ANIMAL welfare experts have urged pet owners to play classical music on Bonfire Night to help anxious pets remain calm and relaxed.

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.

How can classical music help animals?

Classical music has been found to have a relaxing effect on animals, with many kennels and rehoming centres using the power of classical music to help keep animals calm.

Last year, bosses of Classic FM said they had a phenomenal response to its two programmes aimed at helping anxious pets.

As a result of the show, the radio station said the hashtag #PetSounds trended on Twitter across both evenings and digital listening hours on the day increased by 94 per cent compared to the rest of November 2019. 

How is the station helping pet owners?

Classic FM have announced the return of one of its most popular programmes of the year, Classic FM’s Pet Sounds, created to help anxious pets – and their owners – remain calm and relaxed throughout the fireworks season.

Now in its third year, Classic FM’s Pet Sounds, hosted by weekend presenter and dog-owner Bill Turnbull, will be broadcast on Guy Fawkes Night – Thursday, November 5 from 7pm to 10pm – with a second programme on Saturday, November 7 from 7pm to 9pm, 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 perfect 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.

Classic FM’s Pet Sounds will also feature dedications to listeners’ pets and practical advice from the RSPCA for any owners looking to reassure their animals.

How to listen to Classic FM's Pet Sounds

Classic FM is available across the UK on 100-102 FM, DAB digital radio and TV, on the free Global Player app on iOS or Android devices, and can be heard on smart speakers by asking them to “play Classic FM”. The station can also be heard on

What has Classic FM's Bill Turnbull said?

Somerset County Gazette: Classic FM presenter Bill Turnbull. Picture: Classic FMClassic FM presenter Bill Turnbull. Picture: Classic FM

Classic FM’s 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."

What have the RSCPA said?

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.”