With Diwali under way, distressed pet owners will be looking at various ways to keep their beloved pets safe and calm as the loud bangs go off.
The NSPCA’s (National Council of SPCAs) Meg Wilson has numerous tips to help those taking care of their pets over this period.
Wilson urged residents to look out for animals that are lost or afraid and take care to assist them where necessary. She said they should call for additional assistance from any animal rescue service, like the SPCA, so that that the animals can be cared for until the celebrations are over and the owners located.
“It is not only domestic animals that are affected; wild animals are also vulnerable to the terror. Unfortunately, wild animals do not have caring owners that are able to calm and support them,” she said.
Panic and disorientation caused by fireworks was a common cause of wildlife being harmed - like birds which flew too far out to sea in an attempt to escape noise, or flew into windows and buildings. Dogs escaped from properties and got lost on the streets, their fear and panic could lead to them sustaining serious injuries.
Diwali in Durban: Dos and don’ts: https://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/kwazulu-natal/diwali-in-durban-dos-and-donts-11590295
She advised pet owners to:
1. Ensure that all animals have identification – if the animal is microchipped that the information is up to date
2. If possible, stay home with them
3. If staying home is not possible, keep them inside and preferably in a room such as a kitchen or bathroom where the windows are higher (and more difficult to jump through)
4. Attempt to mask any noise by drawing curtains and playing calming music at a reasonable volume
5. Place familiar and comforting things around them such as toys, baskets etc.
6. Provide them with something to do such as giving your dog a chew or a catnip toy for your cats
7. If your pets do react badly to fireworks, then seek professional advice from your veterinarian
8. Ensure that your pets have a hearty and nutritious meal around nightfall – this may assist in relaxing them
Diwali: Let the light and peace shine for all: https://www.iol.co.za/mercury/opinion/diwali-let-the-light-of-love-and-peace-shine-for-all-11611841