A few weeks back Thunder Shirts jumped onto my radar. I’d seen a friend mention them (Amy of GoPetFriendly.com) and while working on our site here (Rori Travels Florida) spotted the ads for Thunder Shirts popping up. I had to find out more. Our boy, Jake, at 11 years old is a sweet, loving boy who only wants to please. He’s a lover, not a fighter (though he’s shown he’d given his life to protect us) and when storms come is instantly in my lap shaking and obviously scared.
What could we do?
Our German Shepard, Bailey, who we lost a couple years ago, was terrified of storms. Most loud noises, but especially storms assured that you’d have a hundred pound Shepard in your lap in no time. That can make for an interesting evening and I woke up to her on top of me more than once.
We’d taken her to a TTouch event with founder Linda Tellington-Jones, Linda herself working with Bailey and telling us to use a t-shirt during such anxious times. We did and that worked very well. It wasn’t always perfect, but made a huge difference when it did.
Flash forward to our boy who has never liked storms, but had Bailey to be near or his crate to hide in. Since we lost our other dog, Aspen, he’s slept out at night and is no longer crate trained so he’s on his own for such things. The t-shirts have never worked for him – we’ve tried and they’re too loose and he just doesn’t like them – he wears jackets while out in rain and snow. He’s used to such things being on, but to date, they’d not made a difference in storms.
In steps the Thunder Shirt. The great people at Thunder Shirts sent us two samples – one for Jake and one for Abby who since her eye sight has gone and she’s been living with Cushings Disease has been a much more timid and sometimes afraid dog – not a way she’d behaved in the past.
We’ll let you know how Abby is getting along in another post, but for now, Jake is doing awesome!
The day the Thunder Shirt arrived I had to put it on before “letting him get used to it.” We had a storm move through about an hour after I got it and throwing it on (the first time there is a learning curve to how it wraps around) we soon found out.
Jake did wonderfully well. This storm was a little shorter and not too over the top, but after the first couple of minutes – he was still not sure what the shirt was for since he was wearing it but not going out – but instead of being on my lap, he stayed next to me. Shaking at a minimum.
The next big storm finally came through – we’ve been actually waiting for storms and the 4th of July to “torture and test him” – he was great.
I didn’t know the storm had arrived until a huge crack of thunder. I threw it on and he didn’t mind – he’d figured it out by then from a few small storms. That first crack had him at my feet. The next one he simply looked at the window. By the third he was lying peacefully at the foot of the bed. Before the storm was over he had left the room and was lying on his favorite couch.
So much for storms bothering him anymore!
This past week was the 4th of July and we’d gone out for the evening, arriving home before the fireworks. We got his Thunder Shirt on and had him wearing it before we went to watch outside. Last year when we returned he met us at the door anxious. This time, he was napping.
Thunder Shirt worked!
He knows now when I pull it out that something is up, I’m sure of it. He’s not always easy to get it onto – he’ll lie down in his goofy way of wanting to please.
Yet for the first time I know he’s ok with things. We’ve taken him to the park via car and he was relaxed and happy the whole time.
We still have to test both dogs for longer car rides – he gets car sick and Abby, while always having been fine, now gets anxious with being blind and going someplace new. That story will come soon I hope.
Rori Travels Florida Recommends Thunder Shirt for your dog
Laura and I are happy to recommend and put the Rori Travels Florida name behind the Thunder Shirt. Jake has been so happy and much more relaxed. No more torture tests! He’d good to go!
- Thunder Shirt seems to breath making it comfy to wear even when their coats are fuller or its warm. I’d still stay aware of temperatures, but they did great.
- We got ours as media samples but I would have no problem paying these prices
- Easy to get on once you’ve done it the first time. The directions are pretty good, but then just use logic and you should be good to go.
- There are easy-to-figure-out sizing so get one that fits – if you have questions, ask.
- Practice ahead of a storm if you have the chance, but our kids wear jackets at times and have had shirts on before so no worries there.
- If you don’t want them to associate wearing the Thunder Shirt with something bad about to happen, have them wear it at other times as well. We have used it on a regular basis just to keep him on his toes for “not learning to expect something bad”
- Our Thunder Shirts work perfectly well with the kid’s travel harnesses.
- With boy dogs you might want to simply check that their man-part is out before they need to use it or so it doesn’t get caught in there and restricted – just in case.