Protect your furry friend from toxic Holi colours

Holi is just round the corner and we are geared up to welcome it with open arms. However, one aspect that people don’t give much thought to is the effect the festival has on canines. While the intentions and the feelings behind involving these sweethearts in the festivities are totally justified and understandable, the truth is that your dog must not really be enjoying it as much as you think he is.

These colours can actually cause a lot of damage to our pet dogs. Harmful chemicals in colours can take a serious toll on your pet. It is extremely important to understand that some breeds of dogs are more susceptible to the damage than others. Puppies, senior dogs and short hair coat dogs are more predisposed to falling victim to these colours than long hair coat breeds, because sparsely coated regions of body are commonly affected by these colours.

Most dog owners feel that as long as they use dry colours on their pets, there’s no harm. 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 and possibly respiratory allergy or infection. Pet owners also need to know that most dogs get paranoid when you rub colours on them, since it very often gets into their eyes and nose, making them very uncomfortable. They also tend to lick their body, and the taste of dry colours makes them prone to throwing up. Some breeds are so sensitive that their skin gets rashes because of dry colours.

The pet owner should keep the pet away from children who tend to throw water balloons at the pet. If a dog gets hit in the eye, it could cause complications. But in view of the circumstances, dog owners must avoid taking their dogs at places and at times when they are likely to be the target of such insensitive play. Parents should also teach their kids about not using the beautiful festival to hurt these sweethearts, whether they are stray or domestic.

With so much of festivities around, one cannot forget the sweets that the family consumes.

Most dog-lovers don’t really enjoy anything till they share it with their pets. But we must take into account that sweets does not go down very well with the canines. Food rich in butter, cream and sugar can give them loose stomach. And so, it’s better to refrain from feeding them festival delights.

We must ensure that during celebrations like these, we keep our dogs safe from the colours.

We must advice people not to try using kerosene, spirits or any hair oil to clean the colour off their coat. A good light shampoo should suffice. If the dog has been hit in the eye by a water balloon, wash the eye with clean water, and if irritation persists, bring the dog to a vet.

Waltham Scientific Communication Manager, South Asia Mars India

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