Have a dog at home who dreads Diwali?
1 Keep the dog away: Keep your dog inside when fireworks are going off. Never walk him or leave him outside when firecrackers are being burst.
2 Mask the sound: Keep windows shut and curtains drawn to mask sounds and flashes from fireworks. Turn up the volume of the television or radio to help mask the sounds.
3 Distract the dog: Keep your dog distracted by playing with him or giving treats like Pedigree or Dentastix.
4 Be vigilant: Do not comfort your dog if he is showing fearful behaviour as this may actually reinforce the behaviour. Act normally, as if there is nothing at all to be afraid of and reward your dog when he is calm and not looking afraid.
5 Give some space: Provide your dog with a suitable safe place where he can hide and do not disturb him when he goes into this area. In extreme cases your vet may suggest prescribing drug treatment to help your dog cope with his fear of fireworks
6 Train the dog: You can buy CDs or tapes of fireworks sounds to help with this. These should initially be played at a very low volume so you can barely hear them.
(With inputs from Dr. Kallahalli Umesh, Waltham, Mars India)