Diwali is undoubtedly one of the happiest and most beautiful festivals in our country. The shining lights, the glimmering diyas, the mouth watering sweets and the family coming together! What a wonderful time! But those bright fireworks that light up the darkest skies can actually be extremely harmful for pets and animals because of the loud sounds they emit. We all want to celebrate a Diwali that is pet-friendly and safe for our furry friends. In this blog, we’ll understand the effects of fireworks on pets, why fireworks scare pets and what can be done to help them out.
First, let’s understand the effects of fireworks on pets:
Physical damage to hearing organs
Many animals have a much higher sense of hearing than us. They hear four times more than what we do, sometimes they also hear the sounds we never do. So the sound of fireworks that is just slightly loud for us is extremely damaging to an animal’s ears. To put things into perspective- if you hear a firecracker that is 4 meters away from you, an animal will hear it as if it’s bursting right under their ear. Imagine a firecracker bursting right under your ear which could cause a permanent hearing loss for you.
Fireworks and crackers emit sounds up to 190 decibels. 110 to 115 decibels is the range where the damage to human ears begins. So imagine the sheer magnitude of these sounds for our pets who already possess a 4 times higher hearing sense than us.
Noises emitted from firecrackers and fireworks cause permanent hearing loss and tinnitus. Dogs especially suffer from irreversible damages that are caused by fireworks.
Causes stress, fear and trauma
Apart from causing damage to your pet’s ears, loud noises also cause behavioral problems in them by creating stress, fear and trauma. Unpredictable loud sounds can cause animals to develop phobias and feel anxiety leading to panic reactions.
Pets react by hiding under sofas or tables, barking randomly, whimpering, destroying furniture, eliminating inside the house or showing clear signs of stress and fear.
On the days of Diwali, many pets may possibly run away from their homes as a reaction to the loud noises. Many streeties too, go missing from their localities as they try to run away from the noise. In fact, loud sounds are one of the most common causes for anxiety in dogs.
‘The Anxious Pet Program’ builds your pet’s confidence by helping them overcome their anxiety.
Causes long term health problems
Once an animal is exposed to these kinds of loud noises, they get easily frightened by any other loud noise. This can cause changes in their behavior and make them more fearful and vigilant around every small sound or activity.
Animals who go through such trauma usually need training to overcome their fear. Some animals face such traumatic episodes that they take a very long time to recover from them and sometimes they never do if they do not get the help.
So we know that the effects of loud noises on animals are severe and sometimes irreversible. But what is it that makes these loud noises so damaging to our pets? Maybe these points will help understand an animal’s point of view towards fireworks.
1. Fireworks are loud
As mentioned before, animals have a more acute sense of hearing than us and hence loud sounds can be alarming for them.
We know and expect when a firework is going to go off, but animals don’t. These sudden sounds can be alarming for them. Plus they go off at different intervals so animals cannot get used to the frequency and prepare themselves for the firecracker that is about to go off.
3. They’re too bright
The flashing lights of fireworks can be blinding for pets and can sometimes result in partial or complete blindness. The loud noises already stress them out enough and the bright lights make it even worse.
4. They’re threatening
The loud noise and unpredictability are perceived as a threat by animals, especially dogs. This triggers the fight-or-flight response in them and causes them to either run frantically or bark it to protect themselves from it.
‘The Anxious Pet Program’ helps dogs with several types of anxiety issues.
5. Makes them feel trapped
Every street, nook and corner is filled with bursting crackers. If the loud noise triggers an animal’s flight response they try to run away from this sound but unfortunately, there is nowhere to run to. These sounds are everywhere, one can even hear them indoors.
Precautions to take to protect your pet from loud sounds
As we can see, fireworks and loud noises have extremely negative effects on animals. Fortunately, there are ways we can protect our pets from loud noises this Diwali.
Here are some vet-approved tips to make your pet feel safe and secure around loud sounds:
1. Keep your pets indoors
It is recommended to keep your pets indoors with all the windows and doors closed to minimize the effects of loud sounds. Also, draw all the curtains during nighttime, the flashing lights of fireworks can be disturbing for pets.
2. Take them for early morning walks
People usually burst crackers in the evening or in late afternoons. So before Diwali arrives, try to switch your pet’s walking routine by taking them for walks early in the morning. This way, you’ll avoid the crowd and loud noises.
3. Create a safe space
Create a safe and comfy space in your house where your pet can go when they’re feeling anxious or scared. If your dog is crate trained, their crate would make them feel the safest. Make sure this space is an area where there is little to no noise and disturbances. Cover this space with your pet’s favorite toys, blankets and treats. You can also cover the crate with a thick blanket to drown out the sounds more, while keeping an open space for ventilation.
4. Take the help of a trainer or a behaviorist
The right trainer or behaviorist can help your pet by teaching them how to overcome their anxiety issues. If you’re a pet parent who feels lost when dealing with your pet’s anxiety issues, speaking to a behaviorist or a trainer would be the best option.
Wiggles.in ‘The Anxious Pet Program’ is a course that was started to treat anxiety issues in pets by understanding a pet’s problems and training them to tackle these problems. Carefully curated by expert trainers and behaviorists, the program consists of 5 modules that tackle different kinds of anxiety in pets. Like any other Wiggles’ service, ‘The Anxious Pet Program’ keeps empathy and care for animals at its core.
5. Distract them
Kushal Chipkar, Manager of Dog Training at Wiggles.in suggests distracting your pet from loud noises instead of showing extreme affection and worrying for them. The reason is that your pets can sense what you’re feeling, so if you show them you’re worried, they’ll feel anxious too. When your pet begins to feel anxious, try to distract them by playing their favorite game, calling their name and engaging them in different activities.
6. Keep your vet’s number handy
When you’re busy with festivities, the chances of an accident taking place are high. It’s very difficult to find a vet on the day of Diwali so speak to your vet in advance and keep their number handy at all times. Alternatively, you can speak to a vet via video call to get immediate help.
7. Keep the first aid kit ready
A first aid kit for pets should include all the necessary medicines and pieces of equipment needed in case of small injuries, cuts or bruises. The first aid kit should also include antiemetic medicines.
8. Make sure your pet has a name tag
As mentioned earlier, many pets run away from their homes on the day of Diwali. So it’s important to ensure that they have their name tags along with your contact details on their collars.
How to protect streeties during Diwali
Our streeties are the most affected on the main days of Diwali. They have nowhere to hide and nowhere to run to.
These are a few things we can do to help our streeties out during Diwali:
Do not burst crackers in your neighborhood especially if there are dogs around the area
Many people think it’s funny to burst crackers near a dog and watch them run frantically. If you see anyone misbehaving with the streeties, stop them and report them to the authorities. It is illegal to cause deliberate harm to any animals
Keep the contact numbers of relevant persons at NGOs and animal rescues handy in case you find a lost or injured animal
Make safe spaces in your locality along with some fellow pet lovers. This space should act as a place where animals can find shelter. You can even keep fresh bowls of food and water along with comfortable blankets and bedding
Urge people in your society not to burst crackers around animals and create awareness in your community
At ‘The Anxious Pet Program’ every dog is treated with utmost care and attention.
Products that can help pets deal with anxiety
Thanks to medical innovation, today, we have multiple advanced products that can help reduce our pets’ anxiety.
Here are some vet-approved products that can help your pet deal with anxiety:
Some pets can really benefit from ear muffs. These earmuffs can reduce outside noise and help reduce anxiety. Use ear muffs that are soft and comfortable for your pet. Speak to a vet to know which ones would suit your pet the best.
Calming wraps like vests, or a tight blanket can make your pet feel like they’re getting a warm hug. These calming wraps apply gentle and warm pressure that helps calm the nervous system and reduces the symptoms of anxiety.
Hemp Seed Oil
Hemp Seed Oil can work wonders to treat a pet’s anxiety. As hemp contains calming properties, spraying it on a pet’s body or adding some of it to their food can have relaxing effects and reduce anxiety. It’s advisable to choose an oil that is made of 100% natural ingredients and one that contains no preservatives. Always speak to your vet before using Hemp Seed Oil for your pets.
Wiggles Hemp Seed Oil
Cannabis leaf extract oil
Cannabis leaf extract oil interacts with a pet’s endocannabinoid system and reduces the feeling of pain. Look for an oil that uses natural ingredients and is preservative-free. Spraying this oil can make your pet feel better because of its therapeutic properties. Speak to your vet before using cannabis leaf extract oil on your pet.
Wiggles CannaPaw™ Pain Relief Therapy Oil
Warmth can help relieve stress and anxiety. Placing heated mats on your pet’s bed can help them sleep better by providing them with a feeling of comfort and security.
Lastly, let’s not forget Diwali is a festival of spreading light and joy, not sound and noise. So this Diwali say #NoToNoise and light up a pet’s life instead of crackers.
Team Wiggles will always be here to help you out and light up your pet’s Diwali and that is why we’re having a Dumdaar Diwali Sale with some amazing deals. Deals are valid till the 15th of November, 2021, so go check them out!
For anything else, call +91 8431620000 and our team of experts will help you out!
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*Disclaimer: This blog is vet-approved and includes original content which is compiled after thorough research and authenticity by our in-house team of vets and content experts. It is always advisable to consult a veterinarian before you try any products, pet food or any kind of treatment/medicines on your pets, as each pet is unique and will respond differently.