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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

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You know how it is after you’ve been sleeping for a few hours – you normally wake up by degrees. That’s what happened to me a couple years ago in the wee hours of the morning. It was the middle of April, but I’d been dreaming that I was wearing a very itchy, fuzzy winter hat. In my first few moments of actual consciousness, I heard the distant rumble of thunder. As my gradually-opening eyes revealed dim flashes of lightning as well, I realized there was a quivering pile of panting pet fur sitting on my forehead. “Grant,” I mumbled to our trembling Shih-Tzu mix. Maneuvering around his curly tail, I reached over to check the time and my hand sloshed into a panicked puddle of drool on my pillow. Grant’s, not mine. That’s when I knew we needed a solution.

Like most dogs, Grant’s hearing is very sensitive – and that makes him extra-petrified of springtime thunderstorms, summer fireworks, and sudden loud noises all year long. After the “Lake Grant Incident,” as it’s come to be known at my house, we took Grant to the Two Bostons Downtown Naperville store to try on his very own ThunderShirt. From the moment we began using it, we knew it was one of the smartest pet investments we’d ever made. And believe me: when it came to Grant’s thunder-terrors, we’d tried nearly everything.

If you’ve ever witnessed a full-on pet panic attack, you know that trying to soothe your kitty or canine verbally can be futile. Sedating drugs can be problematic too, because they can lull your pet into a state of half-awareness. But the ThunderShirt works like a snuggly, full-body hug. To humans of all ages, of course, a hug can be very reassuring. I’ve done work with autistic and Downs Syndrome kids; and just as with infants, experts recommend swaddling as a proven calming aid. The Thundershirt demonstrates that this very same principle actually applies to our dogs and cats as well. In fact these days, we call Grant’s ThunderShirt his “Huggie Shirt.”

Studies show that the ThunderShirt has an impressive 80% success rate among pets experiencing anxiety or stress. The first time we put it on Grant (he’s on the right in the photos below), he flopped down on the carpet and began snoring away in the middle of a near-monsoon. The rest of us snuck off to the kitchen for a quiet little high-five Snoopy dance, while the lights above us flickered uncertainly.

Thundershirt_Montage

The ThunderShirt is a lightweight, machine-washable spandex and Velcro wrap that works by exerting gentle, constant pressure all around your pet’s rib cage. It takes just seconds to put on, but it provides direct feedback to your pet’s brain — like a little whisper that says “shhh, stop panting.” Once this rapid-breathing impulse is calmed, respiration begins to ease back to normal and the body relaxes as well. With most pets, a visible difference can be seen in minutes.

The ThunderShirt also works with our pup Maizy, who weathers thunderstorms like a champ but tends to get anxious around new people. It’s great for cats as well — an extremely effective, affordable, drug-free solution for any situation that provokes pet stress. To see the ThunderShirt in action and help your furry friend get fitted properly, just visit any of our Two Bostons stores! Ask us about other drug-free anxiety aids, as well.

2 COMMENTS
Kathy
May 15, 2014
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We bought one for our Chihuahua Rocky and it works beautifully. He is much calmer with it on and he is comfortable enough to sleep!!

Thank you

Marybeth
May 15, 2014
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Thanks so much for your comment, Kathy! It really is a life-changer for anxious pets … and for owners who have tried nearly everything to soothe them. 🙂

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