Diwali is the festival of lights and prosperity. But other than the beautiful lights there are some really loud crackers. Dogs have a very sensitive auditory system. Loud firecrackers are scary for them. Which means that Diwali with your dogs can be a little tricky.
Some dogs grow accustomed to crackers while others cower under beds thinking the end is near. It may seem trivial but imagine from your dog’s perspective. Their heads are near the ground. Everything seems big from their angle and with heightened sensory and auditory canals things sound terrible and smell putrid as well. A little pup can, in fact, be traumatised by the sounds.
Keep reading to find how you can have a safe and happy Diwali with your dogs.
Silent Diwali Is A Happy Diwali
Veterinarian Dr Inder Singh says that at least 80 – 90% dogs are afraid of firecrackers. The best way to make sure that Diwali is comfortable for your pup is to say no to crackers. It’s not only environment-friendly but also lets your pet know that you are there for them.
Encourage your friends and family for a silent Diwali too. The strays will thank you for it!.
Of course, we cannot stop anyone from bursting firecrackers. We can, however, request for a safe and organised Diwali. The Indian government has banned the bursting of crackers after 10 pm. This enables you to take legal actions against those who create noise pollution after the allotted time.
You can request committee members to allot cracker free zones on Diwali. If we celebrate Diwali in a civilized manner, it would give us enough time to shelter strays who may be too traumatized to leave their den.
Maximum Energy Outlets
We know the evening is going to be noisy and there is nothing worse than a frantic pup running around the house. Make sure they have a good energy outlet in the morning so that they can stay indoors on Diwali. A tired pup is less likely to react with firecrackers.
If your dog is toilet trained, consider avoiding the outdoors for the next few days. You can introduce some fun indoor activities and training sessions to keep their mind occupied and away from the noise.
Turn up your TV
Increasing the volume of your television or radio can cancel out some noise from the firecrackers. Once the fireworks begin, close the windows and doors and turn up the TV. You can also play soothing music if your dog is reactive to television sounds and visuals.
During the fireworks, some dogs prefer to be alone in a safe corner while some need the love and attention of their owner. Some get so scared that they refuse to eat!
If your dog wants to curl up in his corner, let them. You can also create a safe place for them. If you have a crate-trained dog, leave the crate doors open and cover the top with a dark, cotton blanket. This will give your dog comfort. They will go in and out of the crate during Diwali and feel safe.
The dark blanket would make them feel they cannot be discovered and many dogs prefer that. Just make sure the blanket is breathable. The last thing we want is to create a claustrophobic environment for an anxious dog.
Your dog looks up to you for protection during fireworks, so, if you seem anxious, he’ll pick up your energy. Therefore, remain as calm as possible and let them know that everything’s okay.
The lavish Diwali décor usually involves a lot of string lights and other electrical fixtures. These may have some open wires, which may spark. Your dog may want to play with them and end up being tangled or worse electrocute themselves.
If you want to have a bright Diwali, make sure the lights are at a safe distance and the wiring is done well. Create boundaries to keep your dog away from Diwali lights. If it’s too difficult to manage lights and your reactive pooch, it would be best to do without them. You can light a few diyas and your Diwali will be just as beautiful. But this brings us to the next topic.
Keep Diyas Far and Away
Just like Diwali lights, diyas should be out of reach as well. We put a lot of candles and diyas around our house on Diwali. The flames can catch your dog’s coat if they are too near.. Be very careful about where you place these candles. Keep them at a safe distance to avoid any risks.
Despite all your efforts to keep your dog calm, they may still stress out. Severe cases of anxiety are hard to handle without medication. This is especially true if your dog faced trauma in the past. The loud noises, the smell of fumes and bright light can make matters worse.
In such cases, you should consult your vet for anti-anxiety medication just to be safe.
Care for the strays as well
Diwali is particularly hard on stray dogs. They have no protection from the fireworks and are often hurt accidentally or purposely.
This is the time when you can talk to your committee members and allow the shelter to stray dogs in your building lobby. If it is possible, consider sheltering a stray dog for the night.
Make sure you have an NGO helpline, you may need it during or after Diwali. Diwali marks the celebration of good over evil. This is the least we can do to celebrate Diwali the right way.
Fireworks and crackers leave behind a lot of debris, including metal sticks, cardboards and harmful chemicals. Cleaning is a must to protect your dog from harmful chemicals
Diwali brings a lot of happiness and joy with it but it’s no fun if your pet isn’t comfortable. This Diwali let’s enjoy it with our pets. Let’s have a blast; silently.
We wish you all a very safe and Happy Diwali.