Veterinary Blog

Suffocation Alert!

By Dr. Leslie Ross D.V.M. BSc.

It is very important to be aware of the suffocation danger to pets from plastic food packages and to take care to protect them from common household food packaged items such as Ziploc bags, potato chip bags, plastic cereal box bags and hard plastic food containers with narrow openings.

The latest Bulletin from the College of Veterinarians of British Columbia flagged the importance of our profession increasing the level of awareness of the public to this surprisingly common cause of suffocation of hungry or curious pets.

Pets suffocate often in a few minutes once their heads and face are fully encased in these items since they generally do not have enough dexterity to remove them in time.

For pet owners interested in learning more about this danger and on food package hazard prevention, a website link has been provided at: http//

Wild birds are often exposed to the hazards of discarded plastic items. In particular, plastic rings that encircle items bought in bulk such as beer cans or large juice containers. These plastic rings can encircle shorebirds’ necks or legs causing them to die from starvation or be attacked and killed by predators. It is a very simple and potentially life-saving act to cut these items up before disposing of them in your garbage container.

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