Imagine visiting a home that’s spic-and-span, aesthetically beautiful, delicate rangoli drawn, and freshly made delicious sweets laid down on the dining table. The house has lanterns and beautiful lights hanging outside the windows but as you move towards the other room, you see a dog whimpering, shaking like a leaf and running helter-skelter. How does that feel? Not that great, right? The festival of lights and celebrations brings with it a host of firecrackers that are so noisy, it becomes extremely difficult for our pets to bear.
Chemical free and eco-friendly Diwali
You might have been reading about the air pollution reports for a while now. According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), Air Quality Index at Delhi is 366. An Air Quality Index between 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 is satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor, 301-400 very poor and 401-500 is severe/hazardous. An analysis of data by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) shows that apart from Delhi and some cities in Uttar Pradesh – Lucknow and Kanpur– many other cities across India are reeling from polluted air. The air problem is not only causing breathing issues but is also harming the digestive system of animals.
When we think of fireworks, we only think of the booming noise harming our pet babies. However, we don’t give a second thought about it the next day. The dogs, as usual, are eager to go outside sniff, pee around the poles and follow their walking routine. However, it is potentially very risky. For most of the dogs, the colourful cover of a cardboard box seems quite attractive and they end up sniffing them. If you don’t pay attention to what they are up to, they might even end up chewing it which could mean more trouble. Fireworks contain poisonous chemicals such as potassium nitrate, sulfur, barium, and colouring agents. When a dog ingests these fireworks, the nitrate content can cause anaemia if consumed significantly. The gunpowder can irritate the stomach and intestinal tract, causing vomiting and diarrhoea.
Don’t overdo the sweets
It is so difficult to resist those big puppy eyes especially when all they want are some treats. We usually think that it won’t harm to reward them with sweets every now and then. While, it may be fine for you to cheat on your diet during the festivities, it may not be the wise thing to do with your pet. Keep those sweets away from your pets reach. A little too much would mean a nightmare to their digestive system. Also, one out of every 300 dogs is diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetes is becoming frighteningly common in dogs today, especially among senior and middle-aged dogs, and you can help prevent it by keeping the sweets in check.
Take care of the strays
When it comes to stray animals, nobody cares about them while bursting crackers. Some choose to tie the crackers to their tails, thereby burning their skin. Dogs have an incredible hearing ability, which can detect sounds that are too faint for the human ear and can hear sounds pitched at frequencies above and below the range of an average person. Thus, firecrackers of even lower decibels can drive them crazy.
Many dogs are so traumatised that it takes them weeks to get back to normal behaviour. If you can do your bit, help these frightened animals by providing a temporary local shelter. Give them hugs, stroke their back, let them feel you are there for them in a situation where they don’t even understand what a cracker is, let alone what festivals are! This Diwali don’t let your enjoyment take priority over your dog’s suffering. Take relevant precautionary measures and encourage your children to enjoy the festival of lights without all the hullabaloo.