It’s something you may not think about until it’s too late – but your dog can suffocate, just like a child. And, they can do it with ordinary, everyday items you have lying around the house.
This week mark's the start of National Suffocation Awareness Week! According to the Prevent Pet Suffocation group, suffocation in dogs happens in minutes. Below is a list of common ways your dog may suffocate, so you can avoid a tragedy, yourself.
Whether it be a dog food bag, chip bag, or other bag that had some kind of food in it, dogs will stick their head in a bag to lick the last bits of food, panic, breathe hard, and if they can’t remove the bag they can suffocate.
Dogs can get themselves stuck in something like a cooler or other tight space, if a lid closes once they crawl in to investigate and they become trapped, they could suffocate. Camping coolers with heavy lids, old refrigerators, and clothes dryers are some examples.
Something your dog probably has on him 80 – 100% of the time–his own collar–can be a killer. Dangling tags or the collar itself can become stuck on a number of objects and if your pet panics and twists to try to get away, it could lead to suffocation.
If your dog is microchipped and you are fairly certain they will not bolt out the door, it’s best to have them be “naked” in the house, especially if you are not there to watch them or if there are other dogs around that may engage in play.
Be aware of small items your pet could choke on. If they get a small ball, fabric, or chew toy stuck in their throat, it can cut off air flow and suffocate them. This is why it’s so important to get toys and chews that are the appropriate size for your dog.
Like chip bags, these can also be a cause for suffocation. If you have a pup that gets into the trashcan while you’re away, make sure to get one with a secure lid, or put it out of reach – like in a shut closet – so it’s no longer a risk to your dog.
There are many simple steps to prevent a tragedy from happening:
- Cut open discarded chip bags
- Keep an eye on your pet
- Avoiding dangling tags and invest in an embroidered breakaway collar or harness