DIY Dog Anxiety Wraps
Dog anxiety wraps are used to reduce a dog’s anxiety. Most pet owners use anxiety wraps when their dogs are afraid of thunderstorms, but anxiety wraps for dogs can also be used in many different situations. If your dog is continuously stressed, fearful or anxious or just needs help learning how to self settle, anxiety wraps are wonderful tools. Here’s how to create a DIY dog anxiety wrap.
Should You Use an Ace Bandage or Anxiety Jacket?
Back in the day, we used ace bandages as anxiety wraps because they were all we had. When applied correctly, anxiety wraps apply pressure to acupressure points, which promotes calmness. The best way to describe an anxiety wrap is a cozy hug. When newborn babies cry, they relax when swaddled in a blanket. Studies show anxiety wraps work well for autistic children too.
You’ve probably noticed Thundershirts and Calming Coats in most pet retailers. Both products are designed to mimic an ace bandage anxiety wrap. Anxiety jackets certainly look better than an ace bandage wrap, especially if your dog needs an anxiety wrap in public. But time and time again, I’ve found ace bandage anxiety wraps work a bit better than jackets. Plus, sizing isn’t an issue when you’re creating a custom wrap with an ace bandage. There are many anxiety wrap options, but the most popular is the half wrap for calming.
How to DIY Dog Anxiety Wrap
You’ll need a 2-inch wide ace bandage, which you can find at most drug stores. A 2-inch wide ace bandage is long enough for an anxiety half wrap. For dogs that weigh more than 100 lbs, you may need two 2-inch ace bandages for full coverage. If you need two ace bandages, you can extend the length by tying one end to another end.
Before wrapping your dog, you’ll need lots of super yummy treats, a helper and of course your ace bandage. In the past, I’ve used a peanut butter plate to keep my dog busy and still when a helper isn’t available.
While wrapping your dog, don’t pull or stretch the bandage when crossing and tying. An ace bandage wrap should give when your dog walks, sits or lies down.
- Start by placing the ace bandage on the front part of your dog’s neck.
- Bring both sides of the bandage toward the top of your dog’s shoulders and cross them (bring left side over the right side, etc.).
- Once you’ve crossed over your dog’s shoulders, bring both bandages under your dog’s chest and cross again (left side over right side, etc.).
- Bring both bandage ends up and tie on top of your dog’s waist. I recommend tying both ends on the side of your dog’s spine, but not directly on it.
- Anxiety wraps should stay in place for 20 minutes. Also, never leave your dog alone while wearing a DIY anxiety wrap. Remember it’s been tied into place, and can easily get caught onto something.
When to Use an Anxiety Wrap
You can use a DIY dog anxiety wrap anytime your dog needs one. You can certainly wrap your dog during stressful times, including car rides, vet visits (vet can move bandage around when examining your dog), guest visits and of course thunderstorms. Anxiety wraps work great when teaching young dogs how to self-settle too.
Anxiety wraps for dogs really do work! Grab an ace bandage and give it a try!