Did you know that our German Shepard has some significant struggle with anxiety when we travel (read "vomit") , I leave the house or there are loud noises? It has been something we've struggled with since we brought her into our family in 2008. That's a LONG time to be searching for help and many sleepless nights due to:
- thunderstorms and/or strong winds
- car back firing
- dynamite blasting - okay this is not typical, but there is a sand and gravel company within 2 miles of us and this is a frequent method.
|Hiding from the storm in laundry room|
- giving her Benadryl, but what if we gave it to her and then the storm would completely bypass us.
- Leaving the laundry room light on with the dryer on air (nice way to run up the electric bill), but it's really hard to sleep with that bright light shining down the hall and the noise reaches every corner of our home.
- "sleeping" on the couch - note: there is actually no sleeping involved because she is constantly jumping on the furniture, trying to hide behind the recliner, or crawl on my lap or join me where ever I might be attempting to sleep. The whole couch shakes because she is so afraid!
- percription meds - they are very expensive and we are not crazy about drugging her up. She developed a keen ear and sense of smell for the pepperoni package opening, because that is what we would wrap her meds in. It was traumatic to attempt to shove a pill down our dog's throat and hold her mouth closed to make sure she swallowed it. No wonder she hates storms!
|A very relaxed Lady with distant rumbles|
What are Thundershirts?
Thundershirt’s gentle, constant pressure has a dramatic calming effect for most dogs if they are anxious, fearful or over-excited.
They are made of comfy t-shirt type material that has velcro to help secure it on your anxious dog that gives them a sense of feeling secure. There is no tugging or fighting to get it on, which would add more stress to an already anxious dog. When we put it on Lady, she actually gets so incredibly relaxed, that the results are incredibly better than anything else we've tried!
Advantages: Sizes from the smallest tea-cup size up to 110 lbs, it is machine washable and stylish as well, but more importantly, it helps with:
As I was talking to Mary, we discussed how this type of pressure comfort helps those with:
- People with autism use pressure to relieve their persistent anxiety.
- Children with certain behavioral problems use pressure shirts and weighted vests to relax and focus.
- Parents use swaddling to calm an inconsolable newborn infant.
I hope that, if you have a special four-legged family friend/dog that suffers from any of the anxieties above, please check into a Thundershirt. It's what Works-For-Me!