As explained on the Petfinder Foundation web site, “The Thundershirt alleviates stress symptoms in over 80% of the dogs who use it. When used at a shelter, the Thundershirt can help dogs relax, reduce the behavioral issues associated with stress and make the dog more adoptable. The Thundershirt then follows the dog to her new home, providing her with a soothing pressure that should help to reduce her anxiety and improve the adoption experience for both dog and owner.”
The science behind how this works is explained by Dr. Temple Grandin in an article entitled “Calming Effects of Deep Touch Pressure in Patients with Autistic Disorder, College Students, and Animals” in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology:
Deep touch pressure is the type of surface pressure that is exerted in most types of firm touching, holding, stroking, petting of animals, or swaddling. In contrast, light touch pressure is a more superficial stimulation of the skin, such as tickling, very light touch, or moving hairs on the skin. In animals, the tickle of a fly landing on the skin may cause a cow to kick, but the firm touch of the farmer’s hands quiets her. Occupational therapists have observed that a very light touch alerts the nervous system, but deep pressure is relaxing and calming.
This understanding led to Dr. Grandin’s invention of the Hug Machine, which is used to help calm hyper-sensitive people, usually those on the autism spectrum. Your dog (and now your cat, also) can experience the calming effect of this type of pressure with the Thundershirt, to relieve anxiety without medication.
The Thundershirt can be used to help with:
- Fear of thunder/fireworks
- Separation anxiety
- Travel anxiety
- Crate training
- Problem barking
- Leash pulling
- Epilepsy and seizure
- And more!
You can learn more about the Thundershirt, or order one, by visiting the company’s web site at www.thundershirt.com. Read about specific uses for the Thundershirt on their Thundershirt Training Center page.
The Thundershirt company has partnered with the Petfinder Foundataion to make it possible for individuals to donate a Thundershirt at a discounted price to an animal shelter of their choice!