Monday, August 8, 2011


As I've mentioned before in this blog, G and I have been battling her separation anxiety for a couple years now. As long as I'm around, she usually holds herself together, but if I leave her (even if she's still with another person) she tends to get very antsy and whiny.

I heard all sorts of suggestions and remedies for calming a pup both when they're with you and on their own: collars, sprays, hormones, it was even suggested to me that I get another dog to keep G company (so what happens when that doesn't work?!).

One of the odder suggestions I received was from G's babysitter, who mentioned the Thundershirt for her. She explained that this was a shirt, (a la Temple Grandin) wrapped around the abdomen of the dog that worked similarly to the calming effects of swaddling a baby. The gentle pressure is said to release chemicals in the brain triggering relaxation.

To be honest, at first I thought it was completely ridiculous, however, after reading up on the product - both on their website and elsewhere (for non-biased opinions), I figured it couldn't hurt to try it. It was a 100% money-back guarantee if the product didn't give you results.

I purchased the Thundershirt about six months ago and was pretty religious about keeping it on G both when I was and was not around. For the most part, I think it provided an improved relaxation effect for her, but it was hard to say how much so.

With the spring/summer months, I didn't dress her in the shirt as much as I didn't want her to overheat (although, according to the manufacturer, that's not really a worry unless it's over 95 degrees Fahrenheit), but I am looking forward to getting her back into the shirt in the cooler months of fall and winter. I am interested to see if I can teach her a positive association between the shirt and relaxing (especially on leash).

Stay tuned!


  1. We have been hearing so many good things about Thundershirts. One of the dogs in our dog walking club has severe anxiety and she walks with a thundershirt that her owner says helps a lot. You should ask her thoughts on it.

  2. That would actually be awesome to chat with her about that! Not sure the best way to get in touch, but maybe she could stop by the blog?