My senior corgi mix also gets terrified when it thunders. Luckily we are in San Diego and we don't get many storms. At the first peal of thunder, I give Bruce children's Beandryl. It calms him down and he'll take a nap. It's 1 mg benadryl per pound body weight for your dog. Our benadryl comes in 25mg tablets, so SIdney (28 pounds) gets one and Bruce (a big boy at 48 pounds) gets 2. It takes about 30 min to start working, so as soon as I know a storm is coming, I give him the benadryl. I don't know if there are ill effects from giving this too often, so you should check with your vet.
Make sure it's regular benadryl, not the sinus type.
Hi Cadwell, if your dog have a safe refuge spot, let him go. You can also distract him by having calm music in the house, turn up the volume, play fetch and bring out your super tasty treats. Some dogs just needs to be held in those situation, give him a massage, help him relax a bit.
One word about Benedryl, if you over medicate, it'll have the opposite effect, benedryl is not a sleeping aid, sleepy is only a side effect. There are dogs who are allergic to diphenhydramine, always check with your vet first before you administer any OTC drugs. The only type of diphenhydramine you can give are white tablets or clear capsule, never use the red dye tab or any sinus / cold combo, some dogs cannot tolerate food colouring. Good luck!
I used "Rescue Remedy" quite a bit when I had my dog with seizures. It's all herbs, and is supposed to be good at calming the dogs for multiple reasons. Never used it for thunderstorms before, but I heard it works well. Another thing that is supposed to work is one of those wrap things that go around their body. I've heard a lot of people say those work. One lady just got a small child T-shirt that was tight on the dog and said that worked. My parents have to give their dog Xanax, which doesn't really work.
I have a kennel for my dogs that is open all the time, and periodically my Shepherd will crawl into the corgi one and curl up during a severe thunderstorm. It's like her den. Don't know if you have one, but having a safe place is probably the best thing. I try not to give them extra attention and baby talk them during the episode, Cesar says that just encourages the behavior. It's hard, but I've found if life goes on as normal, then they adapt. Good luck!
Lori uses Rescue Remedy all the time, swears by it. I'm not sure it isn't just snake oil. I wonder: do placebos work with dogs? They sure work with people, and a good placebo is lots better than nothing.
We don't baby Gwynnie. I don't think our courage rubs off on her. She turns into a different person, and has bolted twice at the the first thunder; luckily, each time she ran home (once was a t the beach, unfamiliar place, and she still went straight back to the beach house).
Al hears thunder and immediately looks at us to see if it's anything he should be afraid of, seemingly.