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Dog Thundershirt Reviews – Pros & Cons

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 if their dog is scared of:

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

Slugger the Australian shepherd – Thundershirt for fear of thunderstorms:

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

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

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

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

Thundershirt reviews

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.

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

Order a ThunderShirt HERE.

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 my parents’ golden retriever, Elsie, according to my mom Nancy Stordahl. It did not stop Elsie’s nervous and destructive behaviors.

Elsie had acute anxiety attacks and they seemed to worsen a little every year. Summer was definitely not her favorite season.

Thundershirt reviews

While the ThunderShirt did not help Elsie, my mom said she would recommend it to others. “It’s worth a try,” she said. “Why not?”

In addition to the ThunderShirt, my mom tried talking to Elsie in a comforting voice and petting her.

She also tried ignoring Elsie, playing music, running a fan on high, closing all windows, offering treats, exercising her more, kenneling her and medications.

The only thing that worked for Elsie was to kennel her in an escape-proof, sturdy kennel. This was for Elsie’s own safety and to protect the carpets, furniture, etc., as she would get very destructive when she was nervous.

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.

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

Kimberly Gauthier 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, Kimberly 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.

Does a Thundershirt help for separation anxiety?

Rottie mix

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:

Bichon mix

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.

Dog thundershirt

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.

Australian shepherds

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.”

ThunderShirt reviews for dogs in the car

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 for pitbull

“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 for black Lab

“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?

Bloodhound ThunderShirt

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 an e-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.”

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.

Beagle at the dog park

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.”

What do the rest of you think?

Did the Thundershirt work for your dogs?

Let me know your ThunderShirt review in the comments!

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

*This article was originally published in 2013 and I have made updates and republished it. Some of the comments below are the originals.

Lindsay Stordahl is the founder of That Mutt. She writes about dog training, dog exercise and feeding a healthy raw diet.

Dog thundershirt reviews - good and bad

Nissa Schaeffer

Thursday 29th of December 2022

I got the Thunder shirt for my 3 year old Pomeranian, Sprocket. He can be fairly anxious in general, but his anxiety peeks when I’m driving (I am the worst driver!), and whenever I’m packing, either suitcases for a trip or boxes to move. The Thunder shirt worked well, he seemed much calmer in these situations. BUT, every time I take it off, the Velcro pulls his fur out! If anyone else has this problem, please let me know, especially if you’ve found a solution! Thank you!

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Zoann Halverson

Monday 20th of August 2018

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.

Lindsay Stordahl

Monday 20th of August 2018

Aww, what a sweet dog. Take care.


Friday 17th of August 2018

Could a thunder shirt help with doggie dementia?

Lindsay Stordahl

Friday 17th of August 2018

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