Weighted Blankets for Anxiety in Dogs

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Anxiety is one of the main behavioral obstacles seen in dogs today. Is your dog one of the anxious ones? Does she pace back and forth during fireworks? Does she cry during a thunderstorm? 

A weighted blanket could be exactly what you’re searching for.

Yes, there are thunder jackets and other helpful tools, but every dog is different and choosing what is best for your dog is critical. Or, you may even decide to combine multiple items that are helpful.

What’s a Weighted Blanket?

A weighted blanket is essentially a blanket full of heavy materials to create something called ‘Deep Touch Pressure’ or DTP. DTP is designed to provide your dog (and us if we experience anxiety) with the feeling of being hugged while frightened.

Your Dog’s Escape

If your dog has anxiety she may run into her crate when she’s feeling overwhelmed. Or, perhaps she has a special area in your home she prefers to go to. Though she may feel safe in her go-to spot, there are other items – like a weighted blanket – that you could share with your pup when she is feeling overwhelmed. 

Weighted blankets were originally designed to help us, as humans, relax while we were coping with anxiety, depression, PTSD, and/or other mental illnesses. But, how’s it work? The pressure from the weighted blanket has been found to release serotonin and dopamine in the brain (calming hormones). 

Dogs and humans are very much alike, so professionals decided to give the weighted blanket a try on dogs. Of course, every dog is different, and your dog may not prefer this course of action, but it’s worth trying if your dog is overly anxious.

The Weighted Blanket VS. Thunder Vest

Both the weighted blanket and the thunder vest are excellent accessories to aid in the reduction of anxiety.

The vest comes in handy when you know there’s a stressor coming soon. For example, if you know there will be fireworks set off tomorrow and your dog hates fireworks, the vest is handy and you can make sure she has it on prior to the start of loud banging. However, with the vest, it can be difficult to put it on your pup if they are already upset or feeling anxious.

The weighted blanket helps in emergency situations. It’s something you can carry around with you should something happen that scares your dog. Weighted blankets are also an excellent accessory to keep around because they fit all dogs regardless of size.

Consider Purchasing the Kids’ Version

If you take a look at weighted blankets for dogs, there’s not a huge selection. If you take a look at weighted blankets for children, you would be shocked at the difference in availability. They are essentially the same blanket, except one is labeled for dogs and the other for children.

The children’s blankets are also generally smaller (easier to transport) and the correct weight for any dog. Weighted blankets designed for children also usually come with a removable cover which helps for cleaning purposes. 

To keep your pet safe, be sure to always check-in with your vet prior to trying something new on an already anxious pup.

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances. 

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.