This Holi, let’s colour the lives of our canine friends with love, instead of colouring their coats, which is very harmful to them.
Festivals are always an occasion to look forward to, and the general spirit is to follow “the more the merrier” path. And with Holi, the festival of colours, just round the corner, our enthusiasm is all geared up to welcome it with open arms. Known to usher in the summers, people go out of the way to indulge in frolicking with water, colours and balloons. While some prefer wet Holi, others prefer the dry roli or abeer to mark the occasion.
However, one aspect that people don’t give much thought to, is the effect the festival has on our canine members. For all dog-loving families, the Holi celebrations are incomplete, if their four-legged darlings are not included in the merry-making. And so, they get their dogs out where all the action is, and play with them just as with the other family members. While the intentions and the feelings behind involving these sweethearts is totally justified and understandable, the truth is that your dog must not really be enjoying it as much as you think he is. Says Dr Pradeep Rana, a well-known veterinary doctor, “Most dogs go through intense physical reactions during such festivities. Their heartbeat goes up at the confusion around them, which is not very good for their health.”
And indeed, there are a few things that dog-owners need to be careful about during Holi, so that their pets don’t have a tough time when we are in the throes of enjoyment.
Dogs, as is commonly known, are rather sensitive to water. Generally speaking, they are advised to have bath once in a month, depending upon their breed. And when during Holi, they are suddenly exposed to cold water, they tend to catch cold very easily. “As it is, most breeds are very vulnerable to change in temperatures,” adds Dr Rana, which is why it is advisable to keep them away from cold water, especially in this season.
What’s a festival without sweets! And for some traditional homes, people even indulge in cooking sweets at home. Delicacies such as malai pua, gujhiya, dahi bade, coconut burfi, are all, traditional food items that make this day so special. And most dog-lovers don’t really enjoy anything till they share it with their beady-eyed beauties. But we must take into account, that sweets does not go down very well with the canines. Food rich in butter, cream and sugar can give them loose stomach. And so, it’s better to refrain from feeding them festival delights. But feel free to overfeed them with love. It will never prove harmful!!!
Most dog owners feel that as long as they use dry colours on their pets, there’s no harm. But they need to know that most dogs get paranoid when you rub colours on them, since it very often gets into their eyes and nose, making them very uncomfortable. They also tend to lick their body, and the taste of dry colours makes them prone to throwing up. Some breeds are so sensitive that their skin gets rashes because of dry colours. So, the best way is to just work towards colouring their lives, and not their coats!!!!
Walking the dog?:
I have often come across dogs who are totally terrified when a water balloon, out of nowhere, hits them hard, wetting and hurting them. It’s sad to see some children doing that on Holi, without realising that their fun can be a dog’s nightmare! But in view of the circumstances, dog owners must avoid taking their dogs at places and at times when they are likely to be the target of such insensitive play. Parents should also teach their kids about not using the beautiful festival to hurt these sweethearts, whether they are stray or domestic.
And last but not the least, on this day, make sure that your four-legged member is safe and secure in your house and has loads of comforting arms to still his racing heartbeat — so that he can also enjoy the festival. So what if they derive their joy from just watching you play! Believe me, if you are happy, so are they. And all of you with the angel-eyed canines at home, make sure that you give them one nice bear hug on this day and wish them a happy and safe Holi.