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Diwali, Festival Of Lights - Are Your Pets Safe and Sound?

20 Oct 2014 | by Neha Manchanda | Posted in: Wellness

diwali and dogs

As the year draws to an end, it brings with it a nip in the air that has a festive and happy aura attached to it. Everywhere, there is an anticipation and excitement of wonderful memories and moments that will be spent with family and friends. It is also that time of the year when our beloved pets need extra care, love and human companionship than even before.

Diwali, the festival of lights has a very different connotation these days. Even though environmentalists propagate cracker free diwali, the amount of firecrackers that are burst are beyond control. Many spend large amounts of money to get the best and probably the loudest of firecrackers to burst hence being completely oblivious to the terrifying effect these have on animals - both strays and pets.

Every year, during Diwali, one will come across a lot of notices / missing pets circulars in different social and print media platforms and even in various residential condominiums. The loud noises that firecrackers emit and the glaring lights that many people put up as a part of decorations have a terrifying and stressful impact on many animals. Blessed with an acute sense of hearing, animals hear an amplified level of the firecracker bursts which can scare them and bring about disturbing changes in their daily routines and habits.

Many animals, especially dogs, would flee from their houses, while for many there would be either a submissive (lack of appetite, depression, hiding under beds or tables, refusal to come out of a safe spot) or aggressive (biting, growling, snapping) change in their behaviour during this period. There are a few brave souls, who find the loud noises amusing and even go “investigate” and bark at the people and crackers who are making a ruckus.

We at DogSpot bring to you a few tips and safety measures that you can follow for a safe, happy and prosperous Diwali for you and your furry family members.

 

Spend time with your pets

- Firecrackers are a bane for animals especially dogs. During this season, veterinarians report an increase in anxiety disorders amongst pets. Pet parents often queue up at veterinary clinics to find solutions to calm down their pets. If possible, try and stay with your pet as much as you can, especially during the evenings, when people burst fire crackers. If you are entertaining guests at your home, try keeping your pet around so that he / she gets distracted by the people around and does not pay heed to firecrackers outside.

 

 

Follow a strict exercise regime

- Even during festive season, follow a strict exercise and feeding regime for your dog. A well fed and exhausted dog will probably doze off to sleep earlier than a hungry energetic dog and be less bothered about loud noises outside. Exposing your dog to startling situations will also increase confidence if done correctly.

 

 

Be patient

- Many pet parents might get worried about the levels of anxiety that their pet may exhibit and try pull their pet out of their comfort spots such as the area under the bed or the bathroom corner. During this time, you will have to be very patient with your pet and try to keep them calm by either staying close to them to giving them comforting things such as their favourite toy or a piece of your clothing that can be snuggled into. Remember to praise on any sign of comfort or confidence shown by the dog.

 

 

Medications may be administered

- For many pets, it becomes extremely difficult to manage their anxiety. During such times, one may need veterinary intervention. Many vets may prescribe stress relieving medications such as Beaphar Mellisa or even alprax based on the level of anxiety that the pet may display.

 

 

Keep pets indoors

- Try and keep all pets indoors and away from doors and windows. If possible, draw all curtains so that the sound is slightly muffled. Also, keeping pets indoor will save them from the harmful effects of the fire cracker smoke.

 

 

Tag your pet

- You will also have to be careful that your pet does not try to run away from the house. You may want to tag your dog collar with the dog’s name and  your contact numbers as a precautionary measure. DogSpot’s Wag Tag is another useful and effective way to keep a tag on your pet.

 

Look after the strays in your neighbourhood

- Just like our pets, stray dogs too get extremely scared with the loud noises and try to hide under vehicles or under stairways. Like a good samaritan, care for the strays too. Ensure that there is ample food and water for them and that people do not light fireworks near the place where the stray dogs are hiding.

Diwali is a beautiful festival and with our care and conscious effort it can be made beautiful even for our pets and animals in our neighbourhood!

Image Source: gratefuldogsrescue.org

About the Author

Neha

"An ardent writer, a devoted pet parent and a foodie at heart, I believe life is all about new experiences and expressions"

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