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Always keep him indoors. Never force your dog to be outdoors, chain him or walk him while crackers are being burst. It will cause more damage and can even make him convulse. Shut all the windows/ doors and draw the curtains to make it sound and light proof so that very little noise and sound can penetrate.
While you may be busy planning for the upcoming Diwali, this festival of ‘lights and crackers’ can be very stressful for your dog.
According to a recent report published by The Times of India, “around 80–90% of dogs are scared of crackers”.
Signs and causes: Dogs are extremely sensitive and because they have a stronger hearing power, they are easily susceptible to high decibel sounds during such festivals. Sudden changes in the surroundings with such loud noise and fireworks push them to a stressed and confused state. The possible signs of stress include whining, fear, loss of appetite, salivation and defecation inside the house. Many dogs even try to escape and that is the reason you will notice most number of dogs go missing during this festival season.
The solution! Unfortunately there is no definite cure for sound anxiety or noise phobia in dogs. When a dog hears loud noises, he thinks that something bad is going to happen. This triggers him to panic and he feels the urge to run and get away from it. Sometimes introducing the dog to different noises and sights right from his puppy days might eventually help coping with this problem in long run but some dogs still do not overcome this problem and they get affected by loud noises as they grow up. However with Diwali celebrations just round the corner, this might not be ideal time to discuss and find training tips to treat your pooch’s fear of fireworks and crackers. So here are few handy tips that you can follow to calm your dog during this Diwali:
Take your dog out for a good walk an hour before the crackers start bursting. Once he is back, give him a fulfilling meal. A tired and well fed dog is likely to be less anxious.
Always keep him indoors. Never force your dog to be outdoors, chain him or walk him while crackers are being burst. It will cause more damage and can even make him convulse.
Shut all the windows/ doors and draw the curtains to make it sound and light proof so that very little noise and sound can penetrate.
Place cushions and blankets on the floor to quieten the vibrations caused by loud noise.
Do not be over attentive to the pooch if he is scared as this might encourage the behaviour. Look cheerful but be in control in front of the dog. Pretend that everything is normal. Speak to him normally, reassuring him.
Help your dog find a cozy, secure corner of the house for him to hide or retreat during the cracker bursting celebration. Do not disturb him or force him to come out while he goes to his chosen area.
Play white noise- switch on your music system or TV and set the volume on a higher side which will mask the noises outside. You get special desensitizing CDs to calm dogs.
Distract your dog by playing with him, by giving him chew toys or by giving treats.
Do not rebuke or punish him for being afraid. Care for him all the time.
Provide him lots of water so that he is not dehydrated. If he is not ready to come out of his ‘hidden den’ then you may need to provide his food and water there.
Do not burst crackers in front of your dog.
Many vets prescribe sedatives that will help alleviate their fear and anxiety. Do consult with your vet on this and keep the medicines handy. Melatonin is used to fight the sound anxiety in dogs.
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