Your celebrations with fireworks and firecrackers may be your pet's worst evening...
We all know our pets are gifted with some senses far superior to ours, which includes the sense of smell and hearing. Evolved over centuries to help them hunt and protect themselves, these survival instincts can cause them quite a bit of distress in our urban jungles, especially when we humans decide it's time to celebrate.
From a party with loud music to firecrackers during festivals (such as Diwali or 04th of July) and large scale fireworks display (such as our National Day or New Year's eve), our moments of loud celebrations often turn out to be our fur friend's worst nightmare. The sound is amplified, it's alien and it freaks many of them out. Noise pollution is a major stress trigger for urban pets and while we are always game for a party, we would like to find ways to enjoy keeping in mind the animals that share our space.
In an ideal world, we would recommend celebrating without the loud bangs and educating your friends and family to party the same way. So this Diwali, consider lighting only sparklers or other noiseless crackers, or at your next party, tone down the music. But let's be realistic, while we may be able to make a small change with some, it's unlikely we can all avoid making noise. So here's our checklist to help you help your pet deal with the stress of noise pollution:
1. Walk and exercise your dog early on the day of celebrations and exercise them well so that the need to go out again is minimum.
2. Create a sanctuary for your pet within the house where he/she may retreat to - a safe, small, enclosed area for your fur friend to curl up in.
3. Try to keep all the windows, doors closed to minimise sounds and smells.
4. Keep your pet well-fed and hydrated with fresh water bowl and treats/toys at this sanctuary - which can provide a good distraction when the noise starts.
5. If you live in a landed property and your pets can escape, make sure they have proper ID tags. Loud noise can trigger anxiety and running away may be a survival instinct.
6. If possible, stay close by so your pet knows you are around and be calm - our pets pick up our energy and if they realise the noise is not panicking you, they may just slowly learn to accept this unusual noise.
7. There are calming scents and tactile calming blankets available in the market. While we haven't tried them, if it is something that will help your pet, you can consider it but remember to introduce it to your pet beforehand.
8. If you know you can not reduce the noise pollution or the pet may have to be alone during the loud celebrations, acclimatise your pet to loud noises slowly and months in advance. Use a recording of fireworks or firecrackers 2-3 months in advance in short intervals (by slowly increasing the volume) and make sure you accompany each session with positive reinforcement soon afterwards.
9. Even the soundless firecrackers, like sparklers can give out a burning smell and this may make your dog anxious, as they sense fire. Animals have been hardwired to avoid such dangers, so being sensitive to their needs will help you be a better paw-parent!
10. Last, but not the least, do not assume your pet wants to join the celebration and force it to come out - understand its fears and be there as a friend.
Loyal.D would like to wish all our friends and fur friends a very Happy Diwali and Happy Halloween - may you have lots of fun, light, laughter & may many treats come your way!
As we celebrate, lets not forget the less fortunate, especially those that can not speak up about their despair. Read on below on how you can make a difference...
To join in the spirit of Diwali and celebrate 'good winning over evil' and 'light overcoming darkness' we have decided that for the month of October 2016, we will give 10% from the profits of all our sales to Friendicoes - Seca, one of New Delhi's oldest and most trusted animal welfare groups in India.
You can help us help them by shopping for a cause online at www.loyald.com or if you wish to donate to them directly, you can do it via their website www.friendicoes.org or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org There are many ways you can help .... when you click on the image below check out their wishlist where it says "click here" at the bottom of their online donation page.