Dog Anxiety Vest

A Review on Dog Anxiety Vests: Comfort Your Stressed-Out Pup

Katelyn Son
By Katelyn Son
Medically reviewed by Ivana Crnec, DVM
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Best Dog Anxiety Vests: A Summary

  • Best Overall Dog Anxiety Vest: Honest Paws Calm Vest for Dogs
    This dog anxiety vest provides all-around performance, is available in three different sizes, and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • Most Reliable Dog Anxiety Vest: Thundershirt Classic Dog Anxiety Jacket
    This patented dog anxiety vest has over 80% of success rate, according to reports, making it the most reliable anxiety vest on the market.
  • The Statement Maker Dog Anxiety Vest: Thundershirt Sport Dog Anxiety Jacket
    Designed especially for sport-loving dogs, this dog anxiety vest comes in a polo design and is recommended by vets.
  • Most Affordable Dog Anxiety Vest: Cattamao Comfort Dog Anxiety Relief Coat
    This lightweight, soft, and comfortable dog anxiety vest is available at the lowest price, making it the most affordable choice.
  • Most Therapeutic Dog Anxiety Vest: CozyVest 3-in-1 Anxiety Vest
    Three-in-one calming coat that uses three sensory stimulations (touch, smell, hearing) to provide therapeutic relief for anxious dogs.
Honest Paws Calm Vest for Dogs
  • The Honest Paws Calm Vest design provides a constant gentle pressure to ease anxiety, fear, or over-excitement because of environmental triggers.
  • The vest is machine washable to make cleaning easy.
  • This is a drug-free anxiety solution for dogs.

What is a Dog Anxiety Vest?

What is a Dog Anxiety Vest

A dog anxiety vest is a wearable vest-like garment that wraps around your dog’s body like a warm hug. The anxiety vest is designed on the concept that pressure on the torso creates a calming effect (like swaddling an anxious child to sleep).

The American Kennel Club (AKC) says that “constant pressure“ on the body can calm dogs down. In fact, “simply putting a hand on your dog” is enough for a calming effect.

Dogs are prone to anxiety caused by external stimuli such as thunderstorms, fireworks, loud noises, etc. These stimuli cannot be controlled. You also cannot control periodic separations from your dog. This is where the dog anxiety vest kicks in – it will keep your dog mentally in a safe space.

Do Anxiety Vests Work for Dogs?

Yes, the dog anxiety vest works. According to a study, dogs wearing anxiety vests showed a decrease in the escalated heart rate by 8%, and the overall mean anxiety score was lower by 34% compared to dogs without anxiety vests.

Some studies report a contrasting increase in the heart rate after the dog anxiety vest is put on. VCA Hospitals agrees that most studies are contradictory. However, it also mentions that anecdotal reports from pet owners are positive – describe the dog anxiety vest as efficient.

How Effective are Anxiety Vests for Dogs?

The dog anxiety vest has been a controversial tool ever since it launched on the pet market. According to the Tuft Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, anxiety vests for dogs are undoubtedly effective, but this efficacy varies, depending on multiple factors.

Scientists from Tuft’s recommend using anxiety vests and claim better efficacy of vests than natural aromatherapy only, i.e., using scent diffusers, pheromones, and sprays.

What are the Benefits of Dog Anxiety Vests?

What are the Benefits of Dog Anxiety Vests

Most anxiety vests for dogs are highlighted for their helpfulness in cases of a thunderstorm. However, the dog anxiety vest has other associated benefits, such as:

  • Inherent Phobias. Many dogs may suffer from intrinsic phobias that come to the surface later in their lives. An anxiety vest is effective for irrational fears lacking apparent stimuli.
  • Separation Anxiety. A dog suffering from separation anxiety can benefit from an anxiety vest, especially if combined with other modes of stress relief.
  • Travel Anxiety. It is no secret that most dogs hate to travel. Putting on an anxiety vest enables dogs to travel comfortably and ensures smooth car rides.
  • Vet Visits. Dogs become anxious when visiting the vet’s office. The dog anxiety vest can help dogs relax and make the examination easier for the veterinarian.

With the main benefits covered, we should note that there are some bonus pros of using a dog calming vest:

  • Natural Solution. Using an anxiety vest means you can wave off the use of mainstream meds and supplements to calm your dog. The vest is a natural, drug-free option.
  • No Training Required. Dogs do not need special training to learn how to use the anxiety vest. Just put the vest on a couple of times to get the dog used to it.

The Best Dog Anxiety Vests Reviewed

There are many brands offering dog anxiety vests and calming coats. With so many choices, it is challenging for pet owners to find the right product. To keep things simple, we selected and reviewed the best anxiety vests on the market.

Honest Paws Calm Vest for Dogs

Honest Paws Calm Vest for Dogs

Get it on Honest Paws

Summary: With additional cognitive support and management of behavioral problems, the Honest Paws anxiety wrap helps your dog stay calm in stressful situations, thus preventing harmful agitation. The vest is available in three sizes – small, medium, and large.

Pros

  • Maintains calmness
  • Support cognitive function
  • Helps with behavioral problems
  • Available in three different sizes
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • None reported

Review: With an average rating of 4.5/5 stars on Amazon, customers are raving about the vest’s easy application, comfortable material, quality build, and efficacy.

Thundershirt Classic Dog Anxiety Jacket

Thundershirt Classic Dog Anxiety Jacket

Get it on Amazon

Summary: Recommended by numerous vets and trainers, the thundershirt for dogs comes with an over 80% success rate. This vest applies constant yet gentle pressure on the torso, legs, and back thus reducing the pet’s anxiety.

Pros

  • Effective and patented design
  • Flexible, breathable, and machine-washable
  • Comes in seven different sizes
  • Fits dogs of all shapes and sizes
  • 100% money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Works for 8/10 dogs as per reports

Review: Based on more than 38000 reviews, the average rating for this vest is 4.2/5. Most customers have seen their dogs calm down within minutes of putting the vest on.

Thundershirt Sport Dog Anxiety Jacket

Thundershirt Sport Dog Anxiety Jacket

Get it on Amazon

Summary: Built for dogs of all ages and sizes, this calming wrap is available in six different sizes and two aesthetic colors (platinum and fuchsia), making it effective and stylish for your dog. The thundershirt for dogs is breathable and adjustable for convenient use.

Pros

  • Comfortable and breathable
  • Made of lightweight polyester
  • Adjustable for a better (snug) fit
  • For dogs between 8 and 110 pounds
  • 100% money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Often out of stock

Review: An average of 4.3/5 stars from customers who have labeled this vest as a ‘life saver’ for their dogs. They love the durable and high-quality material.

Cattamao Comfort Dog Anxiety Relief Coat

Cattamao Comfort Dog Anxiety Relief Coat

Get it on Amazon

Summary: This anti-anxiety vest will make your dog feel surrounded by a warm hug from multiple sides. The polyester material of the vest wraps around the dog’s torso and neck to impart a sense of safety in anxious situations.

Pros

Cons

  • Polyester may not be comfy for all dogs

Review: With 1,485 ratings, this vest has an average of 3.8/5. Dog owners love its easy use and quick results.

CozyVest 3-in-1 Anxiety Vest

CozyVest 3-in-1 Anxiety Vest

Get it on Amazon

Summary: This innovative vest uses three sensory stimuli (touch, smell, and hearing) for calming dogs. It has two crystals that diffuse calming scents and a featured speaker that plays relaxing sounds.

Pros

  • Innovative and multisensory design
  • Calming scents (chamomile & lavender)
  • Emits relaxing sounds
  • Machine washable for easy maintenance
  • Available in seven sizes and two colors

Cons

  • Did not work out for a few dogs

Review: Based on 898 customer reviews, this vest has a 4.2/ 5 rating. Customers love its stretchable material, which is perfectly thick and can be cleaned easily.

What Should I Look for in Dog Anxiety Vests?

There are several factors you need to consider when looking for the perfect dog anxiety vest. Let’s take a look at them:

  • Material. The vest material should be comfortable and soft on your dog’s fur and body surface; this is what will make them like wearing vests. The material must be breathable and, preferably machine-washable.
  • Size. Most vests come in different size options (xx-small, x-small, small, medium, large, x-large, xx-large). Measure your dog carefully and pick the right size as the vest must fit snuggly to achieve maximum efficacy.
  • Closure Type. Ensure that the closure method is secure, doesn’t come off easily, and is comfortable for your pet. Most dog anxiety vests have straps that stick well and stay in place to provide constant pressure.

When Should I Use a Dog Anxiety Vest?

You should use a calming vest if your dog is showing telltale signs of anxiety such as hiding, shaking, trembling, restlessness, cowering, tail-tucking, whimpering, or uncalled aggression.

Here is a shortlist of scenarios in which the dog anxiety vest comes in handy:

  • Thunderstorms and loud bolts of lightning
  • Long and uncomfortable car rides and travel
  • Visiting the vet’s office or groomer’s salon
  • Fireworks, festivities, and loud guests
  • Leaving dogs with separation anxiety alone.

How Long Should a Dog Wear an Anxiety Vest?

How Long Should a Dog Wear an Anxiety Vest

The initial introduction of an anxiety vest to your dog should be gradual, putting it on for only short periods. To help the dog associate the vest with a positive experience, you can give it chews or dog food pieces.

Once your dog is used to the vest, you can leave it on for longer. However, it is advisable to remove the vest as soon as the anxiety trigger is gone to prevent irritating your dog. Namely, wearing the calming vest for too long can make your dog uncomfortable.