Tag Archives: pet

The ThunderShirt

When I noticed Stella becoming  more and more terrified of veterinary visits, I decided to do a little research on non-drug treatments to help her cope.  Such things as routine annual exams & vaccinations or any other necessary medical attention are so important and definitely should not be ignored.  After much research I found the ThunderShirt, decided to give it a chance and was so excited when the shipment arrived.  It’s made of quality soft-to-the-touch thick stretchy fabric.

On the box, it says that the ThunderShirt can be used for:

  • fear of thunder
  • barking problems
  • as a general training too
  • any noise anxiety
  • separation anxiety
  • car or travel anxiety
  • any excitability
  • crate anxiety
  • reactivity
  • general fearfulness
  • leash pulling
  • and more

Anxiety symptoms listed by the ThunderShirt Company include and are not limited to: panting, shaking, drooling, barking/whining, hiding, scratching, licking, bolting, eliminating indoors, seizures.

How does it work you may ask?  It’s described as “applies gentle, constant pressure on a dog’s torso, that has an amazing calming effect for most dogs…  Pressure has been used to successfully reduce anxiety for many years for both animals and humans.  Examples include parents swaddling infants, veterinarians using squeeze chutes when vaccinating cattle, and thousands of people with autism using pressure to relieve persistent anxiety.”  I like that there was an option at the time we purchased it to return the product within 45 days for a full refund of the purchase price (had we felt it was not the right solution for us), but since we thought it was a good product, we did end up keeping it.

Our thoughts: Honestly, the pressure of the ThunderShirt is quite gentle.  Stella seems to tolerate her ThunderShirt pretty well and normally acts relaxed without any obsessive tendencies.  Does it lesson her vet anxiety?  Maybe a little.  Any progress is really a step in the right direction.  I also bring along one of her favorite blankets to lay on and dog toys to keep her entertained in the vet waiting lounge.

Please comment on your experience with your ThunderShirt purchase.  I would love to know what other furmoms think of it.

*Photocredit: ThunderShirt Company

thundershirt dog model thundershirt sizing chart



Spread Some Holiday Cheer! Please Foster a Lonely Pet for the Holidays!

Petfinder.com’s third annual Foster a Lonely Pet for the Holidays Campaign is fast approaching so I really wanted to blog about this important topic in support of their cause.  To be honest I have not had the pleasure of such an experience because my husband and I have always had a full house.  Two to three furbabies is unfortunately all we can handle at this time.  I really wish we could take more in; I miss my Neo terribly and miss having a meezer around.

I’m going to highlight Petfinder’s conversation regarding the reasons to foster; however, I encourage you to visit their blog for a more detailed look at their post.  Please also visit Petfinder.com- your future best friend is hoping you will find them.

*Reference: 3rd. Annual Petfinder’s Foster a Lonely Pet for the Holidays Campaign

  1. Giving shelters and rescue groups extra help during a time of year when they are usually short-staffed.
  2. Giving other foster parents a chance to travel or just take a break.
  3. Freeing up a spot so the shelter or rescue group can take in another pet.
  4. Giving your foster pet the time he or she needs to be ready for adoption. (Learn common reasons pets need foster homes).
  5. Helping the shelter or rescue group learn more about the pet so he can end up in the home best suited to him.
  6. Socializing the pet to a home environment and possibly getting him used to being around other pets and different types of people.

As much as we hear about or see injustices around the world, I believe that there’s always something that can be done to send good karma back out into the world.   Fostering/rescuing a soul is definitely one of these things.

November is Senior Pet Month

Petfinder’s 10 Reasons Senior Pets Rule:

(1) When senior pets are adopted, they seem to understand that they’ve been rescued, and are all the more thankful for it.

I adopted my beloved Neo when he was already in his teens.  While I know many shelters do a great job tending to the needs of their residents, it seems wrong that such a sweet senior cat, like Neo was, had to remain in a shelter for as long as he did.  He along with many other animals have been through a lot and more than earned their right to a loving forever home.  I believe it’s a crime when an animal dies in a shelter while waiting to be adopted, never knowing the joy of permanence and freedom from cages.

(2) A senior pet’s personality has already developed, so you’ll know if he or she is a good fit for your family.

I knew from the second Neo approached me at BARC Shelter, that he would be perfect for me; loving, friendly, and attentive.  He also befriended many residents in BARC’s cat loft so it came as no surprise that he would also win the acceptance of our first furbaby, Calvin (also a senior kitty).

(3) You can teach an old dog (or cat or other pet) new tricks: Senior pets have the attention span and impulse control that makes them easier to train than their youthful counterparts.

(4) A senior pet may very well already know basic commands anyway!

Both Neo and Calvin quickly came when their names were called. Many times Neo would look for me if he even heard the sound of my footsteps in the hallway or kitchen. This was true even in his final days.

(5) In particular, senior pets are often already housetrained, or can be more easily housetrained than a young pet with a tiny bladder.

We never had a problem with any of our senior kitties; they knew to go to the litter box (amazingly even when they were ill).

(6) A senior pet won’t grow any larger, so you’ll know exactly how much pet you’re getting.

(7) Senior pets are often content to just relax in your company, unlike younger pets, who may get into mischief because they’re bored.

Neo and Calvin weren’t much of the counter-surfers that many younger cats are.  Neo was always content to quietly sunbathe in the living room or curl up in his kitty tent while gazing at the moonlight. Neo would always keep me company while I was cooking; he would habitually sit in the same corner next to the refrigerator. 

(8) Speaking of relaxing, senior pets make great napping buddies.

I once fell asleep on the sofa with Stella (our chihuahua) and when I awoke, I found Neo asleep beside me too.  How did he get here without waking me or Stella up, I wondered?  Dear sweet kitty!  Calvin and Neo were also frequently seen in the early afternoon sharing their favorite lazy lounger (fleece ball) together.  This is quite special since they were not littermates.  When Calvin was sick, Neo would lie next to him to keep him company.

(9) Senior pets know that chew toys (not shoes) are for chewing and scratching posts (not furniture) are for scratching.

Calvin and Neo were never destructive-type kitties.  They were a very quiet pair, with very few moments of chase or even playful cat fights.   I also normally had my sneakers out and never had any chewed laces.   I knew Calvin for ~8 years and Neo lived with us for ~5 years.  Perfect kitties and never any worries!

(10) Senior pets are some of the hardest to find homes for — so when you adopt a senior pet, you’re truly saving a life.

There is a certain consistent calm and peace with senior pets.  They also seem more in tune with what their person is feeling.  Neo always seemed to know when I was sad and comforted me with his presence, sweet glance, and soft purrs.  My husband and I had both young and older animals come through our door and I will without hesitation say that our senior furbabies have always been a source of great joy in our life. I hope you will consider adopting a senior pet so you will know a similar happiness.

*Reference: Petfinder.com