Every year, while Diwali brings happiness and empty pockets for the human residents of the country, it’s an absolute nightmare for the furry and feathered ones.
Animals don’t understand that the loud bangs and whizzes are not directly harmful to them. Why would they?
Humans are the only creatures who literally blow things up for fun. You need to take steps to keep your pets calm, as Diwali for them is the festival of abject fear.
Sound-proof your house as much as you can
Keep your windows and doors closed. Draw your curtains. This will ensure that the minimum amount of sound will enter the house. Don’t keep your dogs in bathrooms, as the sounds of firecrackers will be louder there.
Keep your doors and windows closed
Your little buddies may try and escape the noise by running away. Every year, hundreds of pets go missing the morning after Diwali. They will be frightened and unable to look after themselves, so make sure they cannot run away.
Don’t tie them up, even inside the house
It’ll make them panic even further, with the noise and flashes around them. Make sure all escape routes are closed, and let them roam free in the house. They will choose where they are most comfortable.
Don’t hug your pets to make them feel safe
It’ll have the exact opposite effect. Pets will observe your behavior for cues. If you coddle them, they’ll believe there’s a genuine cause for fear. Let them choose what makes them feel safe, and cuddle them only if they ask.
Allow your pets to retire to their safe spots if they prefer
They’ll feel most secure in the places they’ve marked for themselves, be it a crate, under beds, or on top of you.
Don’t take them out on Diwali night
The constant crackers might frighten them into slipping their leashes and running away.
Dogs may refuse to eat, and soil themselves in fright
Don’t force them to eat, and forgive them for the mess. They will be too frightened to behave like their normal selves.
Try and keep your pet distracted
Give them some toys to play with, and play them soft, soothing music to drown out the noise, or their favourite treat every now and then. Behave as though everything is normal, and they will feel safer.
Be careful with candles!
Remember not to light any candles or diyas in the house where your pet can knock it over.
Dogs may be extra boisterous and jump more than normal, so there is a risk they may topple candles over. Cats climb everywhere anyway, and may dart around in fear. Lighting candles in the house, then, is a disaster waiting to happen.
Go out and check on the strays the next morning
It would be great to give them some food and make sure none of them are hurt. As bad as it is for our pets, it’s worse for the strays, who have nowhere to hide. Some inhuman people also target them for sport; so do keep an eye out.
Remember, animals’ senses are much sharper than ours. If the crackers are loud enough to frighten us, they’re much louder for our pets. And they don’t even know why it’s happening.