While most of us are busy having a good time with our family and friends on Diwali, the same is not the case for our furry friends. The festive day is a hard one for dogs and other animals, as noise and air pollution go up thanks to fireworks. They don’t understand what the hullabaloo is about, and hate when they’re left alone amid all the noise. One way to minimise their misery is to give them homeopathic or herbal anti-anxiety meds.
“Two days before the celebrations start, visit a homeopath and start giving your pet herbal or homeopathic medicines as per their weight and size,” says Swati Tandon, dog expert. “After Diwali, you can slowly wean them off the medicine as some people continue to burst crackers.”
Among other tips, few include keeping your dog in a soundproof room, keeping all doors and windows firmly shut; instead of putting them on a leash, or locking them when guests are over. “Dogs don’t understand Diwali. They wonder, aaj suddenly kyu itni noise ho rahi hai. They get really scared, and more than that, they get confused. So keep your doors closed because they may want to run out and check what’s happening,” she adds. An air purifier, she explains, works wonders at sucking the air pollution and dog hair floating in the air.
Other hazards that one needs to be careful of are sweets, candles, diyas, and rangolis. Veterinarian Rita Goyal warns that rangoli powders can be poisonous. “Ensure that the rangoli is made outside the house and not inside. If they lick it, there are very high chances of poisoning. Apart from that, make sure to place candles and diyas out of their reach, and sweets are a big no. Give them special dog treats if you really want to give them something,” she says.
Tandon shares that the festival is even worse for strays. “Strays are in a very bad shape on Diwali. They get burnt as people throw patakhas at them, they don’t go out for food and even remain thirsty for hours. For this one week, vets are fully booked around Diwali, and tend to a large number of strays.”
As a solution, Amritika Phool, co-opted member of Animal Welfare Board of India, says that one can always make a home for dogs using cardboard boxes or other means. “A place where they can find shelter for the night may do the trick. . Also, if you have a garage or a ground floor house, you can leave the door open for the night so that they don’t spend the night feeling scared.”