Hungry dogs know no limits—and, let's be honest, dogs are always hungry. Some pups favor counter surfing to steal snacks, while others may sneak into the kitchen trash can to forage for food. A few brave pooches have even been known to grab dinner straight off the grill! Of course, there are a lot of issues that come with dogs consuming human food. Not all of it is healthy and some things, like grapes, can even be deadly. However, food toxicity isn't the only concern when it comes to pets getting into our pantries.
Chip bags are one of the most enticing snack items that a dog could hope for. They're big, crinkly, and filled with food—what's not to love?! While you may think that the biggest risk from your dog scarfing down an entire bag of chips is an upset stomach, the bag itself could be the most dangerous part.
Dog chip bag PSA #greenscreensticker
A recent TikTok video calls attention to a deadly dog danger that many pet parents don't know about. Social media personality and dog mom Shelby shared a PSA regarding dogs and chip bags. These seemingly innocuous snack containers pose a serious risk of suffocation in dogs, and this isn't just some one-off occurrence. Many dogs have died over the years because they stuck their head into a plastic bag to eat the contents and then couldn't get it off.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the bag tightens around their head as they inhale the potato chips or whatever else the bag holds. By the time they realize they're stuck, it's often too late. In a study from 2014 to 2018, over 1,300 people said that 72% of their dogs and cats died from suffocating in a snack or potato chip bag. About 11% suffocated in treat bags. The pet owners who responded to the Preventive Vet study felt guilty about the tragedy and 39% of them were at home when it happened. Of those who weren't, 18% were gone for less than 15 minutes—which highlights just how quickly disaster can strike. Suffocation can happen to pups of all sizes and it's estimated that two to three pets die each week from plastic bag suffocation.
Bonnie Harlan lost her beloved pup this way back in 2011 and started the website Prevent Pet Suffocation to raise awareness. She was heartbroken when her rescue dog Blue died and used her grief as a way to make sure no other pet owner would have to go through the same horrible experience she did. However, many people are still not aware of this fairly common threat.
Luckily, there are ways to prevent pet suffocation. First of all, never leave new or opened bags of chips or treats within reach of your dog. As Shelby mentions in her viral PSA, you should keep the trash can out of reach if your pet is a known scavenger. You also can prevent the deadly vacuum-like seal from happening by cutting both ends and the side of the chip bag before you throw it away. Lastly, remember to share this information with all family members, friends, and caregivers!
Enjoy the outdoors?
Sign up for daily stories delivered straight to your inbox.