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Go easy on the crackers tonight

Watch out! Don’t make animals crack up this Diwali. It’s a good idea to feed pets early, as they lose appetite once the fireworks begin. Under stress, dogs may empty bowels and bladder inside the house.

india Updated: Oct 17, 2009 01:10 IST
HT Correspondent

Diwali has not been the same for the Sharmas ever since Simba joined their household six years ago.

Jayashri Sharma and her husband — residents of Munirka — neither go out nor burst crackers for the sake of their pet Alsatian.

“Otherwise so ferocious, Simba turns into a scared, vulnerable pet on Diwali day. The trauma due to loud crackers made him sick the first year we had him. Since then, it has been a quiet Diwali for us,” Jayashri Sharma said.

The Sharmas are not alone in being concerned about animals on Diwali. Animal lovers and veterinarians have a number of tips to offer on caring about animals on D-day.

“Animals are scared by loud crackers. It is important to keep them in a closed room. If not that, a secure hiding place should do,” said Gautam Grover of the organisation Animal Saviours.

Veterinarian Dr Rashmi Mahanta from Pet Concern and Pet Shop in Central Market, Lajpat Nagar, said, “Do not leave animals alone in the closed room. They need cuddling just like a baby.”

It’s a good idea to feed pets early on Diwali, as they lose appetite once the fireworks begin. Under stress, dogs may empty bowels and bladder inside the house. “Only in an extreme case, the restless animal can be given a sedative, but only after consulting a vet,” said Grover.

Strays are even more prone to injuries than pets. Irani Mukherjee, founder chairperson of Circle of Animal Lovers, said, “Children should not have fun at the cost of animals. Parents should ensure that children do not tie burning cracker to a
dog’s tail.”

Animal lovers also advise against burning crackers near trees, as these disturb birds and squirrels. “Strays feed on garbage, so it is also important to not burst crackers near garbage dumps,” said Mahanta.