Celebrating Festivals with Furry Friends-
A Ready Reckoner to Pet Care during India’s Festival Season
India’s festival season, spanning from October to December, is a time of cultural richness, jubilation, and unity. As we embark on this season of celebrations, it’s crucial to recognize that our loyal canine companions are an integral part of our lives and deserve our utmost care and consideration during these festivities. While we immerse ourselves in the joy of the season, it’s paramount to ensure that our four-legged family members also experience comfort, safety, and happiness.
–by Smita Dwivedi
In this comprehensive guide, we will delve deep into the significance of pet care during India’s festival season, share practical tips, and shed light on the cultural and historical context of festivals and dogs in India.
Festivals and dogs have a significant historical and cultural connection in India. Dogs are revered as loyal and protective animals in Hindu mythology, with deities like Bhairava having dogs as their vahana (animal mount). This connection reflects the importance of dogs in Indian society and underscores the need for their care during festivals.
Things to watch out
Festivals in India are a sensory overload, characterized by vibrant decorations, melodious music, delectable delicacies, and the resounding crackle of fireworks. However, while these festivities evoke euphoria in us, they can provoke a myriad of emotions in our pets, particularly our dogs. Let’s delve into why pet care during this season is of paramount importance.
Noise and Fireworks – A Dog’s nightmare
The crescendo of fireworks and loud celebrations can be a cacophonous ordeal for our four-legged friends. So, explore techniques to ensure their tranquility amid the deafening blasts, including the use of noise-cancelling earmuffs or earplugs designed for dogs.
- Stranger Anxiety – Unfamiliar faces and overstimulation
Festivals often usher in a parade of guests, friends, and relatives. This influx of unfamiliar faces and heightened activity can be incredibly overwhelming for dogs, and do discuss strategies to help them adapt, such as gradually introducing them to guests and providing a safe space within the home.
- Thought for Food – Festive food hazards
As the festive season tempts us with an array of culinary delights, our pets are equally eager to partake. However, certain festive foods can be detrimental to our dogs’ health. You should elucidate what to keep off their plates and provide a list of dog-friendly festive treats.
Tips to Follow
- Designate a quiet and secure space within your home where your dog can retreat to if the festivities become too intense. Furnish this space with their favorite toys, bedding, and an article of clothing with your scent to comfort them.
- If you anticipate an influx of guests, gradually introduce your dog to them. Ensure that guests are aware of any specific boundaries or sensitivities your dog may have. Provide your dog with positive reinforcement for calm behavior around guests.
- Instead of sharing your festival sweets, offer your dog special dog-friendly treats that cater to their palate and nutritional needs. Homemade treats can add a festive touch to their daily meals. We’ll also provide some easy-to-make recipes for dog treats.
- Maintaining your dog’s regular exercise routine is vital for their physical and mental well-being. Engage in interactive play and mental stimulation activities to keep them occupied and reduce anxiety.
- Consider utilizing calming aids such as pheromone diffusers, herbal remedies, or even consultation with a veterinarian for prescription medications if your dog experiences severe anxiety during festivals.
As we prepare to revel in India’s festival season, let us remember that our dogs are not merely pets; they are cherished members of our families. By taking proactive measures to guarantee their comfort, security, and happiness during this joyous period, we can craft enduring memories and fortify our bond with them. Let the jubilation of the festivals encompass our four-legged friends, transforming the celebrations into an all-encompassing experience.
May this season be a testament to the enduring companionship between humans and dogs, a bond that elevates the spirit of every festival and reminds us of the unconditional love and joy our dogs bring into our