Frequently Asked Questions

All of ThunderWorks' solutions are designed to be simple, effective, and safe for many of the most common problems faced by families with dogs and cats. Below you will find answers to some of the common questions we receive. If your question is not addressed below, contact us.

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ThunderShirt for Dogs & Cats

Why does ThunderShirt work?

From real world experience helping millions of dogs and cats, we know that ThunderShirts help for over 80% of cases. That is why we can offer a money-back guarantee. ThunderShirt's patented design applies a gentle, constant pressure on a dog's or cat's torso. Using pressure to relieve anxiety has been a common practice for years. Prior to ThunderShirt, there just wasn't an easy and safe way to do so for our dogs and cats. It is believed by many experts that this type of pressure works in a similar manner to swaddling an infant or people with autism using pressure to reduce persistent anxiety. To learn more about the science, please click here.

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Why doesn't my vet know about this remedy for anxiety and fear issues?

Good question! With tens of millions of dogs and cats suffering from anxiety, we are striving to build awareness of this simple, safe, inexpensive solution. We attend many veterinarian continuing education events and other vet forums every year. ThunderShirts were ranked the most effective solution for anxiety by veterinarians in a 2011 survey. Thousands of veterinarians recommend ThunderShirts around the world. If you would like us to speak with your veterinarian, please contact us.

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What training is required for using ThunderShirt for anxiety and fear issues?

For many types of anxiety or fear issues, no training is necessary! Just put ThunderShirt onto your dog or cat and you will likely see results with the very first usage. However, for some, it may take two to three usages to see maximum results. For some more serious anxiety cases, such as severe separation anxiety, you should consult a good trainer for how to integrate ThunderShirt into a training program.

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What if ThunderShirt isn't working for my dog or cat?

We stand behind our product! ThunderShirt is a terrific solution for most dogs and cats suffering from anxiety. Many owners see reductions or complete elimination of symptoms with the very first use. With others, it may take two or three usages of ThunderShirt to see results. But if for any reason ThunderShirt isn't the right solution for your dog or cat, return it within 45 days for a full refund of your purchase price (less S&H). See below for detailed return or exchange instructions.

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How do I return my ThunderShirt for the money-back guarantee?

If you purchased your ThunderShirt from another retailer: Please return your ThunderShirt to the place of purchase for credit; we are unable to process returns for ThunderShirts not purchased directly from ThunderWorks Company. If the place of purchase is unwilling to support the refund policy, please contact us at service@thundershirt.com. If you purchased your ThunderShirt directly from ThunderWorks Company: We stand behind our product! If for any reason you decide that the ThunderShirt is not the right solution for your dog, you may return it within 45 days for a refund of your purchase price. To ensure we are able to process your return efficiently, we will provide you with a return label for your package. Please contact ThunderWorks for your return label by emailing us at service@thundershirt.com (Please Include order#) or you can Live Chat with us by clicking on the Live Chat link on top of this page. You can also call us at 866-892-2078, and press 3 for customer service during business hours 8:00 am-5:00 pm Eastern Standard Time. Return Process: Once we review your order history and confirm that you are still within your 45 days, we will email you a return label that you can use to return and track your package. When we receive your package, a credit for the original purchase price of the product, less $5.95 for return shipping, will be issued to your credit card within a week. In the event that we cannot process a credit, a check will be mailed to you. If your return is due to product defect or shipping error ThunderShirt will provide you a return label at no cost. Embroidered ThunderShirts: Because embroidery is customized we do not offer a money back guarantee, returns or exchanges on these products.

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How do I exchange my ThunderShirt for a different size?

If you purchased your ThunderShirt from another retailer: You will need to exchange the ThunderShirt at the place of purchase, as they received your payment. All of our retailers are aware of, and should abide by, our 100% satisfaction guarantee. You may need contact the place of purchase directly to find out their exchange procedures. If you purchased your ThunderShirt directly from ThunderWorks: If you believe that you may need a different size ThunderShirt for your dog, we will be happy to exchange it. Please send it back with the pack sheet or order number with a note stating the new size you'd like to: ThunderShirt Customer Service, 112A Broadway St., Durham, NC 27701. Please note that an additional charge of $10 will be applied if you are exchanging an embroidered ThunderShirt. We donate returns and exchanges to rescue groups and shelters. The returned ThunderShirt will be put to good use!

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Can I wash and dry ThunderShirt? Remove hair from fastener hooks?

ThunderShirt is made with durable, washable fabric. When necessary, ThunderShirt may be washed in a regular cycle using regular laundry detergent and cold water. Hang to dry.
If necessary, to remove hair from your ThunderShirt's fastener hooks, we recommend using a standard dog "slicker" brush (Available at most any pet store for as little as $2.99). A couple of strokes and the fastener hooks will be nearly completely hair-free.

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How long can I leave a ThunderShirt on my dog or cat?

ThunderShirt is designed to be safe to leave on for extended periods of time when appropriate for the situation or issue. When properly sized and properly put on with a comfortably snug fit, your dog should be very comfortable. If your dog will be wearing a Thunder- Shirt for more than one hour at a time, we recommend removing ThunderShirt every one to two hours during the initial periods to check for any signs of irritation points. Irritation points are very rare, but it is best to be cautious.


NO EXPOSED HOOK FASTENERS: When properly sized and put on your dog, no sections of “hook fasteners” (the side of the fasteners that feels rough to the touch) should be exposed on the outside or against your dog’s fur. If you see exposed hook fasteners in either place, please remove the ThunderShirt and contact us at service@thundershirt.com or 866.892.2078.


CHEST STRAPS SHOULD BE LOOSE AROUND NECK: Use the “two- finger” collar rule when applying the neck straps (i.e. easily slide two fingers between the neck straps and your dogs neck without pressure). The neck straps are only intended to keep the Thunder- Shirt in place.

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How do I put ThunderShirt onto my dog or cat?

We designed ThunderShirt to be very easy to put on your dog and cat, even if she is already in a state of anxiety. It just takes a few seconds and is very easy to adjust for proper fit.
How to fit your dog (Classic) How to fit your dog (Polo) How to fit your dog (Sport) How to fit your cat

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My cat seems to fall over when I put a ThunderShirt on…why?

Most cats have never had any clothing placed on them and cats are very sensitive to tactile stimulus. When first wearing a ThunderShirt, many cats do what we call the "Freeze & Flop"…. They appear to be immobilized and lay on their side. Don't worry!...They are not suffering any discomfort; many cats are actually purring while they do this. If your cat does the Freeze & Flop, simply give her some time to adjust and encourage her to move. Most cats quickly learn that they can still move freely.

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Why does my cat ThunderShirt come with a collar? How do I use it?

Our new cat ThunderShirts comes with an integrated safety collar. This collar is to be used with a leash for vet visits or other supervised times you would like to use a leash with your cat. Or even to take your cat for walk outside! IMPORTANT: The collar is not a safety collar and should not be left on your cat unsupervised; remove when not using a leash.

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Are there any special sizing and fit considerations for male dogs?

When fitting a ThunderShirt on a male dog, the straps that go around the stomach area should not cover or push on the genitals or prepuce.  If the ThunderShirt rubs against the genitals or prepuce, irritation may result.  If you see any indications of this, remove the ThunderShirt immediately. Try a smaller size or contact us for other suggestions.

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What size is right for my dog?

ThunderShirt comes in seven different sizes... XXL, XL, L, M, S, XS, and XXS. Click the link below to find the right size for your dog. Like people, dogs come in many different shapes and sizes, so if your dog has unusual proportions, you may need to go up or down a size versus the "standard" measurements. But the ThunderShirt is designed to be very adjustable to accommodate different dog shapes and still be easy to put on.

Click Here to View Sizing Chart

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Is overheating a concern when using a ThunderShirt?

Except in extreme conditions (e.g. 90 degrees Fahrenheit in the sun), overheating is not typically a concern when using a ThunderShirt. Dogs cool themselves primarily through their mouths and paws, and a ThunderShirt is constructed of a thin, breathable fabric. In fact, the state of Florida is one of our biggest markets. But if you feel that overheating might be a problem for your particular circumstance, please monitor your dog for any signs of overheating such as heavy panting or tongue hanging out of the mouth. Remove the ThunderShirt if you see any signs of overheating.

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What if I see signs of discomfort or irritation with my dog or cat when wearing a ThunderShirt?

Most dogs and cats love to wear ThunderShirts! We hear feedback from families all the time that their dog or cat literally seeks out their ThunderShirt in times of stress. When sized and put on properly, your dog or cat should be very comfortable wearing a ThunderShirt. Problems are very rare, but if you see any signs of skin irritation or physical discomfort, please discontinue use and contact us.

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Where can I find a ThunderShirt? Are ThunderShirts available in my country?

ThunderShirts are available in most pet stores across the United States and Canada. For a list of where to find ThunderShirts outside of the United States, click here.

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Is ThunderLeash a positive-based solution? Does it apply uncomfortable or painful pressure?

ThunderLeash absolutely is a positive-based solution. When properly used, it does not cause any discomfort. ThunderLeash's safety buckle ensures that ThunderLeash will only apply safe pressure to a dog's torso. The pressure is very similar to how harnesses work with Martingale loops… When a dog pulls, the loop snugs up a little, but the range is very limited. This safe pressure provides immediate, consistent feedback to the dog whenever she pulls. Perfect for combining with other positive-based training techniques for teaching proper leash manners.

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How does ThunderLeash work as a "No Pull" Solution?

ThunderLeash is a positive-based training solution. When leash pulling is a concern, ThunderLeash can be converted easily into a "no pull" harness by simply wrapping around the dog's torso using its innovative, patent-pending hardware design. The safety buckle adjusts to prevent any uncomfortable pressure for hard-pulling dogs. When a dog pulls, ThunderLeash snugs up on the torso, providing immediate, consistent and safe feedback to the dog. This feedback is excellent for combining with other positive-based training techniques for teaching proper leash manners.

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How do I put the ThunderLeash on my dog?

It takes just a few seconds! Click here for a copy of the packaged instructions for a ThunderLeash

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What size ThunderLeash is best for my dog?

For dogs under 25 lbs, we recommend our Small ThunderLeash. For dogs 25 lbs or over, please try our Large ThunderLeash.

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What training is required?

For most cases no training is necessary. Just put the ThunderLeash onto your dog and you will likely see improvement in leash pulling. The ThunderLeash can also be used in conjunction with the ThunderShirt for added benefits. For some more severe cases, you should consult a good trainer on how to integrate the ThunderLeash into a training program.

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What if the ThunderLeash isn't working for my dog?

We stand behind our product! ThunderLeash is a terrific solution for leash pulling for most dogs. If you are not seeing desired results we encourage you to review this FAQ for possible suggestions to improve your results. You may also want to try using the ThunderLeash with the ThunderShirt for added benefits. We also suggest trying the ThunderLeash at least four times before making a final decision. But if for any reason ThunderShirt isn't the right solution for your dog or cat, return it within 45 days for a full refund of your purchase price (less S&H). Click here for detailed return or exchange instructions.

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What makes Dial-A-Distance better? Why is it better than the manual thumb brake?

D-A-D offers all the features of a regular retractable with one key difference. Unlike other retractables, you can set the maximum retractable length anywhere from 0 to 15 feet. Within the length you choose it retracts and extends like a regular retractable. And you still can use the thumb brake when needed. But whenever your dog extends to the max you set, D-A-D autobrakes! D-A-D will always keep your dog within a safe range, even during those inevitable distractions on a walk. It’s like having 15 different retractables in one unit!

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Aren’t retractable leashes dangerous?

Retractable leashes are not for everyone, but when used properly and safely, they can make walks more enjoyable for all involved…dogs and humans. Dial-A-Distance is the safest retractable leash ever made!

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Aren’t retractable leashes bad for the dog because they put constant pulling pressure on the throat of the dog?

The retractable spring in Dial-A-Distance only maintains very light tension in the leash. Most dogs barely notice it. But if you have a dog with a sensitive neck or are otherwise concerned, we absolutely support the use of a harness with any leash, whether retractable or fixed-length. All of the benefits of a Dial-A-Distance work just as well with a harness!

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Do retractable leashes encourage pulling by applying pressure on the dog’s neck?

The retractable spring in Dial-A-Distance only maintains very light tension in the leash, and doesn’t trigger a “pull response” from the vast majority of dogs. But if you are struggling with a “puller”, we absolutely support the use of a harness with a chest D-ring with any leash, whether retractable or fixed-length. All of the benefits of a Dial-A-Distance work just as well with a harness! For PULLERS we have developed the ThunderLeash NO PULL extension that can be easily added to the D-A-D.

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Are you encouraging people to pay less attention to their dog on a walk?

Not at all! But we recognize that for even the most attentive walker, distractions will sometimes happen. Whether an intrusive phone, a distracting thought, or even just something eye-catching you are walking past. That is the beautiful thing about Dial-A-Distance. After you set the safe range for where you are, Dial-A-Distance will ensure your dog goes no farther, even during those momentary distractions.

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What sized dogs is Dial-A-Distance for? What sizes will be available?

We currently offer our Medium/Large Dial-A-Distance for dogs up to 55 lbs. You can use it for very small dogs, but it might feel a little bulky for dogs under 10 lbs. We will be developing a size Small in the near future.

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How do you adjust the maximum length of Dial-A-Distance?

So easy! Simply press in the Adjustment Dial and turn to your desired length, from 0 to 15 feet. It takes just a couple of seconds. Adjustments can be made in approximately 1 foot increments.

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Can you still manually brake the leash?

Absolutely! For example, if you set the maximum length to 10 feet, you can still use the manual thumb break to stop extending at less than 10 ft. But at 10 feet, the autobrake will kick in

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Is it strong? How much pull force can Dial-A-Distance hold?

The Medium/Large D-A-D can withstand over 275 lbs of pull-force!

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What is a ThunderSnap?

The easiest, most satisfying connector you’ve ever seen. Makes a two-handed process into a simple one-handed click. Instead of the old bolt-snap, the ThunderSnap uses magnets to pull together with a Snap. No fumbling for d-rings and trying to get the bolt-snap hooked on. No accidentally hooking to the dog-tag ring. Just get the leash-end close to the cap and they pull together. And disconnecting is easier too! Just grab the release slide and pull. It pops right apart. Feels like magic.

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Is it just magnets that hold it together?

No! The strong magnets pull the Snap together, but steel holds it together. When the magnets engage, steel ball-bearings engage with a steel retaining ring. The XL ThunderSnap can hold over 500 lbs.

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Is it safe? What if debris gets stuck in the Cap?

Absolutely safe! Like any other leash, we recommend periodically checking the cap/snap for any debris, but otherwise, “if it clicks, it sticks!” The red “safety line” is a visual indicator of a problem. But you can also just give a light tug after connecting to confirm you are good to go.

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Can I use this with a Standard Collar or Harness?

Yes! ThunderSnap works great with any standard collar or harness, including front or rear-attaching harnesses.

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How do you release or disconnect the ThunderSnap?

So simple! Just pull on the grey-colored “Release Slide” and the ThunderSnap pops apart. It just takes two finger and a light tug.

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What are the benefits of the cap integrated with the ThunderCollar?

By eliminating the lobster claw on the ThunderSnap, the integrated ThunderCollar version is a little more compact.

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What is the purpose of a spare ThunderSnap Cap?

For convenience, the Caps are intended to be left on your dog’s collar between uses. Whenever you are ready for walk, simply connect the leash-end to the Cap with Snap! and you are ready to go. Spare Caps let you leave caps on multiple collars or harnesses if you use more than one. Or are used to replace a lost cap.

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How do I contact you about my ThunderShirt?

For customer support on how to get the most out of your ThunderWorks product, see the below:
Email... Send us an email at service@thundershirt.com and we will respond within one-to-two business days.
Phone... If you prefer, call our customer support line at 866-892-2078. Our representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8:00AM to 4:00PM Eastern Standard Time.

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