Just like people, dogs can get stressed in unfamiliar situations, around loud noises and when they are left alone. In some dogs, stress becomes a chronic problem known as dog anxiety.
Dogs that suffer from anxiety may suffer from a wide range of symptoms, including trembling, cowering, running away, urinary accidents, vomiting and diarrhea. In addition, dogs that suffer from anxiety may lick or bite their paws or tail and end up developing serious skin lesions as a result.
While there is no single treatment for dog anxiety that is proven to work for all dogs, many dogs benefit from dog anxiety vests. Read on to learn more about them and to find out which products on the market are the best dog anxiety vests.
How Dog Anxiety Vests Work
Dog anxiety vests fit tightly against dogs' bodies and apply gentle pressure. You can sort of think of it as a constant tight hug. Studies have found that for many dogs, the sensation is calming and soothing. Even in situations where they are prone to stress, dogs may feel more relaxed when wearing dog anxiety vests.
Things to Consider When Buying Dog Anxiety Vests
- Size: In order for a vest to work properly, it needs to fit your dog tightly but not be so tight that he or she can't move. Most vests are sized by a dog's weight. It's a good idea to weigh your dog at the vet or at home to find out what size is right before you buy one.
- Material: Dog vests can be made out of a wide range of materials, including nylon, polyester and cotton. Nylon vests tend to be the strongest, while cotton vests will be the softest and the most breathable. Polyester vests fall somewhere in the middle, as they are durable like nylon but softer and more flexible like cotton.
- Closure System: Anxiety vests usually fasten with either buckles or Velcro. A Velcro vest is very easy to get off, but it could also tear off if your dog gets caught on something. Usually, buckles are easier to fasten to speed up getting our dog dressed, and they are more secure than Velcro in most cases.
The Top 5 Best Dog Anxiety Vests
Based on my research, here are my picks for the best 5-HTP supplements in no particular order.
1. ThunderShirt SPORT Dog Anxiety Jacket
- Clinically Proven Design: The ThunderShirt SPORT Dog Anxiety Jacket has a published success rate of 80 percent and has been tested and reviewed by world renowned animal behavior scientist Dr. Temple Grandin. As a result, you can feel confident purchasing this, knowing that it is one of the best dog anxiety vests out there. The company even offers a complete money-back guarantee, so if it doesn't work for your dog you can get a full refund.
- Breathable Fabric: Some dog anxiety vests are too thick and hot to wear during the summer months, but the ThunderShirt SPORT Dog Anxiety Jacket is different. Although it provides full coverage for your dog, it is made from a lightweight, breathable fabric that lets air in to prevent overheating.
- Reflective Trim: The reflective trim on the ThunderShirt SPORT Dog Anxiety Jacket makes your dog easier to spot when you're walking along the road at night, helping to keep him or her safe.
Great quality and fast shipping. Put it on my dog and she seemed to calm done almost instantly. I'm glad I decided to invest in her. It has helped with her fear and anxiety when thunder or storms are near. Love it!
Drawbacks of the ThunderShirt SPORT Dog Anxiety Jacket:
There are no flaws in the design of the ThunderShirt SPORT Dog Anxiety Jacket. The only shortcoming to the dog anxiety vest is that it can only fit dogs as small as 15 pounds. Toy breeds may be too small to fit in the jacket, which is unfortunate because those tiny pups are some of the most prone to anxiety. Still, the majority of dogs will be able to fit comfortably inside of the dog anxiety vest.
With the guarantee that you get with the ThunderShirt SPORT Dog Anxiety Jacket and the many features that this dog anxiety vest boasts, I strongly recommend it for any pet owner with a small to large pooch. It's easy to use and has the scientific research to back it up
2. ThunderShirt Classic Dog Anxiety Jacket
- Clinically Proven Design: Like the other ThunderShift options on this list for best dog anxiety vests, the ThunderShirt classic has a proven 80% success rate, so you know your pooch is in good hands with this original design. And as with the others, ThunderShirt are so confident in their patented technology; they offer a complete money back guarantee if it doesn't work for you.
- Adjustable Pressure: The ThunderShirt Classic applies a gentle, constant pressure to calm your dog's anxiety. But like humans, some dogs need a little more pressure, or a tighter hug, than others. With this vest, you can easily adjust the pressure to suit your dogs' needs.
- Machine Washable: The ThunderShirt Classic is made out of soft, machine washable fabric for simple cleaning that will leave you as stress-free as your dog.
Works really great, within minutes during a wind storm. Calmed right down after putting it on while she was full body shaking, panting and tail tucked on. Followed instructions upon opening package and introduced with treat on top of shirt. Tried it on a calm day before feeding a meal. Associated shirt with pleasure and comfort. We'all see how it pans out during fireworks on NYE and July 4th. Like the soft feel of the stretch cotton jersey too.
Drawbacks of the ThunderShirt Classic Dog Anxiety Jacket:
The only drawback of the ThunderShirt Classic is that, like the other ThunderShirt vests, the sizing can be a little off. The vest should fit snugly on your dog with just a little give room but does tend to run a little small. So if your dog is between two sizes, it is better to opt for the larger size option, like the ThunderShirt Polo Dog Anxiety Jacket. Of course, ThunderShirt has a great refund policy, so if you need to exchange sizing, you can do so hassle-free.
I would recommend this for dogs who have a fear of loud noises, such as fireworks or thunder, the concept which gave the company it's name. As this is the original design, it doesn't have some of the upgraded features of the newer models on this list but is still a great option for dogs who suffer from anxiety.
3. ThunderShirt Polo Dog Anxiety Jacket in Camo
- ThunderShirt Patented Design: Like the first style on this list of the best dog anxiety vests, the ThunderShirt Polo Dog Anxiety Jacket in Camo features the patented ThunderShirt technology that is clinically proven to ease anxiety in dogs and backed up by an 80 percent success rate. The vest has the same money-back guarantee as the first vest as well.
- Hunting Specific Style: Many hunting dogs love to head into the wild with their human buddies but end up getting spooked in the car or when they hear gunfire. The ThunderShirt Polo Dog Anxiety Jacket in Camo was designed specifically for these canines. Its camo print makes it perfect for the woods, while the orange trim ensures that other hunters can easily see your dog and don't mistake him or her for game.
- Machine Washable: You can toss the ThunderShirt Polo Dog Anxiety Jacket in Camo in the washing machine for quick and easy cleaning, which is a big benefit when you get home from a hunting trip and your dog has gotten good and dirty.
My dog is a 120 lb. St. Bernard mix who is scared of a lot of random things (storms, people coming to the house, aluminum foil, etc.....really random). When I put the shirt on him, it's like he goes into a trance. It soothes him to the point where he'll sleep or rest as long as he's wearing it.
Drawbacks of The ThunderShirt Polo Dog Anxiety Jacket in Camo:
The only real drawback to the ThunderShirt Polo Dog Anxiety Jacket in Camo is that the sizing can be a little tricky. The vest is designed to fit close to the dog's body for best results but it does tend to run a little small. If your dog is at the top of the size range, it's best to go with the next larger size in most cases. Of course, ThunderShirt will exchange the anxiety vest if the size doesn't work out for you.
Of all the designs I've seen, the ThunderShirt Polo Dog Anxiety Jacket in Camo is by far one of the best dog anxiety vests I have seen for hunting dogs. The orange trim helps to ensure safety, and the vest comes in sizes that are a perfect fit for these breeds. Plus, you get the assurance of the ThunderShirt satisfaction guarantee.
4. Vivaglory Dog Anxiety Vest
- Anti-Static Design: The material and Velcro used to make the Vivaglory Dog Anxiety Vest repels dog hair, so you don't end up with a huge furry mess when you take it off. You can machine launder it over and over again to keep it looking like new.
- Extended Size Range: Suitable for dogs as small as 10 pounds and as large as 100 pounds in weight, the Vivaglory Dog Anxiety Vest can work for nearly all canines. It will fit most toy dogs that are too small for some of the other styles on this list of the best dog anxiety vests.
- Comfortable Fabric: The Vivaglory Dog Anxiety Vest is fashioned out of a very soft, stretchable fabric that any human would be glad to wear. It helps to keep dogs feeling relaxed because it is so comfortable.
My dog has nervous tendencies. I needed something that would help keep my part Dachshund and Jack Russel mix dog calm throughout the day. It does help for the most part. Like with anything, nothing is 100%. I think it helps about 75% of the time that my dog is feeling restless. I would consider this a win for purchasing for your dog. Can't go wrong.
Drawbacks of the Vivaglory Dog Anxiety Vest:
The biggest drawback to the Vivaglory Dog Anxiety Vest is that while it is soft, the vest is not as breathable as some others. As a result, the vest may not be comfortable to wear outdoors on very hot, humid days. On the other hand, the vest is perfect for wearing in chilly air conditioning and outdoors in cool and downright frosty weather, as it doubles as a jacket to keep dogs warm and toasty.
I would say that the Vivaglory Dog Anxiety Vest is the best of the best dog anxiety vests for small breeds. It's also a handy alternative to a dog coat for colder days, giving it two benefits in one.
5. Mellow Shirt Dog Anxiety Calming Wrap
- Easy to Use: The Mellow Shirt Dog Anxiety Calming Wrap is one of the easiest anxiety shirts to apply that I've encountered. The stretchy material and Velcro make it easy to apply single-handedly, and the fasteners are secure and easy to adjust.
- Lightweight Fabric: Made from a breathable, lightweight fabric, the Mellow Shirt Dog Anxiety Calming Wrap is suitable for long-term wear without worry of overheating. Your dog can feel comfortable and secure even in hot climates.
- Accurate Sizing: Unlike some of the other dog anxiety vests, which can be a little small or large in their sizing, I found the Mellow Shirt to be very accurate to the sizing chart given. So you don't have to second guess about the right fit for your pooch.
This product is amazing! My Golden doodle "Colby" has always been terrified of thunder and lightning and fireworks. We haven’t had any storms yet, but we did have a neighbor going a little nuts with fireworks last night. I put the shirt on him and he calmed down immediately. It actually worked -- my dog is much calmer. He is happy to wear it and it doesn't seem to make him warm or uncomfortable at all. I would recommend this to anyone who has a frightened or anxious pet. It’s a good quality product.
Drawbacks of the Mellow Shirt Dog Anxiety Calming Wrap:
The only real drawback I found for the Mellow Shirt Dog Anxiety Calming Wrap was also a plus. The same breathable, lightweight material means it might be a little too light for dogs living in harsh, cold temperatures but ideal for those in hotter regions.
The Mellow Shirt Dog Anxiety Calming Wrap is a great alternative to some of the most expensive vests on the market. I would recommend this for dogs who hate to sit still as the easy application makes putting it on simple and stress-free.
Which Is the Best of the Best Dog Anxiety Vests?
While any of the styles on this list of the best dog anxiety vests is worth the money and ideal for certain dogs, I feel that the ThunderShirt SPORT Dog Anxiety Jacket is the top dog. Ideal for all types of activities, the dog anxiety vest provides comfort, is easy to use and comes with a guarantee, so you won't end up paying for it if it doesn't work for your dog. In other words, you can buy this anti-stress solution for your dog worry free