The Veterinary Centre

Henley and Twyford

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Seasonal Warning: Fireworks and Thunder

We're in the season of fireworks and thunderstorms. Animals have hearing many times more sensitive than ours, so loud noises are several times louder for them. Panicked, frightened animals can sometimes do extreme, irrational, things such as jumping out of high windows to attempt to get away from the noise.

To avoid accidents and reduce stress, follow the tips below.


  • Keep cats and dogs indoors with doors, windows, cat flaps and curtains closed to keep out noise and flashing lights
  • Move small pets indoors or into a shed or garage or, if this is not possible, turn their hutch to face a wall or fence.
  • Give small pets extra bedding to burrow into.
  • Prepare a 'den' for your pet where it can hide when it wants to, e.g. under a bed or table with plenty of blankets or old clothes
  • Have TV or music on. Normal volume, you're not trying to drown out the bangs. Music with a constant drumbeat is most effective
  • Cover aviaries with thick blankets or duvets to deaden sound and block out the lights ... but make sure there is plenty of ventilation
  • Stay calm and act normally. Ignore bangs and flashes, and praise your pet when he or she is calm
  • Give dogs a full meal about an hour before you expect fireworks or thunderstorms to start


  • Don’t 'reassure' your pet when it appears frightened. This makes things worse by teaching pets that there's something to worry about
  • Don’t shout at or punish your pet if it is frightened or if fear makes it destructive or 'naughty'. You will only make things worse
  • Don’t take dogs out for walks or tie them up outside when fireworks are being let off. Take them out during daylight hours instead.

If you know that your pet is particularly stressed by thunder or fireworks, please book an appointment to see a vet or nurse before the event. There are many products now available to help your pet through this stressful time and these are more effective if started two weeks in advance.


Adaptil collars, sprays and diffusers, Feliway sprays and diffusers and Zylkene capsules have all been proven to reduce the stress and anxiety associated with fireworks. The vet or nurse can go through these products with you and advise you on the most suitable ones for your situation


animated fireworks





Henley Vets and Twyford Vets
The Veterinary Centre: 271 Reading Road, Henley-on-Thames, RG9 1EL - Phone 01491 574490
Also at Twycombe Lodge, Loddon Hall Road, Twyford, RG10 9JA - Phone 0118 934 0259