The Thundershirt Review
I purchased an x-small sized Thundershirt (pictured) based on the recommended weight guidelines. However, it was too small for Dash and I exchanged it for the next size up. The Thundershirt is very easy to put on and wraps tightly around the dog’s body for a firm fit.
But does the Thundershirt work on separation anxiety? To test the Thundershirt, I did my normal routine of getting ready for work. Prior to leaving, I set an audiotape to record to see whether Dash barked. Dash usually begins barking after 20 minutes. Therefore, I left him alone for 30 minutes.
Unfortunately, the Thundershirt didn’t work. He was a little calmer while he watched me get ready to leave. Dash’s anxiety is so profound he starts cowering and shaking when he senses that I’m leaving. With the Thundershirt on, he didn’t exhibit this behavior nearly as bad as he usually does. However, it didn’t eliminate Dash’s worst behavior (barking). Dash barked and scratched at the door the entire length of the recording.
The Anxiety Wrap review
I ordered one Anxiety Wrap for $35.99 with a money-back guarantee. The Anxiety Wrap is a tight (and do I mean tight) fitting wrap that goes around the dog’s body. It comes with thin straps to wrap around the dog’s hind legs, adding pressure to the area. It was explained to me that when a dog is in full panic mode, he can lose “sensation” in its hind legs. this can cause the dog to panic even more. I had a very difficult time getting the Anxiety Wrap on Dash – that’s how tight it is. As you can see in the video, the Anxiety Wrap fits like a second skin.
I tested the Anxiety Wrap in the same way as The Thundershirt. As I was getting myself ready to leave, Dash did not seem as reactive as usual. When I came home and played the tape recorder, I was surprised to hear that he did not bark! Dash whimpered and yelped, but it significantly less than normal. It did not, however, prevent him from scratching at and throwing himself up against the door.
So was it a success? Yes, to a degree. I think if I consistently paired it up with some separation anxiety exercises it might break this habit once and for all. I contacted the designer, Susan Sharpe, and she promptly responded to my questions and offered further help if I needed it.
Which would I buy?
It depends. extreme separation anxiety, I do think the Anxiety Wrap worked better. If your dog has a mild form of separation anxiety, I would try the Thundershirt first. The Thundershirt is much easier to get on. It’s also easy to find in pet supply stores. The Anxiety Wrap is not in many stores. In addition, it will be useless if you can’t get it on – and Dash clearly didn’t enjoy the process of putting it on.
Since both have a satisfaction guarantee, you can always return it. I also recommend that you pair it with behavioral training. A fantastic book by Patricia McConnell, I’ll be Home Soon: How to Prevent and Treat Separation Anxiety, gives practical training tips and on coping suggestion.
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