Do you know what the new chai-time conversation in the Capital is? Zero visibility, high levels of pollution and the thick layer of smog that has settled itself over the city. In the aftermath of Diwali, the city has hit alarmingly new levels of pollution, so much so that even going out for an evening stroll seems like an unhealthy option. In such a grim situation, the worst affected are our furry friends – dogs.
“The number of cases that we have tended to after the festival is worrisome. Every year, we have people come to us with dogs who got burned or injured during the festival. This year, people are bringing in pets who have contracted allergies and other respiratory issues given the amount of smoke in the air,” says Bhanu Dev Sharma, a veterinarian.
While not much can be done about the pollution in the air, there are several steps that pet parents can take to ensure their babies are least affected by the smog. “It is very important that pets be taken for a walk in a park. I know that there are issues around walking a dog in most parks, but in such times fresh air is a must for them. And do not take them out on the roads, even if that means taking them around in a car,” adds Sharma.
Other tips include using air purifiers and keeping the doors and windows locked. “Pollution is everywhere, so if you think your pet is safe inside your house, you need to reconsider. Turn on your air purifiers or even air conditioners – as they too purify air. And keep all your doors and windows locked as much as you can. Also, ensure that you spend a lot of time with them as they need to be as comfortable as they can,” explains Swati Tandon, pet expert, adding “Exercise of some sort is crucial. It will help keep the toxics off their bodies so find ample time for that too.”
And what can one do if there are any signs of a respiratory problem or a reaction to smog? “Take your dog to a vet at the earliest even if you notice nasal discharge or any other symptom. Put them on anti-allergics or homeopathy, and if you can, then fashion a mask out of a muzzle. That may help,” says Satbir Josan, another veterinarian.
People against air pollution
The thick smoke hanging over Delhi-NCR after Diwali celebration left many shocked and frustrated. The smoke from the firecrackers has not just choked the air but also affected visibility, even after a week. To raise awareness about the issue, Manas Fuloria, a resident of Gurgaon is organising a people meeting in the city.
“We have enough laws but the problem is enforcement. We will sign the petition against the open burning and increasing pollution and submit it to the local authorities, Chief Minister of Haryana, Delhi and at Prime Minister Office too! Not just government but we all are responsible for the same,” says Fuloria.
The level of pollution has got manifolds in the past few years. “The smoke is due to the increase of pollution level in the air. Once a level gets certain threshold, sunlight can’t penetrate,” says Fuloria, adding that not just burning of crackers but all other activities such as crop burning, waste burning add to the problem.
Catch it live
What: People Against Air Pollution
Where: Leisure Valley park, Sector-29, Gurgaon
When: Nov 5
Timings: 10 pm
Nearest Metro Station: IFFCO Metro Station on Yellow Line