According to the age old idiom, “April showers bring May flowers,” but those same April showers often bring with them storm phobia in dogs that veterinarians say is a legitimate and common phobia for many four-legged friends. While there is no concrete course of treatment for storm phobia, which results in panting, barking, shaking and oftentimes destructive behaviors, veterinarians encourage dog owners to take steps to alleviate storm-related stress. One option is to invest in a product that can help decrease your dog’s reaction to the combination of barometric pressure changes, low-frequency thunder and static electricity shocks that accompany spring and summer storms. Thundershirt, a snug-fitting garment designed to apply constant yet gentle pressure that mimics an owner’s comforting hug, is one of the top products on the market created specifically to reduce the anxiety associated with storm phobia in dogs.
Thundershirt is a lightweight, breathable, stretchy blend of 10-percent spandex, 55-percent cotton and 35-percent polyester that resembles the average dog jacket. It comes in Heather grey and, for an additional $5, a blue polo and pink polo style, all of which can be customize embroidered for an extra $10. It features five Velcro straps that wrap around the dog’s torso, back and neck to give Thundershirt an adjustable, snug and comfortable fit.
The Thundershirt website reports that “over 80-percent of dogs show significant improvement in at least one anxiety symptom” when wearing Thundershirt; however, if you are not completely satisfied with your Thundershirt, the company offers a full refund for products returned within 45 days of purchase date (not applicable to embroidered Thundershirts).
Thundershirt is sold in many Pittsburgh area pet stores, including PetSmart, Petco and Petland for approximately $40. It is also available online at www.thundershirt.com for $39.95 with free shipping.
For more information on Thundershirt, including reviews and help determining the appropriate size for your dog, visit www.thundershirt.com.