Holi is a festival of colours and joy, but it can be a stressful time for our furry friends. Stray dogs and cats are particularly vulnerable during this time, as they are often subjected to a lot of noise, harassment, and abuse. As animal lovers, it is our responsibility to ensure that these innocent creatures are protected and cared for during the festival.
In this blog, we will discuss some tips on how to take care of stray dogs and cats during Holi.
Offer Them a Shelter– One of the best ways to protect stray dogs and cats during Holi is to offer them a safe space to rest and relax. If you have a backyard or a spare room, you can offer shelter to the strays in your area. You can also talk to your neighbours and ask them to keep their pets indoors during the festival. This will help to reduce the risk of dogs and cats being exposed to harmful colours, loud noises, and other hazards.
Do Not Feed Sweets to the Strays– Sweets are a rich source of sugar, cream and nuts. These ingredients can cause stomach upsets and indigestion issues in cats and dogs. Be a responsible caregiver and only feed stray dogs with rice, rotis, dog biscuit or peanut butter.
Report Abuse– Unfortunately, there are people who enjoy abusing animals during Holi. If you witness any such activity, it is your duty to report it to the authorities. You can contact your local animal welfare organization or the police and file a complaint against the perpetrators.
Use Organic Colours- If you plan to play Holi with your pets or around strays, it would be wise to use organic colours that are safe and non-toxic. Holi colours can be fatal for dogs and cats as these colours comprise sulphates and oxides. They can lead to skin issues, itching, burning sensation and damage to the dog’s coat. Instead, you can make your own colours at home using turmeric, beetroot and spinach.
Be Gentle and Kind- Dogs and cats can get easily frightened by loud noises and aggressive behaviour. During Holi, it is important to be gentle and kind towards stray animals. Do not chase them or throw water or colors on them. Instead, offer them treats and gentle strokes to make them feel safe and loved.
Keep the Strays Away from Bonfires- Bonfires are a common sight during Holi, but they can be dangerous for stray animals. Dogs and cats may accidentally wander too close to the fire and get burned. It is best to keep them away from bonfires and other sources of heat during the festival.
Provide Food and Water- Stray animals often struggle to find food and water during Holi, as many people are busy with celebrations and forget to feed them. As a responsible citizen, you can take the initiative to provide food and water to these animals. You can put out bowls of clean water and food in safe locations, away from the crowds and noise.
Check for Injuries- Stray animals may get injured during Holi due to accidents or abuse. It is important to check for any injuries or wounds and offer first aid if necessary. You can also contact your local animal welfare organization for help in treating injured animals.
If you play Holi irresponsibly, it can even have a psychological impact on stay dogs and cats. They may get anxious as they struggle to figure out their surroundings. This is why you may have seen stray dogs and cats in your vicinity running away and never showing up again.
While Holi is a good time for us to celebrate and spread joy, we even need to be considerate and kind towards the health of these innocent four-legged friends.