It’s Diwali season, a time when you see lights everywhere and stacks of mithai boxes in the house. While crackers are the standard form of celebrating Diwali, our dogs are not very happy with the loud bangs that accompany the light show. Those of you who have dogs would know the trauma that they go through every Diwali. Dogs hide and quiver with fear till the loud noises don’t stop. However, there are some steps you can take to celebrate a dog-friendly Diwali this year. Here’s how:
1. Desensitise your dogs to loud noises
Many pet owners like to expose their animals and birds to ‘small doses of noise’. While it may help the pets in accepting this mayhem temporarily, many animal psychologists are not sure about the long-term effects of this practice. All animals will react differently to this form of ‘immunisation’.
2. Create a safe, soothing place for pets
Our neighbours are not going to stop lighting firecrackers during Diwali just because we have pets. The most obvious response to this kind of situation is to make our homes as soundproof as possible. Pad up your rooms by rolling out heavy carpets. If you have heavy curtains, cover your windows with them. Close all doors and windows and wait for the crackers to start. Do not shut yourself away from your pet. Make them see you at all times so that they feel a sense of comfort. Play with them, keep them occupied, and show them more love than you usually do.
3. Get ear covers
Many pet shops sell ear covers for dogs and cats. These covers can be wrapped around your doggy’s ears and you can just hope that they don’t get disturbed by all those bombs and crackers going off outside. If you can’t find ear covers in a pet shop, you can create your own using scraps of unused cloth.
4. Consult an animal behaviour specialist
Your pets demonstrate different behaviour in different situations. For example, your bird may react in a particular way when a visitor comes. Their reaction may change when someone rings your doorbell. Studying and mapping different behaviour patterns of your pets will help the animal counsellor figure out how you can make Diwali peaceful for your pets.
5. Try medication, if your pets really need it
One of the least appreciated techniques to soothe your pet is to administer medicines. There are specific injections and medicines which help pets, especially dogs, to calm down in noisy situations. Please note that while such medicines may calm your pet down, they should not get addicted to this remedy. Frequent use of drugs and chemicals may make your pet unwell. Consult a veterinarian before taking this step.
Have a wonderful, dog-friendly Diwali this year!