HT City


This Diwali, spare some thought not just for your pets but strays too


Henna Rakheja

Come Diwali, and Harsh Khaneja, a city-based graphic designer and entreprene­ur is gripped with worry about his dog Lolo in the pollution that hits the city in this season. He uploaded a Facebook story to take his thoughts to the people. He says, “Being a pet parent, I realise that the pain that my dog goes through in Diwali is unbearable. Animals are helpless when humans choose to be the destroyers of Nature and pollute it by bursting crackers. One can enjoy without crackers, and what fun is it to burst endless ladis even past midnight at the cost of scaring animals?”

The concern is shared by most pet parents and animal lovers in the city. So, ahead of Diwali it becomes pertinent to know how to take care of pets. Shilpa K Bhargav, public relations manager, People For Animals, NGO, says, “Pets or strays are scared of loud noises. They try to find places to escape themselves from this unnecessar­y and deafening noise. So, shut all the doors and windows to minimise ambient noise. Also, small cotton balls or ear plugs can be placed inside the ear cavity of the dogs. And, feed them prior to cracker bursting otherwise stress and anxiety will make them lose their appetite. Later, pets should be given a warm bath and tucked in their bed in a calm room.”

To those who feed the strays, Bhargav says, “Post Diwali, they go in hiding all scared. So, when you go out looking for pets, and call them out then they may resurface upon hearing your familiar voice. If possible, open your house to lodge strays during pre-Diwali and Diwali night as it will immensely calm their nerves if they are indoors.”

Opening the doors to those who need help is a must on Diwali. Akshay Gupta, founder of Pet Fed — an annual carnival for pets and pet lovers — says, “We are also running a campaign to educate animal lovers around us to tell anyone who has a house with a verandah or outside parking to open the gates so that the strays can hide and get a safe abode when they get scared by sounds of bursting crackers… Dogs tend to hide underneath the cars, and people drive off their vehicles without checking.

So, we urge people to always look underneath your cars before driving, and avoid injuring any animal hiding there. If you have pets in the house, then you can also give them medicine, on the advice of a medical practition­er, to pacify them when it’s really loud outside the house.”


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