Holi is just around the corner and everyone (including me) is pretty excited. The colours, the liveliness, the parties and of course, the bhaang.
If you were under the impression that Diwali is the only festival that leaves an impact on animals, you're wrong. Holi is as dangerous -- physically and psychologically, but in different ways, of course.
So, this year, please think twice before getting too involved in your celebrations and harming animals that are definitely already terrified of this festival.
For starters, colouring dogs, whether your own or a stray is a complete no-no. You might think that dry colours don't cause harm to them as those pakka ones would. But unfortunately, these dry colours contain chemicals, metal oxides, lead, mica and sometimes pieces of glass too.
While a human body sweats out the toxins, dogs don't have sweat glands and hence, their body ends up absorbing all the chemicals.
If a dog ends up with such colours on his body, it might to lead to skin allergies like Dermatitis which can be extremely painful. Dogs also end up ingesting these colours when they lick themselves which can drastically disturb their digestion.
Inflammation on the skin and hair loss are also some of the many effects that these poor souls go through.
Another harmful thing that could happen to them through these colours is respiratory discomfort.The chemicals in these colours can block an animal's nasal cavity which can restrict their breathing pattern.
And as far as 'organic' colours go, even though they are labelled as 'non-toxic', they can also cause considerable amount of damage to an animal's health. Their immune system isn't like ours and doesn't fight against foreign substances as efficiently.
Water balloons, if thrown around carelessly and violently, can end up hurting these poor souls who look for cover during such times.
Also, since we are discussing water, please refrain yourself from using any this year. The obvious fact is that we are already short on fresh water and could completely run out of it in the coming years. But the other thing is that street dogs end up drinking colour-infused water during holi which does significant damage to their bodies. Ingesting such substances can lead to liver failure and even death.
And if it's not things that we use to celebrate holi, it's the things that we drink or eat during it which can also be harmful to our four-legged buddies.
Sweets are also a big fat no when it comes to animals. Their bodies aren't like ours and cannot breakdown complex things like processed sugar and fat in such a high quantity. Things like chocolate, dairy, raisins etc. are known to make dogs very sick.
And in the cases where your own pets have been subjected to such cruelty, please make sure that you don't use anything else except water to clean them. Do not attempt to take the colours off their bodies using spirits or anything else since those can also be very dangerous for them.
Last but not the least, please do not hesitate to call the authorities if you find a dog in discomfort during the festival as you could help in saving its life.
Let's make our festivals safe for those who don't understand them.