In India, every celebration, whether marriage or festival are colourful, fun and most importantly, noisy. As much as most of us try to curb fireworks usage for environmental reasons, several continue to use them. Pet parents have difficulty dealing with this as the loud firecracker noises cause a flight or fight response in animals. Most often, they show signs of anxiety, restlessness and run to look for shelter. With the ongoing Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations and soon to come Diwali, we equip you with a guide on how you can calm your pets when the fireworks go up.
- Plan your walking time accordingly
If you are aware that an event is coming and fireworks will go off that night, it is better to walk your dogs well before, during the daytime.
Most of us prefer walking our dogs at night since office work and daily errands can be completed by then. However, in situations where your dog is better off if walked earlier in the day, you can book a PawSpace dog walker. So, you needn’t feel guilty about having to walk your dog amidst the noisy fireworks at night that will petrify them, as PawSpace would have done the job way earlier!
- Switch on the television or play some music
Although you will not be able to mask the sounds of the fireworks entirely as animals can hear much higher and lower sound frequencies compared to us, distracting them with other sounds can bring some relief during sudden bangs.
- Try to muffle the fireworks’ sounds
Start shutting all doors and windows and draw all curtains once the sun sets on days when you are expecting fireworks. This will help to minimise the noises.
- Provide your pet with a few hiding spots
Do this well in advance. As we mentioned earlier, most animals will run on the lookout for a safe spot when they hear the fireworks go off. You can help them cope with stress by taking some simple measures. Cover a table with a blanket, so they can hide beneath that. However, remember not to lock them in a room or a crate as this can cause added anxiety. This can be harmful as they may even hurt themselves in an attempt to leave the locked space. Let them be free and choose among the “safe spot” options that you have provided.
- Create a personal space for your pet
Whether they choose to use their personal space or a hiding spot, pet parents must dedicate a little corner for their pets where they feel as though they have complete control. Make sure the area is familiar with some of their favourite blankets, toys, etc.
- Aim to distract your pet
This is when you need to try to distract your pet, unlike other times. Keep them occupied with the help of a chewable toy, wool, etc.
- Act normal
Most of you may be aware that animals pick up on human emotions incredibly fast. If you seem unbothered by the fireworks, your pet will pick up on that. However, if you begin to act unusual, they will react the same as well. As much as you want to take care of your pet during this challenging situation, try not to follow them around too much or be over affectionate as this can make them nervous. When they panic because of the loud noises, try to reassure them with a favourite toy but behave as normally as possible.
- Consult a vet
Sometimes, despite taking all the above steps and measures, the sound of fireworks can be too stressful for animals. In these cases, consult a vet who may provide them with medications that would help in relaxation.