Festivity precautions for fur balls!

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Varsha Verma
& Rocky
With festivals just round the corner, followed by Christmas and New Year’s eve, we all our sure to be excited and gearing up for the celebrations. While our pets are equally excited to see us happy, it is time to take some precautions for stress-free festivities for them. –by Varsha Verma

While this time of the year is quite happening with all the festivals, celebrations, etc, it is quite frightening for my Pomeranian Rocky. Every year, when children start bursting crackers, he becomes stressed and stops eating. His body starts shivering and he finds recluse under a bed or a table. Sometimes, he just clings to one of us. His vet prescribed him anti-anxiety pills and that does help him stay calm. But, it is quite stressful for even us to see him in that condition.

The air pollution has already started shooting up and will be worse near and post Diwali due to crackers and fireworks. Not just air pollution, they add to the noise pollution too, making our pets, especially dogs flustered, due to their extremely sensitive nose and ears. So, we need to be careful and help them enjoy to the hilt.

Here are a few precautions to make your pet safe and happy during celebrations:

Make your pet a part of the festivities: Dogs are social beings and they love human company. So, while you are celebrating Diwali with your friends or guests, do not lock away your pooch. Let him be part of the celebration too.

Designate a quiet corner: Sometimes, dogs want to be left alone. Respect their privacy. Designate a quiet corner for him where he can retreat when there is lot of activity in the house.

Keep his water bowl near: Never forget to fill your pet’s water bowl with fresh drinking water. It should be kept in a place where he can reach at all times.

Be cautious with decorations: We all love to decorate our houses during festivals. But while doing so, make sure you use pet-friendly materials. Keep all wires at bay. Do not let your dog go near the decorations.

Keep candles and diyas at safe places: Your pet can trip over a candle or diya while exploring. So, keep them at a place they cannot reach.

Take care of the treats: Your dog would be tempted towards all the desserts and sweets you prepare for the festivals. He will try his best to coax you into giving in to his temptations. But do not fall for those melting eyes. Give him only pet-friendly treats.

Keep your main door closed: Dogs tend to run away when they are stressed. So, keep your main gate closed so that he does not run out in frenzy.

Put an identification tag round his neck: Ensure your dog wear a collar and an identification tag, with his name and your phone number at all times. This is to ensure that if he runs away by mistake, it will be easier to find him.

Walk your dog well in time: Take your dog for a walk when it is quiet outside. This will also tire him out and he will sleep for some time.
Feed your dog before festivities start: Since dogs get stressed over noise, it is better to feed them before festivities start. Feed them a well-balanced nutritious diet.

Say ‘no’ to crackers: While there is lot of awareness on the side effects of bursting crackers, some people feel that the festivals are not complete without them. Make such people understand the harmful effects of crackers.

Keep your dog in a quiet place: Since loud fire crackers can stress your dog, keep him in a quiet room. Cover his ears if possible and keep the doors and windows shut. Play music or turn on the TV to mask other sounds.

Keep the trash cans away: Dogs love to rummage through trash. Always keep the trash cans away so that he cannot indulge into it. After all, who likes the mess after this ordeal!

Use an air purifier if required: Air pollution is bad for all of us. In times when the AQI is high, use an air purifier to eliminate indoor air pollutants.

Be there for your fur ball: Your presence is important for your pet. Do not leave them alone if they are stressed. Give them company.

Consult your vet: If nothing seems to help your pet and he is getting stressed, consult your vet for some anti-anxiety pills.

Take care of the strays: Strays are very stressed during this time. Feed them and provide them shelter if possible.

Take care of other pets too: In case you find a lost pet, contact the pet parents if there is an identification tag or call the local shelter.

When going out for celebrations: If you are going out and leaving your dog with a pet sitter or a friend, ensure that he is friendly to them. Let him spend some time with them before you leave. If you are leaving him at a pet boarding facility, ensure that it is safe and clean.

Keep your vet’s phone number handy: Keep the vet’s phone number handy in case of any emergency.

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