Most dog owners know that our pets seem to enjoy human food probably more than they like their own dog food – and we can’t blame them. Most dog food we can only imagine tastes like boring mush or crunchy cardboard as compared to the many deletable snacks that we humans consume. But, before we mindlessly indulge our pets in their want for human food, we need to remember some of the past tragedies that have happened in order to not let history repeat itself.
Back a few years ago, one woman on Facebook, Christina Young, posted a warning to other pet owners after tragedy befell her family. Young was referring to the horrible accident that happened when her pit bull named Petey, got his head stuck in a chip bag and ended up suffocating to death. Understandably distraught over the untimely death of her beloved dog, Young took to Facebook, writing:
One week ago I kissed my baby boy goodbye on my way out for work. But I had no idea it would be for the last time….
As she explained in her post, “He was able to get them off the counter that we will forever blame ourselves for leaving out. He ate every chip out but of course went back for crumbs… with there being nothing left inside every time he would go for more he would inhale making the bag tighter & tighter around his head.. ultimately resulting in suffocation.”
Not wanting there to be any more accidents similar to their tragedy, both Young and her partner decided to use their beloved Petey’s death as a chance to educate other dog owners on the dangers that chip bags pose to pets.
Unfortunately, Petey’s tragedy is not a freak accident – it actually happens to pets quite often. Often enough that there is an organization that was founded in order to raise awareness about the dangers of suffocation, as well as to console those who’ve lost pets in such sad ways. The organization is called Prevent Pet Suffocation and was founded back I 2011 by Bonnie Harlan, who also experienced the tragic death of her rescue dog, Blue, after he was found to have gotten his head trapped inside a Cheetos bag.
While the stats aren’t clear as to how frequently this kind of accident befalls pets, it’s still important to be aware of the problem. And based off the organization’s website, many pet owners have experienced this tragedy.
That is why Prevent Pet Suffocation offers pet owners a number of different tips and tricks to help curb the number of pets that end up suffocating by encouraging pet owners to properly tore bags out of reach, as well as teaching pet owners how to learn CPR as well as properly cut up bags after use so that pets can’t get into them in the trash. This is all highly important because suffocation can happen so quickly, in only a matter of minutes.
Beth Brookhouser, from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals in Monterey County, said to KTVU. “The best that pet owners can do is try to pet-proof their home as they would for an inquisitive toddler, and to train their dogs to stay off counters and out of garbage. Sadly, the smells that come from counter goodies and trash cans can prove far too appealing to our four-footed friends.”
In addition, Prevent Pet Suffocation has an ongoing Change.org petition going in order to ask that Frito Lay put a pet suffocation warning label on all its chip bags, stating, “Once the dog puts his head into the chip bag, it creates a vacuum-like seal around his neck. As the dog tries to breathe, the bag tightens around his neck, cutting off the oxygen. Dogs can and do die within minutes. Too many dogs are needlessly dying! Please help us get warning labels put on Frito Lay chip bags by signing this petition! The next dog that is saved may be yours!”