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Updated: October 24, 2011 19:25 IST

Have a happier festival with your pet

Sruti Nayani
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Take extra special care during Deepavali. Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy
Take extra special care during Deepavali. Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

Deepavali would mean bursting of crackers. Do so while being sensitive to your pet's feelings.

“We have a new pet at home, this year. It is a rabbit, and it is still not used to us. So, I am worried especially during Deepavali,” says 12-year old Amrutha. Bursting crackers is one of the highlights. As much as bursting crackers can be fun, it can be scary for your pet. They could become restless and panicky.

Tackle restlessness

“My dog is brave, but it is during Deepavali that he starts fidgeting and gets restless. Though I am scared of bombs and a few other crackers, my dog is all the more scared,” says 10-year old Nishtith. So make sure your pet is safe. Animals have a far more acute sense of hearing than ours, the noise of crackers and the usual hullabaloo can be distressing for your pet.

There are ways and means to make sure your pet is not harmed and alarmed by the noise. Dr Lakshmi Ramana, a veterinarian who also works with Blue Cross, and People For Animals in Hyderabad, says, “children and pets can be similar at times like Deepavali. They tend to react alike. One has to be careful as pets will always react much more to the noises, so keep the noise out.” So, make sure your pet does not get out at all during the bursting of crackers.

Keep the crackers well away from your pet. Not only are they noisy, but can be poisonous too. You can probably turn on the television or the radio to help drown out any noise and keep it distracted.

Pets may try and escape the noise and such by running away, and this may cause serious harm to your pet, so make sure they are inside and safe.

In case your pet does get out, make sure it wears a collar and tag at all times, with proper identification.

First aid

Have a vet's phone number at hand, at all times. Any caged animal such as rabbits or birds should never be left outside. Cover aviaries and pens leaving space for ventilation. Have a first-aid kit for your pet. If any of the animals is wounded, make sure you take them to a vet or call an ambulance if need be.

So, get out and have fun. But do take care of yourself and your pet. Have a cracking Deepavali this year.

A few precautions:

Keep the pets inside the house at all times especially during crackers are burst.

Make sure you do not burst any crackers in front of your pet and be with them at all times.

Shut doors and windows to keep the noise out and also close the curtains and drapes.

Pets usually tend to hide under a bed, or in a dark, closed room. The best thing to do is to let your pet feel safe in their secure area.

Playing with your pet, to keep it distracted from all the excitement.

Do not comfort your dog if he is showing restless behaviour, instead be cheerful and be in control. Act normally, as if there is nothing to be afraid of.

Reward your dog when he is calm and not looking fearful

Never punish your dog in any way for being afraid

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