If your dog is afraid of thunderstorms, fireworks, going to the vet, or car rides, one thing that that might help is a product like a ThunderShirt or Storm Defender.

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Thunder Shirt

Storm Defender

These vests are made of stretchy material that wraps around a dog like a hug.  While dogs don’t tend to like human hugs very much, they do like that constant pressure.  In humans it is called Deep Pressure Therapy.  This constant pressure has a soothing effect on dogs, cats, humans, and other animals that can be as effective as medication. 

The ThunderShirt is made of stretchy fabric and is closed by velcro points on the chest and side.  It is best to go a little smaller with these shirts if your dog is between sizes.  The website has very accurate sizing charts.  The ThunderShirt works for a wide variety of fear, stress, and over excitement problems. There is no worry of a dog overheating in a thunder shirt as long as the temperature is under 90 degrees. A ThunderShirt can be safely left on a dog unsupervised.  

The Storm Defender is heavier than the ThunderShirt and contains a metal mesh in-between the fabric layers.  This mesh actually discharges static electricity in the air that builds up before a thunderstorm.  The StormDefender is best for dogs that suffer only from thunder-phobia, and can cause over heating even in room temperature areas if left on too long.  A Storm Defender should never be used unsupervised

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Both of these products take time to work.  It can take up to three different events before you notice a real change in your dog’s behavior.  These products are most effective in the first twenty minutes.   It is best to put them on the dog before the scary event starts and time it so the scary event starts within the first twenty minutes that the vest is on. 

Multiple studies have been done of both products that prove they are an effective alternative to medications, but remember to consult with your veterinarian before taking your pet off of any prescribed medications.  

If you’d like to read more articles from our Certified Professional Dog Training click here.