Does the ThunderShirt Really Work?

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Does ThunderShirt work?The ThunderShirt is designed to help dogs cope with things like thunder and lightning by applying a little bit of pressure all along their midsection. It’s like giving your dog a gentle and consistent hug, which as you know usually calms them down. So can this take the place of the reassurance you have to give them during these anxiety causing episodes? We look into what people are saying about their ThunderShirt experience.

Dogs can get anxious from all sorts of things, like fireworks going off in the neighborhood on the 4th of July or New Year’s, or a thunderstorm – which is where it gets its name. Some dogs can’t handle being left alone, and others don’t like going for trips in the car. It’s even been shown to help with problem barking, as well as a hyperactive dog. You can even use it for things like leash pulling, so it can help with obedience training. There are many instances, and surely when you saw this you thought of a dozen different ways you could use it.

The Claim
The ThunderShirt claims to be able to provide gentle pressure, which soothes your dog and mimics being held so that they don’t have to be so afraid. They claim that 4 out of 5 dogs respond well to it, and that it helps lessen the amount of medication that is needed to calm them down during stressful times.

They say that there is some science behind the idea, and that using gentle pressure has been shown to have a calming effect on the nervous system. They go on to give several examples of pressure being used by both dog trainers and vets to help calm all sorts of animals down, and it is even used for humans that are suffering from certain behavioral disorders.

The Hype
If you’ve ever had to deal with an anxious dog, you know that they are not exaggerating the problem. It can be heartbreaking to watch them suffer, and you know that medication is not the best way to treat it. But they can be inconsolable, even if you are right next to them and reassuring them that everything is OK.

The Cost
It’s $40 for the ThunderShirt, and they run a free shipping offer from time to time, making that your total cost.

The Commitment
All you need to do is strap this onto your dog during the times that usually trigger their anxiety. Compared to listening to your dog whimper and yelp this is far more preferable. And if you’re giving them medicine for these times, it could be easier to put the vest on than to give them a pill.

The ThunderShirt is well made, you can tell that they didn’t simply outsource the production of this to the lowest bidder. It’s adjustable, so it’s easy to get the snug fit that it needs in order to do its job. You’ll want to make sure not to overuse it, or it will lose its effectiveness and just become their default state, allowing the problem to return. Only strap it on when they need it so they get into the habit of knowing what time it is when they have it on, and that everything will be alright.

For Cats Too
They also have a vest for cats, which claims to solve similar problems, but adds vet visits, litterbox training, grooming, and just overall jumpiness. It goes for the same price, and has the same basic structure, but is specially designed to fit cats. If you know that your cat would never sit still long enough to have you put this on them, you might want to pass on the idea. It would only be good for cats that are passive enough to agree to this sort of device.

Final ThunderShirt Review

ThunderShirt gets our nod of approval. Not only do we like it, but it’s one of the best-reviewed pet products we’ve ever seen. It is hard to get lopsided ratings when making a pet product because there are so many pet personalities out there, and so many breeds that it’s hard to make something that pleases both the pet and the owner. We also like how they give back to a good cause by donating vests to animal shelters. These are the dogs that really need it, because they are cooped up with a bunch of other dogs and need some reassurance.

One other good thing we like about them is that they provide a lot of video training, and support after you make your purchase. This shows that they are truly a company that stands behind their product, and is not just interested in making sales, but in keeping their customers happy for the long term.

Our Recommendation
This is a reasonably priced, well made product that you should definitely try using if your dog suffers from any of the problems described in the Overview section above. They have a money back guarantee, so there’s really no harm in trying it out on your pet to see how it works for them. Because 20% of dogs don’t respond to it, they have to have this guarantee in place because they realize not everyone is going to want to keep it. You can read reviews from other owners until your head spins but you won’t really know until you get it on your own dog or cat.

What do you think? Does ThunderShirt work or not?

95 Customer Reviews on “Does the ThunderShirt Really Work?

  1. I have a 5 year old Italian greyhound that is afraid of thunderstorms. We live in South Florida where thunderstorms are a daily occurrence during our summer months. You could always predict what time they were coming by the body language of our dog. He would be very anxious and starts his pacing and panting. I ordered a thunder shirt for him about 2 weeks ago. The shirt definitely has reduced his anxiety. He still is restless but the pacing and panting has become less. I would recommend this thunder shirt to everyone that has a pet with anxiety to thunderstorms.

  2. I have a rescued cat. We have had her for 3 years now and she is great with the family, but so nervous still. I have tried everything, but giving her medication. If she hears the slightest noise she runs and hides. I hate that she is so scared and nervous. I will definitely try the Thundershirt for her. It just breaks my heart to see her so afraid. Thank you for the reviews as I am going to buy this product for sure. Will post updates after we try the product.

  3. The Thundershirt is a wonderful product. My dog is a hound mix rescued from the shelter and he gets anxious over thunderstorms and fireworks. A friend recommended a Thundershirt and Spenser has been wearing one since he was six months old. From the very first time it has worked beautifully.
    If the weather getting severe or I know there will be fireworks, I suit Spenser up and he manages the noise without the usual discomfort. For anyone who has a pet with anxiety, this is a miracle.
    Because Spenser started wearing his Thundershirt when he was a puppy, we have gone through three sizes meaning that I had two shirts that he outgrew. When I was buying his current ( and hopefully last) size, I noticed that the website recommends donating spare Thundershirts to the local animal shelter. I took the two garments to the shelter and they were absolutely overjoyed.
    I have also noticed that in addition to the basic grey Thundershirt they come in pink so your dog can be fashionable as well as calm.

  4. It’s so great to see that such a simple concept actually works! Finally, an affordable product that allows me to keep my pet calm during rough weather and even 4th of July fireworks. I have a small dog that gets easily frightened, so I have been looking for a way to keep her calm no matter what happens. With the recent bad storms we have been having, she has been stressed out too much, and I really worry about her health as a result of the constant anxiety she feels. I am definitely going to give this product a try. Thanks for the in-depth review!

  5. It totally works! Our cat is super freaked out by everything. Got one based on web reviews to try when I have to give her medicine on her chin. She does the flop n drop that they describe, but she’s calm stays by my side and chills out. Only issue I have with it is she pulls her front legs inside and gets one leg out the top…Kind of annoying.

  6. It’s an interesting product but one that I’ll be able to test only on days with real rough weather. Anyways, I wanted to get one because my dog gets real scared when there’s thunderstorm outside and he refuses to sleep on the floor. Who knows if my dog’s going to respond to this, but I think it’s worth a try because I don’t want him to be scared all night, but at the same time I can’t have him sleeping on my bed every time there’s a thunderstorm.

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