I’ve beaten the odds because none of my three dogs have anxiety with storms, fireworks, etc. This can be a real problem for so many people. Dogs can get so freaked out that they hurt themselves. Someone I know has a dog who ran through a window trying to escape from fireworks…luckily the dog was not severely injured.
Meet Bella… (and my attempt at pet photography). Isn’t she beautiful?! Bella is a Vizsla who is full of energy and is downright photogenic…
Bella hates storms. Actually… hate probably isn’t a strong enough word. She has knocked shelving down and put holes in the walls at her house when she’s been scared. Earlier this summer, during a storm, her dad came home to find her in their dishwasher because she was so scared. THE DISHWASHER!!! This isn’t a five pound chihuahua people!
So obviously Bella needed some help. That’s where the good people at the Thundershirt came in. They were kind enough to send me a Thundershirt that Bella could try. Here is a great description of what the Thundershirt can do for your dog when it comes to storm anxiety, separation anxiety, fear of traveling, etc. The gentle pressure that the shirt provides has been shown to have a calming effect on 80% of dogs.
We started out by giving Bella a treat, served on the Thundershirt. Then we put it on her and treated her again. Bella’s mom and dad did this a little bit everyday to get her used to the Thundershirt and to teach her that wearing it is a positive thing. Then we waited for the next major storm….
I was so anxious to hear if it helped. Bella’s mom said that whenever Bella had the shirt on that it really relaxed her and she’d usually go lay down, so we thought that was a good sign.
Unfortunately, when the next big storm came, Bella was still a mess. They didn’t give up though. They still put the Thundershirt on Bella everyday and during storms. Sadly it never worked for Bella, nor did using desensitization thunder storm cds. She is now on medication to help her with her extreme storm anxiety.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t look into the Thundershirt for your dog if he/she has anxiety issues. The Thundershirt website claims an 80% success rate, so I think that Bella is just in that 20% that wasn’t helped by the shirt. At $36, it’s not a huge investment and they offer a full refund if it doesn’t work and is returned within 45 days of purchase.
I love the Thundershirt company because they are very active in giving back to the dog community. Some of the groups they support include Baghdad Pups, Cocker Spaniel Rescue of New England, Aussie Rescue & Placement Helpline, Citrus Golden Retriever Rescue, Golden Rescue in Naples, Inc, Pitbull Rescue Central, NorthEast All Retriever Rescue, As Good As Gold – Illinois, and GRROWLS-NY.
I’d love to hear if anyone else has tried the Thundershirt and how it worked for them!