Erica’s Weekly Woof–Storm Anxiety

Okay, so perhaps “weekly” is a misnomer–please forgive me for being absent for so long! Things have been so crazy here at  Dawg House, but I will do my best to live up to the name of my column!

This time of year, we experience so many crazy storms…and we have several under our belts already! After speaking with many of you, I’ve come to the conclusion that all the humans are thrilled with the rain, lightening shows, humidity in the air, even…but it’s not so great for the dogs.

There is a product called Thundershirt, and it is a drug-free and fairly inexpensive way to help relieve some of the stress your dog is feeling. It works on the principal that physical pressure relieves anxiety, which animal experts such as Temple Grandin agree with.  We swaddle our infants to make them feel secure, pressure is used to calm cattle during vaccinations, and autistic people use physical pressure to calm themselves.  And, it works for dogs.

Of course, not every dog is the same. However, after using this type of therapy with thousands of dogs, 80% showed marked improvement. Those are pretty good odds. The website to order a Thundershirt is: www.thundershirt.com and they are $36, which is pretty reasonable.

You can also make one yourself to see if it works—use a t-shirt that fits tightly around the dog, the body especially.  Several sizes too small would work best. That’s an even less expensive option,  and you can test to see if it would help your dog.  The Thundershirt actually does have a bit of weight to it, which changes the amount of pressure, but a t-shirt is a good trial.

Storm anxiety isn’t the only issue that this type of therapy will work with–it covers everything from separation anxiety to excessive barking to crate training.

And don’t the dogs just look so cute wearing one? Woof!

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