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Keeping the Tail Wagging: Managing Pet Behaviour During Festivals Like Diwali

With the arrival of the festive season, the household is abuzz with the preparations, decorations, and rituals. However, as the excitement builds, it's essential to remember that not all members of the family share the same enthusiasm. Our four-legged friends, our beloved pets, often become anxious and panicky during festivals like Diwali. The main culprit behind their stress? The relentless barrage of firecrackers that fills the air.
The festive season can be a traumatic time for pets because of the deafening sound of firecrackers. Here are some valuable tips to help your four-legged friends stay safe and happy this Diwali.

Understanding Pet Stress During Diwali

When pets are exposed to the sound and fury of firecrackers, they often display signs of extreme distress. Here is what happens when they encounter the cacophony of Diwali celebrations:

  1. Dogs and cats seek refuge in corners, attempting to hide from the frightening noise.
  2. Dogs may whine or bark incessantly, exhibiting signs of anxiety and fear. Some may even become aggressive.
  3. They might tremble or experience palpitations due to the overwhelming stress.
  4. The stress can lead to excessive salivation, which can result in dehydration.
  5. Pets are at risk of getting hurt if they escape outdoors suddenly and encounter dangerous fireworks.

Now, let us delve into the best ways to ensure your pets stay safe and healthy during the festival of Diwali. 

1. Respect Their Safe Space
If your pet decides to hide under furniture or in a quiet corner, let them be. Forcing them out of their hiding spot can increase their anxiety. Instead, draw the curtains to minimize outside noises, play their favourite soothing music, or turn on the TV to drown out the loud bangs of firecrackers.

2. Stick to Their Regular Diet
Sudden changes in routine and excitement can lead to stomach upsets or trigger pre-existing dormant illnesses. Keep your pets away from sweets, crunchy dry fruits, and chocolates, which can be harmful to them. Additionally, rich gravies and buttery sauces can cause gastrointestinal distress. Stick to their regular diet to ensure their well-being.

3. Minimize Noise
To protect your pets from the intense noise of Diwali, keep doors, windows, and the main entrance of your home closed. Consider placing your dog in a room with minimal outside sound. Playing soothing music or turning on the television can help distract them from the loud fireworks. If you're setting off firecrackers outdoors, keep your pet as far away as possible from the source of the noise. You can also use earmuffs or a blanket to cover their ears.

4. Be There for Them
During the festivities, do not leave your pets alone. Isolation can increase their anxiety. Spend quality time with them, shower them with attention, and offer their favourite treats. Cuddling and playing with them will help them feel loved and comforted, even amidst the noise of bursting firecrackers. If you are hosting a Diwali party, include your pet in the celebrations to prevent them from feeling left out.

5. Ensure Hydration
The fear and anxiety caused by the deafening sound of firecrackers can make your dog pant excessively, leading to increased salivation and potential dehydration. Keep a bowl of water nearby at all times to ensure your pet stays hydrated.

6. Protect from Fire Hazards
Pets may become agitated and try to escape to avoid the noise. This puts them at risk of getting burnt by firecrackers. If fireworks are happening in your vicinity, make sure your dog is far away from the area. Keep all doors and entrances closed to prevent your pet from running out of the house. Assign a comfortable room to your dog and have a family member supervise them. Additionally, light diyas and other flammable items in a pet-inaccessible area to avoid fire accidents.

7. Clean Up After Fireworks
The debris left behind by burning firecrackers can be as hazardous to pets as the fireworks themselves. Pets may be tempted to eat these remains, which can result in poisoning from harmful chemicals. After the celebrations, promptly clean up the debris to ensure your pet's safety.

8. Avoid Diwali Sweets
Sweets and fried items are a major temptation for pets during Diwali. However, sugar is highly toxic to dogs and can lead to severe health problems. Refrain from sharing your festival food with your pets and ensure they do not consume these items. Instead, provide them with pet-friendly treats made exclusively for them during Diwali.

Festivals like Diwali can be a lot of fun, providing an opportunity for family bonding and joy. However, it is crucial to celebrate these occasions responsibly, taking into consideration the well-being and comfort of our four-legged companions. By following these tips, you can help ensure that your pets have a safe and happy Diwali, free from unnecessary stress and anxiety. So, let the festivities continue, with your pets wagging their tails in joy!

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