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Once again, the festival of Holi is here. This celebration of colours is special because it brings a very colourful excuse to people to be happy and carefree. But this happiness can turn into pain and suffering for your lovable pets.
Most of the colours you find in the market are actually a combination of various chemicals, like Zinc, Lead and Mercury Sulphate. The animal can lick the colour fallen on the floor, or lick its own coloured body and unknowingly consume toxics.
If you plan to buy natural colours, please make your choice very carefully as the authenticity of most of the colours, found in local market, can be questioned. Nevertheless, your animals contact with substances alien to their physiology should be avoided at all cost.
If you’d ever been hit by a water balloon you would know how it feels. Besides causing pain, a balloon can cause a very bad injury to your pet’s eyes. Also, if the balloon is filled with coloured water then it can multiply the suffering of the pet. Try by all means that this never happens with your pet. In case it does, wash the eyes of the pet with clean water. Observe the dog, if the irritation still persists, seek medical help.
If the damage is done?
If you find that your dog is – vomiting, salivating in excess, registers reduced consciousness or sensibility, suffers from loose motion, or becomes aggressive (behavioural changes), then become alert. Symptoms would differ according to the different kinds of toxins.
When detected within an hour of ingestion, you can try and induce vomiting, and see if it helps. Otherwise, rush the pet straight away to a vet. If you know or have some idea about the source(s) of poisoning then carry it along to the vet. It would assist the vet in the remedial procedure he/she applies over the dog.
Won’t the Dog go Out?
Your dog’s love for outings and its need to relieve itself should not be denied to it. With a few adjustments to the dog’s daily schedule you can make the dog safe and also maintain its healthy habits. On the day of the festival, take the dog for a walk in the early hours of morning. After that keep the dog in a safe and private part of the house till 1 or 2 pm, as, generally, it is the time by which the exuberant part of the festival gets over.
If you think of taking the dog for an evening or night walk on the day of Holi, or on the next morning, then it is highly recommended that you put a muzzle on your dog. By doing this you would be able to avoid accidental licking of colour spread over roads or parks. Keep the dog on leash and prevent it from even sniffing the colours.
Some people, especially children, may come into the spirit of fun a few days before Holi. So it is better to be cautious 4/5 days prior to Holi.
So, the key words for you to remember are:
NO COLOUR FOR ANIMALS, NO COLOUR AROUND ANIMALS
Don’t limit yourselves to your pet animals. Be considerate about the strays which live around you too. And do what you can do in your capacity. A very good step towards a safe Holi for everyone would be use of genuine natural colours. Buy it and promote it; consider a part of your social responsibility.
And Spread the Word…