Odishatv Bureau

Diwali is undoubtedly a very joyous time of the year, but we should also care for stray animals as well as our own pets at this time. Many pets flee their homes during Diwali and hide beneath cars or in remote locations, terrified because of the loud noise of the firecrackers. Make sure to provide shelter for stray animals around your home. Since the animals are already wary of firecrackers, you can shield them from the noise of firecrackers in the ways outlined below:

Stay at home with your pets 
It reassures them that they are not alone and can seek you out anytime they want. If you must step out, make sure their hiding place - under the bed or under the stairs or under the dining table, has their favourite toys or bed underneath so that they feel secure.  

Cover their ears 
Cover their heads and ears with a large scarf or earmuffs so the sounds of the crackers are minimised. They may not be immediately comfortable with a cloth covering their heads, so start training with them a couple of months in advance. If possible, put some cotton wool in the ears to lessen the noise coming in from outside.

Play games with them
Distract your pet's interest. Play games like fetch or ball with them, treat them with their favourite goodies and keep them around you. If they get scared when a firecracker goes off, cuddle them and ease their discomfort. You could also turn on the TV or play some music to drown out the sounds from the street below. This helps to lessen their anxiety.

Choose a room with least noise to house them
To avoid being disturbed by the flash of the firecrackers, keep the windows closed and draw the curtains. Keep your pooch in the room with the least amount of noise. Don't worry them much either as they may snap at you or attack you as they are already scared.

Put an identifying tag 
Make sure your pet cat or dog is wearing an identifying tag with your contact information on their collar. If the pet runs away, a good samaritan may find it and return your little furry friend to you. 

Avoid setting off fireworks near animals
If you must play with firecrackers, light them at a distance from the pets or a little away from your house. Avoid lighting bombs which create the maximum noise. Play with crackers that emit light and less sound.   

Keep water for the birds 
Since pollution increases considerably at this time of the year, for a variety of reasons ranging from stubble burning to crackers, keep water bowls for the birds on the parapet or balconies around the house. 

This Deepawali or Diwali, help your pets feel a little more secure, a lot more loved and a lot less scared. They will love you more for the extra attention that you shower on them. 

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