Protect your furry friend from toxic Holi colours

Holi is just round the corner and our enthusiasm is at an all-time high. We all have an idea about the harmful effects of colour on pets, and animals, but it never harms anyone to read it all over again. Especially, during this time. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind when it comes to Holi colours and your pets.

Why pets suffer
  • Harmful chemicals in colours can take a serious toll on your pet as their skin is thinner than that of humans and the skin barrier function too is very weak.
  • Also, some breeds are more susceptible to the damage than others. Short hair coat breeds are more at risk than long hair coat breeds.
  • Puppies and senior pets are highly vulnerable as their immunity levels are low; they are susceptible to infections.

Why colour is harmful
Most pet parents feel that as long as they use dry colours on their pets, there’s no harm. It’s important to know that these colours contain lead which can be toxic to pets.
Inhalation of colour powder can also cause nasal irritation and possible respiratory allergy or infection. Most pets get paranoid when you rub colour on them, since it very often gets into their eyes and nose, making them very uncomfortable. They also tend to lick their body; taste of dry colours makes them prone to vomiting. Some breeds are so sensitive that their skin develops rashes because of dry colours.

Precautions to take
  • Keep your pet away from people who tend to throw water balloons indiscriminately.
  • Sensitise kids on the pain and discomfort that pets go through.
  • With festivities come the mandatory boxes of sweets. Most dog owners don’t enjoy anything till they share it with their pets. Desist from this habit, especially where chocolates are concerned.
  • Keeping your pets indoors is the safest option to protect them from all the merriment.

What’s the next step?
  • Do not use kerosene, spirits or any hair oil to clean the colour off their coat, if by any chance your pet has been smeared with colour.
  • Any light dog shampoo should be good enough to remove colour from your pooch.
  • If the dog has been hit in the eye with a water balloon, wash the eye with clean water. If irritation persists, consult your veterinarian.
  • Colours should be off limits for your pet. Seek medical advice if he has licked or ingested any colour.

Holi colours may cause...
  • Loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, sneezing, coughing, discharge from nostrils and excessive thirst
  • Constant biting of own skin, itching or licking, rashes on skin
  • Excessive hair fall
  • Watery, red eyes. If irritation persists, consult vet

Did you know?
  • A tarantula spider can live for more than two years without food
  • Around 50 percent of orangutans have fractured bones, due to falling out of trees on a regular basis
  • Macaques in Japan use coins to buy vending machine snacks
  • Norway knighted a penguin
  • A study measuring the effects of music found that cows produce more milk when listening to soothing music

-By Dr Umesh Kallahalli

Whatever is your creature companion, we are here to listen to you. Send your photos, queries and stories to
[email protected]

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