Friday, April 12, 2013

Thundershirt vs. Anxiety Wrap: A comparison

In January I did a sort of diary of our experiment with the Thundershirt to help calm Lulu so I can refocus her when she starts barking.

Since then, I have been trying out another compression shirt to see if there's a difference.

The Anxiety Wrap is similar to the Thundershirt, in that it relies on acupressure to calm the dog. But while the Thundershirt is more of a wrap, the the Anxiety Wrap is more like a shirt, with pulls to tighten the shirt in certain areas....

And these straps in the back, which go around the legs. Did you know that dogs carry stress in their back legs? These straps help ease that tension. But they do make putting the Anxiety Wrap very cumbersome to put on.

The material is light-weight and breathes well, compared to the original Thundershirt.

Getting Lulu to refocus using the Anxiety Wrap has not improved much compared to the Thundershirt. I still need to calm her down when she barks at other dogs.

HOWEVER, Lulu also doesn't bark at trucks or golf carts when we're walking with the Anxiety Wrap on. That's a big difference.

Stressor Thundershirt Anxiety Wrap
Other DogsStill barks, can refocus Still barks, can refocus
Golf carts Still barks Doesn't bark
Trucks Still barks Doesn't bark
Kids on skateboards Still barks No test
Noises outside the house Still barks Still barks
Thunder No issue No issue
Fireworks No issue No issue

If your dog has anxiety issues, particular with loud noises like thunderstorms, fireworks, etc., it's worth trying a Thundershirt or the Anxiety Wrap. But understand it may not work with your dog.

Let me give you two examples.

Mom's dog Cappy got a Thundershirt a couple of weeks ago.

Mom says she put it on when Cappy started barking at people outside the house. She says Cappy immediately stopped barking and laid down.

What's also great about this is when Cappy stopped barking, my mom's other two dogs who bark when Cappy barks stopped as well. That's a relief to my parents who can't stand hearing three small dogs barking at once!

By comparison, Pepper of Pepper's Paws prefers the Anxiety Wrap over the Thundershirt. Look for her review soon.

A lot of it depends on the dog -- their level of anxiety, how they handle wearing the shirt or wrap. It also helps to make sure it's properly fitted. If you can get it done at a store, that would be good. If they aren't tight enough it won't work as well.

The best thing to do is get a Thundershirt or Anxiety Wrap at a place with a great refund policy. That way if it doesn't work you can return it.

The Thundershirt can be found in many pet stores. Anxiety Wrap is available in and on the Anxiety Wrap website.

I WANT TO HEAR YOUR STORIES! Have you ever tried a compression shirt for your dog? Which one? Did it work? I'd love to hear!

DISCLAIMER: I received the Thundershirt for Cappy and Lulu's Anxiety Wrap for free from their respective companies.


  1. Very thorough experiment! High Paw! I love the chart!

  2. See my article comparing the two products:

  3. Definitely a fan of anxiety wrap over thundershirt - while neither eliminated Dash's separation anxiety, the anxiety wrap was a REALLY tight fit and seemed to calm him more overall.

    1. I think it's easier to tighten the Anxiety Wrap for a better fit. But it's so tough to put on!

    2. Just see the instructions that come with the wrap. There are also videos on YouTube that show how easy it is to put on. It can also be modified for arthritic dogs.

  4. Great article. We have never had to use one. Our three dogs are pretty laid back!

    1. Lucky! Lulu has barking issues when it comes to seeing dogs during neighborhood walks. And trucks. And skateboarders. And kids on scooters. And people on bikes. And people on golfcarts....

  5. Bought the thundershirt today and tested it out on my 2 year old terrier mix. She instantly calmed down. No barking. No jumping. She even started falling asleep while standing up. Incredible! Very pleased with the shirt. I do want to try the anxiety wrap and compare too. Great idea!

  6. I've been thinking about getting the anxiety wrap for my dog. I've had the thunder shirt for a year now. I have mix reviews. My dogs level of thunder/fireworks are a level 10. She still shakes uncontrollable, but may be a bit better, down a level or 2 some days. Always shakes but stays in one area mostly. The first one was so small it choked her. I went by measurements and even asked representative at Thundershirt. The next size seams a bit to big around front leg and neck area. There is about 3 in of Velcro flap hanging and she get stuck on stuff unless I pin it. Then I slides off her one leg. I couldn't size down like I said was too small. It would barely close. I wasnt happy with such the dif between sizes on the xs and sm. sm looks more like a medium at least in the pink design.


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