Diwali is the most enjoyable time of the year for most of us but if you have a dog at home, you would know it’s not the same for him. Having been a parent to an adorable Labrador and many stray dogs, I have seen how scared and tensed they are during Diwali. It is extremely important for you to make your dog feel comfortable at this time. Here are 9 tips from my experience and chats with other pet parents that will help you take care of your dog:
- It is a good idea to take your furry pal for a long walk and feed him well before the crackers start bursting. This will make him feel less stressed and give him a good sleep. I have tried this so trust me it works!
2. However, make sure that you have him indoors much before the noise begins as even one loud cracker can scare him and make him very anxious. While some dogs might try to find a silent secluded corner, some may even get destructive due to nervousness.
3. In case your pooch gets a little destructive or wild, try calming him done with love. Don’t punish him for this behaviour; remember he is afraid. Instead, try distracting him and reward him with his favourite treat or a hug when he behaves well.
4. Another thing I learned over the years is that your pooch should be in a room where there are minimum windows. This small but important detail can make a huge difference as it helps to cut out the noise. Also keep maximum doors and windows of the house shut during that time.
5. Give your dog easy access to his favourite secluded spots in the house.
6. Put cotton in your pooch’s ears to block the noise of the crackers. While this worked with my Labrador, it did not work with my other pets. So make sure you know what your pet is comfortable with. If you notice even a slight discomfort, don’t follow this.
7. Please make sure that firecrackers, candles and diya’s are out of your pet’s reach.
8. Please walk your pet on a leash. Firecrackers can spook dogs and have them run away in fear. Also, make sure that your pet is wearing a tag with his name and your number so that in case your pet is lost, your chances of being re-united with him are high.
9. Last but not the least, give your pooch all the love he needs. Hug him, talk to him or simply sit by his side to make him feel secure. Make your pooch play with his favourite toys in order to divert his attention. If you haven’t already, gift your pet a Wag Box this Diwali and make him feel loved and cared for.
While these tips will help you take care of your pets during Diwali, do offer shelter to the stray dogs around your house. Give them some space in your garden or porch and offer them food/water. They will forever love you for this!
– By Ragini Mehra
Ragini is an ardent pet lover based in New Delhi