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Behind the Design: Weighted Calm™ Collection
By Canada Pooch on May 10, 2023
With the growing awareness of anxiety in dogs, pet parents are eager to find coping mechanisms that are natural and effective.
The Weighted Calm™ collection featuring Weighted Calm™ technology is our solution to this growing problem.
As a team we’re dedicated to helping enhance the lives of pets and pet parents so we wanted to find a solution that would help support anxious pups and their pet parents. Continue reading to learn how the Weighted Calm™ collection came to be.
Dogs have anxiety?
Like humans, dog’s experience a range of emotions and therefore face some of the same troubles that we do.
Feelings of stress, fear, and anxiety are common for dogs, and as pet parents are well aware of, they are unable to verbally communicate their feelings and needs to us. So, we started looking for inspiration in some of the products that work best for humans who experience anxiety and stress.
We all know a good hug can make anyone feel better, but why? The pressure that a hug creates is a specific stimulus that sends signals to the brain to soothe negative feelings. This calming stimulus is also applicable to dogs and other animals.
A way to achieve the same ‘hugging’ stimulus is by utilizing weight. In our research, we saw a variety of calming products for humans such as weighted blankets, robes, stuffed toys, shoulder wraps, and lap pillows. The commonality we found amongst these products is the use of weight as a sensory stimulation and distraction to decrease feelings of anxiety and stress. So, we asked ourselves how can we apply weight to be safe and effective for dogs?
Our first idea for our calming garment was in the form of a plush robe. It was soft, comfortable, and reminded us of ultimate relaxation…not to mention it was the opportunity for a cute matching moment! Our initial testing showed positive results as we observed the calming effect of weighted pressure on a dog. However, we quickly realized the fit & material of the robe was not ideal for everyday use. So, we went back to the drawing board to create a new fit that was size inclusive and comfortable to be worn year-round.
It's all in the details!
Our second iteration was re-designed as a vest with a jersey knit for added stretch and breathability making it suitable for everyday wear. The easy on design with closure creates a snug fit for the ultimate calming effect. Specifically, our Weighted Calm™ insert went through many iterations to find the perfect design. Consultations from a veterinary behaviorist allowed us to determine the ideal weight of the insert to be a maximum of 3% of the dog’s body weight. We found our crescent shape design allows for the most comfortable fit without restricting a dog’s movement. In addition, we ensured the Weighted Calm™ collar rests safely and evenly along the dog’s shoulders. Specifically for the larger sizes, we discovered that adding a snap to the collar was important to keep the weight in place for larger dogs.
Once we had improved our fit and material, we were ready to dive into testing. We had employees, friends, and family testing to provide feedback on the success of the weight and overall function of the garment. It was working & we had our proof of concept!
Test, test, test
With great feedback internally, we decided to take it one step further to prove the efficacy of the vest by conducting an external third-party observational study. The results of this study are still ongoing but so far, the responses have been very positive and made us that much more excited to get this product in our customers’ hands.
Along the way, we have expanded our knowledge base tremendously and we are not ready to stop any time soon. We are eager to continue to find ways to help pups everywhere. Our team is so of this collection of products and the work that went into finding a new way to support the well-being of pups and their parents.