A traumatic time for animals

As the countdown to Deepavali gets closer, the noise levels are rising slowly and steadily. What a lot of people tend to forget is that animals go through a very hard time during this festival, owing to the bright lights and loud firecrackers.

Metrolife speaks to some pet owners to understand the safety measures that they are taking to put their pets at ease.

“Deepavali is indeed a very traumatic time for my cat, Pepper. I don’t burst crackers for her sake. Being a cat, her sense of sound is extremely amplified. To comfort her, I make sure that we are always at home, especially in the evenings. We don’t let her outside even during daytime. We keep her distracted by putting up lot of decorations like LED lights, diyas and rangoli. She seems to be very fascinated by these and keeps staring at them just like a three-year-old child,” shares Abhijit Bera, who works in the City.

“When the crackers do burst, we put her inside our cupboard, where we have set up a bed with a cosy blanket. The clothing in the cupboard and the blanket help in muffling out the explosive noise of the crackers,” he adds.

Gautam John and his wife, Shobitha stay with two rescued dogs, Sparky and Ella. According to Gautam, Ella doesn’t seem to have much fear of the sound of firecrackers but it does terrify Sparky. “We have spoken to our trainer and she has given us some tips to deal with Sparky’s fear — like not reinforcing his behaviour and giving him space and a dark, quiet place to rest. We’ve also been told to play music in the background and play with the dogs to distract them from the sounds,” he notes.

“We have also been given a tablet, which is herbal and supposedly helps with their stress. The other recommendation is homeopathy, but we have not tried that as yet. In extreme cases, there is allopathic medicine  that has been recommended,” he informs.
Many other pets don’t get affected by the festival noise and lights. “I think we got lucky with my dog, who is not too sensitive to all this. In our experience, they’re perfectly fine with the noise. There’s also enough room for them to stay awake from the smoke,” says Mansi Dharmraj, another pet owner.

There are also those who feel that the best thing to do is to let the pet live their normal routine and not take any extra precautions.

“We just close the doors and windows and reduce the outside noise as much as possible. If you tie them up, they just get more frustrated and ferocious because they are helpless. It’s best to let them be free and  sleep wherever they feel safe in the house,” concludes Arjun R, who owns a labrador puppy named ‘Blondie’.

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