Hi all-

My corgi gets very scared when there's a thunderstorm/lightning outside.  He'll go into the bathroom, and shivers quite a lot.  Is there something I can do to calm him down? 


Thanks.

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Hi,

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.

one warning about benadryl, it can cause the opposite effect. If I give benadryl to Franklin he goes absolutely crazy. He gets really hyperactive. You can try a natural supplement called rescue remedy. Buy the human kind, not the pet kind. You can find it at most natural food stores. You only use a tiny bit, like 1-2 drops on a piece of bread or you can spray it in his crate. It has a calming effect. Your vet can also prescribe sedatives if it is really bad. Best to use a valium type sedative rather than acepromazine which is the most common. Acepromazine doesn't work when there is a lot pf stimulation (like in a thunderstorm).
It's a good thing we rarely have thunder in Seattle. Summertime, if thunderstorms are predicted in the mountains, Gwynnie gets bumped, and it's Al's turn to hike.
She doesn't like umbrellas or soap bubbles, either.

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!

Sam is so right...distractions are best. Interact do something that your dog likes doing. Play and ignore the storm. If he has that safe place to go let him. But you go as well and play. Try to ignore the storm. 
I guess my thought is totally different...but I would try to get him to accept this noise....will he still be scared? Most likely but I would try to get him outsidet when it's in the distance and treat him or play with him and a favorite toy. His collar would have to very secure but to me if he could learn to tolerate it at least to get out and go potty that would be good:) This won't happen overnight and I also would help him find that "safe" place where he can feel better. Radios and kennels do help if he likes his kennel. You could also cover it so he doesn't see the lightening. I have a rescue who lets me know much in advance that we're getting rain and she paces and then finds her kennel.  Any room that has no windows will be more comfortable also. Good luck!
We were never able to help Max with his thunderstorm issues. He would run back and forth barking until he was literally falling over with tiredness, we ended up having to sedate him, his reaction to fireworks was the same.
Our corgi hates thunder too. We've had some success with the herbal "Happy Traveler" and I regularly rub a little lavender essential oil mix on his temples. Both offer some relief. A friend has had good luck with a product literally called a "thunder shirt," that you put on the dog. This dog is so nervous he makes our look super brave, so if this has helped him, I have some faith in it.

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.

I doubt the placebo affect would work with dogs.  They don't have the mental capability to even know that what we are giving them is going to help them.  With people it's the knowledge that it's supposed to be medicine, and is supposed to make them feel better.  Although, you'd swear they know it's medicine by their uncanny ability to spit the pill out of any food you choose to put it in!
Thankfully we don't get thunder storms that often in Salem, but when we do, Noodles hides under our bed. That is his safe spot if anything scares him. If I am home, he will crawl in my lap and bury his head in my armpit, of course still shaking the entire time. I just pet him and tell him it is okay.

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