Enter the Duck Costume
Polly has an unusual outfit to calm her down. Lauricella was shopping at Marshalls department store one day before Halloween, and spotted a cute costume for a child..or, a kid, in this case! It was a duck costume, soft and “feathery” with a separate orange bill and webbed feet. She often dresses the baby goats for warmth and comfort, similar to swaddling a baby. She threw it in her cart, thinking it would be cute to see Polly wear and might provide some comfort. Polly frequently wears diapers in the house and a baby onesie to hold the diapers on, so clothes aren’t new to the little kid.
She soon discovered not only was the duck costume cute when worn by Polly, but it worked wonders on her anxiety! After putting it on to snap a photo to share, she realized that Polly had calmed right down, and wasn’t displaying her usual anxiety symptoms. It was like a natural soother for the little goat, she says. “”As soon as I put it on her, she just instantly got calm.”
Animals that suffer fear and anxiety can be swaddled to help reduce anxiety, which is why shirts like the ThunderShirt are so popular. The shirts offer “constant, gentle pressure” on the body, are billed as an anti-anxiety treatment for dogs and cats. ThunderShirt has an 80% success rate, but doesn’t work for all animals. Lauricella had already tried the ThunderShirt as a way to give Polly comfort, but it didn’t work. However, with the duck costume was a huge hit, and made Polly just slip into a “trance” with happiness.