Keep­ing pets calm dur­ing scary events

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - JA­NIS KIN­N­EAR

TO SAFE­GUARD your pets from noisy fire­works this Guy Fawkes, dog and cat own­ers can opt for a nifty cus­tom-de­signed shirt which acts as a calm­ing agent, while giv­ing your furry friend the con­stant feel­ing of be­ing cud­dled.

Rec­om­mended by vet­eri­nar­i­ans and dog train­ers around the world, “thun­der­shirts” are slowly gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity lo­cally, too.

Made from a blend of cot­ton, polyester and spandex, the snug shirt is re­ported to have had an 80 per­cent suc­cess rate as a calm­ing tool for pets who suf­fer from var­i­ous anx­i­eties. Th­ese in­clude noise from fire­works and thun­der, as well as sep­a­ra­tion, care or travel anx­i­ety, and fear­ful re­ac­tions to­wards other an­i­mals and peo­ple.

South African im­porter and sup­plier of ed­u­ca­tional and safety pet prod­ucts, Pet Sys­tems, has sold hun­dreds of the gar­ments, which have been avail­able here for more than a year.

Man­ager Deon van der Westhuizen said the shirts were com­pletely safe and easy to use.

“It’s re­ally ef­fec­tive and easy to put on and take off. You sim­ply lay the thun­dershirt on your dog or cat’s back, fas­ten the hook and loop clo­sures, with no head or leg holes to strug­gle with. It ap­plies a gen­tle, con­stant pres­sure to the pet’s torso, which feels like they’re con­stantly be­ing hugged.”

Avail­able in a va­ri­ety of colours, thun­der­shirts don’t come cheap how­ever, with a rec­om­mended re­tail price tag of R425.

But de­spite the cost, Van der Westhuizen said shirt sales were in­creas­ing. “We’ve got many or­ders com­ing from Joburg now with the re­cent thun­der­storms.”

ja­nis.kin­n­ear@inl.co.za

RE­LAXED: A dog wear­ing a ‘thun­dershirt’, which can be used to keep pets calm dur­ing thun­der­storms and around fire­works.

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