Last week I noticed a recall on a pet water dispenser from the popular furniture and home accessories giant IKEA. Although I can’t quite wrap my head around how two pets could get their head caught in a water dispenser and die, IKEA is doing the right thing by recalling the product and refunding the cost of the water dispenser to prevent more tragic deaths.
The bags supplied with snack food, pet food and treats, and breakfast cereal pose a serious risk to your pet. Even your average zipper bag can be lethal if your pet’s head becomes trapped in a bag which is impervious to air. As your pet tries to get the last chip crumb from the taco chip bag, every breath forms a tightening seal around your pet’s head, preventing her from getting oxygen. It takes only a few minutes for hypoxia and suffocation to occur.
Any Pet is At Risk
The IKEA recall warns about a danger to small dogs and cats, and the memorials to pets lost to bag suffocation show no boundaries. Most of the tributes are photographs of dogs, but all types and sizes: dogs with flat and pointy noses, big and little dogs. There are even a few cats who have succumbed to this preventable death.
Protecting Your Pet Against Suffocation
- Don’t leave bagged food on the counter or anywhere your pet might get access to a bag
- When disposing of empty chip, cereal, and zipper bags, cut off the closed end to open the bag and allow airflow if your pet finds the bag in the trash
- Consider transferring food to plastic containers rather than storing them in bags
- Be extra vigilant when you and your pet visit friends who might have bagged food unsafely stored
- Use trash cans with locking lids
- Alert your guests to the risk of bagged food or empty food bags
- Sign up for pet product recalls and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations if you own a product that is recalled. A couple of suggestions are @AVMARecallWatch on Twitter and PetMD Recalls.