Throughout history, parents have swaddled their babies to settle and soothe them and to help them sleep soundly. You can wrap dogs in a similar way so that constant gentle pressure can calm and comfort them during times of stress or anxiety. Anxiety can be caused by loud noises like fireworks or thunder, travel, injury, separation or other disruptions. There are a number of products you can buy for your dog, such as a Thundershirt or The Anxiety Wrap, or you can wrap him yourself.
Select a wide bandage for large dogs and a narrower bandage for small dogs. Unwrap the bandage and fold in half to locate the middle of it. With the dog in a standing position, place the middle of the bandage across his chest, below his neck but above his front legs.
Bring the ends of the bandage up and cross them above the top of the shoulder blades, and then take them underneath the body behind the front legs and cross them again.
Bring the ends of the bandage up again and tie the ends over the top of the lower back. Check that the wrap feels snug against the coat, but is not tight or restrictive, and adjust if necessary
Never leave the dog unsupervised when wearing a wrap.
Some dogs will calm very quickly when wrapped, while others will take longer to become calm. Leave the wrap on as long as required.
Make sure you place the wrap so that your male dog can still urinate.
Practice wrapping your dog when he is calm and relaxed so that he forms a good association with the wrap. This will make it easier to accept when he is feeling anxious.
If you have no bandage available in an emergency situation, place a tight-fitting tank top or shirt on the dog, placing his tail through the neck, back legs through the armholes and tie the tails of the bottom around his chest.
An Item You Will Need
- Elasticized bandage
- Getting in Touch with Your Dog; Linda Tellington-Jones
- The Anxiety Wrap: How It Works
- TellingtonTTouch Training
- Wrapped Up image by Elliot Westacott from Fotolia.com