Canine and feline ThunderShirts are helping pets with anxiety by mimicking a maternal hug.
ThunderShirts, a product of ThunderWorks, hit the market almost a decade ago but are gaining in popularity as scientific studies support findings that animal behaviorists like Temple Grandin already knew to be true.
Grandin made headlines when Claire Danes starred as her in the made-for-TV-movie "Temple Grandin." Professor of animal science at Colorado State University, Grandin has become a public spokesperson for autism and animals, explained in her book "Animals in Translation."
Similar to how squeeze chutes help cattle stay calm, and as Grandin's home-constructed invention helped her get through anxiety attacks, ThunderShirts effectively calm anxious cats and dogs.
The fitted Velcro jackets are perfectly snug to apply constant gentle pressure to nerve points along the body, decreasing the fight or flight panic response initiated in pets around excessive noise.
A mother hugging her crying baby to her bosom has the same effect, though humans hugging pets can actually stress them out further. Similar to how bandage pressure wraps manipulate blood flow, ThunderShirts work to reduce heart rate, which typically spikes during anxiety.
Other signs of stress, such as yawning, tongue-flicking, pacing, and staring at the door, are also significantly reduced when a ThunderShirt is worn.
Pet anxiety isn't just linked to loud noises. ThunderShirts are also beneficial in other anxiety-inducing situations such as pet travel, vet visits, training, and generalized separation anxiety.
The vests now come in a variety of colors and patterns, too.
To learn more about the science behind ThunderShirts, check out the results of the study led by Dr. Temple Grandin.