thundershirt

  • Winner Winner! ThunderLeash wins coveted Pet Product News Editor’s Choice Award!

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    We’re thrilled to announce that the new ThunderLeash is a proud recipient of one of the highest pet industry honors, the Pet Product News Editor’s 1 Choice Award!  Not only are we honored to have been chosen, but we are extremely grateful that the editors of Pet Product News International found the ThunderLeash to be an innovative and useful solution!

    New to the ThunderLeash? Allow us to introduce you!

    ThunderLeash will help make walking your dog a hassle free, positive experience for both you and your dog. Dog harnesses can be great tools for many dogs, but not everyone wants to make the effort to get one onto their dog or to have extra stuff to carry around. ThunderLeash is the perfect combination of simplicity and functionality. For those times you just need a standard leash for a quick walk or for times when your dog is well behaved, simply connect the ThunderLeash to your dog’s collar just like any other leash. But for times when pulling might be a problem, simply wrap ThunderLeash around your dog’s torso and slide it into the harness slot. Now whenever your dog pulls a mild pressure is applied to his torso and the pulling will quickly cease. With the ThunderLeash you will finally be able to walk your dog, instead of being walked by your dog.

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  • Guest Blogger: Mikkel Becker!

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    We’re thrilled to have well-known and respected pet behavior and training expert, and Vetstreet.com contributor, Mikkel Becker back on our blog today! She’s talking summer storm season and pet anxiety. Take it away, Mikkel!

    Thunderstorm phobia is a common fear I address in dog training. Countless canines suffer every year when summer storm season hits. Symptoms of fear include panting, pacing, increased salivation, whining, shaking, hyper vigilance, looking overly sleepy, lip licking, furrowed brows, the whites of their eyes showing and shadowing their owner or attempting to hide or flee. Although the external signs of fear vary amongst individual dogs, the internal state of distress the dog experiences cannot be ignored.

    While logically there’s little danger involved for a dog kept indoors during a lightning storm, there’s no reasoning a canine out of their fear. The fear is very real to that dog, and without intervention, the fear not only remains for most dogs, but grows stronger with time. Fear is a motivator in the natural survival response for the animal to move themselves away from a perceived threat and into a safe place. Dogs are wired to avoid dangerous situations and flee danger for self-preservation. Loud booms and flashes of light are two such stimulus’ that dogs are wired to flee from, rather than run to, for survival. There is also the likelihood of a genetic influence, as studies have shown that certain tendencies, such as fear of numerous noises and separation anxiety, are linked to the fear of thunderstorms.

    Ongoing fear decreases a dog’s quality of life and impacts even internal functions, like debilitating their body’s immune system. Dogs are also at risk for injury or worse when they panic, as they may hurt themselves when attempting to escape or when running in a blind panic. It’s not only traumatic for a dog to experience ongoing fear, but it’s stressful to the pet parent who feels helpless to calm their pet.

    Though our dogs can’t help the fearful state they’re naturally in with thunderstorms, as loving pet parents, we have the ability to help our pets. Dogs don’t need to suffer needlessly. With just a few changes, a dog’s fear of thunderstorms can be drastically decreased or taken away all together.

    Here are the top recommendations I offer to pet parents when training their dog to relax during storms.

    The first tool I recommend to owners is the ThunderShirt. The ThunderShirt is essential, as it instantly calms the dog in a non-invasive manner. The gentle pressure of the ThunderShirt increases feel good endorphins and is similar to the comfort a baby experiences when swaddled. Pressure has a calming effect on animals, as made famous by Temple Grahndin in her work of transferring the calming effects of pressure on cattle to other uses, such as decreasing anxiety for people with autism. The effects of pressure have likewise been shown to calm dogs.

    The ThunderShirt is essential, because the wrap has immediate results for calming the dog with no prior training needed. The ThunderShirt works in about 80% of canines, thus it’s the most effective and natural tool to decrease anxiety in dogs. If the dog is in an overly panicked state, other methods may be used to no avail when a storm hits, because the dog is already so over threshold, they are not receptive to reinforcement. When dogs are panicked, even activities they would normally do without hesitation, such as eating a treat or playing with a ball are denied, because the dog is too fearful to respond. Fear also inhibits learning; with animals most receptive to learning when they are in a relaxed state. The ThunderShirt is my go-to tool as it calms a dog and brings them to an emotional state where they are receptive to learning and can receive rewards to help build a positive association with the storm.

    Once the dog’s emotional state has been brought to a better baseline, there are additional tactics I use. One of my favorite solutions is to create a thunder room in the house. A thunder room should have the feeling of a hide-away where the dog can escape to and should be somewhat insulated from outside noise. A roomy closet or bathroom is ideal. Static electricity may build up in a dog’s coat during a storm, thus keeping the dog on hard floors rather than carpet and using dryer sheets to rub over the dog’s fur is helpful. Music can be calming for dogs and drowns out noise. For best results, play music loud enough to drown out some of the booms from the thunder, with classical music shown to have the greatest relaxation effect. The blinds should also be kept closed in the house, as flashes of light can be frightening for canines if they happen to catch a glimpse.

    Your dog should also be given training to associate the storm with good things happening to change their emotional baseline. For a play focused dog that enjoys fetch or structured tug, start a game as soon as the storm hits and continue throughout. Keep in mind you may want to play these games inside while sheltered from the elements and the loud noise. For other dogs, the storm should be associated with delectable treats. Each time the thunder hits, immediately deliver a piece of high value reward, such as boiled chicken or turkey hotdog. You can also use the storm to refocus your dog on another activity they deeply enjoy, such as trick training or giving them a stuffed food puzzle. Another less thought of but effective tool is to get a dog into a different state by triggering a behavior that’s innate in a dog. Use a chase toy, such as a fishing pole with a toy on the end to get your dog involved in a game of chase, or even race off a few steps yourself and reward your dog with a treat for following. You can also howl or bark, potentially triggering other dogs in your household if present, and starting a group howl. The chase or howl may break the cycle of fear even for a moment as a different area of the brain is engaged, where at that point the dog can be refocused onto another activity, such as eating their tasty treats.

    In addition, consider daily exercise for your dog as it boosts serotonin levels, a regulator of mood, and releases other feel good endorphins that build a dog’s resiliency. Exercise also provides a productive outlet for pent up energy that will help a dog relax more during the rest of their day. During the summer, dogs should be exercised regularly during the cool parts of the day with the amount of exercise needed depending upon the dog’s age, breed and energy level. Dogs should be exercised preemptively before a storm hits.

     

  • Insta-hey! We’re on Instagram, follow us why don’t ya!

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    That’s right, you can follow all the fun happenings at ThunderWorks by following us on Instagram! Stay tuned for fun contests, fan shout outs and more news from us at ThunderWorks!

    instagram

    http://instagram.com/thunderworks

  • Tips to Keep Your Pets Calm on 4th of July

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    Check out this video of our tips for the 4th of July:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJr3Ls5RdQI&feature=c4-overview&list=UUuIymvC4yigIVyLy_srg25g

  • Wishing you a “Thunderful” 4th of July! Now, let’s have a treat!

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    What a better of a way to include out pets in on the patriotic fun than to whip up these delicious red white and blue treats!

    We found this recipe from one of our favorite bloggers, Sugar the Golden Retriever and thought they make the perfect cool and summery treat for our favorite four-legged pals!

    Frosty Yogurt Berries Bone Parfait

    treats

    Ingredients

    ~1 tablespoon of Greek Yogurt

    ~1 tablespoon of Plain Yogurt

    ~2 teaspoon of fresh blackberries juice (=3 pieces of blackberries)

    4 x-small pieces of strawberries

    1 teaspoon of homemade toasted coconut honey oats (using old fashion oats, coconut oil and honey)

    Directions

    Use a Bone cookie cutter as a mold. Place it on a flat surface. We used a clear plate.

    1. Pour into the mold ~ 1 tablespoon of Greek yogurt.* Freeze it for about an hour.

    *This is the first time we used Greek yogurt for frosty paw recipe. It does not freeze well unlike the regular plain yogurt.*

    2. Pour ~2 teaspoons of the fresh blackberries juice. Smashed blackberries can be added too. Freeze it for about 20 to 30 minutes.

    3. Place little pieces of strawberries.

    4. Pour ~1 tablespoon of plain yogurt. Freeze it for 20 minutes.

    5. Place the tasted oats on top. Freeze it for another 10-15 minutes.

     

    Image via

  • ThunderShirt's 1st Annual Charity Dog Wash!

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    This Friday May 31st from 2:00-5:00 PM we will be hosting a dog wash at our national headquarters to benefit local cause, the Coalition to Unchain Dogs which is dedicated to improving the welfare of dogs living outdoors on chains.  In addition to the dog wash, attendees can enjoy local food trucks and various community partners who will be exhibiting.  We will also have a pet photographer, goodie bags and a raffle!

    Dog wash: $15. General admission is free, and donations of any amount are welcome!

    At our location:

    905 Jackie Robinson Drive Durham, NC 27701

    Thund_15050_Dog_Wash_Flyer

  • You Lucky Dog!

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    Hey friends! We’re lucky to have you, and to celebrate our favorite Irish holiday, we thought we’d give YOU a free Thundershirt! Here’s how you can enter…

     

    Step One: Visit us on Facebook, and “Like” our page (if you don’t already).

     

    Step Two: Post a photo of your dog or cat to our Facebook wall, and finish this sentence as the caption: “I’m so lucky to have {INSERT PET’s NAME} because…”

     

    Step Three: Share your post with your own Facebook friends, and invite them to “like or comment” on your post!

     

    The post with the most “likes and unique comments” by 5:00pm EST on Friday, March 15, 2013 will win a free, embroidered Thundershirt!

  • In Our Pet Recipe Box!

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    We wanted to share this  easy, nutritional and pet-friendly recipe for you to try with your favorite furry companion!

     Dried Cheese

    This easy recipe is a great way to create training treats, or just something extra special for your pup.

    1. To begin, slice a firm cheese like Cheddar or Monterey Jack into 1/4" or smaller cubes.

    2. Spread cheese in a single layer on paper towels on cookie sheets or trays and place in a room temperature, dry, protected location where the dogs cannot get it. Run a fan on the cheese for 24-72 hours. The exact amount of time depends on the cheese, the size of the pieces and the ambient humidity. Stir the pieces daily so all sides dry evenly.

    3. The cheese is done when it turns a darker color and has a hard texture. The oil in the cheese will come to the surface. Roll the cubes in paper towel to rid them of excess oil. The cubes can be combined with kibble or other dry food which absorbs the oil and makes the food more appealing to the dog.

    3. The cheese will keep for up to a month at room temperature, depending on ambient humidity, for six months in the refrigerator or a year in the freezer

    Adapted recipe via

  • Thundershirt rescues Tiny Santa from Big Pit Bull

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    Check out this funny holiday video we found, Thundershirt to the rescue for this little Santa!!

    Watch full video here:  Thundershirt rescues Tiny Santa from Big Pit Bull

  • Thundershirt Earns ‘Petfinder Seal of Approval’

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    Thundershirt Earns ‘Petfinder Seal of Approval’

    Brand Among First to Receive Pet-Friendly Designation –

    Durham, N.C.– Thundershirt Founder Phil Blizzard is thrilled to announce today that the company has been recognized with the first-ever, official “Petfinder Seal of Approval.”

    The Petfinder Seal of Approval extends the trust and authority of the Petfinder name to products, services, brands and initiatives that have met specific pet-friendly criteria. Petfinder, the online leader in responsible pet ownership, is committed to championing individuals, organizations and brands that are actively working to improve the lives of pets through a variety of programs, including the new “Petfinder Seal of Approval.”

    Petfinder Seal of Approval applicants are individually qualified, and criteria for qualifications are detailed on their website, but include the absence of harmful testing on animals, the promotion of adoption over sale of pets, and the safety history of the product, among others.

    Great for fear of thunder, barking problems, separation anxiety, car or travel anxiety, crate anxiety, noise anxiety, leash pulling, general fearfulness, reactivity, excitability and more, the Thundershirt is the best solution for pet anxiety.

    With its patent-pending design, the Thundershirt applies gentle, constant pressure to the torso. This pressure has a dramatic calming effect for dogs and cats if they are anxious or fearful. Anxiety experts believe that pressure has a calming effect on the nervous system and may release calming hormones like endorphins or oxytocins.

    The Thundershirt for Dogs is available in sizes XXS to XXL, and comes in their signature Heather Grey, Pink or Blue Polo designs. The Thundershirt for Cats is available in sizes S, M and L, and Heather Grey only. Suggested retail starts at $39.95, and the products can be personalized with custom embroidery for an additional charge.

    Visit www.Thundershirt.com for more information, or contact Kerry Sutherland at K. Sutherland PR, Kerry@ksutherlandpr.com or 949-328-4895 to request a product sample, high-resolution image or interview.

    - ### -

    About Thundershirt

    Founded in 2009 in Durham, N.C., Thundershirt’s mission is to bring relief to the millions of dogs, cats and their families struggling to cope with anxieties. The Thundershirt is designed to apply a constant, gentle pressure to a dog or cat’s torso creating a dramatic calming effect for most users. Thundershirt continues to investigate dog and cat anxiety and fear issues with scientific-based studies and surveys from recognized veterinarians and pet owners.  Thundershirt has already helped hundreds of thousands of dogs across the country and around the world.

    The company also donates thousands of Thundershirts and funding to rescue groups and shelters to help these organizations manage their anxiety cases and find permanent homes. Thundershirts are sold online at www.thundershirt.com and by retail stores, veterinarians, trainers and kennels across the country.

    Online: thundershirt.com

    Facebook: facebook.com/Thundershirt

    Twitter: @Thundershirt

    Pinterest: pinterest.com/Thundershirt

     

    About Petfinder

    Petfinder is the largest online, searchable database of animals that need permanent homes. With more than 320,000 adoptable pets from more than 13,700 animal shelters and rescue groups throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico, Petfinder has facilitated more than 20 million adoptions since it was launched in 1996. In addition to being an adoption database, Petfinder also is an all-inclusive resource guide for how to select the right family pet and build a successful, life-long relationship. Thanks to its sponsors, Petfinder is free to both visitors and to its animal placement organization members. Sponsors include BISSELL Homecare, Inc., a manufacturer of home cleaning and floor care products, The Animal Rescue Site, PetFirst Healthcare, the exclusive pet insurance provider for Petfinder, and HomeAgain, a microchip and pet recovery service.

    Online: petfinder.com

    Facebook: facebook.com/petfinder

    Twitter: @Petfinder

    Pinterest: pinterest.com/petfinder

    iPhone App: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/petfinder.com-adopt-pets/id354876999?mt=8

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