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On 'Holi' ensure pet safety too

By FnF Desk | PUBLISHED: 05, Mar 2015, 15:28 pm IST | UPDATED: 06, Mar 2015, 9:07 am IST

On 'Holi' ensure pet safety too

New Delhi: Holi, the festival of colors, is just around the corner and like every year, preparations for this colorful festival have already reached their peak.

However, we forget that Holi is something we humans love and enjoy playing, not out pets and other street animals. In enthusiasm, people love to include their furry friends in the festivities, often forgetting the harmful impact the festival has on their pets.

Here are a few tips following which you can save your pets from the unsafe effects of Holi colors:

1. Keep your pets away from 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.

2. Don't use dry or wet colors: Use of dry colors on pets can be hazardous. The presence of lead, which acts as an accumulative poison, makes these colors a high-risk material for pets. Inhalation of color powder may cause nasal irritation or respiratory infection. Moreover, dogs get paranoid when colors 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 colored water balloons.

3. Watch the 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 (color) 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 favorite toy. This will also prevent children from scaring or irritating them. Make sure you supply them with sufficient food and water.

4. Teach your kids not to harm animals: Children should be sensitized about pet safety, especially during festival celebrations. As stray dogs mostly fall victim to toxic colors in this festival, parents must teach their kids not to play Holi with animals. No animal, whether domestic or stray should be hurt in this beautiful festival.

5. 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.

6. Remove colors: Never use kerosene or spirit to remove colors 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 color has entered inside. If the irritation continues, take the pet to a vet.