Classic FM’s Pet Sounds, which was created to help anxious pets and their owners stay calm and relaxed during the fireworks season, is making a return this year.
Now in its third year, Classic FM’s Pet Sounds, hosted by weekend presenter and dog-owner Bill Turnbull, will air on Guy Fawkes Night, Thursday 5 November (7pm to 10pm). There will also be a second programme on Saturday 7 November (7pm to 9pm), which is traditionally the busiest evening of the year for firework events.
The announcement comes as the RSPCA fears that this season could be the worst for animals for decades, as more people opt for DIY firework displays at home, rather than organised public events.
Across the two programmes, Bill will play a selection of soothing and relaxing music, specially curated to help calm the nerves of the nation’s pets.
His choices will include classical pieces connected to animals, including the Pavane by the French composer Fauré, who was affectionately known as ‘The Cat’ by his friends due to his good looks and charm, as well as relaxing music from animal-lover Richard Wagner, whose pets included a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel called Peps and a St. Hubert hound named Pohl.
The programmes will also feature dedications to listeners’ pets and advice from the RSPCA for any owners looking to reassure their animals.
Over the past four years, the RSPCA has received more than 1,500 calls about fireworks, as many domestic and wild animals find the loud bangs and bright flashes terrifying and stressful. While major public events will not be taking place this year, domestic displays will still be happening across the UK.
Bill Turnbull said: “While fireworks season will be very different this year without the major events, many pets will still be scared by the smaller fireworks displays in gardens. I’m thrilled to host Classic FM’s Pet Sounds again, which will relax even the most terrified cats and dogs this November.
“Since the programme launched in 2018, we have had the most incredible response, with hundreds of messages from listeners who have found Classic FM to be the perfect sanctuary during this stressful time. I can’t wait to welcome back our furry fans and hopefully comfort some new ones, as we play the best soothing and calming music. It’s one of my favourite evenings of the year.”
RSPCA welfare expert Dr Mark Kennedy said: “We know that a lot of animals find fireworks distressing and that classical music can help some pets relax and mask the sounds of loud fireworks, so we hope Classic FM’s Pet Sounds will help animals and their owners. If your pet finds fireworks distressing, then we’d encourage you to seek advice from your vet or a clinical animal behaviourist.”
Classic FM’s Pet Sounds with Bill Turnbull is sponsored by Pet Drugs Online and will be broadcast on Thursday 5 November, 7pm to 10pm, with a second programme on Saturday 7 November, 7pm to 9pm.