Shivani Sahasrabudhe (MeraNews, Ahmedabad): The noise of fireworks during Diwali might be a disturbance for humans, but for dogs, whose sense of hearing is far more powerful, the din is a more serious matter of concern.

While human beings have a hearing range of 20 to 20,000 hertz, this goes up to 60,000 hertz in the case of dogs.

Salomi Gupte, a certified dog trainer who has a Beagle and a mixed-breed, says the owners should keep calm because “if they get hyper, the dogs will do so too. The doors should be closed to block the noise. You can also turn on the TV to block the noise of the firecrackers. My dogs start barking, so I try to distract them with toys or something else.”

Veterinarian Tina Giri says dogs should be kept in a closed room at this time. “(Owners) should be with their pets and never leave them alone in a room. If possible, plug their ears as they can hear sounds much higher than we can. For them, it is real torture.”

“They start trembling. They basically get very anxious and can’t sit in one place. They can also become restless. They’ll find a place to hide so they can get away from the noise,” she says, adding that pet owners approach her before Diwali with questions on how to deal with the effect of the noise on their dogs.

Giri says the effect on dogs varies—some get scared by the noise while others enjoy the bursting of crackers.

Chitra Ummithan’s Boxer, named Rocket, is not bothered by the noise. “My dog has loved crackers since he was a puppy, so I have never faced that problem during Diwali. But I have a lot of friends and family whose dogs get scared, they go under the bed to avoid the noise.”

“One should always be with the dog and make him feel safe. Usually, their routine changes, so you must feed before the noise of the crackers starts,” she says.

“I’ve had a Husky for five years now. I would say one should stay with the dog so that it doesn’t get scared. We make sure that our dog sleeps with us so that he feels safe,” says Hiten Vasant, chief executive of the Vasant Group.

Zeal Jani Patel says she keep her Great Dane in a closed room or at her farm house during Diwali. “I also put on the AC so that the noise from outside doesn’t get inside... New year’s night is horrible as he has to bear the noise of crackers the whole night,” she says.

“Firstly, it depends on the breed of the dog, because many dogs don’t get affected by the noise,” says radio jockey Ekta Sandhir. “I have a German Shepherd that is one-and-a-half years old. He doesn’t get scared, but I still prefer to not take him outside for walks during Diwali. Earlier, I had a Pomeranian, and she would get very scared. So, it differs from breed to breed.”

Nidhi Sanghrajka, a pet trainer, says, “I have adopted two stray dogs. So, as a pet parent, you should not panic if your dog is unwell as he considers you a role model. You have to be very subtle, and secondly, soundproofing of your house is very necessary. You should close the curtains, and give them space to move around, and play soothing music.”

The noise of firecrackers is not the only danger to dogs during Diwali.

“During Diwali, we see many dogs with their back or legs burnt. Also, there are accidents involving stray dogs because of loud crackers being burst,” says Sherwin Everett, assistant curator at the Jivdaya Charitable Trust, an animal welfare organization.

He recommends that owners spend as much time as possible with their pets. “Keep the dog with you or where your family is sitting. That will be more comfortable for the dog,” he says.

 



“Firstly, it depends on the breed of the dog, because many dogs don’t get affected by the noise. I have a German Shepherd that is one-and-a-half years old. He doesn’t get scared, but I still prefer to not take him outside for walks during Diwali. Earlier, I had a Pomeranian, and she would get very scared. So, it differs from breed to breed.” —Ekta Sandhir, radio jockey

 

 

 



 

"If they (owners) get hyper, the dogs will do so too. The doors should be closed to block the noise. You can also turn on the TV to block the noise of the firecrackers. My dogs start barking, so I try to distract them with toys or something else.” —Salomi Gupte, certified dog trainer

 

 

 

 

“(Owners) should be with their pets and never leave them alone in a room. If possible, plug their ears as , they can hear sounds much higher than we can. For them, it is real torture.” —Tina Giri, veterinarian  

 



 

“I’ve had a Husky for five years now. I would say one should stay with the dog so that it doesn’t get scared. We make sure that our dog sleeps with us so that he feels safe.” —Hiten Vasant, chief executive, Vasant Group