Diwali can be a stressful time for your pets, owing to all the air and noise pollution. The bursting of crackers can overwhelm pets, making them quiver and behave in a restless manner. Pet parents, therefore, have the responsibility to make the day stress-free for them, and if you need some kind of initiation, here is help.
Dr Pranjal Khandare, veterinary officer at Wiggles.in, who has treated more than 5,000 pets so far, says pet parents notice odd behaviours in their pets when the Diwali season starts. “Hiding under the sofa, unusual barking, loss of appetite, shaking and even tremors are some behaviors displayed during this time.”
The doctor, however, shares some simple tips on how to make this day stress-free and happy for our pets; read on to find out.
1. Go for an early morning walk
No one bursts fireworks at 6 am. That gives you the perfect opportunity to take your pet on a peaceful walk. Try to get your pet habituated to this time a few days before Diwali so you don’t disturb their routine. Early morning walks will get your pet feeling tired so they can sleep more peacefully.
2. Stay calm and de-stress yourself
“Our pets can always sense and know what we’re feeling. It’s important to remain stress-free and calm to make them feel relaxed, too. When your pet is getting anxious around loud noises, try not to coddle them and show extra care, instead pretend like everything is normal. Play some games and distract them,” says Kushal Chipkar, manager of dog training at Wiggles.in.
3. Prepare in advance
When the Diwali season is approaching, start prepping to minimise your pet’s stress in advance. Start getting your pet used to the sound of firecrackers by playing the sounds in your house. Begin playing on a low volume. Start slow and increase the intensity gradually. Consult a veterinarian, behaviourist or trainer and ask them for tips and medicines that can help your pet relax. Opt for anxiety-reducing courses and classes for them, get earmuffs and keep a soothing music playlist ready. Keep first-aid kit stocked up especially with antiemetic medicines.
4. Make your home extra comfy
* Create a comfy nook dedicated to your pets. Fill this space with soft blankets, their favourite toys and treats.
* Close all your doors, windows and draw the curtains in the evenings and at nights, this would minimise the noise of firecrackers and block the flashing light.
* If you can, consider sound-proofing one of the rooms in your home.
* Many pet parents get air purifiers as pollution increases during this time and causes health problems.
5. Use anxiety-reducing oils and medicines
Anxiety-reducing oils like hemp seed oil or cannabis leaf extract oil can be extremely beneficial for anxious pets. A common myth amongst pet parents is that these oils make pets ‘high’ and hence create the calming effect. But in reality, cannabis and hemp do not cause psychoactive effects on pets. To be sure, choose one with zero additives and made with 100 per cent natural ingredients.
6. Choose a boarding home
If you’re expecting too many guests and know that your pet will get anxious around them, check your pet in a boarding home or daycare where they can be looked after under a professional’s care.
Last but not the least, do not leave your pet alone.