Best Dog Anxiety Vests
Dog anxiety vests can relax your pet in triggering situations by relying on the soothing power of applied pressure. Read on to learn more about how dog anxiety vests work and how to pick the right type for your pet.
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.
1. Editor’s Pick: Thundershirt Classic Dog Anxiety Jacket
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.
2. Runner Up: Mellow Shirt Dog Anxiety Calming Wrap
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.
3. Best Post-Surgery: MAXX Dog Recovery Suit
With a built-in internal pocket for storing ice packs or extra gauges to absorb any discharge from wounds, this MAXX Dog Recovery Suit is a great way to kill two birds with one stone.
This post-op recovery suit for dogs is multi-practical and absolutely perfect for surgical anxiety cases. Not only does the snugness and the coverage this suit offers promote calmness and reduce panic, but it will also prevent your dog from picking on their stitches and making a mess out of their incision.
The suit goes all over your dog’s back, chest, and shoulders and attaches simply with a zipper at the abdomen to give you quick and easy access to check on any incisions. This recovery suit is also a fantastic alternative to the Elizabethan collar–which is known to cause anxiety and discomfort for many dogs.
4. Best Style: MCHY Dog Anxiety Vest
This lightweight and durable anxiety vest can provide dogs of all sizes with gentle and constant pressure on their torso to help keep them calm in high anxiety situations.
Cute, breathable, machine washable and an affordable price tag to boot – what more could a pawrent want? This anxiety vest is available in four different sizes and four color choices: dark grey, rose red, navy and light pink. This lightweight vest is soft to the touch and is made from stretchy, durable yet breathable materials so you can confidently strap this vest on your pooch knowing they’ll be comfortable and well cared for.
5. Best Value: AKC Calming Coat for Dogs
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.
6. Best Budget: YESTAR Dog Anxiety Relief Coat
If you’re looking for a anxiety vest on a tight budget, this YESTAR dog relief coat is another amazing budget conscious option that’s lightweight, durable and machine washable!
Made from a blend of Viscose fibre, polyester and spandex, this YESTAR Dog Anxiety Relief Coat provides constant mild pressure while also ensuring your pup doesn’t overheat. This budget-friendly vest features velcro straps that make it easy to put on your four legged friend as well as adjust to their growing bodies.
You can also wash this vest by hand or throw it in the washing machine! We also love that this vest features a reflective strip on the neck and the back to help keep your pets safe when out and about at night.
7. Best for Sports: ThunderShirt Sport Dog Anxiety Jacket
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 fuchsia or silver, and in six sizes.
8. Best Year Round: ROCCOPET Dog Anxiety Vest
Equipped with a removable inner layer that helps to keep your pup cool on warm days or toasty in cold weather, this machine washable jacket can be used by dogs of all ages and breeds.
Whether you have a small purse dog or a large, seemingly intimidating guard dog, the ROCCOPET dog anxiety vest is available in six different sizes, ranging from XS to 2XL, so every dog can enjoy the benefits of this comfortable jacket.
Specially designed with a high-tech ultrasonic composite fabric that prevents your dog from overheating, your dog can wear this during hot summer days or cold winter evenings thanks to it’s double-sided and removable lining.
9. Best UV Resistant: Gold Paw Sun Shield Dog Tee
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.
10. Best Nighttime: WINBATE Adjustable Dog Anxiety Jacket
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.
11. Best Coverage: Neoally Dog Anxiety Jacket
This lightweight and breathable vest is the perfect option for dogs who need maximum coverage to help relieve their stress. With varying levels of compression and a spray patch, it’s sure to impress.
Made from a combination of soft and stretchy materials like polyester and spandex, this anxiety vest will provide your four legged friend with ample torso and chest coverage to help maximize it’s calming effect.
What’s great about this vest is that you can choose between varying levels of compression thanks to it’s three different zipper chains. The vest is also secured over their back rather than their chest to create a more comfortable and seamless feel. In addition, this vest includes a spray patch under their neck so you can take it’s calming effect to the next level!
12. Best 3-in-1: CozyVest 3-in-1 Anxiety Vest
Equipped with a speaker and two essential oils in addition to it’s comforting, swaddling abilities, this anxiety vest uses all of the resources available to help ease your pets stress.
If you want to take your soothing skills to the next level, this CozyVest 3-in-1 Anxiety vest appeals to three of your dog’s senses: touch, smell and hearing. Like most anxiety vests, this product relies on machine washable, soft and breathable materials to provide your furry friend with constant and steady pressure.
What sets this vest apart however, is the use of two essential oils (lavender and camomile) set into a triangular pendant that hangs off of their jacket to create a soothing, calm atmosphere. It also includes a speaker that emits relaxing, continuous sounds.
13. Best Basic: ZenPet ZenDog Anxiety Dog Vest
Available in six different sizes ranging from extra small to extra-extra large, this ZenPet Anxiety Dog Vest offers a customizable fit that activates pressure points to relieve stress.
Whether your pet is experiencing crate anxiety, separation anxiety, travel anxiety, constantly barks or has a nervous disposition, adding a calming compression shirt like this ZenPet anxiety dog vest can help to place gentle pressure on their body to help relieve their stress.
It’s stretchy, four-way fabric and adjustable velcro straps allow you to create a specific, custom fit. The material is also lightweight and breathable and can help to keep your pooch cool when wet!
14. Best For Older Dogs: BENEFAB Therapeutic Anxiety Shirt for Dogs
With an adjustable 2-flap system, this lightweight yet durable anxiety shirt provides varying levels of compression to soothe anxiety as well as relieve any stiffness or joint pain!
Also available in a wide range of sizes, this Benefab Therapeutic Anxiety Shirt uses Far-Infrared (FIR) technology to provide your four legged friend with a way to de-stress, as well as promote blood circulation, reduce inflammation and enhance muscle recovery. Because of all of the added health benefits, this anxiety vest is a great investment for older dogs who are experiencing back pain or joint issues.
15. Honorary Mention: Cattamao Comfort Dog Anxiety Relief Coat
Sold in four beautiful colours and a handful of sizes, this stylish and breathable anxiety vest can be worn by dogs of all ages and breeds.
Made from a durable, lightweight and breathable material, the Cattamao Comfort Dog Anxiety Relief coat can provide puppies and rottweilers alike an inexpensive solution to relieving stress and anxiety. With a simple closure system and velcro straps, you can quickly wrap up your pooch and adjust the jacket to find the perfect fit.
16. Also Consider: Dotoner Dog Recovery Suit
This high elastic fabric suit comes in a variety of sizes and colors – you can choose from a fun Christmas themed pattern or a more simple striped design to provide your pup with a multi-purpose vest.
To round out our list, we’ve included an option that has more than one purpose. It’s full coverage design and 4-way stretchy fabric offer amazing comfort and can be used by a wide variety of pets. What’s great about this vest is that it relies on small snap buttons rather than velcro – this is especially useful if you’re worried about your dogs long locks getting tangled in velcro straps!
Because of it’s full coverage design, this suit is also intended to be used after surgery to prevent your dogs from licking their wounds or other skin conditions.
How do dog anxiety vests work
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.
What to look for in dog anxiety vests
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:
Method of applying pressure
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.
Ease of cleaning
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.
We are committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using the retail links in our product reviews. Learn more about how this works. 8
A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.
More by Angela Vuckovic