It is not uncommon for dogs to suffer anxiety. For many pet parents, it can be frustrating and disheartening to see your buddy in distress and feel powerless to help. You are not alone; there are beneficial alternatives available. Anxiety wraps for dogs have earned notoriety in the past few years as a potential option to include in treatment programs.

Many of us have experienced the therapeutic effect of massage on our stress and anxiety levels; application of moderate pressure in the form of compression therapy has also been performed on animals with similar positive results. Interestingly enough, according to this 2014 study published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior, there are few studies of the effects of therapeutic tissue pressure on dogs. Most of the previous studies were performed on animals of prey (livestock), which react more overtly to threatening situations than predatory animals, like canines.

This study endeavored to examine the efficacy of the ThunderShirt brand compression wrap on a population of dogs diagnosed with separation anxiety or Generalized Anxiety Disorder.  In a controlled environment, their heartrate and behavioral reactions were measured, and those wearing the compression wrap showed a marked reduction in heartrate and some common anxiety-related behaviors. Although further study is warranted, the value of this particular product was recognized as a possible therapy to be used within a comprehensive treatment plan consisting of medication, calming and behavioral modification techniques.

ThunderShirt Classic Dog Anxiety Jacket

Behavioral scientists acknowledge the ThunderShirt as used in a noted canine anxiety study conducted in 2014. Gentle pressure is applied evenly and constantly for a swaddling effect. Of the 6,364 reviews, 49% were 5 stars. The remaining reviews were split somewhat evenly: 4 star: 16%, 3 star 13%, 2 star 10% and 1 star 12%.  Negative comments ranged from sizing issues to quality (velcro ripping), to fear of the velcro sound, to efficacy on the subject animal. Free shipping offered with some sellers.

Price: $27-98 – $29.99 (this is for the Classic Jacket)

Average Customer Rank: 4/5

Stated benefits:

  • Patented design
  • Light and portable
  • Washable and easy to apply
  • Option for rescue animals and/or those who cannot be medicated
  • 80% success rate claimed by manufacturer
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Available in six sizes from Small (15-25 lbs) to XX Large (>110 lbs)
  • Multiple styles and products (sweaters, coats, hats, tags) are now available in the ThunderShirt line

Available Colors: Heather gray, Kelly Green, Navy Blue Rugby, Pink Rugby. Where to Buy:

AKC Calming Coat for Dogs

The AKC Calming Coat asserts similar claims to the ThunderShirt, but it has a different design. As with any of these products, following the sizing charts is highly recommended, because the effectiveness of the product is tied directly to a proper fit. Of the 2,824 reviews, 44% were 5 stars. The remaining reviews were split somewhat evenly: 4 star: 17%, 3 star 15%, 2 star 10% and 1 star 14%. Reviews were mixed, with an an average of 3.6 out of 5 stars. Critical ratings included issues with improper fit and sizing, fabric quality and workmanship, inefficacy, poor application instructions. Free shipping is offered with Amazon Prime.

Price: $24.95 (all sizes). At the time of this post, the Large, Pink was on sale for $15.26.

Average customer rank: 3.6/5

Stated benefits:

  • Safe and drug free
  • Easy to wear and apply
  • Machine washable, Hair-resistant fabric
  • Option for rescue animals and/or those who cannot be medicated
  • Available in five sizes from Extra Small (10-18 lbs) to X Large (70-100 lbs)

Available Colors: Pink, Gray, Blue. Where to Buy:

Kong Anxiety Reducing Pet Shirt

Attributed first to chew toy fame, Kong has also entered the pet clothing and accessory market, offering also compression wraps: the Kong Anxiety Reducing Pet Shirt. As seen in the photograph, the design of this product is different, offering fuller body coverage and straps to secure the body to the hindquarters. Of the 55 reviews, 33% were 5 stars. The remaining reviews were split somewhat evenly: 4 star: 18%, 3 star 15%, 2 star 18% and 1 star 16%, yielding an average of 3.4 out of 5 stars. Free shipping is offered with Amazon Prime.

Price: $14.74 – $34.26

Average customer rank: 3.4/5

Stated benefits:

  • Portable, so usable in most anxiety-inducing scenarios in and out of the home
  • Reflective trim for night wear
  • Leg straps and velcro closures are adjustable for a proper fit
  • Integrated lavender sachet incorporates aromatherapy option
  • Breathable fabric has cooling effect when wet
  • Available in nine sizes from XX-Small to XX-Large

Available Colors: Black, Blue, Pink, Gray
Where to Buy:

Zendog Anxiety Dog Vest

Activating pressure points is the key to calming with the Zendog Anxiety Dog Vest.  This design secures in the front and fits almost the full length of the underbelly like a sweater. Of the 24 reviews, 59% were 5 stars – the best 5-star percentage yield of all products in this review, but unfortunately the greatest percentage of 1 star reviews as well. The remaining reviews were split accordingly: 4 star: 8%, 3 star 0%, 2 star 8% and 1 star 25%, yielding an average of 3.6 out of 5 stars. There was no sizing chart that I could find on Amazon; anyone buying this product should definitely ensure sizing before purchase as proper fit is critical to the success of any compression product. Free shipping is offered with Amazon Prime.

Price: $22.21 – $49.99

Average customer rank: 3.6/5

Stated benefits:

  • Four-way stretchable fabric provides even compression
  • Custom fit, adjustable
  • Leg straps and velcro closures are adjustable for a proper fit
  • Integrated lavender sachet incorporates aromatherapy option
  • Lightweight, breathable fabric has cooling effect when wet
  • Available in six sizes from X-Small to XX-Large

Available Colors: Black. Where to Buy:

Important Considerations

It is important to note that the study selected only those dogs diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder or Separation Anxiety. The researchers cautioned against inferring equal benefit to dogs with thunderstorm and noise phobias since those conditions were not included in this study. Nevertheless, compression therapy is an exciting and encouraging discovery for pet families looking to add another drug-free tool to their arsenal of therapeutic techniques.

Do you have an experience with any anxiety wrap for dogs? Do you have a recommendation or story to share? Please comment below!

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally or believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

4 thoughts on “Anxiety Wraps for Dogs: Product Review

  1. My friend’s dog always panics during a thunderstorm and, where he lives, they happen frequently. I think that one of these would be an excellent option for him. I just have a question though. Are there any more colorful options? Thank you in advance and I hope you have a wonderful day.

    1. Sorry about your friend’s dog! Thunderstorms fire up quickly here where we live, also…
      The ThunderShirt brand started off with a basic design in stretchy jersey-type fabric, but has really kicked up the look of the base product and branched out into a host of styles (e.g. polo) and colors; I just highlight the “classic” version here in the heather gray. Lots of options out there now, and fortunately, if one works, it’s a small investment for BIG reward.
      P.S. They make them for cats, too. 🙂

  2. Hey Terri,

    Recently, I’ve noticed that my dog has been acting very strange around certain loud noises like thunder and hard rain. He wasn’t always like that so I think he’s developed some kind of anxiety towards that stuff. I really enjoyed reading through the product reviews as it will help me decide on what to get my dog. Thank you for creating such an informative article!

    1. I’m sorry to hear that about your dog, Linda! But it’s good that you’ve noticed this early in the process, because it can worsen with time. I’m glad you found the article, and am hoping you and your pup can get some relief!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *