Pet owners and experts alike have been talking about the best dog anxiety vests as a great tool to help your pup relieve his anxious fears. While I usually go for toys, calming chews, or kennels, I decided to try out some of these dog vests for myself.
What I didn’t realize was how the compression of the vest actually works to comfort and calm my dogs down. I thought they wouldn’t like being squeezed by a jacket, as I know that if I were suffering a panic attack, I wouldn’t want to feel confined or claustrophobic. But for some of our precious pups, this jacket feels like a nice warm hug. Can you get any better than that? It turns, out even dogs with confinement anxiety feel comforted by a good-quality anxiety vest.
I just had to do more research into the best dog anxiety jackets and vests. I found out that there are many different brands and styles of vests, so I decided to do some dog anxiety jacket reviews of my own.
5 Best Dog Anxiety Vest Reviews
Keep reading to discover my 5 favorite dog anxiety vests on the market today, and why they might end up being a good choice for your sweet pets.
Want Answers Fast? Here’s My Favorite Choice!
1. Gold Paw Sun Shield Dog Tee
Why this is my favorite one
One of the first things I ask myself when I look at new products like this is what kind of material it is made out of. What makes dog anxiety jackets work? In this case, it’s 100% recycled materials which are still machine washable.
But don’t worry - this thing definitely breathes. My doggie didn’t seem to feel constrained or overheated. In fact, he happily laid down beside me and stopped his whining. I was amazed!
- The vest blocks 98% of UV rays and is perfect for all seasons.
- There are different colors and sizes to suit any pooch, no matter the size.
- Fabric is a stretch fit and breathable, so your dog won't overheat.
- Completely machine washable and made from 100% recycled materials.
- Some of the sizing descriptions are not accurate, and you may end up getting a vest that is slightly bigger than your dog’s preferred size.
- The company does not always have all dog sizes available.
I notice an immediate difference in my dog’s temperament and personality when I put the vest on him. Something about this jacket calms him down and makes him feel less stressed when I have to part from him for a little while.
2. AKC Anti-Anxiety and Stress Relief Calming Coat
The American Kennel Club is a reliable organization and brand manufacturer focused on the utmost health and safety for your dogs. I know I can trust the company, therefore I had no problem trusting in this comforting dog anxiety jacket.
It is made with a durable yet soft fabric that adjusted to my dog’s size with ease.
- There are three different colors to choose from: pink, gray, or blue.
- The fabric is not only comfortable but it also doesn’t collect any pet hair.
- You can choose between various sizes that fit dogs between 10 and 100 pounds.
- The coat puts pressure on the back and torso of the dog so he feels like he is being held, which is a gentle way to ease his fears.
- Overly anxious dogs with destructive tendencies may put extra wear and tear on the fabric of the coat.
- You may want to invest in an extra velcro pad as the initial velcro can stop working.
I love the softness of this fabric that doesn’t sacrifice any of its durability. My medium-sized dog loves this coat; I don’t leave the house without putting it on him first!
3. ThunderShirt Classic Dog Anxiety Jacket
I couldn’t do a review on the best dog anxiety vests without talking about the ThunderShirt. This patented brand is top-of-the-line when it comes to dog anxiety jackets.
Each vest is built with durable and sustainable materials and is fitted with everything your dog needs to remain calm during moments of anxiety.
Vets and trainers keep close tabs on the ThunderShirt, with statistics showing that over 80% of the attempts to calm down a dog using this vest were successful.
There is a good chance that your precious pup will respond well to this jacket regardless of size or temperament.
- ThunderShirt is one of the most popular types of dog anxiety jackets backed by a reputable company with proof of quality materials used.
- There is a money-back guarantee if the jacket does not have an effect on your dog.
- Proven to help your dog feel less anxious during separation, thunderstorms, and car rides.
- Sizes range from small (15 - 25 pounds to XXL (over 110 pounds) to fit dogs of all sizes.
- There is a slightly higher cost than other vest and jacket brands due to the makeup and popularity of the ThunderShirt.
- Some dogs do not respond to the calming effects of the shirt right away.
I appreciate that the manufacturer is up front and honest about the fact that these dog anxiety jackets don’t work 100% of the time. It is a case-by-case basis, which is understandable considering how each dog is very different. I’ve found that it works out quite well for my small dog.
4. Surgi Snuggly Dog Cone
Dogs hate being put in the “cone of shame”, that plastic device over their head that keeps them from biting or chewing at a healing part of their body. Thankfully, this snuggle cone is nothing like the cone of shame - in fact, this is a cone that your dog can love.
This dog anxiety vest seems to offer a bit more versatility than the others on my list so far, with over 5 different colors and 14 different size options to choose from. The fabric is produced on-site so everything is on the same production table from start to finish.
You don’t have to worry about whether parts of the product are made with cheap exported materials or products that don’t meet health standards.
This jacket serves several functions; not only is it great for calming dog anxiety, but it can also be a comforting healing vest to use if your dog is in recovery from a surgery or treatment.
- It is one of the cheapest high-quality options on the market.
- There are no harmful chemical coatings or products on the fabric that makes this coat.
- Scientifically tested to reduce anxiety in dogs large and small.
- The fabric is tight enough to keep them from chewing parts of their own body but still flexible enough that they can move around comfortably.
- This vest does not act the same way as a plastic cone, so your dog may still be able to reach affected areas of the body.
- This product is not recommended for geriatric or arthritic dogs.
If your dog is going through any kind of medical treatment or is in recovery from something, this vest works as a great calming tool to help the healing process. It even works for general dog anxiety, which is the way I use it with my sweet pups all the time.
5. Mellow Shirt Dog Anxiety Calming Wrap
Dog anxiety wraps aren’t meant to be too constricting. In fact, nothing should be too tight on your dog - not even her collar. This is a gentle jacket that wraps around your furry friend like a hug, gradually calming their nerves and filling them with peace.
If you are worried about putting too much pressure on your dog, this particular vest comes with adjustable straps so you can make it looser or tighter if you need to.
The company compares the effects of this wrap like swaddling an infant, which is how I look at it when I put my dog in this coat. It’s gentle, kind, and caring, which is perfect for any timid or sensitive dog.
- Very gentle pressure is applied to make your dog feeling calm without strangling him.
- This is an easy vest to put on and take off, with an adjustable velcro strap and plenty of space for your pet’s arms and legs.
- There are plenty of colors and sizes available to fit your needs.
- It is recommended for use at home, in the car, or on long trips.
- This shirt may not be thick enough for dogs who require more pressure or who are in need of additional tools for anxiety relief.
- Some dogs may try to eat the shirt material.
This is a good alternative when you are looking for something really lightweight that provides mild calming effects. Dogs with severe anxiety might be in need of a more heavy-duty jacket, but this is a good place to start.
Dog Anxiety Wrap vs ThunderShirt
With plenty of popular dog products and brands on the market, it can be difficult to determine what the best choice or most reputable product is. As I started doing more research into the benefits of the best dog anxiety vests, I noticed a common conversation in online dog owner communities around the world:
People are wondering whether the ThunderShirt is the best option, and if it is comparable to other types of dog anxiety wraps.
I want to be clear when doing dog anxiety jacket reviews that I enjoy the ThunderShirt very much, as well as other brands of compression vests. I will do my best to make comparisons and highlight the benefits of each type of vest so you have a better idea of what you should choose for your fur babies.
About The ThunderShirt
ThunderShirts have become such a huge sensation that even Wired Magazine wrote a story about them. The ThunderShirt Classic, in particular, has a wider dog size range than the Original Anxiety Wrap and comes with more velcro wraps to keep your dog secure.
But that doesn’t necessarily make it better than the Anxiety Wrap. Each dog is different, and dogs can have different needs for different reasons. That is why there is such a variety of jacket types on the market today, so that there is something for each and every kind of dog.
The ThunderShirt can simply be placed on the dog’s back and does not need too many bells or whistles - or straps, for that matter.
About The Anxiety Wrap
Another popular type of dog anxiety best, the Original Anxiety Wrap, is also highly preferred by dog owners across the globe. It comes in more sizes than the ThunderShirt, although the sizes do not reach as great of a range as the ThunderShirts do.
Anxiety Wraps are made of lycra, whereas the ThunderShirt is constructed using a polyester and spandex blend. The Anxiety Wrap has a velcro belly strap that helps secure the coat around your dog’s body.
Some dog owners do not like the fact that the Anxiety Wrap must be put on like a shirt, while the ThunderShirt is just placed on top of your dog. But some pooches need that added security around their whole body.
Which One Is Better?
It is impossible to determine whether the ThunderShirt is better than the Anxiety Wrap, or vice versa. Honestly, it all depends on the needs of your dog. If he is dealing with severe anxiety, the Anxiety Wrap may be the way to go. If you need something quick and convenient, the ThunderShirt has proven quite successful. You can find out more about the ThunderShirt dog anxiety jacket on our product reviews page!
Why Compression Calms An Anxious Dog
Dog anxiety vests are like weighted blankets for our four-legged friends. In humans, a common treatment and calming exercise for anxiety involves the use of applied pressure around the body - something that feels like a big hug. This helps the body release serotonin, the “feel-good” hormone that can immediately assuage fears and put out a feeling of calm.
It’s nice to be able to do the same for our beloved furry companions. They feel anxiety just like we do, so it is important to find a solution that can help your dog out during those moments of fear and anxiousness.
But how do compression vests work? Can they really calm down an anxious dog?
This excerpt from VCA Hospitals sums it up quite nicely:
“When worn properly, anxiety wraps distribute pressure over the back and sides of the dog’s chest, serving as a calming “hug”. Scientifically, gentle pressure releases chemicals called endorphins that promote a sense of well-being.”
Just like with humans, engaging in a behavior that releases endorphins and calms the mind and the body. This is an effective strategy for getting rid of anxiety in the short term, which may eventually have long-term results.
In most cases, this is an effective way to relieve anxiety in dogs. But be sure to acclimate them to this feeling first, as any new sensation can overwhelm them. It is recommended to slowly introduce your loved one to the anxiety jacket of your choice, putting it on your dog for a few minutes at a time until he is more acclimated.
Looking For the Best Dog Anxiety Jacket? Use This Checklist
Since every dog is so unique, finding the best type of anxiety vest to suit their specific needs can be difficult. Hopefully, my best dog jacket reviews have helped you narrow down your search options while you continue to understand the unique needs of your dog and your dog’s anxiety levels.
But figuring out where to start can still be a challenge. I put together this little checklist for you to use as a guide when you are discovering dog anxiety products. Make sure the vest you pick meets each of the items on this checklist, as these are indicators that you are looking at a high-quality and highly recommended product.
1. Brand Recognition
You don’t necessarily need to already be familiar with the company name, but you should be able to do a little bit of research to find a reputable website with plenty of positive customer reviews. If you are having a hard time finding out more about a certain anxiety vest’s manufacturer, you may want to move on to the next product.
2. Type Of Material
You need to have a lightweight, breathable material made with natural resources. Fabrics should not be coated with any chemicals or ingredients that may be unsafe for consumption. A reliable brand will have a label that clearly lists the ingredients and textile types so you can make an informed decision on your own.
3. Benefits Listed
Anybody can advertise a piece of fabric as an anxiety vest for dogs, but how do you know it has really been tested and approved by the experts? Make sure the item you are looking at is certified by experts and that it lists the benefits this item contains. If a company can explain how the vest is beneficial for dog anxiety, it is likely that they are coming from a good source.
4. Sizes And Shapes Available
Never settle for a “one size fits all” dog anxiety vest. You need a custom-fitted jacket that is made for the size and shape of your dog. Many good companies will have their products listed by breed or by size, including an accurate size chart so you can find the best item for your furry friend.
A dog anxiety vest is a useful tool that you can use to help your dog feel calm and secure. It is not something that is only available in medical facilities, nor is it something that you must get a prescription for. Therefore, the vest of your choice should be affordable and reasonable. Steer clear of prices that are way too high - or way too low.
My Favorite Dog Anxiety Vest Brands
Another thing that can help your search for the best dog anxiety vest is to familiarize yourself with some of the most popular dog vest brands. Below, you’ll find my favorites with links to their websites if you are interested in learning more!
The creator of the infamous ThunderShirt brand, Thunderworks is a top recommended brand for anxiety vests since the entire focus of the company is to ease anxiety in pets. There are a few different lines of anxiety vests and jackets that can suit a variety of needs in dogs and cats alike. Thunderworks offers a “complete line of calm” with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
I don’t typically talk about Amazon-only brands, but Kingswell is a reliable manufacturer of anxiety dog jackets that sells exclusively on the online platform. There are a variety of jackets from calming anxiety vests to raincoats that work to keep your furry friend dry and comfortable all at once.
A cute name for a company focused on helping cute animals, Suri Snuggly is responsible for the invention of the Wonder Suit and the E-collar, which are both products that can help reduce anxiety or pain in dogs. There is a good customer service program and plenty of benefits to be had by working with this friendly company.
American Kennel Club
The AKC is known for much more than just its dog products, but there are a wide range of dog anxiety shirts made from reputable scientists and pet experts. It is always a good idea to support the AKC as the organization goes through a lot of hard work to provide support, regulations, and guidelines for dog owners, dog breeding, pet care, and animal awareness.
An American dog vest manufacturing company, XDOG is known for health-based products to boost the lifespan and happiness of your dog. For example, XDOG has a number of anxiety vests, weight jackets, food supplements, and treats for dogs that promote wellness. This company is also known for having good customer service.
Another Amazon-based manufacturer, Mellow Shirt always comes up as one of the most recommended companies for dog anxiety vests. In fact, one of my product reviews above features a Mellow Shirt vest, which is reinforced with velcro and stretchy materials that can keep your doggie comfortable.
Dog Anxiety Vest FAQs
If you are anything like me, you are bound to have a few more questions about dog anxiety jackets and the way the best dog anxiety jackets work. Here are some answers to some big inquiries that may be itching the back of your mind. Please feel free to reach out to me at any time if you have more questions or concerns; and remember not to buy a product for your dog if it doesn’t feel quite right.
1. Do dog anxiety vests and jackets really work?
Yes! Vests that are made using scientific research and medical recommendations from veterinarians have a very high success rate. But keep in mind that every dog is different, so a particular vest that works well for one dog may not end up working too well for another dog. The point of the vest is to apply a gentle pressure around the dog, making it feel like a hug. This can release endorphins which will immediately calm your dog’s mind.
2. What’s the best way to calm my dog down from an anxiety attack?
An anxiety jacket is a great tool to help give your dog some immediate relief when he’s feeling scared. A jacket may just be one of the things you need to get your dog to fully calm down, though. In order to achieve maximum calm, try using a combination of products such as treats, blankets, toys, and cages. Of course, just your presence and attention are enough to make your dog feel a bit better!
3. Will my dog overheat in her anxiety jacket?
Any high-quality brand, like ThunderShirt, for example, makes products using breathable materials. If you have invested in a quality product, you should never have a concern about your dog overheating. If your dog shows signs of being hot by panting or drooling, remove the coat and assess your options.
4. How long should I leave an anxiety vest on my dog?
It’s best to start out by putting your vest on your dog for only a few minutes at a time. This is so that they can get acclimated to the feel and the pressure of it. As they become more comfortable with it, you can start leaving it on for longer periods of time. After they are fully acclimated to it, it is safe to leave high-quality vests on your dog for extended lengths of time. Just make sure to continue checking on your dog to ensure he is still comfortable in his vest.
5. Why hasn’t my vet recommended a dog anxiety vest before?
Anxiety jackets are viable options to help ease your dog’s fears. Most anxiety vest brands, while very popular on the market and amongst pet owners, are still not famous enough within the veterinarian community. While some vets do use and recommend anxiety vests, others just haven’t been properly trained on the proper uses of these vests yet. Next time you take your dog in for a checkup, ask about anxiety jackets.
Keep Your Dog Safe And Secure!
Whether your furry friend is afraid of car rides, thunderstorms, fireworks shows, or being alone, there are plenty of ways that you can comfort your dog. Ease the pain of your furry friends with an anxiety vest, which gently cuddles your dog into a calm mood. I love the variations of jackets that are available on the market, and the vests that come from big-name companies have been really successful as of late.
You and I want nothing for the best for our doggies. Watching them go through an anxiety attack can be heartbreaking. Let me know which one of these best dog anxiety vest reviews hits home with you, and which one has become the favorite of your furry friend!
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