Classical FM show to help calm dogs on fireworks night

A wire-haired German pointer sat by a table looking worried

Many gundogs are absolutely fine on fireworks night, being accustomed to loud bangs, but some do still struggle - Credit: Emily Damment

Classic FM will be hosting two shows specially for dogs that struggle with anxiety on fireworks night; find out where to listen and check out some tips to keep them calm here

We know gundogs are perhaps the least likely group of canines to be frightened by fireworks (being used to loud bangs!), but there will no doubt still be some that suffer from anxiety when the rockets and firecrackers start going off nearby.

Below, we have some general tips to help those that do struggle calm, along with details of a Classical FM show specifically designed to sooth anxious dogs on fireworks night.

Due to be aired from 6pm-10pm on November 5 and 6, the show will feature soothing classical music chosen specifically to calm dogs during loud displays. Owners can turn the volume up a little to help mask the bangs and fizzes coming from outside. 

Charlotte Hawkins, the Classical FM radio presenter, will also be offering practical tips and advice to help make worried dogs as comfortable as possible during fireworks displays. 

Tune in here at 6pm.

Tips for keeping dogs calm on fireworks night

  • Avoid letting them outside when displays are likely to be running. Take them for a nice, long walk before dark to tire them out. If they do need to go out for a wee, put them on a lead.
  • Create a cosy, safe place for them to hide in... this could be a blanket draped over a table, or their usual crate if they have one. Make sure they can come in and out as they please.
  • Stay with them and remain calm yourself. Gentle massage and consistent stroking can help.
  • Make sure that they are unable to escape from the house and garden; dogs often bolt when panicked.
  • Give them something to distract them from what's happening, like a decent chew they can get stuck into. This works particularly well if the dog is food orientated (Lab owners, we're looking at you!)
  • In the worst case scenario of the dog somehow escaping and bolting, make sure they have a collar with a tag on. If they don't usually wear one (we know gundogs often don't) then you could make a temporary one just for the night. Failing that, it's vital your microchip is up to date. You can check that here.
  • Draw the curtains or cover the windows.
  • Finally, you can try playing some soothing music to help mask the noise outside, for example, the Classical FM show mentioned in the article above. 

Signs your dog is experiencing anxiety or panic

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  • Panting and/or trembling
  • Trying to hide under things/in corners
  • Digging at bedding
  • Pacing/unable to settle
  • Pawing, jumping up and seeking attention from the owner (where this is not their usual behaviour)
  • Vomiting, diarrhea or urinating (inside or in contrast to usual behaviour)
  • Vocalising 
  • Tucking tail down, hunching and hanging ears back
  • Destructive behaviour such as tearing things up
  • Being uninterested in food (where they usually would be)
  • In extreme cases, out-of-character aggression