It is not just Gurgaon residents but also their furry friends who are facing the brunt of the dense blanket of smog that has engulfed Delhi and its neighbouring cities since Diwali.
Pet owners, especially those of dogs and cats, complained that the animals are having difficulty in breathing and have turned lethargic since Diwali eve. Animal lovers said that their pets have developed wheezing and coughing.
“My 5-year-old Pitbull, Pluto, has just been lying in a corner and not responding to anyone since Diwali. He does not respond even when my mother or I try to play with him. We have reduced his walk time and are hoping he gets better soon. We urge people to stop bursting crackers; it has been days that the festival is over,” Priyanka Dang, a 22-year-old student, said.
Residents said that their pets’ appetite has also reduced due to the loud noises and smoke from the crackers. They said that the moment a cracker is burst, their pets get scared, go to a corner and stop eating. Some are force-feeding their pets so that they do not become weak. Also, the eyes of some dogs have turned red, discharging water due to irritation from the pollutants.
Neha Raj, a 29-year-old MNC executive, said, “The eyes of my American Cocker Spaniel, Zoro, have turned red and tear-like substance flows from them. We have been washing his eyes with cold water and putting eye drops but it is not helping.”
Doctors said that the increasing air and noise pollution are having adverse effects on animals. They said that the owners should try and keep their pets indoors, under air-conditioners, to reduce their contact with the unclean air.
“Air pollution has increased the risk of pets developing cardiovascular diseases or respiratory symptoms such as a persistent cough, wheezing, shortness of breath, tightness of chest. Owners should reduce the time of the morning and evening walks as pollutants are closer to the ground in these hours,” Dr Ashok Kumar, veterinary doctor, CP Vet, Sushant Lok, Gurgaon, said.
Doctors also said that the pets should be comforted by owners. Dr Vinod Sharma, a city-based veterinary doctor, said, “It is important to that the pet owners ensure that the dogs are not scared as they risk of going into depression due to noise and air pollution.”