This post explains how to make your own DIY thundershirt for your dog. Because, while every dog might get anxious occasionally, some canines suffer from extreme anxiety that negatively affects their lives. Repeated anxiety could eventually lead to an anxiety disorder, which could trigger behavioral, and even health issues. 

Whether your dog gets particularly anxious around certain holidays or has regular anxiety, a thundershirt can help. Use these tips to make your own DIY thundershirt to help your dog stay calm:

How Thundershirts Help with Anxiety

Thundershirts, also known as stress vests, provide constant, gentle pressure for an anxious pup. Offering the same effect as a warm hug (or a weighted blanket for humans), these accessories can actually quell your pet’s anxiety. Thundershirts have been known to lower heart rate and help with separation anxiety. Many dogs react really well to thundershirts and it can help to reduce anxious feelings. If you want to see if a thundershirt can help your anxious pup without shelling out a lot of money to invest in a premade one, you can make one at home.

What You’ll Need to Create the Stress Vest

Before you get started, make sure you have all the materials necessary to create your DIY stress vest. You can use common household items like an old scarf, a t-shirt, a blanket, a towel, some fleece, or even an ace bandage as the foundation for your thundershirt. Make sure whatever material you choose is big enough to wrap around your dog multiple times. You will also need some scissors.

Step by Step Construction

Here’s how (click link to watch on YouTube): Take your fabric (making sure it’s twice as long as your dog) and hold it up starting from the center of her chest. Make sure the fabric is in a rectangular shape so you can wrap it across your dog evenly. Once you have that in place, you can:

  • Take the ends of your fabric and bring them together so you cross them over the dog’s shoulders
  • Wrap the ends back down around the dog’s stomach
  • Bring the ends up again and secure them over the dog’s back
  • Make sure the fabric is tight, but that your dog can still breathe and move comfortably
  • Take any extra fabric and either tie them or tuck them in so your dog doesn’t accidentally trip over them

Enlist Some Help

While this DIY thundershirt can definitely help with feelings of anxiety, you might want to get outside help to keep your dog from feeling anxious in the first place. Sometimes a little extra exercise for your dog is enough to get rid of these negative emotions. It might be helpful to enroll your pup into doggie daycare so he can socialize and get exercise. You might want to also consider setting your dog up with a trainer or taking some behavior modification classes to help target the root of the anxiety.

Union Lake Pet Services offers daycare, boarding, grooming, and training services for the pets of Waterford, Michigan. Whether your pup is suffering from severe anxiety or needs to behave a little better, we can help. To learn more about our services or to sign up your dog, please call (248) 363-6262.