It is getting closer to Diwali, the festival of lights, colour and joy! It is a celebration celebrated by millions of people around the world. Not only is it a special occasion for us but also our pets too! However, this can also be a stressful time for pets with the fireworks, loud music and noise. In this blog, we will explain how you can keep your pets safe during this special time.
Diwali is a favourite festival for many. It is a time for family, friends, and celebration. There are lights everywhere, good food, gifts, new couture, and colourful fireworks. But most of all, it is the feeling of happiness and goodwill that fills the air during Diwali. Our houses are decorated with rangolis and diyas are placed in every corner of the house to symbolise the victory of light over darkness.
We try to make this a memorable time of the year for us as well as our pets. Many pet owners indulge in goodies for their pets and new clothes for them as well. The evening of Diwali is when the real festivities begin, but though it is a joyful time for us, it is at the same time a stressful situation for our pets and our pet-parenting does not come to a halt.
Animals have a different hearing range when compared to us humans. Dogs can hear the same sounds as us quite loudly, as much as 47000-65000 Hz which is high pitched. They have a hearing capacity 7 times higher than humans.
Tips to keep your pet safe
- Go on early morning walks – Take your dogs for a walk in the early hours of the morning. A light change to their routine will protect them from unwanted stress. Avoid taking them for a walk when the festivities are going on as they may get scared. Make sure to hold on tight to the leash to prevent them from escaping. For safety reasons, it is best to keep a collar with name and address details attached.
- Keep pets away from fire – There are many sources of fire. Your pet can step onto one and burn themselves. Keep all diyas away from pets’ reach and do not burst crackers near any pet or their kennels.
- Create a safe space for your pets – Make sure all gates, doors, fences, and balconies are closed. Use thick curtains and turn on the television to soundproof the room the pet is in from cracker bursts. Pets need a safe space where they can take time to themselves. Playing games and calming music can also help.
- Speak to your veterinarian – Your pet’s veterinarian can help by prescribing certain medications to calm down your stressed pet if needed and thereby help them have a good night’s sleep.
- Be proactive in identifying signs of discomfort – The loud fireworks may make your pet uncomfortable. They may show signs of discomfort such as – hiding, panting, whining, and excessive barking. They may hide under furniture, and destructively chew on décor or any other items.
- Provide a suitable caretaker – If you feel you may be travelling or will be away from pets for a long time, ensure you have a pet-sitter who is trustworthy and responsible to take care of your pets needs.
Conventional ways to celebrate Diwali
- Accessorise – Dressing up is not just for humans. Your pet can look extravagant in functions too if you get them any couture such as bow ties, bandanas, sherwanis, frocks etc with a little glimmer.
- Make pet friendly treats – Pets desire to eat anything we pet-owners eat. Sweets and candies are bad for our pet’s health. But you can still include them in the festivities by making homemade pet-friendly diwali dishes such as carrot halwa, goat milk barfi, cookies, banana-oats cake etc. However you know what is best for your pet, reading every ingredient of the recipe is essential.
- Pet friendly decorations – When decorating, make sure to use nothing we could be a potential danger. For example, opt for lamps which use LED candles and keep actual candles out of the way of the pets’ reach.
- Get your pet gifts – Just like us humans, our pets love receiving and opening gifts with their little snouts. A toy or personalised bed, collar etc. anything would bring them happiness not to mention quality time together. This way they will feel important and included in festivities.
How to help pets who may be lost
- First, offer the pet with food and water.
- Try to locate the pet’s owner. Most pet collars have an ID tag through which you can try to contact the owner.
- Post a photo of the pet on social media
- Ask around for good NGO’s (Non Governmental organisations) to help or foster.
Keep an eye out for community pets
Our community may be a host to animals such as street dogs, cats, birds, cattle, etc. Unlike house pets, there is no one to take care of them except good Samaritans such as you and I, in times of need. Here is how you can help them out –
- Provide shelter to stay in your front yard or inside buildings to find refuge
- Keep a bowl of water and food available throughout the day
- A pat on the head and a stroke on the back can comfort pets who are shaking with fear
- Do not burst crackers in areas where pets take solace
- Teach children to empathise with pets and be sensitive to pets’ needs.
- Have a pet first aid kit for emergencies.
- Contact your nearest NGO or Blue Cross to help injured animals and rescue them.
Our pets do not understand the concept of celebrations. They do not crave anything other than our attention and care. Understand your pet’s emotions and keep yourself calm simultaneously as pets mirror our emotions and give her the royal treatment of abundant treats and love this Diwali season.
Clinical Dietitian, Simplyweight