Will the Thundershirt help your dog weather the storm? - AmericaNowNews.com

Will the Thundershirt help your dog weather the storm?

Many dogs react to loud noises like thunderstorms or vacuum cleaners. But there is a new pet product that claims to keep your pooch calm during the storm.

The product is called Thundershirt, and its website - featuring a talking dog - makes some big claims. The company says that by putting on a $36 dollar piece of Velcro laden fabric, troubled dogs are instantly fixed.

Fear of thunder, loud noises, separation anxiety, leash pulling, even barking - all claimed to be remedied by the product. Come to find out, vet professionals have known about this for a while.

"Constant pressure on the nervous system can help have a calming and soothing effect," says Brook Outten.

Outten has spent the last decade helping man's best friend. Her employer - the Porters Neck Veterinary Hospital - uses and sells the shirt to help keep fearful dogs calm before, during and after a host of procedures.

It's one thing for the shirt to work in an environment like a vet's office - it's another to have it work where you live.

"When she gets scared, she tends to burrow in things," says Nikki Bussey. She knows all too well the pitfalls of a timid dog. "She'll shake, then she starts to pant."

Any time it thunders, as we recreated via sound effects, her dog Spunky freaks out. The vacuum cleaner, even a soda bottle, will send her into a tizzy.

Vets would at one time treat dogs with medication to help prevent those reactions. Bussey tried that too, but the problem is by the time the meds kick in, the storm will have passed.

So we gave Spunky a test run in the shirt, and the results were instant. Still aware of the thunder, and conscious of the vacuum, Spunky appears to have undergone a psychic change.

Bussey says, "I would buy this because I thought she acted kinda dopey." And compared to panicked, dopey is exactly what owners are looking for.

The four star rating on amazon.com is a vote of added confidence, as is the guarantee.

"If you don't like the product bring it back and you'll get a full refund," says Outten.

For dog owners looking to calm nervous dogs, the Thundershirt appears to be no bark, and all bite.

Copyright 2011 America Now. All rights reserved.

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