Dog Anxiety Treatment

  • 2nd Place for Best in Show at Global Pet Expo

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    25741_376998456556_88107376556_4340911_1211932_sThundershirt wins 2nd Place for “Best in Show”! We just returned from the 2010 Global Pet Expo in Orlando where over 800 companies were exhibiting pet products from around the world. Competing against hundreds of other new dog products, Thundershirt took 2nd place. We’re excited about the recognition Thundershirt is receiving for being a terrific solution for helping dogs to cope with anxiety, fear and over-excitement issues!

  • Channel 9 News segment

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    Thundershirt was featured in the segement Gadgets : Help for yappy dogs on Channel 9 news Colorado. Check it out on our facebook page

  • Thundershirt on Good Morning America

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    Good Morning America features Thundershirt in a segment titled Treating Pet Separation Anxiety.  During this segment, Dr. Marty Becker explains ways to treat your pets separation issues.

    Check it out :

    By applying constant gentle pressure along the torso area, Thundershirt begins to calm your pet immediately.

  • Thundershirt attends Western Veterinary Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada

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    Thundershirt recently set up a booth at the Western Veterinary Conference (WVC) in Las Vegas, Nevada. This interactive continuing education experience allowed us to connect with thousands of vet professionals and related groups. With a strong focus on progressive and practical education, Thundershirt’s gentle, constant pressure approach to treating anxiety is a perfect fit. Pictured below is the Thundershirt booth:
    Thundershirt Booth

  • Separation Anxiety Dogs Treated With Thundershirt

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    Of course your dog always wants you around, and misses you when you leave the house for work or a night out; but for some dogs, this regular scenario becomes amplified into a fully symptomatic separation anxiety.

    According to the United States Human Society:

    It's important to realize...that the destruction and house soiling that often occur with separation anxiety are not the dog's attempt to punish or seek revenge on his owner for leaving him alone. In reality, they are actually part of a panic

    This is why, they go on to say, punishing the dog or trying to train it out of him is usually ineffective.  It's not a behavior needing negative reinforcement, so much as it is an actual panic condition in the dog.  So, what can be done?  The article on the Humane Society Page has some useful advice, but having been written in 2002, we'd like to think they'd now have included the Thundershirt, as a safe, drug-free, and inexpensive treatment for dog separation anxiety.

    A few dog owners on our Facebook page have been asking about using Thundershirt as a Separation Anxiety treatment.    We strongly recommend trying it and have many customers reporting terrific results.   For some dogs, Thundershirt's calming effects may be enough to control the symptoms.  For others, we recommend including Thundershirt as part of a training program.

    My Yorkie, Rufus, would be so keyed up with separation anxiety that he would then suffer from serious diarrhea.   After thorough vet examination found no medical issues, so my veterinarian suggested that this must be separation anxiety.  We inherited him 8 months ago after the passing of a parent who was with him all the time.  Anyway, I put the Thundershirt on him in the morning at 6 AM when I leave the house - and he rests peacefully with no panting, shaking, pacing or panicking.  At noon when the dog walker comes, she removes it.  She takes him for  a walk and around 4pm when I come home, Rufus is a happy calm dog.

    - M.M.         Baltimore, MD

    And also:

    My vet recommended that we try Thundershirt for our Cocker Spaniel.  He was having seizures everyday from separation anxiety and medications were not helping enough.   Thundershirt has decreased his seizures considerably.

    ~AT, Rock Hill, SC

    We'll be putting up a lot more information about using Thundershirt for Separation Anxiety soon, but for now, here's a link to our testimonials page.   For more information about dog separation anxiety, here's an article on the Humane Society's site.


    Does your dog suffer from Separation Anxiety?   Have you tried the Thundershirt or other methods?  Leave us a comment, and help other dog owners with this problem as well.

  • Colombus Alive Magazine's Review of the Thundershirt

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    Colombus Alive Magazine's "Heavy Petting" Column gave us a great mention this week. Check it out:

    And speaking of rain, is your dog afraid of thunder? If yes, you might be interested in Thundershirt - a new solution for dog anxiety. I know they have hug vests for people - now they have them for dogs too. Thundershirt got good reviews at Secret Shopper Pet Product Reviews. According to their readers, it worked for their

    From this article, we found out about more reviews hosted at Secret Shopper Pet Product Reviews. Wow! It's really gratifying to see so many having success with the Thundershirt. Did it work for you? Post a comment or send us an e-mail through our site's contact page.

  • Before Drugging Your Dog, Try a Thundershirt - Dogs, Clomicalm, and Clomipramine

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    We’ve all seen the array of pharmaceutical commercials saturating primetime television, opening with idyllic, computer-rendered home or landscape scenes to evoke a calm that is quickly bracketed by an often exhausting list of possible side effects. In humans, the choice to take pharmaceuticals is still one that demands care and caution – but there is still that element of choice, which is absent, in this case, from your dog. You remain the sole arbiter of whether or not to drug your dog, and the information available, as well as the presence of government regulatory bodies may both fall terribly short when contrasted with human medicine. If you love your dog, it may be vitally important to educate yourself about anything you’re going to offer him or her.

    As with humans, there are a wide range of medical conditions a dog can suffer, ranging from the mild and annoying to the dangerous and urgent. If your dog’s health is seriously threatened, any option with the potential of remedy is to be sought out, even if there may be some undesirable side effects in tow; but if your dog is suffering from a condition that is real, but not immediately dangerous, make absolutely sure that the medicine doesn’t produce worse side effects than the actual problem you are trying to medicate!

    An example: Dog Noise Anxiety Disorder. It is now recognized by a large body of publications and a majority of veterinarians as being a legitimate condition affecting millions of dogs, but if you have a dog who goes crazy during thunderstorm season, you don’t need a vet’s diagnosis to know the dog is unhappy and considerably disturbed. Fireworks, vacuum cleaners, and even ambient construction noise can all lead to a sudden agitation of this condition, provoking in your puppy a wish to flee from the startling sound, and provoking in you a pity for your pet that will probably lead you to wonder what you can do.

    Do some research online or speak to certain vets and you’ll probably encounter suggestions to treat Dog Noise Anxiety Disorder with Clomicalm, along with other drugs touted as “Puppy Prozacs.” Clomicalm is a brand-name form of Clomipramine, which is a Tricyclic Antidepressant. Originally developed for human usage, Clomipramine is considered, according to Wikipedia, as being a “second-line treatment” due to its having more serious side effects than the SSRIs more commonly administrated as anti-depressants. The list of contraindictions for Clomipramine is intimidating enough for administration to humans, and the list of side-effects, doubly so:

    • central nervous system: Often, fatigue, dizziness, lightheadedness, headaches, confusion, agitation, insomnia, nightmares, increased anxiety, seizures (0.5% to 2%, see above), rarely hypomania or induction of schizophrenia (immediate termination of therapy required), and extrapyramidal side-effects (pseudoparkinsonism, dyskinesia, rarely tardive dyskinesia) are noted.
    • Anticholinergic side effects in different grades of severity are quite common: dry mouth, constipation, rarely ileus (paralysis of the large intestine, life-threatening), difficulties in urinating, sweating, precipitation of glaucoma (may lead to permanent eye-damage or even blindness, if untreated). The incidence of dental caries may be increased due to dry mouth.
    • antiadrenergic side effects occur very frequently due to strong central and peripheral blockage of alpha receptors: hypotension, postural collapse (when patient is rising too fast from lying or sitting position to standing), arrhythmias (sinus tachycardia, bradycardia, AV block, rarely other forms of cardiac problems). Preexisting heart insufficiency can be worsened.
    • Allergic/toxic: skin reactions and photosensitivity with increased frequency of sunburns are seen in a few percentage of cases. Rarely liver damage of the cholostatic type, hepatitis, and leukopenia or other forms of blood dyskrasia are seen, also severe acute allergy including difficulties in breathing, skin reaction, chest pain etc.
    • Other side effects may include heartburn, weight gain, but also nausea and bruxism - teeth-grinding while asleep - (the latter due to the strong inhibition of reuptake of serotonin). article

    It’s frightening enough to risk these side effects for yourself, when doctors have pages and pages of studies for exactly what dosage to take and what to watch out for when you take it – but for your dog, the dose may be not nearly so precise, and more pressingly, unless your dog is from a Pixar movie, you cannot ask it about its internal state. A condition that causes deep internal distress or pain to your dog may only be manifest as a slight fatigue, or even not at all. Your dog doesn’t know to report symptoms or changes in its experience – and so Clomipramine may be ten times the gamble in a dog as it would be for a human, where it’s already considered a last option to treat humans.

    Another notable difference is that in humans, where it’s already only resorted to if other drugs fail, Clomipramine is used to treat conditions that may be disabling and immediately life-threatening. Although dogs with noise anxiety can be dangerous to themselves in storm situations, there is no way this danger is comparable to deep depression in humans – and so, for treating dogs, these side effects are not in parity with the problem.

    If you’re searching the internet for information on helping your dog’s anxiety through storm season, make sure and search past those drug-company websites and go a few pages further to find actual pet-owner experiences. This is a good rule of thumb for any treatment you’re uncertain of, and in the case of Clomipramine, take note of all the dog owners who report that loss of personality, loss of energy, of liveliness - then, ask yourself if there isn’t a better remedy to your dog’s anxiety than one that risks liver damage, nervous system problems, and the alteration of all that which you love about your dog.

  • Pressure Wraps for Dogs

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    What are pressure wraps?

    Many dogs suffer from behavioral issues and mental conditions that arise from fear and anxiety. The pressure wrap is an approach used to modify the behavior of dogs using a technique called “Controlled Pressure” to help calm the sensory receptors. When used properly it has been shown to end fear of loud noises, thunderstorm fear , dog aggression, shyness, nervousness, releasing stress & tension, end jumping, car sickness, unnecessary barking, , sensitivity to touch, sensitive to sound, aloofness, emotional upset, hyperactivity, grooming issues and other anxieties. It is a non-drug treatment for dog anxiety and just like slipping on a shirt. Dogs that display symptoms of anxiety can now be calmed by wearing these pressure wraps.

    Why are dogs afraid of thunderstorms?

    Fear of thunderstorms is common in dogs, and tends to get worse as they age. It is partly genetic. Too many dogs are left outdoors during storms, sometimes with no shelter at all. Anyone would be scared with good reason. Thunderstorms and the accompanying electrical energy disturbs dogs on a level most of us do not understand. The loud noise is scary to some dogs, and the dog can hear it at a much greater distance than humans can. The dog has early audio warning of an approaching storm, and most storm-phobic dogs eventually start reacting long before the sounds are loud. The smell of the air changes when a storm approaches, and of course the keen nose of a dog detects this early. The air pressure changes, too, and a dog's ears are more sensitive to pressure changes than most people. In some cases, it might hurt.

    Phobias generally become worse, not better, with repeated exposures. Dogs with mild noise phobia may look anxious during thunderstorms, tremble, hide under the bed or in the bathtub, and be afraid to go out of doors for hours after the storm has passed.

    How it works?

    The wrap applies slight pressure or maintained pressure across a wide area of the body, stimulating the body's receptors to help in transmitting different sensations to different parts of the brain. When the animal receives this new information, it's awareness & focus can change, resulting in the animal "letting go" of the old sensation and modifying its behavior.

    The Body wrap does the following for most dogs suffering from noise anxiety:

    1. The physical sensation of wearing the wrap distracts the dog from focusing on her fears, and
    2. Being wrapped gives the dog a feeling of safety and comfort.

    Soon after putting on the wrap, your dog will likely settle down and relax. Many dogs will lie down and weather the storms with little to no further symptoms of noise anxiety.

    From a more scientific perspective, according to neurobiologists, many types of traumas can cause nerve damage, leading to dogs having exaggerated responses to stimuli such as loud noises. Applying constantly maintained pressure with the body wrap provides an unchanging, quieting stimulus that allows the dog to relax.

    Temple Grandin and Tellington Touch:

    Two resources have researched the issue on how pressure soothes.The first source is TTouch practitioners. TTouch was developed by Linda Tellington-Jones to help train horses and relax the horse's mind and body. It was eventually adapted for other animals too. It uses a system of specific touches, and stretches to relax the animal, and increase body awareness. Getting in TTouch with Your Dog by Linda Tellington-Jones illustrates many techniques for wrapping an ace bandage around a dog to enhance “your dog's sense of his own body and makes him more confident in his movements and behavior.” One of the tools used to continue TTouch benefits for a longer time is a body wrap.

    The second resource is the famous autism researcher Temple Grandin who was herself an autistic child. Inspired by how cattle calmed down while being gently squeezed in a chute she developed a “hug machine”. As stated by Temple Grandin "after seeing cattle being put into a squeeze chute that held them still so they could get their shots. When I saw how calm the cattle got from the pressure on their bodies, I built my own squeeze machine, and it calmed my anxiety the same way." The hug machine helped maintain constant pressure and proved to be effective in soothing the anxiety of autistic people. On the same lines a pressure wrap is a way to give the maintained pressure and contact that the dog craves for in times of anxiety.

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