01 November 2010
New Delhi, India
"Pet owners should start taking precautions a few days before Diwali as people start bursting crackers much before the festival. Your pet should be locked up at home before dusk and put in a safe and comfortable room. All doors and windows should be closed. If you have a puppy, try putting cotton wool inside its ears as the sound of fire crackers could lead to deafness in some cases," said Gautam Bharat, co-founder of Friendicoes.
In their frightened state, dogs may not want to go out for a walk in evening, so taking them out in afternoon is suggested by animal lovers. "In many cases, pets stop eating or hide themselves due to all the noise. It is advisable to take them for a walk earlier in the day," added Bharat.
Agrees marketing director of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Ambika Shukla.
"Let pets find their own safe space in houses and allow them to sleep on your beds overnight during this period. There should be an identification tag attached to the collar so that pets can be safely returned back in case they try to run away in their frightened state. People can always request neighbours not to burst crackers that make a lot of noise," said Shukla.
Shikla also asked people not to throw firecrackers at stray animals.
According to animal activists, special homeopathic medicines are available that calm down pets and help them deal with stress they experience in a noisy environment.
Said Rishi Dev from Citizens for Animal Rights: "Homeopathic medicines are an option. Also, try keeping them in dark rooms."
Veterinarians recommend similar precautions. "Keeping pets inside during Diwali is advisable. They should be kept in a room where the noises of firecrackers cannot reach them as most pets are very sensitive to noise," said Dr D J Handoo owner of Animal Set Dog Clinic in Malviya Nagar.
Time For Caution
Crackers cause stress to animals and may damage their ears. A few simple tips to keep them safe
- Close all windows. Draw up curtains and turn on the radio or TV to drown noise of fireworks
- Make sure the pet is wearing a collar and an identification tag
- Make sure that people don’t burst firecrackers near pets
- Discourage people from settingoff very loud firecrackers. Animals have a more sensitive hearing than humans do