A Little Bit of Relevant Marley History:
David and I were happy to add Marley to our fur baby family last fall.. O.K. I will admit I was a little bit not so excited but it faded instantly after we went and picked her up at the animal hospital! As soon as they handed her to David I melted! Anyways, of course we already knew her since she had been our neighbors dog and everything and she had spent a lot of time with us, but I noticed when we first brought her home she was a bit shaky.
I chalked it up to where she had been in the pound for a couple of weeks (to this day I wish her previous owners would have just offered her to us. I can’t believe that they put her in the pound and we just got lucky and found her!) and the fact that Sam was probably freaking her out a little bit too! I also kind of figured she might be cold where she had been shaved for having been fixed and mircrochipped and maybe it was even some side affects from the meds they had given her. Oh, and she was probably pretty excited that she had ended up with us too ,of course!
So I wrapped her in a blanket and held her tight and she seemed to be not as shaky. I always wondered though if she was seriously scared or anything but, since holding her worked, I thought that all was well.
Fourth Of July 2014
Everything was pretty good and well until the night before the fourth of July this year (oh-8 months later!) when people were letting off fireworks .. There were just a couple of batches that were small in the distance and Marley started acting totally out of character!! She would walk around and pace, pant and was shaking like crazy too! I knew that the Fourth would be even worse and I frantically started searching the internet for ways to calm her down. I had heard of the Thundershirt before from fellow blogger Jenn, Who has one for one of her cats, and thought it was AMAZING what it can do for your pet if you needed it, but until that very moment I hadn’t had the need for one. I Just hoped maybe we could distract her enough so that she wouldn’t be so agitated and stressed the next night! I had actually forgotten about it until my fellow blogger Ashley reminded me of it!
We cancelled our plans to go watch fireworks, because we didn’t want her to be left alone while there were so many going on in the area. We had thought about taking her to my moms , because my mom live a little bit more in a country type setting than we do, but .. I lived there and I know they totally party like crazy in her neighborhood with fireworks on the 4th so..We were just fine with hanging around the house! We did let off a few ourselves but we we didn’t do a whole lot obviously because we didn’t want to have her be aggravated too much just because of us! We knew there would be tons more to come, and we were right!
I can’t say that she did any better or any worse than the previous night. It was much of the same and she actually went and got under our bed! I felt so bad for her. We really didn’t know what to do for her, and nothing we tried seemed to help. I started watching tv a little louder than normal and she finally seemed to calm down a bit. I guess it helped with drowning out the noise! So ,of course this blogger right here sent off what we call in the review blog world a “pitch” Especially since there are the simplest littlest hings that never scared her before when it comes to noises that now totally freak her out! Like our neighbors who live below us who love to slide their sliding glass door a million and one times in a row, all kinds of random things and now.. she is totally scared during storms!
Say Hello to Thundershirt:
Marley is totally my little princess and I cannot stand her being in that kind of state! So I was happy when Thundershirt offered up one to review for her, and even in both of our favorite colors.. wait for it.. you already know.. Pink! They sent us over a pink polo in a small .. I generally buy Marley outfits (o.k. she only has one right now lol ) in M because she is a bit of a chunky monkey, but by the size guide on site she is a S. I shouldn’t have worried though, because it fit just fine and obviously you would want it to be a little snug!
What is the Thundershirt Exactly?
So what is a thundershirt? It is this cute little doggie shirt that is made especially for helping your dog make it through those times that can cause anxiety! The basis of the thundershirt is by applying direct gentle and constant pressure on your dogs torso which in most cases is all it takes to help calm your fur baby! If you don’t have results with it you have 45 days to send it back for a full refund! Also, it is a company based right here in my home state of North Carolina! How Awesome is that? They also have other products, and even a thundershirt for cats!
What is the concept?
Pressure is a technique that has been used not only in animals but in humans as well! Just think of a mama swaddling her baby and how that pressure is even used to help those who have autisim that have anxieties! I know that when I explained to my parents we were getting a thundershirt and what it was my dad even said he bet it would help her!
What can it be used to help?
The thundershirt can be used to help calm lots of symptoms including these ones that Marley has had in the past: Panicking/Shaking and hiding. She also was doing a panting thing which was related as well. Other symptoms that it can help include scratching, licking, drooling, barking,and more.
There are also lots of things that can cause your dog to be anxious, and there were some of them I hadn’t thought of.. You can use it for them even when you have to be gone and put them in their kennel! I know that Marley has a huge drooling issue while we are gone, and we are never gone more than 2 hours and if we are we leave her with my mom. I plan to try this for her on this note in the future, but with the results we have had otherwise I am sure it will help! The crazy thing is we haven’t left her since I got the thundershirt!
Initial First Use of the Thundershirt
The best way to get your dog to be able to respond properly to the thundershirt, is to use it at a time when they are already calm, that way you can learn how exactly to put it on and it also helps to not make your dog associate the shirt with the anxiety! It is very easy to put on the Thundershirt and you don’t have to pull it over their head and legs and all that kind of thing. There is a simple diagram included to help you figure it out
The recommendation for using the thundershirt for the initial fitting is really simple. One of the main suggestions is to offer the dog a treat when you first present your dog with the Thundershirt. My mom was with me when my package came and I didn’t read it before hand but she had it draped on marley like a cape at one point before I got to do my initial fitting lol. Thankfully, it didn’t make the a difference with Marley!
With Marley We gave her a milk bone with her thundershirt the first go around and actually it was RIGHT before a big storm and we didn’t know if we should leave it on or take it off! We ended up leaving it on her because she LOVED it,and all went well.She didn’t run around and try to hide and do all the panting that she has been doing lately when it storms. I was honestly afraid that she would go off in a corner somewhere and pee, which is something she has never really done except a handful of times, but with being scared I figured it would eventually happen!
Actually Marley just got right up beside me on the couch like nothing was going on and went to sleep during the storm! She was so cozy and comfortable and I was like aww yay she’s not freaking out, this thing is working!
She didn’t want me to take it off of her either. We just let her keep it on a little while and she even got up in the bed with it (we were having a lot of pop up storms that evening so we figured it wouldn’t hurt to leave it on her) and when we took it off you could tell she was sad! I know she can’t wait until we use it again.
Here are some pics of my little baby in her Thundershirt!
Final Thoughts and Whatnot:
With some dogs it takes a few times for the thundershirt to “take” and work , but for Marley we had success the first time which is awesome. Anytime I have it in my hand (like for taking the review pics she totally acts like she wants it back on too! It’s so cute. Actually, there are some dogs that when they are anxious will go find their thundershirt , just like most dogs will go find their “safe spot” when they are scared and I am about sure Marley will be a dog that does that! I am glad that she will be able to no longer be scared at things that we can’t necessarily control!
If you have a fur baby that has anxiety issues, I would highly reccomend that you check out thundershirt because you really don’t have anything to loose with their guarantee and there is a good chance it will work for you!