Dog thundershirt

Thundershirt Reviews

Review of the Dog Thundershirt

Does the dog Thundershirt really work to help a dog feel calm during storms and fireworks?

I surveyed a group of dog owners who have tried the Thundershirt to help dogs that are scared of:

  • fireworks
  • thunder
  • loud noises
  • being left alone
  • other dogs or
  • riding in the car.

Here’s how the Thundershirt worked or didn’t work, according to their personal experiences:

Does a Thundershirt help during thunderstorms and fireworks?

Dog Thundershirt reviews - Elsie the golden tries wearing the dog Thundershirt

Rodrigo the border collie mix – fear of thunderstorms and fireworks:

Kimberly Gauthier just started using a Thundershirt for her dog Rodrigo in preparation for the Fourth of July. She said he is also scared of thunderstorms.

Thundershirt reviews

“So far so good,” she said. “We had a small trial run when a thunderstorm hit us out of the blue and he was wearing it. Although he still came to sit with me, he seemed to be less stressed.”

Kimberly believes it’s important to get dogs used to their Thundershirts when they’re happy and non-stressed.

“Don’t allow the first introduction to be when the noise starts,” she said. “They’ll associate the shirt with the storm and hate it.”

Thundershirt reviews

She hopes that by the week of the Fourth, Rodrigo will be able to handle the fireworks a lot better. 

In addition to the Thundershirt, Kim provides all her dogs with plenty of exercise – at least a 3-mile walk per day, plenty of chew toys and rowdy play sessions in the yard.

*Get my tips on how to help a dog who’s scared of fireworks. Click Here.

Slugger the Australian shepherd – Thundershirt for fear of thunderstorms:

Slugger the Aussie gets very anxious during Florida’s thunderstorms, according to his owner Tina Koenig.

“He pants, paces and even shakes at times,” she said.

Tina received the Thundershirt as a gift and was eager to try it out.

Thundershirt reviews

“In our case the product works well,” she said. “After a few minutes he calms and will settle down in a corner.”

Now she often suggests the product to other dog owners and even put the Thundershirt on Slugger during the NBA playoffs.

“The television volume is pumped up and my family shouts when things go or don’t go the way of the Miami Heat,” she said.

Order a Thundershirt HERE.

Raider the black Lab mix – Thundershirt for fear of thunderstorms:

Elizabeth Putsche tried the Thundershirt with two of her dogs and saw little success.

Her dog Raider (who has passed away) was originally only scared of thunder. “He could hear a storm coming from miles away,” she said.

Raider was allowed to sleep on the bed, but he chose to sleep on the floor unless he heard a storm coming.

“I would sometimes wake up in the middle of the night to a vibrating bed,” she said. “He would only get in the bed if he was scared.”

Dog Thundershirt reviews

When she tried the Thundershirt with Raider, Elizabeth said she didn’t see much of a difference.

“Raider still shook,” she said. And “he would pant heavily when it was storming.”

She eventually decided to give him tranquilizers during storms. “He would be in such distress it was hard to even get him to eat a spoon of peanut butter with his pill in it,” she said. “Normally he would have tried to eat the entire spoon!”

Elizabeth said she still recommends the Thundershirt to other dog owners.

“I simply say it’s not a guaranteed thing, but it’s worth a try,” she said. “When your pet is in distress, you’ll do anything to try and calm them down — there is no reason not to at least try the Thundershirt.”

Bandit the Canaan dog mix – fear of loud noises:

Kate Manchester’s dog Bandit is nervous around thunder, fireworks and loud noises. She said he also gets uncomfortable when lots of people visit.

Bandit previously lived at a dump with a pack of wild dogs, Kate said. She witnessed him getting hit by a car and decided to care for him and eventually keep him.

“He was fearful of men, loud voices, you name it,” she said. “He gets the prize for ‘most improved’ and ‘best watchdog.'”

Dog Thundershirt reviews

She’s still trying to decide if the Thundershirt works for Bandit.

“I think it helps – but it may be that we take the extra care with him when we put it on, and go to extra measures to make sure he is calm,” she said.

“He loves being handled and doesn’t seem to mind one bit when we put it on. He’ll wear it for hours and seems very comfortable.”

Kate said she would recommend the Thundershirt to other dogs owners, but she wants people to know she uses it in addition to Rescue Remedy, a product marketed as a natural stress reliever made from flower material and available for humans and pets.

Elsie the golden retriever – fear of thunder and fireworks:

The Thundershirt did not calm Elsie the golden retriever or stop her nervous and destructive behaviors, according to her owner Nancy Stordahl. (Yes, Nancy is my mom!)

“She has acute anxiety attacks and they seem to worsen a little every year,” Nancy said. “Summer is definitely not her favorite season.”

Thundershirt reviews

While the Thundershirt has not helped Elsie, Nancy said she will probably keep trying it and would recommend it to others. “It’s worth a try,” she said. “Why not?”

In addition to the Thundershirt, Nancy said she has tried talking to Elsie in a comforting voice and petting her. She has tried ignoring her dog, playing music, running a fan on high, closing all windows, offering treats, exercising her more, kenneling her and medications.

“The only thing that works for her is to kennel her in an escape-proof, sturdy kennel,” Nancy said.

“I now kennel her whenever it storms for her own safety and to protect my carpets, furniture, etc., as she also gets very destructive when she has a nervous episode.”

Norman the mutt – Thundershirt for fear of thunder and fireworks:

Dog Thundershirt reviews

Karen Port said her dog Norman is “petrified of thunder and fireworks” and nothing the vet prescribed would calm him. The medications took 45 minutes to kick in, and he would still be shaking.

She recommends the Thundershirt because it’s the only thing that works to calm Norman. She keeps it in her nightstand and puts it on Norman ahead of time if storms are predicted.

“We have spent too many nights being jarred awake by our frantic dog and running through the house trying to find the shirt,” she said.

Modi the pitbull mix – fear of thunderstorms:

Dog Thundershirt reviews

“Unfortunately, we did not notice a huge change with the Thundershirt,” said Sherry Morse, whose dog is scared of thunder.

“We call him the dog barometer because if there’s a storm within 20 miles of the house he will start panting and trying to hide in as small a space as possible.”

She said her dog seems a little less anxious with the combination of the Thundershirt, Prozac and Tellington Touch.

Sherry also tried the Thundershirt with Modi to help him with his anxiety issues related to seeing other dogs on the street.

“We’ve had more success in that regard,” she said, adding that this could be because Modi is very food motivated as long as there are no storms.

“When there’s a storm, he’s totally oblivious to anything, including dogs on the street,” she said.

Jed the Labrador – fear of thunderstorms:

Phyllis Shelton’s dog Jed is significantly calmer during thunderstorms if he wears his Thundershirt.

dog Thundershirt reviews

“He is terrified of thunderstorms and lets us know they are coming before we hear them,” she said.

Without the Thundershirt, Jed tries to hide during storms, Phyllis said. But if he has the shirt on, he doesn’t hide.

The first time Jed wore the Thudershirt during a storm, Phyllis said he smiled like he was so proud he wore it.

“It was the funniest expression I’ve ever seen on his face,” she said. “We have used it several times since, and he really likes it.”

*Get my tips on how to help a dog who’s scared of fireworks. Click Here.

Wesley the American bulldog – fear of thunderstorms:

Dog Thundershirt reviews

Wesley the bulldog is scared of thunder, door knocking, doorbells and other loud noises, said his owner Jacqueline Fisch. He also tends to lunge and bark at other dogs while leashed.

He instantly becomes goofier and less anxious with the Thundershirt on, she said. “He liked to rub himself on the furniture when wearing it.”

In addition to the Thundershirt, Jacqueline said she feeds her dog a raw diet, gives him herbal remedies and provides tons of socialization to help with his anxiety. She recommends other dog owners give the Thundershirt a try.

Does a Thundershirt help for separation anxiety?

Dog Thundershirt reviews

Rosie the Rottweiler mix – Thundershirt for separation anxiety:

Rosie the Rottie mix would scratch at doors, bark or whine when left alone, according to her owner Danielle Wolfe. This occurred even when Danielle was in the next room.

The Thundershirt didn’t have any effect on Rosie’s anxiety, Danielle said. “I think her anxiety problems were too severe.”

Crate training didn’t help either, and Danielle decided to give Rosie anti-anxiety drugs from the vet. These did help, and now Rosie is “pretty much off of the medication.”

Poppy the Bichon mix – separation anxiety:

Dog Thundershirt reviews

The Thundershirt helped Poppy the Bichon mix feel more relaxed and settled when left home alone, according to her owner Justin Flitter.

“She stopped barking at weird noises immediately,” he said. “And when we left the building she was less stressed, less anxious.”

In addition to the Thundershirt, Justin said he ignores his dog when she’s overly excited upon his return. He also walks her religiously to maintain a routine.

“For the cost of the Thundershirt, Poppy has become happier, less anxious and we’re more comfortable leaving her at home without worrying about her disturbing neighbors with her barking or whining when she was feeling lonely,” he said.

Sierra the Australian shepherd – Thundershirt for separation anxiety:

Candy Keane’s dog Sierra was always afraid of loud noises such as thunder, but she developed a chewing habit after Candy’s husband was deployed.

Dog Thundershirt reviews

Sierra had such bad separation anxiety that she chewed through two kennels and part of a door, Candy said. “It was really, really bad! We were desperate to try anything and everything.”

To help her dog with separation anxiety and a fear of storms, Candy used a combination of the Thundershirt, behavior modification and a calming medication.

“I was really surprised when she didn’t chew the Thundershirt right off the first time she wore it,” Candy said. “It seems to sooth her down a bit when we put her in it.”

While Sierra still shakes when it thunders and the training is ongoing, Candy says her dog “just wears her Thundershirt when it thunders or she seems extra anxious. She is back to normal and doesn’t even need to be kenneled.”

Does a Thundershirt help for anxiety during car rides?

Nami the pitbull – anxiety on car rides:

The Thundershirt helped Nami the pitbull stop shaking on a very long car trip across the country, said her owner Apryl DeLancey. The shirt made her feel more secure.

Dog Thundershirt reviews

“When we would get it out she was so happy to get it on,” Apryl said. “She loves her shirt!”

Actually, she said Nami loves clothes in general.

Apryl said she would definitely recommend the Thundershirt to others because of the 100 percent, money-back guarantee the company offers.

Stackhouse the English black lab – fear of car rides:

Stackhouse is also one of Elizabeth Putsche’s dogs, but he doesn’t have any trouble with storms – he hates the car!

Dog Thundershirt reviews

“He pants and drools uncontrollably,” Elizabeth said. “He won’t lie down in the car – stays in a hunched position, trying to brace himself.”

She said her dog has intermittent tremors in the car and is clearly in distress so she tried the Thundershirt with him as well.

“I saw no effect,” she said.

She said she has slowly and patiently tried to make Stackhouse more comfortable in the car by driving slower and accelerating and braking slower, but he remains stressed out.

Still, she didn’t let the Thundershirt go to waste. She’s tried using it for her dogs on snowy, windy walks.

Might as well use it for something, she said.

Does the Thundershirt help for anxiety around other dogs?

Dog Thundershirt reviews

Allie the bloodhound – excitement outside:

Allie the bloodhound “absolutely goes nuts outside with certain smells,” said her owner Apryl DeLancey. “We thought this would calm her down.”

However, the Thundershirt had no effect whatsoever, Apryl said. In fact, nothing has worked for Allie. Not treats, hugs, sweet talk, positive reinforcement or a shock collar with a remote.

“At home, Allie is the sweetest and most loving and mellow dog,” Apryl said. “In public she’s crazy! Bloodhound puppies are nuts. Get over it.”

Apryl said bloodhounds are just too independent for Thundershirts. “As puppies they will be very, very aloof and silly,” she said. “Period.”

Lulu the beagle – anxiety around other dogs:

Lulu the beagle wants to meet every dog she sees and ends up barking with excitement, according to her owner Christie Zizo.

“She also barks at golf carts, big trucks, people on bikes, kids on scooters and skateboards,” Christie said.

dog Thundershirt reviews

As for the Thundershirt? It definitely calms Lulu. “But I have to be careful. I don’t use the shirt all the time because dogs get used to its effects.”

Christie said it’s easier to calm Lulu down and redirect her focus if she’s wearing the Thundershirt. The barking has also decreased, and Lulu recently passed her AKC Canine Good Citizen test.

“I think the Thundershirt helped make that possible,” Christie said, and recommends the product to others. “I know people who get minimal effects from the Thundershirt. And then I know people who swear by it.”

*Get my tips on how to help a dog who’s scared of fireworks. Click Here.

What do the rest of you think?

Did the Thundershirt work for your dogs?

Dog thundershirt reviews - good and bad

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19 thoughts on “Thundershirt Reviews”

  1. Jennifer Wright

    I have a Pitt bull/whippet mix who has insecurity and loud noise issues. I ended up purchasing an “Anxiety Wrap” which is similar to a Thunder Shirt, but seems lighter weight? Either way, it works great for Rivan during storms and fireworks. It has also worked so well for my mom’s dachshund, that she now sleeps through fireworks rather than panting and climbing mom’s neck.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      I’m so glad you’ve found a solution that works for your dog. Thanks so much for sharing your experience.

  2. We’re to the point where Nami wants to keep her shirt on all the time. She loves it THAT much! So funny how we have two completely different reactions.

  3. Woah – that’s a lot of experiences shared on this post.

    One thing that is important is that the Thundershirt should not be used only in the anxiety-causing situations as it could become a predictor of the event. For example, if a dog only has a Thundershirt put on when a storm is coming, the dog will begin to find the Thundershirt itself scary as it predicts the oncoming event. I think many people throw it on and expect it to work and don’t consider what associations the dog may be forming.

    That being said, I’ve never used a Thundershirt and so have no experience of my own to share. 🙂

    The good thing is: None of your contributors seem to think that a Thundershirt made it worse. So at least it’s an approach people can try with (seemingly) no risk of harm.

  4. Jeanette Mitcheson

    We have a bulldog who is very excitable, very bouncy and very needy. Barks at unexpected noises and hates thunder and fireworks. We put his thundershirt on him today for the first time and there was an immediate change in him, he stopped his excitable bahaviour (we had guests) and just lay down on the rug completely relaxed. His normal thing is to greet guests in an unnaceptable manner, jumping up and running around uncontrollably I tested this with our neighbours. He didn’t jump at all said hello once and then chilled out. I really am amazed at the effect this has had on him . We are due some storms in the next week so we will see the what happens. I will let you know!!

  5. Any advice for car rides? My australian cattle dog goes absolutely crazy when cars or bicylce pass the car. Constant barking and back and forth. Most times, I cant even figure what triggers it. She’ll be calm and laying down and then boom! Crazy! Appreciate any advice. I’m desperate! thank you!

    1. I have had luck with lavendar essential oil mixed with spring water and rescue remedy sprayed in the car or on a few rags in the car (maybe down where people put their feet). That has worked for my dogs. I also have seen ttouch methods work (they now have one that suggests a wrap that is an ace bandage wrapped in a certain way around the dog) to help.

  6. Our pittie has a Thundershirt and it works well for his fear of thunder, fireworks etc. We also tried PetNaturals treats this year and they seem to help as much or more then the drops.

  7. Sandy Weinstein

    i have 2 of these and found they dont work very well at all. i have used the pet 360 anxiety tablets and they work great. i have also tried the vetrisciene calming treats and they dont work very well.

  8. Mary R Matulaitis

    I think the Thundershirt definitely works! My mixed breed, Sherman, was afraid of thunderstorms. I would check the weather, and then put the shirt on him before the noise started. That’s important, because you don’t want them to associate the shirt with the noise! It had a calming effect on him, like a gentle hug. No meds required, just the Thundershirt! Great product.

  9. Sandy Weinstein

    i have tried the thunder shirt many times and never had much success with it. i have 2 for my girls. for some reason it just not seem to work for my girls, they do better with homeopathic sedatives. the vetriscience treats did not even work that well for them.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      I am not sure. It might help the dog feel more secure/safe. Sorry to hear you are dealing with doggie dementia.

  10. Zoann Halverson

    Thank you, Lindsay. My Klo-e is a 14 yr old cocker spaniel. We’ve loved each other a long time. It’s so hard to have them get older too soon… and it’s always too soon.

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