- But, Wait, How Do They Work?
- Top 6 Best Calming Vests in 2019
- Tell Me More About Calming Vests!
- What Makes My Dog Fearful?
- Any Last Questions?
- That’s a lot to learn!
If you ask what the biggest cause of dog injuries are, it is due to fear. Fear of another animal, fear of a person, or even fear of their surroundings can cause a dog to panic.
How can we fix this?
The first answer is, of course, training and knowledge. Nothing is better for a pet parent to prepare with than the knowledge of what their dog understands and knows, and how their dog thinks. The second answer?
Calming Vests and Jackets.
A calming vest can do absolute wonders for a nervous or scared dog, and from parties, to fireworks, to going to the vet, a calming vest goes a long way. In this article, we have the best calming vests you can pick from, in order to find a good calming vest for your dog.
If you are looking for other ways that you can help calm your dog down, check out our article on the best calming treats and supplements for your dog. Those along with a calming vest will work absolute wonders.
But, Wait, How Do They Work?
Like many products for dogs, it can be confusing as to why or how they work. For all of the calming vests, the pressure of the vest swaddles the dog, making them feel like they are in a comfortable, safe place. The soft pressure is just enough to protect, but not enough to push down to the point the dog becomes fearful. This is the same technique applied to babies to prevent fear.
Top 6 Best Calming Vests in 2019
These companies make the top six best calming vests. Each of them is outlined with their positives and negatives, as well as anything that makes them stand out more than their competition.
1. ThunderShirt Sport Dog Anxiety Jacket
The Thundershirt is the number one maker, seller, and creator of dog calming vests. With their patented design, ease of use, and comfort, there is no real question as to why they are the top dog on our list.
Being both the top seller online and in stores, the Thundershirt has been used by thousands of dogs. They come in a variety of colors and styles, including their Sport line meant for more active dogs.
- Top choice all over
- Easy to use
- Highly effective
- Best reviews and satisfaction in customers
- Difficult to size without trying on
- More expensive
2. Kingswell Dog Anxiety Jacket
The Kingswell jacket is a highly durable outside vest that goes over the dog’s head and around their middle. This jacket is designed for outdoor use, and is more reflective and durable than some of the other jackets in the list. It only comes in limited colors in order to give it better visibility in the woods and at nighttime, the striking orange hard to miss.
Although it is more durable, it does not swaddle and comfort the dog as well, making it acceptable for minor stress, but not for severe nerves or stressful situations. Luckily, the reflective strap and durability give it another plus.
- High visibility
- Extremely durable
- Easy to get on and off
- Not as effective as calming dogs
- Limited color range
3. Laramie Anti-Anxiety Dog Jacket
The Iaamei Calming Jacket sits a bit lower than some of the other calming aids on the list, and in fact is better suited for breeds with sensitive necks or airways that are at risk of damage. Stout dogs like bulldogs or corgis will benefit from the stomach band, and slender dogs like greyhounds will do better without anything on their necks.
However, due to the lower band, it goes lower on the dog’s back, where it may be less effective than around the chest or the middle. It is still made for anti-anxiety uses, and works well when it comes to keeping a dog calm in a scary situation.
- Better for brachycephalic dogs
- Better for slender, longer dogs
- Good at anti-anxiety
- Not as useful for normal shaped or sized dogs.
- Lightweight means less durable
- Only a handful of colors
4. Furubaby Anxiety Dog Coat
The Furubaby vest is comparable to the Thundershirt in its appearance and style. However, it is a less expensive variant, and more difficult to find offline. It does come in many different colors as well, and sizes exist for nearly any size dog. This is a good choice as a less expensive variant compared to others on this list.
However, with any product that costs less, there is a better chance of it not working as well. Some reviewers were less pleased about this product, but for mild to moderate stress, it did a good job overall at preventing anxiety.
- Less expensive choice
- Different colors for your dog
- Effective and stylish
- Less expensive means cheaper make
- Lots of color choices, but no style choice
- Sits high on the chest
5. CozyVest Dog Anxiety Vest
The CozyVest is a slightly different take on the normal calming vests. With both an included speaker to play calming noises for the dog, and a diffuser for calming oils, the CozyVest takes the idea of anti-anxiety up a step. It has a similar design to the Thundershirts, as well.
However, with all of these additions to the vest, there is a chance that it may overwhelm the dog. Not all dogs enjoy the noises, and some may find the constant smell a distraction that is too much to ignore.
- Has own unique features
- Good, solid design
- Easy to get on and off
- May be too much for a dog
- Essential oils can be too strong for a dog’s sensitive nose
- Added bulkiness
6. HE Dog Anxiety Relief Coat
The HE Comfort Vest goes on easily to any dog, and does not have any added styles or features. This one also boasts a lower price, without losing nearly as many of the positives. This calming vest does come in a few different colors as well, and is rated well as a warm winter coat as well.
A thicker coat does mean heavier, and too heavy can put stress on a dog anew. Some dogs may not be able to deal with the thicker, warmer padding on their bodies, and can find themselves overheating. This can be unsuited for dogs with thicker, heavier coats.
- Solid design at a lower price
- Many different colors and sizes
- No loss of quality
- Heavier than other jackets
- Higher up on the neck
It’s hard to pick just one that stands out the best in everything, so this list will help you decide which is best for your dog in specific. Take a look to see the best dog calming jackets, and what you may need for your dog.
Tell Me More About Calming Vests!
Calming vests, as stated, work the best when the dog is in a high-stress situation or encounters a high-stress object, such as another dog. The pressure on the dog helps keep them calm by making them feel protected and safe.
Any time you feel like your dog may encounter something scary, or will be in a new or intense situation, such as during fireworks or a party, a calming vest can be used to mitigate the stressful situation. Some trainers even recommend using them during training, to help the dog relate the safe sensation with listening to their pet parent. There is no downside to having a calming vest on your dog during walks or outings, either, as it will prevent possible nervousness or overexcitement.
What Makes My Dog Fearful?
Generally, dogs will be afraid of two things. These are possible threats, like another animal, or an unknown noise, and the fear is caused by a dog not knowing what to do in that situation. The other is through triggers, where something bad happened to that dog around an object, and the dog associates that object with the negative.
For the first, training is the best way to solve the issue, and wearing a calming vest when encountering something new or potentially frightening can make the dog feel more comfortable faster. This also helps remove the fearfulness due to the fact that a swaddled dog feels like they are being protected, and therefore does not feel that same level of fear.
For the second, it should be treated slowly. Introducing the trigger while having a positive nearby, like a toy or a treat, can help a lot, but having a calming vest to help break that association can be key. By using the vest to have the dog associate the trigger object with being calm and swaddled, you can replace the action of fear with something more positive.
Any Last Questions?
- Where can I find those dog anxiety vests?
Any pet store or pet retailer should carry at least one brand of these. If not, online shopping like Amazon is an easy way to find what you need for your dog.
- Are Dog Anxiety Vests potentially dangerous?
Not at all. Due to the way they stay on the dog, there is no risk for pulling or damage, and the stronger materials should help prevent ripping or tearing. Make sure your dog does not try to make the vest a snack or a chew toy before they are left alone with them.
- How long should I use dog anxiety vest?
Feel free to use a calming vest whenever you need. Parks, vets, pet stores, training, parties, fireworks, new animals, the list continues on and on for all the different situations and events that a calming vest can help with. Never be worried about doing research and taking action to make your dog happier.
That’s a lot to learn!
Just like with any dog related products, it is important to do research beforehand, and come to an educated decision about your pet. Always check verified reports and studies done by vets, as they always hold the best information. Be sure not to get tricked by hearsay or speculation, and look into anything that seems odd or funny to you. With these articles, you should have no trouble keeping your dog safe, happy, and calm. If you want more information, check out our article on Calming Aids as well, to really make sure anxiety is off the list for your dog.