Noise Phobias

Noise Phobias

Sound Phobia

Sound phobia is an excessive or abnormal reaction by pets to noises that scare them or make them anxious. Some pets will hide, others, especially dogs, may injure themselves or property around them. The most obvious time that this will happen is around Bonfire Night or New Year (firework bangs and flashes) but many pets will be phobic or all sorts of sounds all year round – sometimes normal household noises, traffic or the television.

80% of Pet Owners have had a pet who is afraid of Fireworks! 49% of dogs have some degree of noise phobia.

While many of us look forward to Bonfire Night and the accompanying firework displays, many pets become stressed and fearful in the run up to and during the fireworks season. With some situations being fearful can be useful; fear is a mechanism that alerts an animal to danger and so may protect it from harm. However, if an animal is afraid of something that does not pose a threat, for example fireworks and loud bangs, such fear can be unhelpful and if not managed it can even escalate into a more serious phobia.

So how can you recognise if your pet is scared? There are a number of symptoms of fear to look out for which may vary between cats and dogs:


  • Cowering and hiding behind or on top of furniture
  • Vertical scratching
  • Spraying
  • Trying to run away
  • Soiling the house
  • Refusing to eat


  • Trembling and shaking
  • Clinging to owners
  • Barking excessively
  • Trembling and shaking
  • Cowering and hiding behind furniture
  • Trying to run away
  • Soiling the house
  • Pacing and panting
  • Refusing to eat

There are many treatments available and helpful things you can do to help with Noise fears and phobias including using pheromones or other products to help your dog or cat cope much better. We can advise and offer you a solution based on the intensity with which your dog or cat suffers.

And read our Bonfire Newsletter 2023– full of tips and useful advice.

Scary Sounds Club

Our Veterinary Nurse led ‘Scary Sounds Club’ – this is FREE to attend. Our Nurses will discuss your situation and tailor an action plan specifically for you and your pet, not only to help you in the coming months, but also for the long term management of your pet’s phobia.

The treatment of sound phobia involves behavioural modification, creating the right environment, medications, supplements or pheromone support. Some of the best products we use are listed below:

Read the Adaptil / Feliway Leaflet

There are also a number of websites that you may find helpful:



If you think your pet suffers from noise phobia or is scared of loud noises then complete the following questionnaire and book an appointment at the Scary Sounds Club, or come and see us at reception.

Top Tips for your dog around Bonfire Night

We think the best approach on bonfire night is to build your dog a den, plug in an ADAPTIL diffuser and consider using other calming aids.

The attached sheet gives an overview on what to do during loud events.

Other Products

We have a range of herbal, vitamin and amino acid based products that have been shown to offer tremendous help to both dogs and cats during stressful times, including Bonfire Night, Christmas and New Year events.


A calming supplement to help maintain a normal disposition. CALMEX® is a specially blended feed to help promote relaxed behaviour in dogs experiencing behavioural problems.

CALMEX® helps to manage short term stress and long-term anxiety. Dogs cannot tell us when they are feeling stressed or scared and we often struggle to understand their sudden behaviour changes. Unfortunately, even minor behavioural problems can become worse with time and long-term stress ultimately leads to health and welfare issues.

CALMEX® is specifically designed for dogs. CALMEX® promotes happy and playful behaviour by increasing serotonin levels (the happy hormone). In an independent trial, CALMEX® has been proven to work in dogs.

All of the above are non-prescription treatments which can be bought over the counter. Feel free to call in and discuss at reception, but remember, the ‘SCARY SOUNDS’ CLUB is FREE to attend and the nurses will offer you great advice and help tailor a solution to help your needs and circumstances, liaising with the Veterinary Surgeon if necessary. Contact your local Vetcare Surgery for more information.

Some Pets have such severe reactions to Firework events that prescription medications are sometimes required. Unless we have seen you recently an appointment will need to be made with the Veterinary Surgeon to have these prescribed. The Veterinary Surgeon will need to do a health examination before prescribing stronger medication. For these appointments, exclusively for bonfire night advice and medication, the charge is only £15, saving you approximately £18.