Recently we’ve seen a few videos making the rounds featuring pets with food bags or other items stuck on their heads. While many people find these videos cute or funny because the animals are seeking treats or people food, the truth is these animals are in serious danger!
Cats and dogs who forage for food can easily get their head stuck in a bag. As they breathe in, the bag will quickly form a vacuum-like seal around their head. The pet will begin to panic from being stuck and not being able to breathe normally. Without immediate intervention, it will die from asphyxiation in just a few short minutes.
Sadly, pets of all ages, strengths, and sizes die from asphyxiation more often than you might think, and it’s completely preventable.
Chips, cereal, crackers, pet treats and other tasty foods are usually packaged in plastic, Mylar™ or foil-lined bags. These bags can be deadly for pets and children, too! Other common suffocation hazards include bread bags, cheese bags, and hard plastic/cardboard containers.
Biggest Suffocation Hazards
Snack (e.g., cracker, popcorn, etc.) or chip bags (69%)
Cereal bags (8%)
Pet Food bags (8%)
Pet Treat bags (5%)
Where Pets Find These Bags
In or near the home trash can or recycling (32%)
Grabbed off a coffee table or side table (21%)
Grabbed off a counter (11%)
Found under a bed (7%)
Safety Precautions to Protect Your Pet
Store all snacks and foods contained in bags safely away from pets and kids
Serve your snacks in bowls instead of eating out of the bag
Make sure your trash cans are sealed tightly and your pets can’t get into them
Keep a close eye on pets during parties or gatherings where snack foods are served
Cut or tear food bags along the bottom and sides before discarding
Remember, ANY pet could get ahold of a snack bag and get stuck – without help, your beloved pet could suffocate within 3-5 minutes. Take the time, rip the bags, and save the heartache.