Keeping your pet safe during Holi

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While people love to include their furry friends in Holi festivities, they often forget to count the harmful impact the festival has on their pets.

As we gear up for the fun filled revelry, Humane Society International shares few tips to keep pets safe during the celebration.

Pets and children: In their excitement about the festival, children usually throw water balloons on anything that they see. Pet owners should keep their pets away from children and avoid taking their dogs at places and at times when they are likely to be the target of such insensitive play. Otherwise, make sure children who are around pets are taught to behave appropriately.

Don’t use dry or wet colours:  Use of dry colours on pets can be hazardous. The presence of lead, which acts as an accumulative poison, makes these colours a high-risk material for pets. Inhalation of colour powder may cause nasal irritation or respiratory infection. Moreover, dogs get paranoid when colours are rubbed on them, since it gets into their eyes and nose. They also tend to lick their body and very often this becomes the chief source of poisoning. Pets can get severe eye infection if they are hit by coloured water balloons.

Watch for warning signs: Symptoms of poisoning include excessive salivation, vomiting, loose motions, and behavioral changes like aggression or stupor in the pet. If you observe any of these signs rush your pet to a vet immediately. Carrying the suspected source of poisoning (colour) would help the vet take correct remedial action.

Keep the pets safely indoors: During a festival like Holi, it’s always advisable to leave your pets safely indoors preferably with their favourite toy. Make sure you supply them with sufficient food and water.

Teach your kids not to harm animals: Children should be sensitised about pet safety, especially during festival celebrations. As stray dogs mostly fall victim to toxic colours in this festival, parents must teach their kids to be respectful of animals and not ‘play Holi’. No animal, whether domestic or stray should be hurt in this beautiful festival.

Avoid feeding sweets or fried food: Most pets are allergic to sweets and sugar, so pet owners should be very careful about this pet care tip. Make sure your guests or children do not offer sweets to your pet. Similarly, fried or high calorie foods do not go well with their digestive system. It’s always better to stick to pet food or simple to digest food like rice or bread.

Remove colours: Never use kerosene or spirit to remove colours or hard paints off your dog’s coat. Bathing your pet with a good light shampoo is the safest way to keep them free from irritation and infection. Wash the pet eyes if colour has entered inside. If the irritation continues, take the pet to a vet.