Dogs have a keen sense of hearing, which is why they get easily scared by thunder. And to fix this problem, a pet brand came up with a product called ThunderShirt. It’s basically a shirt made for dogs intended to keep them calm when there’s a loud sound. It’s said to work on thunder, fireworks, pet visits, and more. But how long can you leave a ThunderShirt on a dog? Like any restraints, it’s not ideal to leave it on your dog 24/7.
How does ThunderShirt work?
ThunderShirts apply gentle pressure on your dog’s body. This will help them calm down during stressful and anxious situations. It mimics the hugging effect, similar to how swaddling keeps babies peaceful at night.
For the most part, this product works, but it also depends on the dog’s anxiety level. Without training, ThunderShirts will only do so much. In the end, this product isn’t the sole solution to your dog’s behavioral problems.
Can you leave a ThunderShirt on your dog all day?
ThunderShirts are designed for hours of continuous use. It’s unlikely to cause irritation on a dog’s coat as long as it’s cleaned regularly. The size is also important to ensure that your pet will be comfortable while wearing it.
However, it’s best for dogs with sensitive skin to remove the ThunderShirt after 1 to 2 hours. Let your dog’s coat ‘breathe’ before putting it back on.
For canines with a more tolerant body can wear this for hours. You only have to take it off twice to let your dog’s body breathe for 30 minutes each time.
Take note that you shouldn’t use ThunderShirts as alternative vests or coats for your dog. These aren’t designed to be protective against outdoor elements. You also have to wash the ThunderShirt to prevent odor and bacterial buildup.
If your dog suffers from skin irritation while using the ThunderShirt, you shouldn’t put it on until you’ve consulted a vet. There’s a possibility that the dog has allergies to the materials used on the product.
Do ThunderShirts really help dogs?
Wraps like ThunderShirts don’t work on all dogs. It always depends on the level of anxiety. If your dog only gets nervous during a thunderstorm, there’s a high chance that a ThunderShirt will work. However, overly nervous and aggressive canines may need more than just a wrap to stay calm.
To be fair, the makers of ThunderShirt stated that the product doesn’t guarantee 100% stress removal. Nevertheless, it helps a lot in reducing a canine’s nervousness.
It’s all about trying the product and seeing if it works for your canine. If you’re worried, you can always ask the advice of a veterinarian.
Can a dog wear a ThunderShirt all night?
If your dog isn’t experiencing irritations, you can put it on at night to help the pooch sleep. Just make sure that you’ll remove it first thing in the morning. Also, check the dog’s coat if it has any irritation. If your canine has suddenly become reluctant to wear the ThunderShirt, it might be uncomfortable for him.
How tight should a ThunderShirt be?
ThunderShirts are meant to provide gentle pressure to help the dog calm down. It shouldn’t be too tight or too loose. The rule of thumb is that you should be able to slip two fingers under the material. There’s no need to make it very tight around the chest because it will only make it difficult for your dog to breathe.
As for the straps, you should only stretch them gently. It’s also important to observe your dog for a few hours once you put the ThunderShirt on. If it became even more anxious, the fit might be too tight. Consider loosening it a bit, then continue observing.
Does a ThunderShirt work for separation anxiety?
Yes, the ThunderShirt is said to help dogs with separation anxiety. The wrap’s pressure offers assurance to a canine, which reduces the stress the dog is feeling.
Many dog owners have seen the difference a ThunderShirt can make. But just like what I mentioned earlier, the efficacy of the ThunderShirt varies per dog. It may work for your pet but not for others. It’s a matter of finding out and seeing how your dog will react to it.
Does ThunderShirt work for barking?
Yes, ThunderShirt can help with barking, but it’s not the only solution. You should pair this product with proper training for a permanent fix to your dog’s affinity for barking.
Aside from that, ThunderShirt can only alleviate barking to some extent. If your dog is threatened, it will bark no matter how calming the shirt is.
Will a ThunderShirt help with aggression?
Wrapping your aggressive dog in a ThunderShirt can have varying results. Some aggressive dogs will calm down slightly when put on a ThunderShirt. However, others will become more anxious, especially if it’s not used to any kind of restraint.
Overall, a ThunderShirt will help with your dog’s nervous tendencies. Still, proper training is the most effective way to tackle the aggression problem. You can also work with a dog trainer if all your efforts are not working.
What can I use as an alternative to ThunderShirt?
If you don’t have the budget to get a ThunderShirt, you can make a DIY wrap at home. For my dog Sherlock, I used a length of Ace Bandage. For large dogs, you should use bigger bandage sizes and narrower ones for small breeds.
Start by putting the bandage across the canine’s chest. After that, bring both ends of the bandage at the top of your dog’s shoulder blades before crossing it together under the stomach. To keep it in place, bring both ends at the top of your dog’s lower back and tie it gently.
Make sure that you apply gentle pressure when fitting the bandage. Again, avoid making it too tight because it will irritate the canine.
Another option is using an old shirt of yours. You can resize and sew it to fit your dog well. I suggest using thick shirts, so it gives an excellent pressure and added warmth during cold days.
Whatever material you’re using, make sure that it’s safe for your pet. If any irritations occur, remove the DIY ThunderShirt and consult the vet right away.
How long can you leave a ThunderShirt on a dog? One to two hours is a rule of thumb, but you can increase this as your dog gets used to the wrap. Just make sure that you remove it at least twice a day for 30 minutes to let the dog’s coat breathe. You should also check for any signs of irritation that may occur on your pet’s skin.