Product Review – Thundershirt

Soon after Inka came to live with us, I decided to get him a Thundershirt.  As a non-working sheepdog, he was really nervous, which at a guess was probably due to inadequate socialisation in the early weeks & months of his life, or to put it bluntly – living on a farm, and then living in a shed.

He frequently vomited in the car, not to mention all the drooling; he’d leave the car looking like I’d used it to bathe him, whether we drove 2 minutes down the road to the vets office, or fifteen minutes to training classes (the sick was kind of like and ‘added bonus’ for longer journeys only); he was nervous of people – especially men; he was very sound- and sight-sensitive, and would jump at the slightest visual or auditory hint of wind or heavy rain.  A Thundershirt seemed like it would complement the behavioural modification programme I was putting in place for him, and at worst it would do no harm (and it’s backed by a 45 day refund period).

Sizing it was a little difficult, though that was because of Inka, not the Thundershirt.  When he came home in July at about 9 months old, he weighed at the low-end of 19Kg (the breed standard for a Huntaway has an upper weight of 29Kg!!), we eventually decided on the large Thundershirt, and when it arrived it would wrap just small enough, though now he’s gaining weight & growing, it fits better each time he needs it (he now weighs ~21Kg and has grown about an inch or so).

Inka wore his Thundershirt almost constantly at first, he was always more settled in it than out of it; and he especially wore it any time the car was involved, or the weather wasn’t so great, or we were having visitors, and even for his first few lessons at our local training centre.  With his Thundershirt, alongside a behavioural modification program, Inka has improved immensely in the six months since he came home; and now he only wears his Thundershirt when the weather is particularly bad.

We were especially thankful for his Thundershirt over the Christmas break, as on two separate occasions we had localised, short thunderstorms, both of them in the early hours of the morning.  The first storm was just a single clap of thunder, the second was a bit longer and had hailstones, a couple of lightening bolts, and several thunder claps.  Both times, the three of us woke up, both times I got out of bed, said “lets go get your Thundershirt on” to Inka, both times he followed me into the front room, and sat waiting on the rug, had his Thundershirt put on, and we all went straight back to bed and fell asleep without any problems.  I’ve never regretted getting Inka his Thundershirt, as it’s helped in every situation he’s worn it in, but after the two mini-storms we had recently, I think I like it even more – if that’s possible!

When I first got involved in dogs, I must admit I wished I had a “real” problem dog to try this strange Thundershirt thing on, and now that I’ve used it with Inka I wouldn’t hesitate to use it with any other dog, or recommend it to anyone who was considering trying one for their dog.

Inka in his ThundershirtI was neither asked nor compensated in any way by anyone for writing this review; I wrote it simply to share my experience with the Thundershirt in the hopes of helping other dog owners make an informed decision about whether it may help their dog(s).

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11 thoughts on “Product Review – Thundershirt

  1. Great review! I’ve often wondered if Thundershirts would be good for those often nervous herding breeds, glad to hear you had success 🙂

  2. I have an anxious Huntaway (I live in New Zealand), and while he was born rural (minutes from where we live) and his mother is a working dog, and we live on a rural property, he is very intimidated by anyone outside the family and “noises” tend to make him jumpy – he also is very needy in terms of wanting to be patted and touched – which I try to avoid doing on his demand so to speak and hold off and pat him when he does not expect it (so as to not encourage the constant begging for attention). A trip to town (20 minute drive) to the vets is a very unpleasant experience for him – he loathes the car, does not vomit, but whimpers and paces in the back seat (as much as his seat belt allows) which irritates our much older dog who adores car rides. Three months ago the H’way started nibbling his coat (one round patch the size of a large coin – and another appeared the other day) which we now think was timed about when we introduced another cat into the family – although we adopted two rescue kittens same time last year and it did not have this effect). Vet has treated an infection (constant licking) and suggested we look at some form of “calming” medication, which Im not keen on, so reading your review of the Thunderjacket was really helpful. Their not that expensive here so I have ordered one, might as well give it a try. Herbal remedy had no effect, and our boy who is 3 yrs old would get the “feeling” of comfort without us spoiling him to the point of him thinking he will get attention whenever he demands it by “leaning” on us, etc. So thank you.

    • I do hope the Thundershirt helps your dog, but I wouldn’t be so quick to write off other products too. The Thundershirt is great, but I think what really helped Inka was his Zylkene – that Thundershirt just backed that up. I’m actually considering medication for my other dog at the moment, the Thundershirt and herbal calming aids just aren’t doing enough for her, but perhaps with “real” meds, it might make a difference for her.

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