I've yet to meet a dog who has a favorable opinion about: A) fireworks and B) thunderstorms. My own pup's response to either of the two usually falls between "For the love of DOG, make it STOP!" and "The world is coming to an end and you're still watching Netflix?!"
If your pooch has a similar reaction, you might have thought about trying an anxiety compression coat or wrap like the Thundershirt or the TTouch ("Tellington Touch") Wrap, as so many pet owners swear by them. According to famed animal science professor Temple Grandin, pressure applied to the right places can help calm down both anxious animals and people--basically like a comforting hug from a friend.
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Of course, it didn't take long for intrepid DIYers to realize that they could hack together their own anxiety wraps--the most popular method utilizes an ace bandage. But, if you don't have an ace bandage on hand nor time to run to the pet store before the thunderstorm rolls in, you can hack together a far more stylish scarf-like wrap using an old pair of leggings! Not only does this wrap do the trick, but it also doubles as a chic accessory. Try it out!
A pair of leggings
Step 1 - Remove the elastic waistband from the leggings.
Use a seam ripper (as shown below) to remove the elastic from its casing -OR- you can simply cut the entire waistband off, casing and all, right below the waist seam.
Step 2 - Cut the "scarf."
Fold the leggings in half lengthwise, and cut a diagonal line (at about a 45 degree angle) sloping upwards, starting from the outside of the hip area and ending above the crotch area. See the dotted line in the image below. When you unfold the leggings, the top should be a triangular shape, and the entire wrap should look like a "V".
Step 3 - Cut the fringe.
Turn the wrap upside down (so that it forms a "V") and snip 1 - 2 inches of fringe along the bottom edge of the scarf.
Step 4 - Wrap Your Nervous Pooch
Using the TTouch "Half Wrap" method, place the center of the "V" at your dog's chest and criss-cross the "legs" around her back. Wrap the legs underneath and back over. If there is enough fabric, tie a knot to secure the ends. If not, use safety pins. Make sure that it is firm but not so tight that it cuts circulation. You want the fabric to lie fairly flat and isn't stretched too thin (which can inhibit circulation). Larger dogs will need longer leggings. If your leggings don't accommodate your dog's girth, DO NOT proceed with this method. Leggings works best for small to medium sized dogs. For more information on how to properly tie a half wrap, visit the resources listed below.
Done! Your dog is ready to face her fears in style.
Wrap your dog for only short periods at a time (approximately 15 - 20 minutes).
Never leave your dog unattended wearing the wrap, as it might catch on something and cause harm. If your dog shows any signs of discomfort, remove the wrap immediately. Not all dogs respond well to anti-anxiety compression garments. Visit the links below for detailed instructions and information about anxiety wraps.
References & Additional Resources Tellington Touch Southern Africa Fox Terrier Rescue AnxietyWrap.com Grandin.com