Our expert says:
This is an extremely difficult phobia to overcome (called brontophobia). You can try to desensitise him to the sound of thunder by playing a recording of thunder very softly while he is eating or playing. Gradually, over a few weeks, you can increase the volume so that he gets used to it. However this doesn't always work as storms are associated with air pressure change, lightning and wet weather, which will all probably set him off. If you know you are going to have a storm or you are there you can give him Ecofear (from vet or shop) or Rescue Remedy (from chemist - human dosage) or something stronger from the vet to calm him down. Also try leaving the radio or TV on loud enough to muffle the sound of the thunder. In your case a doggydoor may be ideal as he can then get out to defaecate, but can come in if there's a storm. Try brushing him, giving him a treat, taking him out for a walk (unless he is likely to panic and escape) or playing a game with him while the storm's on rather than trying to comfort him. He needs to associate storms with pleasant experiences.
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