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10 Best Dog Anxiety Vests in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

Dog Anxiety Vests

Whether it’s thunderstorms, fireworks, or just the thought of being alone, some dogs suffer tremendous anxiety attacks, and having a thunder shirt helps a lot. There’s nothing more heartbreaking than watching your beloved pup shake, tremble, and hide, all the while knowing that there’s nothing you can do to help.

That doesn’t have to be the case, however. A good anxiety dog vest can help your dog stay calm and composed no matter what happens outside.

By putting constant, gentle pressure on your dog’s chest, the idea is to create a calming effect, like swaddling a baby.

In the reviews below, we’ll go over the 10 best dog anxiety vests.

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2024

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Surgi~Snuggly Original EC Surgi~Snuggly Original EC
  • Breathable
  • Comes in multiple colors
  • Good for dogs recovering from surgery
  • Best Value
    Second place
    WINBATE Adjustable WINBATE Adjustable
  • Good for walks
  • Reflective piping
  • Makes a good windbreaker
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Thundershirt SPTGS-T01 Thundershirt SPTGS-T01
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Suitable for all-day use
  • Durable
  • American Kennel Club American Kennel Club
  • Snug and reassuring
  • Easy to pack for travel
  • Machine washable
  • Mellow Shirt Mellow Shirt
  • Extremely easy to put on
  • Good for use in warmer climates
  • Great for storing in car
  • The 10 Best Anxiety Dog Vests

    1. Surgi Snuggly Original EC Anxiety Dog Vest — Best Overall

    Surgi Snuggly

    The Surgi~Snuggly Original wasn’t designed to be an anti-anxiety dog vest, but it’s fantastic at calming nervous dogs. The vest was created to be an E-collar alternative, and you can put it over a dog’s body when they’re recovering from surgery to discourage licking.

    The fabric is breathable and stretchy, so it will cling to your dog without causing them to overheat. It comes in various sizes, so you can find one that fits your dog exactly. There are multiple colors to choose from, too. Just be careful if your dog is a chewer since the fabric is thin. If you let your pup gnaw on it, the vest could be shredded in just a few minutes.

    That’s not often a problem, though, so we felt there was little reason to punish the Surgi~Snuggly Original too harshly. It’s still a shoo-in for the best overall dog anxiety vest.

    • Fabric is breathable
    • Many size options
    • Comes in multiple colors
    • Good for dogs recovering from surgery
    • Not ideal for heavy chewers

    2. WINBATE Adjustable Dog Anxiety Jacket — Best Value


    If you’re trying to keep your dog calm while on walks, the WINBATE Adjustable is a good choice, as it has a sturdy D-ring on the back where you can attach a leash. There’s also a nylon handle that you can grab if things get out of hand.

    The reflective piping on the side and the top ensures that your dog will stay visible after the sun goes down, so you can take them out at any time of day. Putting it on is simple, with Velcro straps on the neck and chest. This also makes it easy to customize the pressure, ensuring your dog stays snug without getting strangled.

    The polyester fabric makes a great windbreaker, ensuring your dog won’t freeze once the mercury drops. However, this may make the jacket a bit warm during the summer months. It also tends to run small, so larger breeds may need something bigger.

    Overall, the WINBATE Adjustable has a lot going for it, including a budget-friendly price. It’s not quite enough to claim the top spot, but it does earn our title of “Best Dog Anxiety Vest for the Money.”

    • Good for walks
    • Reflective piping on sides and top
    • Makes a good windbreaker
    • Easy to put on and adjust
    • May be too warm for summer use
    • Tends to run small

    3. Thundershirt Sport Dog Anxiety Vest — Premium Choice


    The Thundershirt Sport does an excellent job calming canines, but you’ll pay extra for the brand name. This thunder jacket is one of the most comfortable vests on this list and is suitable for all-day use. That comes in handy during day-long thunderstorms or on the 4th of July when the terrifying noises just won’t stop coming.

    It can also be helpful with separation anxiety, and you can put it on your dog before you leave for work to keep them calm all day, reducing the risk that you’ll come home to a house full of destroyed furniture.

    The Thundershirt Sport is well-made and durable, and while it’s expensive, it should last you for years, making it well worth the price. Our biggest issue is that it’s cut in such a way that it might interfere with male dogs as they go to the bathroom. It won’t stop them from peeing, but it might soak up some of the stream, which isn’t fun to deal with.

    If you can afford it (and you don’t mind washing it), the Thundershirt Sport is one of the best anxiety vests on the market. We feel that there are lower-priced versions that are equally good, which is why this model is at number three on this list.

    • Extremely comfortable
    • Suitable for all-day use
    • Well-made and durable
    • Good for calming separation anxiety
    • Fairly expensive
    • May interfere with male dogs as they pee

    4. American Kennel Club Anti-Anxiety Dog Vest

    American Kennel Club

    It will likely take trial and error to figure out this offering from the American Kennel Club, but once you get it securely fastened, you should see immediate help for your pup’s anxiety. It works like a baby’s swaddle, offering plenty of constant, secure pressure, but it’s not easy to put on.

    Still, the fabric is gentle and stretchy, and you can easily fold and pack it while traveling. It also stays in place while your dog is moving. It shouldn’t move around or bunch up, so it stays comfortable even if your dog tries to wriggle under the bed. We like that it’s machine washable too.

    One of the issues with a vest like this is the limited amount of fabric that makes you choose between applying more pressure or covering more of your dog’s torso, so it’s not ideal for longer-bodied animals. Also, it stretches out over time, so don’t expect it to last forever.

    The American Kennel Club makes a quality anxiety vest, but the fact that it’s daunting to put on caused us to knock it down a few spots.

    • Snug and reassuring
    • Easy to pack for travel
    • Stays in place while dog is moving
    • Machine washable
    • Difficult to put on
    • Not ideal for dogs with lon

    5. Mellow Shirt M-S Dog Anxiety Vest

    Mellow Shirt

    The Mellow Shirt is one of the most user-friendly anxiety jackets we’ve found, and you can put it on your dog in seconds, even if they’re squirming the entire time. The fabric is lightweight and breathable, and your dog should be able to wear it year-round without fear of overheating. It’s an excellent option for dogs living in warm climates.

    It’s similar to the Thunder shirt for dogs above, except it doesn’t have a second flap around the belly. This allows you to put it on faster but limits the pressure you can apply. As a result, the Mellow Shirt is better suited for dogs who aren’t suffering from extreme anxiety.

    The thin fabric isn’t the most durable and is an absolute magnet for dog hair. However, its thinness makes it easy to store in your glove compartment if your dog gets nervous on car rides. The Mellow Shirt is an adequate stand-in for a Thundershirt, but it can’t quite live up to the other brand’s performance.

    • Extremely easy to put on
    • Good for use in warmer climates
    • Great for storing in car
    • Can only apply a limited amount of pressure
    • Not ideal for incredibly anxious dogs
    • Acts as a magnet for dog hair

    6. ZIFEIPET Anxiety Dog Vest Relief Jacket

    If your dog carries around a great deal of tension, the ZIFEIPET Relief Jacket can help soothe some of those cares away. There are little massage nodes in the back designed to relax your dog as they move. We don’t know if this does anything to reduce anxiety, but dogs certainly seem to like how it feels.

    It’s easy to put on, and all you have to do is attach it with the Velcro along your dog’s stomach and chest. The material has plenty of give, so it should provide gentle pressure without strangling your dog. However, it’s difficult to customize the fit, and it sits awkwardly, no matter how much you adjust it.

    If your dog moves around a great deal while wearing it, it’s likely to end up askew. The sizing isn’t very accurate, as it lumps all dogs into four groups. Don’t expect a great fit right out of the box, and if you have a really big dog, the ZIFEIPET likely won’t fit at all.

    The Velcro is strong, which may seem good until you see how much fur it takes off your dog. The ZIFEIPET Relief Jacket definitely has a few things going for it, but ultimately, its flaws outweigh its benefits.

    • Massage nodes running down back
    • Easy to put on
    • Provides gentle pressure
    • Difficult to customize fit
    • Sizing isn’t accurate
    • Won’t fit giant dogs
    • Velcro rips out fur

    7. Xdog Weight & Fitness Dog Anxiety Vest


    The Xdog Weight & Fitness Vest is perfect for the overachieving pup constantly looking for new ways to excel. Unfortunately, if that dog suffers from anxiety, this vest won’t be able to help very much. It’s intended to be used with weight bags to challenge dogs and increase their physical fitness.

    It’s excellent in that regard, but since it fits so close to the dog’s body and provides gentle weight, many people also use it to treat anxiety. It’s hard to recommend it for that purpose alone. It’s expensive, and you can get a dedicated anxiety jacket for a fraction of the price.

    Also, you must supply the weights yourself, which is frustrating regardless of why you’re buying it. Be careful how much weight you add because the stitching is fairly weak. On the plus side, the Xdog looks incredible, and your dog will feel like a million bucks while wearing it.

    We don’t know if that’s enough to justify the price, but it’s a nice perk nonetheless. The Xdog Weight & Fitness Vest is an excellent piece of gear that has its place in the active dog owner’s arsenal; however, if all you want is an anxiety vest, you’re better off looking somewhere else.

    • Can add weight to improve dog’s fitness
    • Looks awesome
    • Not great for combating anxiety
    • Ridiculously expensive
    • Have to provide own weights
    • Stitching is weak

    8. BINGPET Plaid Dog Calming Vest


    If you want your pet to look stylish even while they’re stressed, the BINGPET Plaid can help. However, the vest runs small, and the Velcro isn’t strong enough to keep it in place, so it will likely fall off long before it calms your dog. Escape artists will be able to wriggle out of it in seconds.

    The fabric is lightweight, so it can’t offer much pressure, which largely defeats the purpose. At least it will stay cool during a heat wave. It’s machine washable, but the cover peels off after a few trips through the machine.

    The BINGPET Plaid is an attractive coat that will make your pup the envy of all the dogs in the neighborhood, but that jealousy will probably vanish when they see how ineffective it is during a thunderstorm.

    • Attractive plaid exterior
    • Good for warmer climates
    • Velcro isn’t strong enough to hold it in place
    • Easy for dogs to wriggle out of
    • Peels after being washed
    • Doesn’t provide much pressure

    9. Fragralley Dog Anxiety Coat


    If you live in an area that experiences a great deal of rain and snow, the Fragralley Dog Coat is a great way to keep your dog dry and warm on walks. If the thunder picks up, however, don’t expect the Fragralley coat to do much for your pet’s anxiety.

    The coat is made of water- and wind-proof nylon, so the elements won’t be able to penetrate it. There’s even a little detachable hood that you can use to keep your dog’s head dry. Of course, few dogs will let you put a hood over their heads, so that feature’s largely for show.

    As for the coat, it’s pretty snug, even for an anxiety vest, and larger dogs may find it uncomfortable. It’s not much better for smaller canines. It tends to swallow them whole and makes it difficult for them to walk around.

    This is probably obvious from looking at it, but it cannot be worn year-round. Putting it on during the summer will overheat your dog, which is dangerous. If you need something to keep your dog dry and warm, the Fragralley Dog Coat is perfect. As an anxiety jacket, it’s not great.

    • Keeps dogs dry and warm
    • Has detachable hood
    • Does little to calm anxiety
    • Uncomfortably snug
    • Many dogs won’t tolerate hood
    • Too hot for summertime use

    10. Hffheer Anti-Anxiety Shirt


    The Hffheer Anti-Anxiety shirt is as bare-bones as it gets. It’s not much to look at, as it only comes in dark gray, which is a color perfectly designed to show off all the dog fur it’ll trap.

    It’s only available in small, medium, and large, which may suit most dogs, but if you have a toy pup or a giant breed, you’ll be out of luck. Even if your dog is smaller, it can be difficult to know which version to get, so you may have to return your first order and try again.

    It’s designed so that it’s difficult to place much pressure on the chest, which is where most of the tension needs to be. Instead, it puts pressure on the stomach, which can impair breathing.

    The best thing we can say about the Hffheer Anti-Anxiety Shirt is that it has luminous strips down the side and back to keep your pet visible at night. That may do something to alleviate your anxiety, but it won’t do much for your dog.

    • Luminous strips down sides and back
    • Only available in one color
    • Doesn’t distribute pressure correctly
    • Can impair breathing
    • Difficult to find the correct size
    • Traps hair

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    Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Anxiety Dog Vest

    Many dog owners have no idea that dog anxiety vests exist, much less how to pick a good one. If you need to control your dog’s stress, the guide below walks you through the questions you need to ask about anxiety vests.

    How Do They Work?

    Anxiety vests wrap snugly around your dog’s chest, providing constant, gentle pressure. Research suggests the pressure releases calming endorphins, which helps counteract the stress response. Some are even weighted to add additional pressure.

    Basically, it’s like giving your dog a steady hug. Who wouldn’t respond well to that?

    What Should I Look For in an Anxiety Dog Vest?

    The answer to that question will largely depend on what triggers your dog’s stress response. If events outside the home trigger your dog, you’ll want a weather-appropriate vest for your climate. This may require buying multiple designs and switching them out as the seasons change.

    For an indoor vest, the material is much less important; all that matters is that it’s comfortable. Cotton wraps are usually ideal, and they can provide ample amounts of pressure while still allowing your dog to breathe.

    The style is another important consideration, but it is more about your personal preference than your dog’s. Some vests are stiff and fastened with buckles, much like a life jacket. This makes them easy to put on but may make it challenging to provide pressure where it’s needed most. Others are more wrap-like and secured with Velcro; they can be a pain to figure out but are often the best at providing compression.

    What Signs Should I Look For That My Dog Has Anxiety?

    Anxiety signals can vary from dog to dog, and not every dog will demonstrate every possible behavior. Typically, though, there are a few things to look for:

    • Whimpering
    • Shaking or trembling
    • Cowering
    • Trying to hide/restlessness
    • Wetting themselves
    • Uncharacteristic aggression
    • Tucking the tail
    • Excessive barking
    • Drooling
    • Panting
    • Destructive behavior
    • Repetitive or compulsive behaviors

    Some of these behaviors are also signs of a more serious issue, so it’s always best to consult your vet before trying to solve your dog’s anxiety problem on your own.

    Dog Anxiety Vests

    What Situations Typically Trigger Canine Anxiety?

    Again, it will depend on the dog, as some can easily handle stressful situations only to come completely undone in an innocuous situation.

    However, common triggers include:

    • Thunder
    • Fireworks/gunshots/loud noises in general
    • Travel
    • Being left alone
    • Encountering new people or animals
    • New places and situations

    Some dogs also become more anxious as they age. You should consult your vet if that is the case, as age-related anxiety may be a sign of cognitive problems.

    Is There Anything Else I Can Do to Calm My Dog?

    It will depend on the trigger. Some anxieties, like those that happen around new people or places, can be managed through gradual exposure and socialization. Others aren’t easy to resolve, especially those centered around relatively random occurrences like thunder or fireworks where even thunder shirts for dogs can only do so much.

    If you believe that your dog’s specific anxiety can be overcome, you can start gradually exposing them to it. It’s best to have their anxiety vest on ahead of time to keep their emotions in check.

    Slowly expose them to the person or situation that triggers them, being sure to praise and reward them frequently. Ramp up the exposure in tiny increments, being careful never to overwhelm them. This strategy will take a long time and a great deal of effort to implement, so don’t expect miracles overnight.

    Another thing to consider is asking your vet about putting your dog on an anti-anxiety medication. It’s not the right move in every situation, but it may be a necessary component of a comprehensive treatment plan for dogs with severe issues.

    Divider 7


    The Surgi~Snuggly Original was our favorite vest, as the material is lightweight and breathable while still offering optimal pressure. As a bonus, it can replace an E-collar for dogs recovering from surgery.

    For a less-expensive model, consider the WINBATE Adjustable. It boasts reflective piping down the sides and back, making it great for walks, and it offers plenty of protection from the elements.

    Finding an anxiety vest that will actually help calm your dog down can be a frustrating process, but we hope that our reviews have taken some of the stress out of it.

    Featured image credit: lornadandy, Pixabay

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