With the Holi festival just around the corner and excitement building, it’s important to prepare so that companion and stray animals aren’t harmed during the festivities. Here are the top actions to take to keep animals safe and healthy this Holi:
1. Know the facts.
The powders that are used during the festival are made with synthetic colours which contain toxic metals or dyes that can cause skin allergies, rashes or even blindness in people and animals. Animals can easily inhale the powder, which can cause nasal irritation and respiratory allergies or infections . Animals who ingest it while grooming themselves can suffer from stomach ailments or other illnesses or even die. Drinking water coloured by the powder can also cause hair loss and dermatitis in dogs.
2. Keep animals indoors.
Getting hit with coloured powder or water isn’t fun for animals, who don’t understand what is happening and don’t enjoy getting powder or water in their eyes and noses . Keep animal companions indoors, and ensure that celebrations occur a safe distance away from stray animals.
3. Teach children not to throw the powder or water balloons at animals.
Kids may not realise that this frightens and hurts animals.
4. Create awareness in your area.
Ask housing associations or building managers to put up notices that remind tenants to keep their animal companions indoors during Holi and never throw the powder or water at animals.
5. Watch out for community dogs and strays.
If an animal gets the powder in his or her eyes, quickly flush them out with clean water. If irritation persists, recruit the help of a veterinarian for medical care.
6. Use shampoo to remove coloured powder from animals’ hair and fur.
A good gentle animal-friendly shampoo should get the powder out of an animal’s hair. Never use toxic kerosene, alcohol or hair oil.
7. Keep Holi sweets out of animals’ reach.
Give dogs only canine-friendly treats this Holi. Ingredients like cream, chocolate and raisins can make them sick or even kill them.
Wishing you a happy and safe animal-friendly Holi, friends!