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Calming Fido

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine



The ThunderShirt provides a gentle hugging sensation to alleviate anxiety in dogs and cats that become panicked by loud noises


Thunder and other loud noises can make a dog fidgety, scared or nervous enough to jump into your lap, looking for comfort. Small dogs are particularly prone to anxiety when subjected to strangers or left alone in an RV or in a pen on the patio.
Calming down a dog that’s frightened or anxious can be a tall order that requires constant “babysitting.” Few dog owners want to leave their best friend at home, so they put up with less-than-stellar behavior while on RV trips. The ThunderShirt, an innovative product available to fit from the tiniest to 110-pound dogs, is designed to comfort a dog without having to constantly coddle it.
The ThunderShirt is comprised of a blend of cotton, polyester, spandex and carefully located hook-and-loop strips that wrap around the dog and provide a truly unique effect once fitted correctly. This embracing feel is created by supplying gentle hugging and constant pressure on the dog’s torso that reportedly causes a calming sensation. Reaching this goal is easily accomplished thanks to just the right amount of elasticity from the combination of materials. This technique is based on the same principles as cattle-squeeze chutes and swaddling an infant, which have proven to be useful techniques.
THUNDERSHIRTAlthough the ThunderShirt may seem very straightforward and simplistic, there are a couple of steps that will greatly increase the success of use, all of which are conveniently printed on a user-friendly instruction sheet. Before proceeding to the fitting portion, take time to read the instructions and then follow the “Initial Fitting and Conditioning” section precisely. Most dogs will reject having the ThunderShirt on their torso at first, so there are suggestions on how to get the dog to accept something new. For example, to help acclimate your dog, it’s suggested to use the ThunderShirt as a “plate” where a food treat can be placed. Dogs associate comfort and trust with food.
From here it’s on to the “Fitting Instructions,” where part identification is necessary before being able to perform the four steps required to achieve the right fit. Once familiar with everything, it’s basically a matter of placing the ThunderShirt on the dog’s back and connecting the short flap with the long flap under the torso, making sure to allow for a comfortable yet snug fit. Finish up by securing the chest straps, and it’s ready to pacify the dog.
So, does it really work? In one definitive word, yes! The test subject for this project was an anxiety-ridden 6½-pound Chihuahua that had fits when it came time to get in a vehicle. Once little Cy was introduced to the ThunderShirt and placed in the car or RV, he immediately showed signs of improvement and was far less shaky than before. After several hours of vehicle rides and wearing the ThunderShirt, Cy gladly gets in the RV without any indication of shaking and has shown a huge improvement in confidence. In fact, quite often now he’ll roam freely and looks forward to rides.
As conscientious owners, we were delighted that our dog could be calmed down without the use of drugs. The ThunderShirt is available in sizes to fit most dogs and retails for $39.95. Optional colors are available for an additional $5, and the shirt can even be custom-embroidered for $10. It’s backed by a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee, and these shirts are also available for cats.
Traveling without stress — for both dog and owners — had never been possible for us before putting the ThunderShirt on the smallest member of our family.

ThunderWorks | 866-892-2078 | www.thundershirt.com


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