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Diwali is a festival of peace, prosperity and joy. Your sense of celebration should not become another living beings misery. Every year during Diwali, lakhs of animals around the country feel completely traumatized because of the cracker bursting spree of the citizens. Bursting of crackers not only disturbs the animals, but also causes noise, air and light pollution hazardous for human beings too. Therefore a festival which is supposed to bring joy and happiness in our lives actually brings so much of the distress in the lives of animals.
The bursting of cracker causes fear, confusion, anxiety and panic in the animals. This panic makes them do all kinds of crazy things like hiding themselves in safe places where the sound would not come, like under a car or a bed; running helter skelter on the streets or running away from homes; not eating food; not going out for walks etc.
The most common symptoms of cracker bursting seen in animals are fear, salivation, shaking, trembling, shivering, excessive barking, loss of appetite, aggressiveness, etc. Animals have a very acute sense of hearing and the cracker bursting sounds are unbearable to them. The animal ears are more sensitive than human ears because the hearing range of animals, such as dogs is approximately 40 hertz to 60 hertz which is way higher than human beings thus causing extreme stress in them.
There is a dire need to sensitize people about the feelings of animals. Most of the people take it for granted that since the animals are mute, they do not have any feelings. Animals are also living beings and have feelings as human beings do. There is a need to educate children to be compassionate towards animals and not get thrills out of tying and bursting crackers on their tails. The children should be told to take care and burst lesser crackers, away from pets and stray animals. Societies and colonies should discourage the residents from bursting crackers and in case somebody still wants to do it, they should assign an area and time where crackers can be burst, so that nobody disturbs or irritates the stray animals. Children should be motivated to celebrate Diwali in a peaceful manner with Rangoli decoration, colors, flowers, sweets, lighting diyas and candles, dancing and singing.
Some of the things which the pet owners can do to keep their pets safe during Diwali are:
1. Take your pet to a veterinarian and get an anti-anxiety shot given to him to keep him calm.
2. Keep your pets indoors in a quiet and familiar room where the sound would be reduced. You could cover and protect the pet’s ears with cotton or a quilt to minimize the sound.
3. Keep all the doors and windows of your house closed.
4. Keep your pet hydrated as the noise causes a lot of anxiety in the animal.
5. Play some kind of music in the room where the pet is kept to soothe, calm and distract the animal.
6. There are some homeopathic medicines available to calm down the animals which can be given to them.
Since it’s practically not possible to protect all the stray animals, the best gesture on behalf of the humans would be to avoid bursting crackers and celebrate a peaceful Diwali with their loved ones and give the animals around them also a chance to live peacefully.