A Doggie Diwali!

When celebrating Diwali this year, keep these tips in mind to ensure a safe and happy Diwali for your pet.

pg_09• Rich Diwali foods- mithais, gravies, dry fruits and chocolates may seem harmless, but if eaten in excess by a pet, can cause severe gastric distress. Avoid feeding your dog these foods. Instead, choose treats made especially for canines. Chocolates are poisonous to dogs and should not be fed at all. Ensure your garbage can is out of your dog’s reach and is secured with a tight lid.

• The pretty lights and swaying lanterns may be attractive for us, but a dog can only see the tempting wires peeking out. Dogs, especially puppies, may get entangled in hanging wires or cords or chew a live wire and get electrocuted. Remember to unplug all the decorative lights when you are not at home.

• Keep all firecrackers out of your dog’s reach. The basic ingredient in all firecrackers is gunpowder. The high phosphorous content of firecrackers and sparklers is extremely poisonous if ingested.

• Candles and diyas should be kept out of a pet’s reach, preferably on a high counter or table out of reach from wagging tails and curious noses.

• Some dogs get very upset with the constant onslaught of visitors during Diwali. If your dog seems stressed, it is wise to keep him where he can be comfortable and not troubled by the visitors. Too much sudden excitement in a dog’s life can cause a stomach upset or even trigger a pre-existing dormant illness.

• Protect your pet at Diwali time by keeping it indoors. Loud firecrackers can cause a lot of pets to associate the sound with the indoors and a dog might escape when a door is opened. Keep your dog away from the door while you’re greeting guests at your home to prevent it from darting outside and getting hurt.

• Keep your dog on a leash when outdoors. A bursting cracker can cause your dog to spook and run off in fear, thereby getting hurt or lost. Make sure your dog wears a collar with an identity tag with your name, phone number and address. In case your dog gets lost, the tag will increase your chances of getting him back.

• Dogs in the wild instinctively seek out confining spaces when frightened. If your dog chooses to hide from the noise, under a bed or behind a cupboard, for hours on end, let him. Don’t drag him out in an attempt to comfort him. Instead, draw the curtains, play music or turn on the TV to help drown out the noise. Make sure your dog has free access to his safe area all through the season. Though the safe place approach may work with some dogs, it may not work with all. Some dogs prefer to move and be active when frightened and being confined makes it worse for them. Let your dog choose what comforts him and then go along with his choice.

• You should take time out of the festivities to try and stick to your dog’s regular feeding and exercising times. This small sacrifice on your part can go a long way in reducing your dog’s stress. Diwali is a time for family gatherings, make sure you include your dog in the revelry; after all he is a part of the family!

Shirin Merchant
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Shirin Merchant looks forward to answering all relevant queries from our readers. Please write in to: k9cancare@hotmail.com or mailparsitimes@gmail.com

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