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Anxiety shirts for dogs
Any recommendations for sewing my own?
newmama
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newmama  Friend of PR
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Date: 5/17/12 9:43 AM

My MIL called me this morning and asked if I could help her make a thundershirt for her dog. She is going to need to board him for a few days and thought it might help with his anxiety (plus he gets anxious with thunder/bad weather).

They sound similar to swaddles for newborns. I had never heard of them before, but apparently they are successful for about 80% of dogs. Here is a link to see more about them: ThunderShirts. If you scroll to the bottom, you can see how it goes on the dog (basically, it's velcroed around their belly and chest).

She's on a tight budget so we are going to try to make one and see how it does. I was thinking about making one out of a sturdy knit, to make it snuggle like a swaddle. The website says it's made of a durable, washable, breathable material.

Has anyone ever tried to make one of these before? Does anyone have any suggestions for materials?

TIA,
angie

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angie
http://danikate-designs.blogspot.com/

a7yrstitch
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In reply to newmama <<


Date: 5/17/12 12:26 PM

Just bumped two posts on weighted blankets. Hope there is something helpful to you in those posts,

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diane s
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Date: 5/17/12 1:20 PM

The website is pretty vague about the fabric, but it looks like some type of cotton knit. For my prototype I would start with some old T-shirts.
I understand the use of velcro, and they mention cleaning the dog hair out of it, there's a little gadget called 'grip clean' a velcro cleaner, that would be useful. I have one that I use on my husband's uniform pockets,

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My grandmother taught me to sew when I was 10, and I've been sewing ever since.

gramma b
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Date: 5/17/12 3:28 PM

A vet tech relative gave me one for my nervous Yorkie. She hides behind the toilet for thunder and all those !!%%$$ fireworks coming up.
The fabric is a nice DOUBLED stretchy knit like yoga pants or sweatshirt fabric so for a small dog, you could use an old pair or cut up some Danskins from WM.

Basically shaped like a dog coat, you could copy a free pattern online or in the pet store, but the under-stomach part should be *longer to wrap around halfway up the other side.

If in a hurry, you might not need the neck part, just cover from neck to tail, like wrapping one of those stretchy gauze ankle supports around--come to think of it, get a package of that in the drugstore and try it out--I think they come with the butterfly clip fasteners. Wrap tightly and see if it calms her.

The velcro strips on the XSm are 5 1/2" long on both sides to be adjustable so you can fasten (think squeeeze!) around her for a sense of security. That little extra pocket flap keeps the fur away from the velcro.

When I board my dog, I sleep in an old T the night before and take it with her pillow to the place so she can "sleep" with her mom's scent!
-- Edited on 5/17/12 3:56 PM --

newmama
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Date: 5/23/12 8:02 PM

A belated thank you to all who replied. I'm going to make a prototype out of t-shirts and was able to borrow one of the shirts in order to trace it and mark the velcro positions.

I'm hoping to make one for my mom and send it as well--her poor dog is so scared when the barometric pressure changes and shakes like a leaf. She's also very anxious about being left on her own and has become the baby of the house since I moved out (many years ago)

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angie
http://danikate-designs.blogspot.com/

Kim12469
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Date: 5/23/12 9:11 PM

I posted photos of our thundershirt awhile back on here. There was a thread in misc about it if you search for "thundershirt.". I think a heavier pointe knit would work well for it. I haven't seen any cotton knit as thick as the thundershirt.

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http://kimsewsilly.blogspot.com/

DolphinDancer30

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Date: 5/24/12 3:05 PM

I use thundershirts for my dogs. It works well for my aussie mix female who gets carsick. When wearing the shirts, the are calmer on leash. I suppose I should use the thundershirts for other occasions besides walks and car trips, because they see the shirt and get excited about the outing, which kinda cancels out the calming effect.

While velcro is convenient, you might want to consider another kind of closure if your dog has thick and/or long fur. I usually manage to get fur caught in the velcro.

schmammy
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In reply to newmama <<
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Date: 5/24/12 8:34 PM

My four-legged son, a min pin named Bronx, is definitely a thundershirt candidate! I'm quite interested in your progress, so please post results. You've inspired me.

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Indecision may or may not be my problem. -Jimmy Buffet

http://chihuahuaonmylap.blogspot.com/

Kim12469
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Date: 5/24/12 8:46 PM

I found the thread. I was on my iPad before. Here it is in case anyone wants to see a Thundershirt and doesn't have access to one. The photos are there in my message.

Thundershirt Photos

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http://kimsewsilly.blogspot.com/

newmama
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Date: 9/1/12 8:58 AM

I wanted to say thank you to everyone who contributed their thoughts and ideas. I did end up making a Thundershirt out of old t-shirts. I traced a borrowed version, cut out two pieces, then sewed them right sides together, flipped them right side out, topstitched with a twin needle and added the velcro.

I was able to fit one of the pieces for a medium sized shirt on a men's XXXL, and pieced together the bottom layer from a women's shirt. (The seams are where the tabs that wrap around the middle meet the body).

I'm going to make another version for my MIL for Christmas, out of a camouflage knit--1 yd of 60 inch material should be plenty for this size. I'm going to embroider Norman's name on the flap that starts on his back (and covers up the unused side velcro).

I'm also going to make a girlie version for my mom's dog, who should also fit a medium. I will post a review later this year when I get nicer versions made, but here is a link to my blog post about the wearable muslin:
♥daniKate designs♥ - Anxiety Shirt (for dogs)

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angie
http://danikate-designs.blogspot.com/

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