We nearly lost our first dog this way.
Teach everyone to keep all food waste and plastic bags in an inaccessible location. Cut bottoms off all food bags. Beware of visitors who are unaware of this hazard and might, say, drop a chip bag into an open wastebasket. Just because it's on a countertop doesn't mean it's inaccessible: the cat can knock things down.
In the aftermath of an accident, I checked our house and found many hazard bags in the recycling and elsewhere, including a dog food bags I'd kept 'because it might be handy'.
Those spring-loaded swinging garbage doors were not too hard to install.
Babyproof your house -- anything that might hurt a child might hurt a pet. Beware choking hazards, too.

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Comment by Ann B., Scout and Summer on December 13, 2011 at 11:33am

I know someone who lost their corgi suffocating in a potato chip bag!  How tragic, and avoidable.

Comment by Snickmom on December 8, 2011 at 8:14pm

We had a rat terror (terrier) who could open the cupboard door that had a baby latch on the inside so she could get into the trash. We had one of those racks that hang under the sink and you put a plastic grocery bag into. She couldn't reach the top, so just ripped the bottom of the bag out. We are very fortunate she never choked. (Same dog also got on top of the kitchen table and ate a pound of chocolate- and lived!)

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