Just like human beings, dogs can suffer from anxiety. As their owner, you want to do everything that you can to alleviate their negative feelings. While there are a number of ways of doing this, a popular one in modern times is by giving them an anxiety vest to wear. The swaddling effect that it offers has proven to be effective for many canine companions. But if you have never bought a product such as this one, you need to know what to look out for. Even if you have, a run-through of the best dog anxiety vests available can prove to be highly useful. And this is exactly what we will provide in this blog post.
The Best Dog Anxiety Vest
Our top choice of anxiety jacket is this one from leading brand Thundershirt, which offers a pressure that is both constant yet gentle. You can put it on for your dog to wear during the more stressful times in their life including trips to the vet, thunderstorms, firework displays etc.
There are plenty of different sizes available ranging from small to XXL based on the weight of your four-legged friend. The system of the thunder jacket for dogs has been designed to wrap around your dog with ease and provide a comfortable swaddling effect.
Different sizes based on weight
Over 80% success rate
Easy to put on and take off
- Weight12 ounces
The next one on our list comes from the highly respected American Kennel Club (AKC). It has been designed to be easy to put on, so it is ready to provide your pooch with the comfort they need during the most stressful times in their life.
When your dog has been wearing one of these for a while, you want to make sure that it is clean for them, and this one can be put in the washing machine. But the fabric is made in such a way that it resists gathering loose hair, while also offering a high level of durability.
Easy putting on and taking off
Several colors available
Different size options
- BrandAmerican Kennel Club
- Weight8.8 ounces
The premium product on our list is another one from leading brand Thundershirt. Available in two stylish colors and a wide range of sizes to suit the dimensions of your four-legged friend, you can find the one that fits your hound perfectly.
One of the main claims of the brand is that it is effective in over 80% of cases – relieving your dog’s stress in a variety of different circumstances. While the design of the anxiety jacket for dogs is simple and comfortable, it has also proven to be effective.
Helps to stop stressed behavior such as panting, excessive drooling, whining etc
Works with thunder leash
No training needed
- Weight7.4 ounces
Fourth on the list is this calming anxiety wrap for dogs which is available in six different colors and a range of different sizes to match your four-legged friend. The materials are lightweight and breathable, helping to ensure your dog’s comfort while they are wearing it.
You can put the vest in the washing machine when needed, which makes the task of cleaning so much more straightforward. With hook-and-loop fasteners, it is a product that is easy to both put on and take off as required.
Range of different sizes available
Soft and breathable fabrics
No training required for use
Recommended vets and trainers
- BrandMellow Shirt
- ModelM-Radiant Orchard-L
- Weight1.6 ounces
And yet again, we have another anxiety jacket from that same brand Thundershirt. Over a million dogs have achieved relief from their anxiety issues by wearing one. Similar to swaddling an infant, some of the positive effects include relief from problem barking, howling etc.
There are many different sizes of Thundershirt for dogs available that all line up to the different dimensions of your dog. Plus, you can choose the color to ensure your furry friend looks their very best!
Offers gentle, continual pressure
Relieves common symptoms of anxiety
Comfortable for wearing
Range of sizes available
- Weight11.2 ounces
The material used to make this dog vest is durable polyester fabric. Also, it has an elastic style, which provides a pressure that is continual and mild. You can adjust is to different lengths depending on the dimensions of your dog.
You can fit the vest around your dog easily, ensuring that they don’t have to wait long to get the relief from anxiety that they need at the drop of a hat.
Five sizes available
Made from polyester fabric
Adjustable to different lengths
Provides continuous mild pressure
- Brand[email protected]
- Weight4.8 ounces
Now, we finish with the final product on our list, which, like the rest, provides a soothing and calming pressure. It is also the budget option if you are looking for one at an affordable price. The material is soft and breathable, which makes it comfortable for wearing. This is obviously highly important in making your dog feel safe. Once again, different sizes and colors are available.
Different sizes available
Keeps dog stress-free
Easy to use
- Weight2.1 ounces
Best Dog Anxiety Vest Buying Guide & FAQ
Now that we have given an overview of a few of the best products on the market, we will continue with our buying guide and frequently asked questions section. First, we will discuss what an anxiety shirt for dogs is, before discussing a few of the things to consider before buying one. We will continue by discussing when to use one of these vests, before discussing how to calm a pooch suffering from anxiety. Finally, we have our frequently asked questions section. In closing, we have a recap of our number one choice on the list.
What is a Dog Anxiety Vest?
A dog anxiety vest wraps around your dog and is designed to have a swaddling effect that has a similar calming effect to babies and infants. They can be applied when your dog is suffering from anxiety, which can arise from a number of different situations such as during a thunderstorm, firework display, trip to the vet etc. Anxiety can elicit a number of negative reactions including hiding away, yowling, barking, cowering etc. The gentle pressure caused by an anxiety vest help to have a hugging effect, releasing endorphins to reassure them of their wellbeing. While they don’t work on all dogs, the leading brands suggest and 80% or higher success rate. One of the benefits of using one is that it is a non-medical treatment, so there is no need for any anxiety medication or behavioral modification therapy. If it works, this is a route that is always going to be worth going down.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Dog Anxiety Vest
First thing’s first: you need to ensure that the calming coat for dogs fits your canine companion. Otherwise, it is not going to have the effect that it should. The vests that we have listed above are all available in different sizes, so make sure that you choose the right one based on your dog’s dimensions and weight. Too tight and it may restrict your dog’s breathing and movement. Too loose and it won’t have the swaddling effect that it is meant for.
- Easy Washing
From time to time, you are going to want to wash the calming vest for dogs. This is much easier if you can put it in the washing machine, so check for the approval that this is possible.
- Breathable Fabric
The whole point of one of these vests is that your dog feels comfortable while wearing it. So, the materials need to be breathable to ensure that your pooch is not at risk of overheating.
- Straightforward to Put On and Take Off
The next consideration is that the vest is easy to put on and take off. After all, you don’t know when your dog is going to suffer from anxiety, and you want to take steps to calm them as quickly as possible. Also, you want to be able to take the vest off if your pooch is showing signs of discomfort.
When to Use an Anxiety Jacket for Dogs
One of the most common times when your dog is going to become anxious is when there is a thunderstorm outside. While most people think that it is only the loud bangs that are causing the issue, there is some evidence to suggest that the static electricity caused by the storm can cause fur discomfort. A thunder wrap for dogs can help with both issues.
- Firework Displays
While the static is not there, the loud bangs and flashes of a fireworks display can certainly be very startling for your furry friend. A nervous dog coat can be useful.
- Veterinary Visits
One of the most stressful times for your dog is when they are getting in the car to go to the vet. Putting on a vest beforehand can help to alleviate your dog’s anxiety. The same is true if they are scared of vehicle trips in general.
If you have to leave your dog on their own during the day, this can end up being a very stressful time for them. A calming shirt for dogs can prove to be a useful solution, but you need to get your dog used to wearing it from the start. Gradually, you can start leaving them alone while wearing the vest if it proves to be a useful solution to the problem at hand.
How to Calm an Anxious Dog
It can be very stressful when your dog is suffering from anxiety, but there are a number of ways that you can offer them some relief.
- Stay with Them
Just like having someone with you can help to calm your anxiety, the same is true if you keep your four-legged friend company. When you are there, speak in soothing tones and pet them if they allow. Keep an eye on upcoming thunderstorms, so you can be there if possible. Also, try and stay in during popular firework events.
- Create a Soothing Environment
Try to create an environment where your dog feels comfortable – somewhere they can retreat when they feel anxious. Choose a place with as much soundproofing as possible with a closing door. Offer them a bed with their scent and some of their favorite toys. If there is noise outside, a TV set, radio, or white noise machine can help to drown this out.
- Stay Calm Yourself
Your dog can become more anxious if they sense that this is how you are feeling, so try to stay as positive as possible when you are speaking to your dog. However, don’t big too big a deal of the situation as you may not always be around to comfort your furry friend.
- Avoid Stressful Situations When Possible
While it is not always possible to avoid anxiety-provoking situations all the time, you can make an effort to keep your dog clear of obvious triggers. For example, if there is a particular dog making your pooch nervous when you go out and about, try taking a different route. If you can convince your neighbors to try an alternative to fireworks, this is obviously also going to be enormously beneficial.
Best Dog Anxiety Vest FAQ:
Q: How do anxiety vests work for dogs?
A: An anxiety vest is a garment that you can put on your dog that is designed to gently compress their body in order to relieve feelings of stress or anxiety. The swaddling effect is similar to one had on infants, but it can also be made comparable to a hug. The continual pressure can help your dog to feel safe at times when they would otherwise be distressed.
Q: How long should a dog wear an anxiety wrap?
A: The timing of your dog wearing the anxiety vest is important. When you are first getting your dog used to the vest, you should do so little bit little rather than rushing them into it. Ideally, this should be when they are feeling calm, just so they can get used to how the vest feels without any other distractions around them. During this time, you can check to make sure that it is the right size and confirm that your dog is not feeling any sort of discomfort. Over time, you can start to build up how long your pooch is wearing the vest.
Timing is also important as you don’t want your dog to only associate the vest with negative things. So, don’t put it on right before the vet or just before the firework display begins. Most vests are designed to be comfortable to wear for a long time, but you should keep a close eye on your dog to see how they are getting on. And it is also worth remembering that on some dogs, these vests are simply not going to work and you are going to need to try other techniques.
Q: Does a dog anxiety vest work for separation anxiety?
A: Separation anxiety is one of the forms of anxiety that this vest can be useful in alleviating. However, you are going to need to take the time to condition your dog to wear the vest. And don’t put the vest on just before you leave the house as your dog will then start to make negative associations with it in their mind and may be reluctant to put it on next time. When you first put it on and leave the house, it should only be for a short period of time. Gradually, you can start to build this up longer and longer until they feel more comfortable in wearing it.
Our Top Pick
Thundershirt Classic Dog Anxiety Jacket
Our top pick is this classic anxiety jacket from Thundershirt, who are well known as being pioneers in this field. You can calm your dog in all manner of situations which would have otherwise provoked a stressed or fearful reaction. There are plenty of sizes available and it has been shown to be effective in more than 80% of cases, which demonstrates a good chance of success when it comes to putting one on your furry friend.