Hungry dogs know no bounds – and, let’s be honest, dogs are still hunger. Some puppies prefer to counter-surf to steal snacks, while others may sneak into the kitchen trash can for food. A few brave pooches have even been known to grab dinner right on the grill! Of course, dogs that consume human food pose many problems. Not everything is healthy and some things, like Grapes, can even be fatal. However, the food toxicity is not the only concern when it comes to pets entering our pantries.

Chip bags are one of the most appealing snacks a dog could hope for. They’re big, fuzzy and full of food – what’s not to love? ! Although you may think the biggest risk of your dog swallowing an entire bag of chips is a stomach ache, the bag itself could be the most dangerous part.

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PSA dog flea bag #greenscreensticker

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A recent ICT Tac The video draws attention to a deadly danger to dogs that many pet owners are unaware of. Shelby, social media personality and dog mom, shared a public service announcement about dogs and flea bags. These seemingly harmless snack containers pose a serious choking hazard to dogs, and it’s not just a one-time occurrence. Many dogs have died over the years because they put their head in a plastic bag to eat the contents and they couldn’t get it out.

According to American Veterinary Medical Association, the bag tightens around their head when they inhale the chips or whatever is in the bag. By the time they realize they’re stuck, it’s often too late. In a study from 2014 to 2018, more than 1,300 people said 72% of their dogs and cats died of suffocation on a snack or bag of chips. About 11% choked on treat bags. Pet owners who responded to the Preventive veterinarian felt guilty for the tragedy and 39% of them were at home when it happened. Of those who weren’t, 18% left for less than 15 minutes, showing how quickly disaster can strike. Choking can happen to puppies of all sizes and it is estimated that two to three animals die every week from the suffocation of plastic bags.

Bonnie Harlan lost her beloved pup this way 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 to ensure that no other pet owner would have to go through the same horrific experience as her. However, many people are still unaware of this fairly common threat.

Fortunately, there are ways to prevent animal suffocation. First, never leave new or open bags of chips or treats within your dog’s reach. As Shelby mentions in her viral public service announcement, you should keep the trash can out of reach if your pet is a known scavenger. You can also prevent the deadly vacuum-like joint from occurring by cutting off both ends and the side of the chip bag before discarding it. Finally, don’t forget to share this information with all family members, friends and caregivers!

READ MORE: This Vet’s Viral Video Serves As A Warning About The Dangers Of Dog Bones

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