Diwali is a favorite festival for many including myself. The shimmering lights, the colorful diyas, the aroma of the sweets and for some the fireworks make Diwali a festival of super fun and frolic. Do you want to share this fun with your dog? Even when the air is filled with colorful crackers, the twinkling of lights, Diwali also make our furry friend cower with fright. We think of making Diwali safe for ourselves and kids but have you wondered how we can make Diwali pet-friendly?
During Diwali there are many pets dogs that refuse to come out from hiding under the bed or any other furniture due to stress. Some dogs get so stressed out that they refuse to eat or drink anything. Diwali just does not affect the dogs alone but birds, cats, rabbits or any other pets too, suffer the same problem. Below are some things you can do to make your pet’s ordeal more bearable.
1. Take for a walk and feed him beforehand
Before all the crackers start to burst, it is best to take your dog for a long walk. This will make him relaxed and will not make him too stressful. Be sure to feed your pet well before the noise starts. This will allow him to sleep well as he will be full tummy.
2. Keep your dog indoors
Once the crackers start to burst, bring your dog or pets indoors. The loud noise will make him or her very anxious and your dog will probably like to hide under the bed or run to a safe and secluded place due to nervousness. This is very common. So let your dog go where he finds himself more relaxed and comfortable. If you could interest him in play then engage him in his favorite activity. You can play fetch with him or practice a trick that he enjoys. You can also offer him his favorite toy.
3. Shut doors and windows
Another thing that can be done to help your furry friend from loud noise is to keep him in a room with less number of windows. If possible let him in a room where the noise level is minimal. Make sure that most of the doors and windows of the house are shut. This will make a huge difference in the well being of your dogs or pets in general. You can also play music to drown out the noise outside.
4. Comfort your pooch
It is very common for a dog to behave a little wildly or destructively during the festive season. While you cannot control the noise outside, you can control your Diwali dog. You can control the behavior of your pooch by giving him a lot of attention and love. However, experts are divided on whether you should comfort your dog or not. While some believe that patting the dog or giving him attention while he is afraid will reinforce his fearful behavior. Your dog may interpret your patting or attention as a reward for his fearful behavior. However, it is not possible to see a petrified pet that starts trembling as soon as the noise starts. While we cannot totally ignore their frightened faces, I try to soothe my dog by patting on the head or by making him sit by my side.
Dog training needs persistence and several repetitions of the same exercise. Diwali comes once in a year and I personally don’t think that comforting him once a year will reinforce his fearful behavior. Dogs look at their packs for safety and it will be unkind of me to turn my head off because we are definitely his pack. Do you think comforting your dog in Diwali is the right thing to do? Follow your heart and do whatever feels right to you.
5. Keeps diyas out of dogs reach
It is a common practice to light candles and diyas during Diwali. While they may not do any harm to your pets, once the fireworks start, it will be very difficult for your pet or dog to not wander around the whole house. So keep them all crackers, diyas, and candles out of reach from your pets.
6. Medications may help sometimes
Sometimes if your Diwali dog gets anxious and is not calming down, you can ask your vet for any distressing or relaxing medication. However, remember to never give drugs to your pet without proper consultation of the vet.
Diwali is a fun-filled festival. But care should be taken that our fun does not become our pet’s day of fright. It is very important to sensitize the people as to how they can make this day pet safe and friendly. Diwali is a festival of lights and we can celebrate it without using any loud noise. If we need to use crackers, then noiseless crackers or green crackers can be used. Green crackers are said to be less harmful as compared to conventional firecrackers. They are said to contain less harmful chemicals which means less pollution emission resulting in reduced air pollution. All in all a welcome change for us, our furry friends as well as for the environment.
Happy Diwali to Dogs!