Dogs have been known to suffer anxiety caused by different factors, such as loud noises or exposed to many people at once. Most dogs react to noise caused by vacuum cleaners, nail trimmings, and firecrackers. Dogs can also become anxious when the weather changes like when there are thunderstorms.
Anxiety jackets for dogs can work great, but you have to choose the correct jacket and use it carefully. The jackets are usually designed like vests, and they operate with the theory that dogs behave like humans. As such, when pressure is applied to their torsos, they become more relaxed.
There are several brands of anxiety jackets, which is why you need you to be careful when selecting one.
Signs Of Anxiety In Dogs
Knowing the signs to look out for will help you determine whether your dog is anxious or not. Some of those signs include panting, trembling, barking, or even whining. Thee signs could also mean other things, which is why you should closely monitor the dog’s behavior when he starts to display any of them. Look out for new behavior like restlessness or constant pacing. Some dogs may even become destructive and start scratching surfaces.
Others may run to you in a bid to seek comfort while others try to hide and may head for hidden spaces like the closet. If outside, the dog may suddenly try to get away and injure themselves in the process. If they manage to get out in that state, they could get lost, get hit by a car, or even hurt themselves by clawing hard surfaces. This is why protecting canine is significant as soon as they start showing signs of anxiety.
How Anxiety Jackets Work
A hug is usually a comforting sign for humans, and it helps someone who is anxious to relax and feel better. Similarly, anxiety jackets are made to mimic that behavior and help the canines relax. They help distribute pressure along the dog’s torso resulting in the release of hormones that enhance relaxations.
Their functionality is based on human behavior, which involves patting the dog or stroking firmly along the sides and the chest as a form of reassurance that all is well.
Understanding Deep Pressure and Touch Therapy
The idea of encouraging relaxation by applying pressure has been around for many years, with the Chinese culture being popular for using it. The culture promotes the use of no invasive type of acupuncture to induce relaxation in the body.
Other than the traditional Chinese form of healing, there have also been machines invented to help with the same. For instance, a renowned Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University known as Temple Grandin, invented the “squeeze machine” to provide deep pressure stimulation to help autistic children and adults relax.
Also, weighted blankets have also been encouraged to help people with anxiety or insomnia relax. All these show that deep pressure and touch therapy work, based on the application that involves applying pressure consistently to specific parts of the body. The result is that the sympathetic nervous system becomes deactivated, leaving the body to trigger the relaxation mode.
Even though most companies that make such vests claim they are effective, you still need to know whether scientific studies support those claims. Some dog owners have testified to the effectiveness of such products, while others have reported failure.
The number of pet owners reporting the effectiveness of such jackets is higher, thereby showing that the jackets can decrease anxiety.
However, there is also reluctance from some animal behaviorists who claim that the dog wearing anxiety jackets may behave calmly but only because they are feeling restricted by the jackets and not because they are calm. The misinterpretation could result in the dog’s anxiety symptoms being suppressed without the real problem being addressed.
Although more studies are still being done on the effectiveness of anxiety jackets for dogs, the results produced by studies that have already been done indicate that the technique works. An example is a survey done by Thunderworks, which is one of the reputable brands for such jackets.
The study, which was done in 2011, found that 29% of dogs in different states across the united states suffered from noise-related anxiety such as the noise caused by thunderstorms, vacuum cleaners, and fireworks. 13% of dogs were found to become anxious when being separated from their owners.
The company went ahead to survey the dog owners who were using their dog anxiety jackets in a bid to find out their level of effectiveness. 87% of dog owners reported seeing improvements after using the jackets, especially when the anxiety is caused by noise phobia. When it came to separation anxiety, 77% of pet owners reported improvements after using the jackets.
In another study done in 2014 with the involvement of Tempe Grandin, dogs using the anxiety jackets were found to experience reduced heart rates but not the other symptoms.
The study was done on a small sample consisting of 15 dogs only, out of which all 15 reported reduced heart rates after being exposed to the pressure jackets. Fourteen dog owners reported indifferences with other symptoms like barking and pacing. The conclusion was that the anxiety jackets were great at lowering heartbeat but should be used with other medication to get wholesome results that include the elimination of other symptoms.
From these two studies, it can be concluded that anxiety jackets can be used as short-term solutions only. For long term results, other medicinal and therapeutic options should be used.
Using Anxiety Jackets For Dogs
Knowing how to get the dog to wear the jacket easily can help improve how the dog feels. Your dog may not like being introduced to wear something new at first, which is why you must prioritize their comfort. You can start by showing the dog the jacket then rewarding them with a treat to associate the jacket with something they like.
You could also rub the dog’s belly or perform an action that shows you’re pleased with them when you show them the jacket. You can then proceed to put the jacket on the dog but gradually. Put the jacket over their head then remove it, making it seem like a game. Let them wear the jacket for some time before you tighten it to increase the pressure. Only leave the dog with the jacket when you’re sure they won’t be able to chew it or remove it.
Choosing The Best Anxiety Jacket For Dogs
Although there are several brands to choose from, Thundershirt anxiety jackets are really considered to be the best. They are affordable and are available from many retail stores, and you can check the best price here on Amazon. They are available in different sizes for different types of dogs and can also be used by cats. This makes it easier for you to choose a suitable one that fits your pet perfectly.
It would help if you chose a tight fit to increase the functionality of the product. This shouldn’t be a problem given the long Velcro strips used in making the Thundershirt products. You should know the size of your dog to get the right size, whether small, medium, large, or extra-large.
The company includes an instruction guide to help you get the dog to wear the jacket, especially for the first time. The instructions are straight forward and easy to follow, but you should still be ready for some resistance from your dog the first time. The products work for anxiety caused by different types of noise and are very comfortable.
To get the most out of Thundershirt anxiety products, try not to wait until the anxiety is triggered. Get the jacket ready at the first sign of trouble to give the dog time to get used to it. Also, waiting could make it harder for you to get the canine to wear the jacket.
To reduce the stress the dog is exposed to, try to lure him/her with treats or meals then put the jacket on. If you put the jacket on the dog when they are stressed, they will associate it with bad feelings and will try to resist when you try again. However, when you relax, they will know that wearing the jacket means they are about to get something good like a meal or a treat.
Try to leave the jacket loose of the dog when they are not anxious and tighten it when the dog is triggered. When the cause of the anxiety is over, loosen the jacket again or remove it from the dog but place it where they can see it.
Many people have wondered “do anxiety jackets for dogs work,” and for a lot of dogs, they work great, as long as you get the correct product.
Thundershirt anxiety jackets are undoubtedly some of the best in the market. The ease with which you can adjust the jackets to make them as tight and comfortable for your dog is impressive, just like the quality and choice of the products.
Their designs are also great, allowing your dog to walk in them, travel in them, or even take a nap while wearing them. Whatever may be causing your dog’s anxiety, the Thundershirt products will help them relax.
Some of My Favorite Products For Dog Owners
I hope this article has helped you just a bit in the everyday life as a dog owner. Being a dog owner for more than 25 years myself, I’ve tried an abundance of different products with varying success, but these products below are some that I can highly recommend to every dog and their owner without hesitation!
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If you’re looking for the most up-to-date recommendations, check out my recommended products section that I’ve created to help every dog owner!