Best Dog Anxiety Vests

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Seeing your dog distressed, anxious, or scared is heartbreaking: no pet parent wants their pooch to be unhappy. Unfortunately, anxiety is a fairly common issue for dogs, varying from situational discomfort to chronic anxiety that requires medication to be kept under control. Pooches that are suffering from anxiety can have a lower quality of life due to their symptoms, and it’s important to try and do whatever you can to soothe your nervous dog–and there are numerous ways to do that, from training to special products such as calming collars or anxiety medications. Unless your dog’s anxiety is so severe that it requires urgent treatment, though, it would be smart to try and solve his issues in a natural way, without using prescription-strength medications unless it’s really necessary. There are various non-invasive, natural ways of treating anxiety in dogs that can help you skip a costly visit to the vet and help your pooch cope with his symptoms effectively. One of the more popular options among pet parents are dog anxiety vests.  

Dog anxiety vests are a great way to reduce your dog’s stress levels, whether used on their own or combined with other anti-anxiety products. In some cases, putting on a vest on your dog before you know they’ll be exposed to a stressful situation (such as a visit to the vet or fireworks) will be all it takes to curb their nervousness and make them more comfortable. The way dog anxiety vests work is by relying on tried and true psychological methods to keep your dog happy and relaxed at all times, even in triggering situations. Depending on the severity of your pet’s anxiety, you might need to combine the vest wearing with herbal anxiety remedies or soothing scent therapy to ensure good results. 

Of course, not every pooch is the same, so what might work for some dogs could fail to hit the mark for others. That’s why it’s important to carefully consider all of the factors before you make a purchase: you know your pet the best so it shouldn’t be a problem to figure out what they’ll be comfortable with and which anxiety treatment matches their symptoms. If you’re unsure about what type of anxiety treatment is the right match for your pet’s needs, it’s a safe bet to start with something that doesn’t involve medication, such as anxiety vests for dogs. When it comes to dog anxiety vests, there are several different types to choose from: some are a better choice for frequent use, others for post-op recovery, etc. Read on to learn more about the way anxiety vests for dogs work and how to choose the right one for your dog. 

Thundershirt reigns supreme with its designs of anxiety vets–there’s a good reason why this brand is consistently most popular with pawrents. Exceptionally well made, this specially designed jacket has a patented design: the constant yet gentle pressure on your pet’s torso will calm him down and reduce his anxiety symptoms. The fabric used to make this anxiety vest is soft, breathable, machine washable and dryer safe. Thundershirt boasts an 80 percent success rate and offers a money-back guarantee if your pet doesn’t feel better wearing it. This anxiety vest is available in seven sizes and will fit dogs from toy to giant breeds.

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Affordable yet effective, this calming dog vest relies on swaddling effect to bring comfort and ease to your pet in times of stress. The straps that go over your pet’s chest and belly can be adjusted for the perfect amount of gentle pressure–just enough to deliver promised benefits of deep pressure therapy. The jacket is made from lightweight, breathable, machine-washable fabric that comes in six color styles: aluminum, cypress, lime, navy, radiant orchid, and sangria. Easily put on and closed with velcro, this anxiety vest is quite adjustable–and it also comes in 6 different sizes to ensure a perfect match for any pooch. 

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This post-op recovery suit for dogs is multi-practical and absolutely perfect for surgical anxiety cases. Not only that the snugness and the coverage this suit offers will promote calmness and reduce panic, but it will also prevent your dog from picking on his stitches and making a mess out of his incision. The suit goes all over your dog’s back, chest, and shoulders and attaches simply with snaps–no mess, no hassle. This recovery suit is also a fantastic alternative to Elizabethan collar–which is known to cause anxiety and discomfort for many dogs. 

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Cute, high-quality, and with an affordable price tag- what more could a pawrent want? In addition to the standard anxiety vest design that involves velcro straps that go over a dog’s waist and chest for a snug and comforting fit, this calming jacket boasts a secret advantage: a massaging effect. The vest hides built-in bumps that go on your pet’s back and deliver a massage when he moves around. Needless to say, doggos love it- and it contributes to the calming effect this vest has. Available in three color combos: navy rose, rose grey, and blue grey, as well as six different sizes ranging from extra small to extra large.

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This soft, minimalistic anxiety vest focuses on the basics: convenience and effectiveness combined into one. The fuzzy fastener straps allow for a snug fit that makes sure that gentle pressure is applied all over your pet’s body, as this calming jacket covers their back, belly, and chest completely. This swaddling effect is known to be beneficial in times of high stress such as fireworks or storms and the AKC calming jacket really delivers with its above-average coverage. Made from lightweight, breathable, machine-washable fabric, this anxiety vest comes in five sizes and various colors. 

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Who said that style and function can’t go hand in hand? If you want your dog’s anxiety vest to look less like aid and more like a fashion statement, this plaid calming jacket is the ideal solution. It still delivers the benefits of gentle pressure but looks cute on your pooch at the same time! To boot, it attaches with a hook and loop system instead of the more common velcro, so it is a great fit for dogs whose anxiety is triggered by sounds (like the ripping of the velcro) and those with a long-haired coat that gets stuck between the fuzzy fasteners. Available in small, medium, large, and extra large. 

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Even though slightly more expensive than its competitors, Thundershirt Sport is worth every cent. Unlike the brand’s classic design, this anxiety vest is specially designed to be breathable and suitable for activity, so you don’t have to worry about restricted movement or overheating while your pooch wears his calming jacket. The other benefits of the patented Thundershirt design remain, though: the perfectly distributed gentle pressure effect will keep your pooch stress-free. The jacket comes in either fuschia or silver, and in six sizes.

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If you’re on a tight budget and worried that you’ll waste your money on an anxiety vest that doesn’t work for your dog, this cheap calming jacket is a great choice. Inexpensive but effective, it will swaddle your pooch in all the right places in order to deliver the much-needed calming effect in stressful situations. HACHIKITTY Dog Anxiety Vest is made from breathable, machine-washable fabric. Available in extra small, small, medium, and large.

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This might look like your basic cute tee for dogs, but there’s so much more to Gold Paw Sun Shield Dog Tee than prettiness. Designed to protect your pet from harmful UV rays and, at the same time, deliver a calming effect with its snug fit, this multi-practical tee offers great value for money. The shirt is just pulled on, with no fastenings- so it’s ideal for dogs with long fur or that dislike dressing up in general. Owing to its unique fit, this calming tee comes in a range of adjustable sizes to match every pooch. 

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If your pet’s anxiety is triggered on the go- for instance, when they have to visit the vet or meet another dog on a walk- this anxiety jacket is the best fit for your situation. Designed to allow movement, it includes all the necessities for walking- a D-ring attachment for a leash and reflective piping for better visibility. Like all calming jackets, this outdoor-friendly model also works by applying soothing pressure on your pet’s body, simulating a comforting hug that will reduce their stress levels. WINBATE Adjustable Dog Anxiety Jacket comes in sizes from extra small to extra extra large.

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The idea that putting on a vest on your dog would somehow help their anxiety seems a bit strange, but the principle on which dog anxiety vests operate on was actually based on many studies and backed by research: applied pressure. The way calming vests or anxiety vests for dogs work is quite similar to the way weighted blankets work- wearing one gently applies pressure on a dog’s body, causing a similar sensory effect to that of being cradled or stroked. As a result, this triggers a response in your pet’s brain that increases happy hormones and decreases their heart rate, effectively calming them down in mere minutes. 

The pressure can be applied by swaddling, compression, or by using weights–different methods of achieving the same thing. There are no time limitations on how long your dog should wear the vest in terms of safety, but there are some good rules of thumb to follow to ensure the calming jacket or wrap remain effective. If you were to leave your pet in an anxiety vest for hours, they would get used to the pressure and it would, slowly or quickly, start losing its beneficial calming effect as it wouldn’t trigger the same kind of response. To prevent this, if you need your pet to wear an anxiety vest for a prolonged period of time for whatever reason, be sure to remove the jacket every few hours, for at least 15 minutes or more. This will desensitize them and ensure that once you dress them again, they experience the benefits of applied pressure all over again.

There is more to choosing an anxiety vest for dogs than simply picking the correct size–even though that’s an important factor, too. Seeing as how there are different types of dog anxiety vests available on the market, it’s easy to see why you’ll have to consider various aspects before purchasing one for your precious pooch. When choosing a calming vest, jacket, or wrap for your dog, these are the most important things to pay attention to:

When it comes to dog anxiety vests, the main difference between will be in the way the pressure is applied to achieve the psychologically beneficial deep pressure on the dog’s body. There are three main methods: swaddling, weights, and compression.

  • Swaddling dog anxiety vests are basically garments that wrap tightly over your pet’s body to create a swaddling effect- similar to methods sometimes used on newborns. Of course, you won’t put your pooch into an uncomfortable contraption that limits their movement–swaddling dog jackets are usually tightened only over the chest or the waist, to target certain pressure points for relieving anxiety. 
  • Dog anxiety vests with weights are, essentially, a wearable weighted blanket–it’s like a long-lasting comforting hug your pooch can wear wherever he goes. The weights are located in the lining of the vest, so they won’t bother your pet. Of course, not all dogs can wear weighted jackets with ease–for a small breed dog it might be uncomfortable, and developing puppies shouldn’t wear them as it could impact their growth. 
  • Compression dog anxiety vests usually have no fastenings to adjust the tightness or built-in weights to achieve pressure- they are essentially tight items of clothing that can be a bit difficult to put on, but can do wonders for some pooches. As a result, they are also a great solution for surgical anxiety as they’ll simultaneously cover their stitches and prevent them from making a mess out of their incision.

At the end of the day, whichever type of dog anxiety vest you pick for your pet, it’s still primarily an item of clothing that will be in close contact with their skin and coat for hours on end. Needless to say, this means that the fabric is very important: you want something breathable, pleasant to touch, and durable. Cotton and nylon are the most common choices- you should steer clear from cheap synthetics, especially for tight garments such as anxiety vests. The vest should also be well-made and able to withstand the usual wear and tear the same as any type of dog clothes. 

It’s important to properly measure your dog to determine the right size of calming vest: you want the jacket to be snug, but not too tight, or it could become uncomfortable to wear. Many dog anxiety vests are adjustable to a degree, to ensure a proper fit, but there are still significant size differences you should pay attention to before buying. 

The most common closure type of anxiety vests is velcro as it is the most convenient. It allows greater adjustability, it’s easy to use and doesn’t require fussing over–which is important, because you want to be able to get your pet in and out of the vest quickly when the need arises. However, in some cases, such when dogs have long flowy locks, the velcro could be a hassle as the hair will get stuck. If this is a known problem for your pooch, there are alternatives such as zippers, snaps, or hooks and clasps. 

A dog anxiety vest is no different than your pet’s winter coat or a hoodie, meaning that you have to wash it regularly. In no time, your dog’s calming vest will look worse for wear, whether from your pet’s natural body oils, door, and hair or dirt they managed to get into during the walk. Most dog anxiety vests are machine washable, as it makes every pawrent’s life easier, but check before tossing your pet’s new favorite accessory into the wash- you don’t want to accidentally ruin it. 


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