It is really sad to see your happy pets and stray dogs shivering, shaking and barking during Diwali time. In fact, street dogs get affected more by the harmful effects of Diwali. It can impact their hearing ability and they tend to get restless. A lot of people who burst crackers believe that since it’s only for one evening, there is no real harm done.
It observed that their pet and also stray dogs on the streets gets scared and tensed when they hear loud crackers. The sound of firecrackers causes immense stress and may even die because of it. Dogs are extremely sensitive and because they have a stronger hearing power, they are easily susceptible to high decibel sounds during such festivals. Ronita Sharma, a pet owner from Mumbai says, “A dog’s hearing ability is seven times more than humans. When we cannot bear the loud sounds of the crackers, imagine what the poor dogs go through. It is high time we become a little bit more sensitive towards the plights these poor animals go through during Diwali.”
Sudden changes in the surroundings with such loud noise and fireworks push them to a stressed and confused state. The possible signs of stress include whining, fear, loss of appetite, salivation and defecation inside the house. You may also have observed that many dogs even try to escape and that is the reason you will notice most numbers of dogs and cats go missing during this festival season.
Animal lover Namita Narula and her husband Piyush from Sonepat takes care of 18 stray dogs. She says, “Though Diwali is an auspicious time of the year, we need to take good care of our pets and stray animals. With the noise of the loud crackers around Diwali, pets run and hide either under the cars or under the bed. It’s very important that we as residents allow stray dogs to take shelter near our homes so that they are not wandering on the streets because there are chances of accidents.”
Narula mentions that just as we enjoy the festivity by preparing a good meal for our self, we need to ensure that we feed a proper meal to our pets including the stray animals so that they are energized and are willing to play around. This will distract them from the noise. She also insists that we need to put them to bed early.
Akshay Gupta, Founder Pet Fed says, “During Diwali, there are a lot of cases of pets running away because of the noise and the abuse towards stray dogs increase significantly. Because of the loud noises the stray dogs get extremely scared and hide under the cars, so one should always be careful while driving off and check for the dogs. Those who have indoor parking can always open their doors for the stray dogs so that they can find safe refuge. Pet owners can also use cotton earplug for their pets and keep them indoors at all times to avoid them from running away." The pollution during Diwali also increases significantly which causes a lot of issues with birds, one can keep water bowls in the balconies so that the bird can refresh themselves easily. People need to be more open with stray dogs and cats in adopting them and should see them like pedigree dogs.
Whenever the fireworks are around, we should keep our pets indoors. “As responsible citizens, we should ensure that nobody in the locality where we live should tease the stray dogs by bursting crackers near them or trying to their tails. Never scold your dog even if he gets frightened because of the noisy crackers. Just calm him down and behave in a normal way and most importantly love them,” says Narula.
We should be careful that we don’t throw burnt crackers near to animals. This is likely to damage their paw as they may carelessly step on it Give time to your pets and stray animals too because your time will save their life.
Keep the windows shut and curtains drawn to mask sounds and flashes from fireworks. You can buy ear muffs too for your pet animals. Varun Sehgal, another pet owner from Delhi says, “Turn up the volume on the television or radio to help mask the sounds of fireworks. Stay at home with your pets. Keep your dog distracted by playing with him or giving him his favourite treats.
Bhawna Prasad, a public relation manager from Delhi says, “I keep my dogs distracted, by continuously engaging them with your conversations and generally keep them where there is less noise and cover their ears with a quilt. Don’t get hyper with their aggressive nature as this might irritate them more and yes, there are possibilities that they might attack you back.”
Ensure that your pets are wearing collars and identification tags around their necks with the owner’s contact information. And most importantly have a happy and safe Diwali and avoid bursting crackers.