dog

I Put A Wacky Doggy Leotard On My Dog To See If It Would Help With Her Anxiety And Dander

by Ileana Paules-Bronet
Ileana is a writer on the Original Content team. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Before you ask any questions, let me stop you. You’re probably wondering why on earth I put a ridiculous-looking doggy leotard on my sweet pup.

If someone told me six months ago that I would put a tight purple unitard on my dog, I would have laughed in their face. And yet, here we are.

The doggy leotard Bella is wearing in the pictures below is called a Shed Defender. It’s a lightweight zip-up leotard made specifically for dogs.

So why is she wearing something that makes her look so silly? Because it has a ton of benefits.

That’s right, this funny doggy leotard is actually good for our canine pals! The Shed Defender, as the name suggests, is meant to protect against shedding. It also claims to have several other benefits: reducing anxiety, reducing constant barking, protection against bugs, preventing hair from freezing in the ice and snow, and can even be used to cover wounds in place of a cone.

Because of all these amazing benefits, I decided I had to try using one of these unitards on Bella. Check out my review below!

Photos: Ileana Paules-Bronet for LittleThings

What Is The Shed Defender?

what is the shed defender
Ileana Paules-Bronet for LittleThings

In the simplest terms, the Shed Defender is a doggy leotard. The official website explains that the Shed Defender “is intended to be worn in the house, car, or anywhere you don’t want dog hair, dirt, dander, and allergens.”

The leotard is made from breathable, lightweight, four-way stretch fabric. It has an easy-to-use zipper and is machine washable.

It retails for a $39.99 to $62.99, depending on the size.

What's The Point Of The Shed Defender?

what's the point
Ileana Paules-Bronet for LittleThings

The primary point of the Shed Defender is to protect against excessive shedding.

Tyson Walters, the CEO and founder, saw the need for the Shed Defender when he got sick of his St. Bernard, Harley, constantly shedding.

Once he started producing the leotard, he realized there were so many other benefits as well.

What Are The Benefits Of The Shed Defender?

shed defender benefits
Ileana Paules-Bronet for LittleThings

While the primary purpose of the Shed Defender may be to defend against shedding, there are a number of other uses for the leotard as well.

According to the website, the leotard can help with the following:

  • control shedding
  • keep house and car clean
  • keep allergens and dander to a minimum
  • can help reduce anxiety and stop constant barking
  • keep dog clean when outside
  • prevent the dog’s hair from freezing in snow and act as a barrier from the cold
  • protect against flying insects, ticks, and stickers (hunting dogs)
  • cover wounds or surgical sites
  • keep show dogs clean
benefits shed defender
Ileana Paules-Bronet for LittleThings

Yeah, that’s a lot of possible uses!

Obviously, not everyone who gets the Shed Defender uses it for every single benefit listed above.

That said, it can be used for such a great number of dog problems!

My Experience

queen bella
Ileana Paules-Bronet for LittleThings

Let me just preface my experience by explaining that Bella is a mini poodle mix, which means that she’s slightly hypoallergenic. That means she doesn’t really shed much.

So why would I get her the Shed Defender? Well, my boyfriend is somewhat allergic to dogs, so his allergies act up with Bella from time to time. Even though she doesn’t really shed, she still has dander.

Bella also has bad anxiety. She doesn’t like it when we leave her, and she barks a lot at people in the hallway.

Look And Feel

bella funny
Ileana Paules-Bronet for LittleThings

When I got the Shed Defender in the mail, I was blown away by how lightweight it really is.

The material is thin, but doesn’t feel cheap — and it’s definitely stretchy!

Getting the leotard onto Bella was a little tricky, but she seemed pretty content once it was on her. And it looked amazing on her.

Shedding Control

shedding control
Maia McCann for LittleThings

Even though Bella doesn’t shed very much, it was obvious why the Shed Defender works for dogs that lose a lot of hair.

Just looking at the reviews on the website makes it very clear that the Shed Defender is pretty great at keeping dogs from shedding everywhere.

Since Bella doesn’t shed much, the LittleThings editor-in-chief, Maia, tried the Shed Defender with her dog, Smokey. As you can see, he not only looks dapper but also definitely wasn’t shedding any hair all over the place.

Reduced Anxiety And Barking

reduced anxiety
Ileana Paules-Bronet for LittleThings

Anytime I try to put a bow on Bella or even just her collar, she freaks out. Needless to say, she prefers to go au natural.

I was concerned that wearing the leotard would actually make Bella more anxious, but it definitely didn’t!

As soon as she was wearing it, she just acted like her normal self. It’s hard to say whether it reduced her anxiety (she’s super anxious — so much so that she needs vet-prescribed medication), but it didn’t make it any worse.

smokey leotard
Maia McCann for LittleThings

On the other hand, Maia told me that Smokey totally chilled out as soon as he had the Shed Defender on.

Apparently it had that nice calming effect on him!

Cold Protection

cold protection
Ileana Paules-Bronet for LittleThings

When Bella tried out the Shed Defender, it was slightly snowy outside, so we decided to go for a walk.

Bella hates the rain, but she typically likes snow — at least until she realizes it’s melting and making her wet.

Wearing the Shed Defender helped her enjoy her snow experience without having to get snowy fur.

Other Benefits

other benefits
Ileana Paules-Bronet for LittleThings

Bella and Smokey didn’t have any wounds or surgical sites while we were trying out the Shed Defender, but I can definitely see why it would work. Plus, commenters on the website said the leotard worked like a charm for their dogs who were recovering from ailments.

Our pups also didn’t go out in the wilderness among bugs, but the Shed Defender is said to protect against insects and ticks as well.

Finally, Bella and Smokey aren’t show dogs (although they probably should be), so we had no need to use the leotard to keep them clean for shows.

Final Thoughts

belly zipper
Ileana Paules-Bronet for LittleThings

Would I use it again? Yes, definitely! If we ever have any super allergic friends staying with us, the Shed Defender could be a perfect solution. Plus, during the summer, when there are fireworks more often, I’ll try out the Shed Defender to see if it comforts Bella.

Would I recommend it to a friend? Of course! Obviously, if you have a fully hypoallergenic dog, you may not need the Shed Defender as much as someone with a dog that sheds a lot. There are so many positive aspects of this funny doggy leotard that it could be beneficial for almost every dog!

bella in bed
Ileana Paules-Bronet for LittleThings

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