A horrible, preventable, VERY COMMON fatal accident.
When we came home, Siri had been trapped for hours this way. The holes in the bag that saved her life were made by her, not by us.
Several families on mycorgi.com have lost dogs this way.
Eat from bowls or boxes, not bags:
Babyproof your home. Train everybody. It's a new habit, but easy to learn. Cut holes in food bags. Food waste goes in only ONE place, locked-up. We keep scissors hanging on cup hooks by the sink. Watch your visitors, who don't know bags are killers. Even in our vigilant home, I have found intact dog food bags on the basement floor (handy bags, I'd kept them for some reason, or they were in the recycling). Be alert when routines are changed: traveling, holidays, parties, in the car.
After plastic bags were introduced in the 1950s, many human children died this way. Venetian blinds also kill dogs. And children.
Talk about this to other dog owners. You'll never know who you save.
Siri was a "gulper". We lost her to a choking accident. One bad day, we fed her something too big...
Thank you for this post! After reading something like this prior to Orion coming home we bought a bin for his food and all his food bags immediately go outside to the trash. I never even thought about chip bags though.
We'll definitely be doing some puppy proofing.
You have to think about what happens when (not if) your dog gets into the trash! Cut the bags, then dispose.
I found an intact cat food bag on our basement floor because we have curbside recycling, and I'd accepted an out-of-town friend's recycling. Who'd have thought it?
We lost our first corgi to a Doritos bag in 2006 and I'm so sorry that this happened to Murphy and Siri and the others. We open all trash bags as much as possible and have a pair of scissors hanging right about the trashcan for cutting bags and six-pack rings, (out of reach of the human children, which you have to worry about plastic bags with them as well.)
When Doritos had a commercial during the Superbowl last year about a dog getting a Doritos bag stuck on it's head I emailed their complaint department. I didn't hear back from them, but I never saw the commercial again.
I can't believe how often this happens. I just can't. It seems our Corgi's worst enemy is their own gluttony--and in more ways than one. Who would have thought that one of the most dangerous things to a Corgi is itself?
This was just the motivation I needed to clean my apartment, in the name of keeping my dog alive.
I can't believe how often this happens either. I never would have thought of the possibility if it hadn't been for reading about it on this site. When we first adopted Chewey he got into the garbage a couple times, but fortunately other than making a mess there was no harm done... Now, although I put the garbage cans up when we leave him alone (just in case) I'm also ultra-paranoid about cutting bags up before I put them in the trash, on the off-chance one of us were to forget to put the can out of reach.
I was awake a good chunk of last night upset and thinking about how awful it would be to come home and find your furbaby gone because of such a seemingly innocuous thing...
I'm just heartbroken to hear of another tragedy with a food bag. :-( :-(
After Teddy's death, I started trying to convert the family to a practice of cutting open all the used food bags. This effort has not been entirely successful. (Scissors not always handy by all trash cans, people in a hurry, etc., etc.) I came up with 2 other steps to lower the risk that seem to be pretty easy to comply with: when the bag is empty, tear it down the side seam (if it is the kind that lets you; some are impossible to do this to) so that it is almost completely open before you put it in the trash. If you can't tear open the seam, another idea is to turn the bag inside out, leaving it kind of crunched up. The delicious crumbs will all be on the outside and it is less likely that a dog will feel any urgency to get their snout into the clean (now inside) part of the bag. All bags should still go in a secure trash can, and cutting open the bag is still best, but these backup measures should lower the risk if the dog ever does get into the trash. It is so easy to get complacent about "innocent," everyday things like chip bags, but as John said it is important to train all family members and to remain vigilant. My biggest fear isn't empty bags, but the ones that still have food in them. I can't tell you how many times I've found partially full bags of chips lying around within even a stumpy corgi's reach. Those are my biggest fear because the temptation is greatest when there's still food in the bag and because there's no way to mitigate the risk other than by ensuring that such bags are always out of reach. Since "always out of reach" is nearly impossible to achieve, I'm trying to stock up on those really nice OXO canisters with the little vacuum-pop lids so that I can immediately transfer food to the canisters (the food stays so nice and fresh in those and the kids like to eat out of them). My final step in this process is to train the neighbor kids who come over with food bags in hand...that's still a work in progress.
I'm also going to cross-post this onto the other corgi forum I'm on.
Thanks for posting again. We cannot be reminded enough. Me and my family started cutting off the bottoms to all bags thrown in the trash after I read about "Teddy" on this website. Every time my Girls or I or my husband cut the bag, we say, "This is for Teddy".
Teddy (and his spirit) and his humom are such a big part of mycorgi.com, I was so sad for them.