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6 November 2020, 09:40 | Updated: 2 November 2021, 08:11
Classic FM’s Pet Sounds with Bill Turnbull returns for fireworks season – here’s how to listen on the radio, online and on Global Player, the official Classic FM app.
We’re broadcasting two programmes for pets – and their owners – to help them stay stress-free and relaxed this fireworks season.
Now in its third year, Classic FM’s Pet Sounds is hosted by weekend presenter and dog-owner Bill Turnbull, and was broadcast on Guy Fawkes Night – Thursday 5 November, 7pm to 10pm – and on Saturday 7 November, 7pm to 9pm, traditionally the busiest evening of the year for firework events.
The RSPCA shared 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 which are widely cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Across the two programmes, Bill plays a perfect selection of soothing and relaxing music, specially curated to help calm the nerves of the nation’s pets. His choices include classical pieces connected to animals, including the Pavane by 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 also features dedications to listeners’ pets and practical 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.
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, Classic FM had a phenomenal response to its two programmes. #PetSounds trended on Twitter across both evenings and digital listening hours on the day increased by 94 percent compared to the rest of the month.
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.”
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.”
This year, Classic FM’s Pet Sounds is sponsored by Pet Drugs Online, one of the UK’s largest and most-trusted vet-run suppliers of veterinary medication and animal products. Governed by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, it provides treatments to help calm and ease stress in pets, as well as offering a wealth of advice for owners on a range of pet issues, including how to deal with the fireworks season.
Classic FM’s Pet Sounds with Bill Turnbull was broadcast on Thursday 5 November, 7pm to 10pm, and Saturday 7 November, 7pm to 9pm. Classic FM is available across the UK on 100-102 FM, DAB digital radio and TV, on Global Player, on your smart speaker (“play Classic FM”), iOS or Android devise and at ClassicFM.com. Click here to catch up on Global Player, the official Classic FM app.