Founded in Southern California, Surf City Pet Works is a relatively new brand on the market. The company, which has quickly gained a reputation for its Hands-Free, Tangle-Free Leash, is dedicated to creating stress-free dog products.
Surf City recently launched its massage jacket, which the company described as its way of taking the anti-anxiety and calming compression jacket concept to the next level. By incorporating its wearable-grade massage vibration technology, the jacket was created to relieve stress-related tension in the muscles, connective tissue, tendons and ligaments while stimulating blood flow and circulation. The jacket comes in four sizes — small through XL based on weight, neck and chest circumference.
We decided to give the massage jacket a try with one of our test dogs. We selected Vicki, a 9-year-old collie-husky mix. Although she’s a mature dog, she’s got the spirit of an energetic youngster, which often results in limping and apparent muscle pain. There have also been signs of a decline in Vicki’s mobility, flexibility and strength.
We waited until we noticed Vicki showing evidence of discomfort after a session of tennis-ball fetching, and then we introduced her to the massage jacket. Immediately noticeable is how lightweight the jacket is, as well as the feeling that the neoprene fabric will make the jacket very durable. The compression-fit design of the jacket is impressive. The combination of the jacket’s stretchable material and Velcro connection flaps created a snug fit. Vicki also didn’t mind the process of placing the jacket flat on her back, followed by connecting the Velcro flaps around her neck and torso.
We allowed her to walk around for a few minutes to get used to the jacket’s snug fit. While putting the jacket on Vicki was a smooth process, and she had no issues to wearing it, turning on the vibration unit caused the pup to become initially confused by the sensation. After a minute, we turned it off, yet we allowed her to wear the jacket for the next hour.
This led us to create a plan of placing the jacket on her after every time she went outside, and turning the vibration module for longer periods until we felt she had grown accustomed to the sensation. This plan worked, and after a few days, she showed no fear of the vibrations. In fact, she had grown to enjoy it. She would sit and calmly allow the vibrations to relax her muscles and apparently ease her discomfort.
Featuring four vibration motors, the vibration module is housed in a removable pocket — which is connected via two additional Velcro strips — that enables easy removal and re-installation before and after washing (the jacket is machine washable). The Velcro strips also enable the vibration module pocket to remain firmly in place for consistent massaging as the dog moves around while wearing the jacket. Removing the vibration pocket also turns the massage jacket into a normal compression jacket.
The module allows for three vibration speeds — a slow pulse, alternating pulse and constant pulse. The module automatically shuts off after 20 minutes if it is not turned off manually. We loved that the module runs on a Li-Po rechargeable battery that is easily charged via a Micro USB charging cable. The recharging process is a breeze.
An added bonus is that the jacket features an integrated, waterproof and replaceable LED night light that’s visible from up to 1,500 feet away. The 10-Lumen powered light has three possible settings: constant light, blinking and triple blink. If not turned off manually, the night light turns off automatically turns off after two hours.
There’s a lot to like with the massage jacket. It only takes some patience and understanding to allow the jacket to do its job of have a calming effect on a dog. By following the user manual, which provides valuable instructions, the massage jacket provides a great option for owners of dogs that suffer from anxiety, stress and age-related muscle, tissue and ligament ailments.
Surf City Pet Works warns not to immerse the vibration module in water, and liquids should be kept away from the switch and charge port. The device should also not be used over swollen or inflamed areas or skin eruptions.