The May long weekend in Canada is a time when people set off fireworks and although we may ‘oooh’ and ‘ahhh’ at them, some of our dogs are not as impressed. This is certainly the case with Zeea so I bought a ThunderShirt. It was not my first time looking into buying a ThunderShirt but I always hesitated because they are very pricey and on top of that I was skeptical about the science behind it. The ThunderShirt works on the principle of swaddling, like one would do for an infant, where pressure has a calming effect. I would like to point out that, although it has “thunder” in its name, the ThunderShirt’s package says it is great for fireworks so I was using the product for its proper purpose. As well, I did use the shirt for thunder as a couple days after the long weekend we had a thunderstorm. Now let me start off by giving you an idea of how Zeea reacts to fireworks and thunder sans ThunderShirt.
At the first loud popping or bang, Zeea gets up and rushes to hide with her ears flat against her head, tail tucked and her head lowered. Usually she chooses the bathroom but sometimes she will hide in the bedroom, curled up tightly against the side of the bed. Poor girl. 😥 Of course I have tried to calm her but nothing seems to work. My treat-loving pup is so scared that she will not eat anything you give her and if you try to get her up, try to provoke her into to being brave, she just rushes off to her next hiding spot. Not only that, but she pants heavily, continuously and fast.
In short, the panting, shaking, hiding and bolting are all signs of fear/anxiety and are all listed on the ThunderShirt box as symptoms the product can be used for. So the long weekend came and Zeea was tightly wrapped up in her ThunderShirt. The fireworks began and…Zeea bolted to find a hiding place. I followed her to the bathroom and there she was, curled up and afraid, even with the ThunderShirt. Just as before, she was breathing heavy and shaking. I thought that it might just be her first response so I removed her from the bathroom but she just bolted again at the next loud noise. The ThunderShirt did not seem to be working but I thought I’d use it to the fullest and added the ThunderSpray to the designated ThunderPatch on the shirt. Nothing.
In the end, after two days of fireworks and a day with thunder, it was clear that the ThunderShirt did not provide relief to Zeea’s fear and anxiety. I would hate to discourage anyone from trying something that may help their dog but, considering the price, which is usually around $50 (larger sizes are more expensive), and my experience, I would not suggest the Thundershirt and/or the ThunderSpray as a solution. The only positive thing I can say in my review of the Thundershirt is that Zeea looked good in the camo design. 😉