The Thundershirt is an anti-anxiety coat that wraps tightly and “uses gentle, constant pressure to calm your dog.” It is said to benefit dogs who might be afraid of extreme weather, car rides, fireworks, or other issues affecting an overstimulated dog. Reportedly, many dogs respond to the Thundershirt by calmly remaining frozen in place and eventually falling asleep… as if cradled by a tight hug.
Not Levee, though.
His owner got him a small Thundershirt to help with his separation anxiety, but when that didn’t seem to do the trick, she ended up wrapping him in it (not super snug) for general outings. “That’s kind of expensive if you just wanted a coat,” I chuckled.
“Yeah, but when he wears something, it keeps him from rolling in things,” she explained.
… Fair enough. Apparently, some dogs that would behave like little mud-worshippers when naked actually do have a sense to keep their clothes clean.
But it doesn’t necessarily keep Levee calm, collected, and still!
This batch of pictures of Levee playing with Asu the Taiwan dog (from April 2012) came to mind because I just purchased a Thundershirt for Bowdu, hoping that it will help with his annual blood draw to check his thyroid levels at the end of this month. We’ve got Acepromazine on hand, he’s now comfortable in the basket muzzle, and we’ve stopped by the vet several times in the last month just to say hello with no traumatic interactions. He’s happy to eat the vet’s cookies, but he’s still on high alert mode.
We’ve never tried anything like a Thundershirt yet. No doubt RJ is going to make fun of it when it arrives. Unlike Bowpi, we never put Bowdu in clothing.
I don’t care. It’s worth a shot.
And if it doesn’t work, I can always hold onto it for a future foster or something.