Best Dog Anxiety Jacket – Reviews & Buying Guide
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Best Dog Anxiety Jacket – Reviews & Buying Guide (December 2019)

Updated: October 11, 2019

Best Dog Anxiety Jacket

Nervous dogs need some help, and the best dog anxiety jacket could be just what you’re looking for.

If your pup is anxious, an anxiety vest can be very useful for them. It can make it easier for them (and for you) to get through high anxiety situations.

Anxiety is a huge reality for many of our furry friends and, because of that, it’s absolutely essential to find options that can help them out. A calming dog collar can be a good replacement for their dog collar. Or, if they’re a chewer, find some dog anti-chew spray with additional calming fragrances.

Sometimes, routine can help to ease anxiety. So, if you’re putting them on a dog grooming table, using the dog dryer, or getting ready to use some dog toothpaste, consider giving them a treat or a dog chew toy to calm them down a bit.

Having a special place they can hide away, like a dog house or dog playpen can be helpful. You can even let them use their carrier so they can hide away if you’re on a trip. If they have separation anxiety, you can also invest in a dog bike trailer or dog bike carrier so they can come with you on biking adventures, as well.

Reducing anxious energy can help as well. Whether it’s using an automatic dog ball launcher, letting them splash and play in the dog pool, going cycling together with the dog bicycle leash or just taking a good long walk together, that nervous energy can be reduced. For walks, just make sure they have their dog muzzle and/or dog training collar on, and dog boots to protect their feet from hot pavement or cold snow.

For many dogs, the feeling of compression, like what you’d get with a dog life jacket or service dog vest, can be really useful. And for those dogs, a dog anxiety compression vest or jacket can be really helpful.

Selection Of The Best Dog Anxiety Jackets

Here are the best dog anxiety jackets for most people according to Outlinist:

Thundershirt Sport XXS to XXL Dog Anxiety Jacket

Thundershirt Sport XXS to XXL Dog Anxiety Jacket
(rated 4.9 / 5)
Quality
Durability
Appearance
Maintenance
Value for Money
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ThunderShirt Polo XXS to XXL Dog Anxiety Jacket

ThunderShirt Polo XXS to XXL Dog Anxiety Jacket
(rated 4.8 / 5)
Quality
Durability
Appearance
Maintenance
Value for Money
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ThunderShirt Classic XXS to XXL Dog Anxiety Jacket

ThunderShirt Classic XXS to XXL Dog Anxiety Jacket
(rated 4.7 / 5)
Quality
Durability
Appearance
Maintenance
Value for Money
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American Kennel Club XS to XL Dog Anxiety Jacket

American Kennel Club XS to XL Dog Anxiety Jacket
(rated 4.4 / 5)
Quality
Durability
Appearance
Maintenance
Value for Money
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Mellow Shirt XXS to XL Dog Anxiety Jacket

Mellow Shirt XXS to XL Dog Anxiety Jacket
(rated 4.2 / 5)
Quality
Durability
Appearance
Maintenance
Value for Money
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Best Dog Anxiety Jacket Buying Guide

Size and Fit

When you’re seeking out an anxiety jacket of any sort, be sure that you get the right size. You want it to be able to fit your dog comfortably and ensure that your dog doesn’t feel itchy or annoyed by it.

Manufacturers should have a sizing chart available on their site, so you can measure your dog and make sure that they are able to fit comfortably in the jacket. Measure their chest, hips, and neck with a fabric tape measure and you’ll get a fairly accurate measurement.

Compression Adjustability

Sometimes, your dog is going to need more compression than others. And, if you want to avoid them associating the jacket with the things that make them nervous, then you may want to keep it on more often.

The better vests will be designed to change the amount of compression your dog feels. The straps and/or Velcro should be able to be adjusted, allowing you to loosen or tighten it as needed.

Materials

You want the most comfortable materials available when you buy an anxiety jacket for a dog. Why? For especially anxious dogs, you may be using the jacket a lot and you want to be sure that they aren’t itchy and uncomfortable while they are wearing it.

A cotton and/or polyester blend is always a good option. Nylon also isn’t a bad idea, because it can also help to keep your dog dry if they’re out and about.

Strap Strength

The last thing that you need is for the straps to come loose while your dog is running around. You want to know that you never have to worry about the straps coming loose, losing the vest, or worse, your dog getting tangled in their straps.

Some of the strongest straps are made from Velcro and nylon. You may also want to go ahead and find an option with buckles if you’re especially concerned that the dog might try to pull it off during the day.

Well-Made

In many cases, your dog is going to be playing and running around in their jacket, and you don’t want it to fall apart the minute they get really playing, right? You don’t want loose threads and pieces of fabric that just hang off in different places.

Look at the material to ensure that the stitching is as tight as possible, and that all hems are tightly sewn. You also don’t want to see any sort of raw edges, because they could make the jacket fall apart or irritate your dog’s skin.

Ability to Wash

Sooner or later, your dog anti-anxiety vest is going to start to smell. It’s a fact of life. Because of that, being able to wash the jacket easily is going to be a very important consideration.

Some vests are going to be hand wash only, so you want to check and know that before making a purchase. Other jackets are going to be able to be thrown in the laundry with your other dog items. Also, take a look at the drying instructions so that you’re ready for anything.

Easy to Take On and Off

When your dog is anxious, they’re also going to be very jittery, which can make it difficult for you to get any sort of jacket or wrap on them.

The best jackets you’ll find only take a couple of quick motions to be able to put it on your dog and tighten it to the appropriate compression level. These will only have a couple of buckles and straps, and they’ll be an “open” model that allows you to just place it over your dog instead of trying to push it over their head and neck like a t-shirt.

Range of Movement

The best dog anxiety vest is going to allow a dog to have the fullest range of movement. It should not obstruct the legs, neck, or tail.

Now, some dogs may still have some trouble moving around, even if you have a really flexible vest. This is because they just need to get used to having it on. Eventually, they’ll be able to play and enjoy whatever it is that they are doing.

Reflective Material

If you will be using your dog’s jacket outdoors, then it’s very important that the jacket has some sort of reflective material on it.

You may be walking your dog or letting them go to the bathroom in your fenced yard, and you want to be sure that they are seen by passers-by or people driving their vehicles. Reflective material on their anxiety jacket can be yet another way to ensure that they are visible.

Breathability

Your dog anxiety shirt should also be made from breathable fabric. Remember – dogs can’t sweat. So, you need to do everything you can to ensure that they stay nice and cool. One of the ways to do that is to have a jacket made from breathable materials.

As mentioned earlier, cotton and polyester blends are a great option for this. The fibers in these fabrics naturally allow air to flow through, which helps your dog to stay as cool as possible.

Waterproof

Are you going to be taking your dog outside in their jacket? If so, then you want them to stay dry in the snow and in the rain.

In some cases, you can fit their dog raincoat over the anxiety jacket. In other cases, you can find anxiety jackets that have a waterproof layer on top. These allow your dog to stay dry, but also ensure that the bottom layer is made from a more comfortable fabric.

Potty Space

If your dog is wearing their dog vest for anxiety, then you also want to be sure that they can relieve themselves when necessary. Some models of jackets go over the urethra (where the dog urinates from).

In some cases, you may want this design in order to prevent your dog from marking out of nervousness. In other instances, you may just want them to have the ability to urinate when they need to do so without requiring you to take the jacket off.

Weighted Options

When you’re looking at a weighted dog vest, anxiety ridden dogs actually get a lot of use out of them. The weight acts like an extra level of compression, which can help the dog to calm down significantly.

If you’re looking at these jackets, try to make sure that the weight falls around 5% to 7% of the dog’s total weight. Lower than that and it’ll be ineffective; more than that and it could be uncomfortable or painful for them to wear.

Safe for Post-Surgery Wear

Anxiety is high when a dog has some sort of surgery, and they may need an anxiety jacket. Not only can it help them relax, but it can hide the surgical area and protect it from water and potential scratching or biting.

You want to find an anxiety jacket that has been approved for post-surgery use and that won’t rub up against the surgical spot. That way, your dog can feel relaxed and you can know that they aren’t dealing with additional pain related to their surgery.

How Long Will It Last?

In many instances, you want to get the most durable options that you can find so that your dog is able to play and function normally, even while they’re wearing it.

The best dog anxiety jacket should be sturdy enough to last your dog’s entire lifespan, even if they live well into their teens.

Thundershirt Sport XXS to XXL Dog Anxiety Jacket
Our pick for the best dog anxiety jacket is: Thundershirt Sport XXS to XXL Dog Anxiety Jacket. This choice was made after spending 39 hours researching dog anxiety jackets.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does an anxiety wrap work better than a vest?

As you explore your options for compression clothing for anxiety, you will find vests, wraps, jackets, and even shirts. They all work under the same premise; to put physical pressure on your dog so that they calm down.

Wraps can work very well, but they can be difficult to put on a dog that is showing the physical signs of nervousness. So, if they’re bouncing around and such, it could be a challenge to get the entire wrap secured.

What other options are there for helping my dog’s anxiety?

Your vet can work with you to sort out the best options available for your dog’s anxiety. Collars, aromatherapy, and even calming treats can be a big help when you have an anxious dog at home.

In some cases, your vet may even recommend that your dog takes some sort of anti-anxiety medication in order to relax somewhat. This doesn’t mean you’ve done anything wrong as a pet parent – your pet just needs a little extra help so that they can enjoy their life.

How long is it safe to keep one of these vests on?

The best dog vest for anxiety can usually be kept on for hours at a time, especially if they’re built for durability and the ability to take walks/play outside.

The only recommendation is that you don’t have the dog sleep overnight with it, if possible. If your dog moves in their sleep, it could end up getting tangled and harming it. Only keep the vest on while they’re up and around.

Can an anxiety vest help with constant barking?

Many pet parents will buy a dog calming jacket with the hope that it’ll help with constant barking. In many cases, it can do so. The compression can help a dog to have less hypervigilance, which is usually the cause of excessive barking.

In other instances, you may need to invest in a sound deterrent or some other form of deterrent in order to help your dog calm down and not bark quite as much.

Are there DIY solutions in case we travel without the jacket?

Yes! In many cases, you can use a blanket or some other type of strong, long cloth. Then, look at tutorials online and see how they recommend for you to wrap them around your dog, much in the same way as you’d see with wrap-style compression solutions.

While this solution likely won’t work as well as the best dog anxiety jacket, it can still be a helpful way to assist your dog in relaxing while you wait to get home or until you’re able to get their jacket or vest.

Thundershirt Sport XXS to XXL Dog Anxiety Jacket
Our pick for the best dog anxiety jacket is: Thundershirt Sport XXS to XXL Dog Anxiety Jacket. This choice was made after spending 39 hours researching dog anxiety jackets.

Sources

  1. Dealing With Pet Fears, Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine, Nov 17, 2011
  2. Anxiety Vests for Dogs, VCA Animal Hospital
  3. Understanding, Preventing, and Treating Dog Anxiety, American Kennel Club, Nov 29, 2016
  4. Top 6 Dog Anxiety Jackets of 2017, Ezvid Wiki, Oct 5, 2017
  5. 5 Best Dog Anxiety Jackets Mar. 2019, BestReviews, Mar 1, 2019
  6. Do Thundershirts Really Calm Dogs During Fireworks?, WIRED, Jul 3, 2018
  7. Does Thundershirt Calm Anxious Dogs?, The Spruce Pets, Jan 28, 2019
  8. Dog Anxiety Vest, eBay
  9. Calming Aids for Dogs: Dog Anxiety Vests, Wraps & Shirts, Petco
  10. 15 Best Dog Anxiety Medication & Products, Heavy, Dec 4, 2018

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