The best dog anxiety jacket
No dog parent wants to see their canine companion suffering from anxiety, whether caused by thunderstorms, fireworks, other dogs, or being home alone. Dog anxiety jackets apply gentle pressure around your dog's chest and midsection, relieving anxiety in a large percentage of pooches.
Our top choice is the ThunderShirt Sport Dog Anxiety Jacket. The Thundershirt is the best-known dog anxiety jacket for good reason. This one is well-made, gives consistent results, and is cut further forward to allow a full range of motion in the back legs.
Considerations when choosing dog anxiety jackets
Dog anxiety jackets are usually made from synthetic materials with some stretch to them. The stretchiness is an important feature in creating the pressure required to give a calming effect. Choose a dog anxiety jacket made from a lightweight, breathable material, especially if your dog will be wearing it while out on walks.
Some dog anxiety jackets extend right over the stomach, stopping just before your dog's hind legs to provide as much coverage as possible. This is fine for home use, but if your dog will be wearing her anxiety jacket out and about, it's better if it's cut slightly further forward on the underside so that it doesn't interfere with her movement.
Dogs come in all different shapes and sizes, so dog anxiety jackets do, too. The majority of options are available in at least five sizes, from XS to XL, though some brands also offer XXS and XXL options. Before making your purchase, we'd recommend measuring your dog and referring to the size chart of whichever anxiety jacket you've selected to be certain you've got the correct fit.
The majority of dog anxiety jackets are machine washable. We'd highly recommend choosing a jacket you can just shove in the washer, especially if your dog will be wearing it on walks where it's likely to get muddy.
Almost all dog anxiety jackets have Velcro closures. While this is a convenient choice, it can cause issues in some dogs who are afraid of the sound it makes when being unfastened.
You can find dog anxiety jackets that use calming scents or pheromones to further relieve anxiety. Sometimes these scents are integrated into the jacket, but sometimes you need to buy them separately and apply them to a particular spot on the jacket.
While not a hugely common feature, some anxiety jackets have built-in speakers to play calming sounds.
Dog anxiety jacket prices
Although you can find some cheaper options, expect to pay between $25 to $50 for a quality dog anxiety jacket.
Q. How do dog anxiety jackets work?
A. The exact science behind how dog anxiety jackets produce a calming effect isn't clear, but what we do know is that the constant gentle pressure helps reduce anxiety in around 80% of canines. This is much like the effect of swaddling a baby or using a gravity blanket.
Q. Can my dog wear her anxiety jacket all day?
A. In theory, a dog can wear an anxiety jacket all day or all evening into the night (for eight to 10 hours at a stretch). This is assuming that the jacket fits properly, doesn't rub, and you've gradually got your dog used to wearing it over shorter periods first. However, if shouldn't be a long-term solution. It's fine for helping to tackle separation anxiety while you work on proper training or for use on the Fourth of July, but your pooch shouldn't be wearing her anxiety jacket all day, every day, forever.
Dog anxiety jackets we recommend
Best of the best: ThunderShirt Sport Dog Anxiety Jacket
Our take: The original dog anxiety jacket given a sporty makeover with a cut more conducive to running and playing.
What we like: Breathable design so your dog won't overheat while exercising. ThunderSpray patch lets you use anti-anxiety scents. Seven size options to fit dogs large and small.
What we dislike: Costs more than similar alternatives.
Our take: If you're looking for an affordable alternative to big-name anxiety jackets, this option is worth your consideration.
What we like: Made from soft, lightweight, stretchy material. Six color options to choose from. Machine washable.
What we dislike: No options for "giant" dogs over 110 pounds.
Choice 3: Comfort Zone Calming Vest
Our take: The constant gentle pressure helps keep the majority of dogs calm. The breathable fabric helps keep dogs cool.
What we like: Reflective piping is great for walking in the dark. Slides over head and tightens at the waist for maximum torso coverage.
What we dislike: This particular model fits medium/large dogs only.
Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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