPOINTED!

  36. Sue on November 29, 2012

    I have a puppy mill rescued pug. She could have been the poster child for puppy mill abuse horror stories. She’s fine in the morning with my husband. She loves him to death. At night she goes crazy when he comes home. She barks until she makes us crazy. Nothing seems to work. I have tried drugs, pherinome sprayers, I have even sqrayed her with water while giving her a stern “Hush!” when she barks at him, but nothing works. She’s too worked up to stop. I’m sure it’s some memory from her abusive past making her go nuts. Will the Thundershirt help her?

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on November 29, 2012

      No I don’t think the Thundershirt will help your situation. Doesn’t hurt to try, of course.

    • Barbara on December 17, 2012

      I read your story about your dogs issues and my heart just went out to you. I had rescued a severely abused Malamute when she had been hit by a car and the people drove off. She apparently had been dumped, and then got hit by the car. The vet I took her to found evidence of repeated physical abuse, which of course results in an emotionally damaged animal.
      Now what I am about to tell you worked extremely well, but it may not be conventional. She suffered from nightmares which caused her to wake up screaming as if she was being tortured. My vet had no suggestions but heavy meds, which turned her into a zombie.
      I contacted a Homeopath Physician ( which I used) and asked him if there was any thing he could suggest. He told me to put Gorse( a Bach Flower Remedy) which you can get at most good health food stores, on the area between her eyes.( Do not get it in her eyes) ,. Several times a day so it is constantly fresh. The first night she only woke up 3 times instead of every two hours. It continued to diminish the night terrors over a period of several weeks until she slept through the night. , for her, her aggression stopped,her attacks on the other animals stopped, and she became the most loving, sweetest animal I had the pleasure to know. If this is really too weird for you. I would try St. Johns Wort, an herb, which also is good for anxiety and depression and works very well in animals. Also found at a good health food store. I really hope that you will try both actually, if nothing else it just may work. Good Luck

  37. Beckie on December 6, 2012

    My 4 year old Pug/Shiba Inu Rockey is terrified of firecrackers. Thunder doesn’t bother him very much. But in the summer, even if he hears only one, he scrambles for cover, runs around looking for places to hide and whimpers. I put the Thundershirt on him and sat with him in anticipation of the July 4 fireworks. He wasn’t 100% better, but he was certainly much more calm than usual. The next evening, I put the shirt on him, but did not sit with him. He stayed at my feet and didn’t run around, although he was obviously still nervous. On another occasion, I did not get the shirt on him before the noise started. When I finally did, he was still very agitated. I’ve learned to get the shirt on him early when possible. I’ve also learned to extend his walks early in the day when I know there’s going to be fireworks later in the evening. If he’s tired out, he can act up only so much.

  38. John on December 16, 2012

    Had a Husky like this. Fed him a treat every boom, he was obsessed with treats, and eventually he would stay near me during storms, and instead of running away when the boom came, he would look up or run to the pantry where his treats were kept.

    He would cower in a corner where I could easily see and talk to him though, I guess if your dog has a different hiding spot this method would be more difficult.

    • CJ on December 30, 2012

      Exactly, that’s called counter-conditioning. Great advice, John!

  39. Carl on December 16, 2012

    Bailey is a ten year old rescue Cocker spaniel. He came with a Thunder shirt and a bedraggled bandana and a surgical collar. I took them off bit by bit. He is quite comfportable now. He had nt done well in the kennel, and I guess that is why he got the shirt.

    I’ve saved it. We seldom get thunder and lightening, but if Bailey has an issue with it, i’ll have it to put on him.

    And, i am a believer that if you have something like this, it is liley to not be needed, however, the converse is true!!

  40. Jane on December 19, 2012


    It seems just because you did not have a good end with Thundershirt, you are discouraging other people from trying something that could be the best thing that ever happened to them. The Thundershirt is affective %85 of the time, you were one of the others that didn’t work. That doesn’t mean it is reasonable to tell people it won’t work just because it didn’t work for you. That’s just ignorant.