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About 40% of dogs in the UK have some form of noise phobia and with firework night upon us how do can we manage this for them?

fireworks petsWhile many of us enjoy celebrating Bonfire Night, firework displays can often be scary for pets and livestock.

This time of year can be stressful for pets and their owners alike, as people tend to set fireworks off on the run up to Bonfire Night and even afterwards.

If your dog or cat suffers every time they hear a rocket or firework explode there are things you can do in advance such as buying pheromone diffusers or speaking to your vet about the therapies and medication available.

Classic FM is bringing back its programme for pets to listen to during fireworks.

Charlotte Hawkins will host the special show this year, which will air on Friday 5th and Saturday 6th November from 6pm till 10pm.

Across the two evenings, Charlotte will play a selection of the most soothing classical music, featuring pet-related pieces from animal-loving composers.

Classic FM’s Pet Classics will also be packed with lots of dedications to listeners’ pets and, once again, the station is teaming up with the RSPCA to offer practical advice and tips for owners looking to make their animals as comfortable as possible.

Charlotte Hawkins said: “It’s a huge privilege for me to host such a fabulous and much-loved programme on Classic FM for pets and their owners at this time. The classical music that we’ve chosen is super-relaxing and soothing, so I look forward to welcoming everyone to what will be our radio sanctuary.

“It will be wonderful to introduce classical music to a whole new audience, especially the four-legged variety! I know there will be one very loyal listener tuning in – my rescue dog, Bailey, who will be 17 years young on Bonfire Night!”

In addition, Classic FM’s Music for Pets, a playlist of peaceful, pet-friendly music is available on Global Player.

Dr Sam Gaines, pet welfare expert at the RSPCA said: “Fireworks night can be a scary time for animals. Many dogs and cats find it incredibly stressful – as do horses, farm animals and wildlife too. The noises and commotion can leave them feeling distressed and fearful. Playing classical music is one thing that pet owners can do to help calm their animals, while fireworks are being let off, and that is why we are so delighted to be involved with Pet Classics again this year. We play the programme to some of the animals in our care across Bonfire Night to help them to relax and to help mask the sound of fireworks. We are proud to be supporting Classic FM and their focus on helping animals up and down the country.”

Philip Noyce, Classic FM’s managing editor, said: “At Classic FM, we believe that everyone can benefit from listening to classical music, and that goes for our pets too! In just four years, Pet Classics has grown to become one of our most popular programmes of the year so, with support from the RSPCA, we are excited to announce two new and extended shows for 2021. We are also thrilled that Charlotte Hawkins will host this year’s programmes. Charlotte is both passionate about classical music and a dog-owner herself, so we look forward to her presenting the perfect soundtrack to keep pets and their owners chilled and relaxed this weekend.”

On bonfire night itself you can follow some of these simple tips, provided by the RSPCA, which will help keep your pet safe and stress-free:

General tips
1. At night close windows and curtains and put on music to mask and muffle the sound of fireworks

2. Comfort your pet if it helps them relax, or leave them alone unless you think they will harm themselves

3. Never punish your pets when they’re scared as this will only makes things worse in the long run

4. Make sure your pet is in a secure environment and they can’t escape if there’s a sudden noise


Just for dogs

1. Close any windows and black out a doggy play area so that your dog can’t see flashing lights.

2. Before fireworks begin move your dog to the doggy play area with all their favourite toys.

3. Ignore the firework yourself. Play with a toy to see if your dog wants to join in, but don’t force them to play.

4. If your dog has a doggy friend that isn’t scared of fireworks keep them together, your dog might be comforted by them.


Just for cats
1. Make sure your cat has somewhere to hide if they want to. For example this maybe under some furniture or in a quiet corner.

2. Don’t try and tempt your cat out as this will cause them to become more stressed.