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This Holi, make sure the pets are all right

This year, ensure that Holi is a joyous occasion for both pets and strays by using only safe colours and creating quiet spaces for them

Ensuring the well-being of both pets and strays during Holi can go a long way in celebrating an inclusive festival. Photo: Pexels
Ensuring the well-being of both pets and strays during Holi can go a long way in celebrating an inclusive festival. Photo: Pexels

Holi celebrations can be boisterous and vibrant, with people often losing themselves in the revelry. However, one should always be mindful of not hurting others while engaging in festivities. For instance, the festival could turn into a time of distress for both our furry family members and strays when people spray harmful dyes on them, causing skin and eye infections. Loud noise can lead to panic, and they could also ingest toxic substances, often leading to sickness. 

One needs to watch out for signs of emotional distress, which could include a pet pacing the room frantically or a stray hiding in fright in a corner of the neighbourhood. By being empathetic to their needs, one can create an inclusive festival, which brings joy to one and all.

Shantanu Kalambi, chief veterinary officer, Supertails, a one-stop-shop for all pets' needs, suggests a compassionate approach to Holi. This could include choosing pet-safe colours, which are organic in nature and won't harm their skin or overall wellbeing. One should be mindful of not feeding them sweets and heavy foods. “This simple choice can make a big difference in ensuring safety of both pets and strays. Secondly, create quiet, comfortable spaces for pets to escape the chaos. This sanctuary can help them feel secure amidst the noise and celebrations,” he says. 

Also read: Breed bans won’t reduce dog bites

Keep the celebrations confined to areas away from strays and ensure that pets are safely indoors. “Also, be prepared for emergencies. Know the signs of stress and toxicity in animals, and have the contact information of veterinarians and animal welfare organisations handy. Quick action can save lives,” explains Kalambi. 

Being in-tune with your pet's emotions goes a long way. Just because an animal is not visibly distressed, doesn't mean they are comfortable. One needs to keep observing and removing distressing objects and noises to ensure emotional and physical safety. “By incorporating these suggestions into our festivities, we can celebrate in a way that brings joy not just to us but to all beings around us. The happiness we derive shouldn't come at the cost of our furry friends' well-being,” he says. 

Also read: To take a pet to a dog park or not? That’s the question

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