Help your dog to survive Diwali – the festival of lights and fireworks.
Being one of the most important festivals in Indian culture, the celebration of the Festival of Lights, or Diwali, sees thousands of people in the UK attend celebratory events, prayers and firework displays every autumn. This year, the events will take place on Monday, 24th October 2022, when houses are decorated with colourful lights and candles, and fireworks will be set alight.
While they’re great fun for humans, fireworks can be scary for your dog. The unexpected, loud bangs and explosions from fireworks can cause anxiety and stress for many dogs. Before Diwali rolls around, here are several pointers you should note and what you can do to help your anxious dog.
Keeping your dog safe
It’s normal for your dog to be startled and scared around fireworks. Your pet has very keen senses that make a firework more of an intense experience, as his hearing is a lot more sensitive than a human’s. Fireworks also give off a particular smell to which your dog may be responsive. Just as when you are startled by a very loud noise, your dog will experience a similar, startled response. This could bring about an increase in stress hormones, an adrenaline rush and an increased heart rate.
You would probably expect a dog to have a similar experience with a firework as a thunderstorm, but this isn’t the case. Thunderstorms will bring high winds and a change in barometric pressure, allowing your dog to anticipate them, just as humans can. Still, fireworks occur less frequently and are more sudden, so dogs can feel afraid and intimidated by them.
How to help your dog
If you begin training while still a puppy, exposing him to loud, sudden noises like car horns, thunder and even fireworks, in a positive manner, he will likely be unfazed by loud sounds when he is older. Create a feeling of happiness during fireworks by giving him his special toy or favourite treat. it could create a positive association with the loud noises. Above all, make a safe space for your dog indoors, where he can feel secure during firework events. Close all the house windows and play some music to create a diversion.
Stay calm and reassured.
One of the most important things to help your dog is to stay calm. Don’t make a big fuss around him; he won’t have reason to panic. Your dog will look to his owner for reassurance, so showing him that you are relaxed and calm is more likely to help your pet understand that there is no danger. Take care, look after your dog and other pets and enjoy the Diwali fireworks and celebrations.
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