‘A worrying month for dogs’: Dogs Trust to use Mozart to soothe dogs this bonfire night

Dogs Trust Manchester will be playing classical music to their petrified pooches on bonfire night in a bid to drown out the scary sounds of fireworks. 

The kennel in Denton cares for over 80 dogs that have been abused or abandoned, and the fireworks season can be particularly scary for dogs with a traumatic past.

Staff are calling out for people to donate their old radios, CD players and classical music to help soothe the dogs when bonfire night arrives.

A Dogs Trust spokesperson said: “November is potentially a worrying month for dogs as they hear much higher frequencies than we do, and the whizz, bang, pop of fireworks can be too much for them.

“In your own home, you can turn the television up, you can close the curtains, things like that.

“Obviously we can’t do those things, so what we really need is music to help mask the noise.”

Although classical compositions have proven to be the most effective, the kennel has revealed the dogs also enjoy slow love ballads on the PA system.

Before bonfire night falls the dogs will be kept active with puzzles and training, and staff will ensure each dog has a special den to hide in when they get scared.

But some dogs find it harder than others to cope with the noise, especially those that have had a ‘bad experience’ in the past.

“Some dogs are more noise sensitive,” the spokesperson said.

“If a dog had difficult experiences of bonfire night before, then obviously they’re not going to be comfortable again.

“It can be difficult to keep them calm as we have so many dogs all together. So if one gets excited and starts barking then they all start barking too.

“But if we have soothing music playing throughout the kennel block, that will be a really critical way we can keep unexpected noises to a minimum.”

The Manchester kennel opened on October 23 last year and had only a handful of radios to use throughout the fireworks season.

A Dogs Trust survey revealed that two-thirds of dogs are scared by fireworks, and each year on bonfire night the charity receives calls from owners who are struggling to calm their pets.

They have released the following advice for those wanting to prepare their four-legged friends:

  • Don’t punish a dog for cowering or reacting to the fireworks as this will intensify his or her fear. Owners should remain relaxed and therefore provide a good role model to the dog when it is afraid.
  • Walk your dog before dark and feed them before the fireworks begin in case they become unsettled and don’t want to eat.
  • Don’t leave your dog alone in the house.
  • Keep your dog busy perhaps playing games or doing reward based training.
  • Provide a safe hiding place, close the curtains and turn up the volume on your TV or radio to drown out the fireworks noises. 
  • Make sure your garden is completely secure and never let your dog off their lead outdoors when fireworks are being let off.

For any further advice, or for details on how to donate to the kennel, call Dogs Trust Manchester on 0161 337 3600.

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