A thunderstorm. An unexpected guest. A long car ride. All of these things have the potential to cause a well-behaved dog to become overwhelmed with anxiety and fear. We hate this for our furry friends. After all, we know that there is no real danger when thunder rolls in the distance or someone new visits our house, but they can’t understand that. There are all sorts of methods for calming an anxious pet, from cuddling to exercise, but it’s important to remember that each pet is different. If multiple methods don’t work, don’t worry. Consult your vet and continue trying out different ideas for soothing your pooch.
One method that many dog owners have found successful is something called “pressure wraps.” Think of it as a long scarf that goes around your dog’s entire body. This wrap applies a uniform pressure across their entire body which helps relax them and can even make them less shy. Susan Sharpe, inventor of the patented “Anxiety Wrap,” explains that “Pressure wraps are like a ‘therapeutic hug’ for the dog, and create a calming effect similar to swaddling a baby.”
While this sounds great, it’s important to remember that pressure wraps are by no means a “cure all” for your dog’s behavioral issues. While they may help calm them down, a great deal of training and love are required to make your dog feel safe and comfortable.
Pressure wraps can be purchased from a number of different online retailers, but we’d like to show you how you can make your very own wrap at home for hardly any money. All you need to get started is a long piece of fabric that will feel comfortable on your dog. Check out the images below to learn how you can relax your dog with its very own DIY pressure wrap.
This chart offers an easy walkthrough of each step. Begin by wrapping the fabric around their neck and crossing it at the withers (the area between their shoulder blades). Next, cross under their belly and bring it over their back, tying it away from the spine.
You can even cover your wrap with words of encouragement that remind you to stay calm and patient while interacting with your anxious pup.
It’s always a good idea to look at your dog’s medical records or ask the shelter about its history, in order to learn how to best deal with its needs.
Finally, a pressure wrap should be snug, but not too tight or restrictive. Phil Blizzard, who co-owns the pressure wrap company “Thundershirt,” says that “When [it] fits properly, you can easily slide your fingers under it.” So, the next time your dog is feeling anxious, shy, nervous or scared, a pressure wrap might be just what they need to start feeling a little better.
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