The Real Danger of Pet Suffocation

By Distinct Advantage Partner

Vets, Techs and Practice Managers: Please Help Your Clients Avoid Heartbreak! 

Did you see “Petey” the dog’s suffocation story? This big, beautiful pittie lost his life this past winter from something every single one of your clients has in their home—a chip, snack, cereal or treat bag!

Whether or not you and your hospital team were previously aware of the very real danger of pet suffocation (it happens hundreds, if not thousands, of times each year), I can tell you with certainty that the vast majority of your clients aren’t aware of this common household hazard!

In our ongoing survey, 90 percent of those who lost a pet didn't know about this danger until it happened to them. (Download a free PDF of this awareness poster to display or share in your hospital here.)

This is your chance to really shine and stand out! This is an important opportunity for you and your hospital team to help your clients avoid the heartbreak, devastation and (sadly) guilt that people, like Petey’s owners, are going through:

“One week ago I kissed my baby boy goodbye on my way out for work. But I had no idea it would be for the last time. Last Monday, Christian beat me home from work by about 10 minutes and was surprised when Petey didn’t greet him at the door like usual. As he walked in further, he saw our sweet boy lying lifeless with a stupid chip bag over his head. He was able to get them off the counter that we will forever blame ourselves for leaving them out.

After doing research, the stats on how often this happens is shocking. Three to five pet suffocations get reported every week and 42 percent of those occur while the owner is in the next room. It only takes about 3 minutes for their oxygen to drop to fatal levels. With this happening so often we were so surprised by the lack of awareness on this topic out there.”

— from Christina Young's Facebook post about Petey

Your clients need you! And these will be some of the easiest lives you’ll ever save, too. All it takes is sharing any of the eye-opening awareness articles, videos and other resources that we’ve collated, created and listed for you below.

Share them on your hospital Facebook and Instagram pages. Send your clients an email with links to these articles and other resources. Print out the Pet Suffocation Awareness graphic above and give a copy to clients that come in this week—maybe even directly give it to them when they’re checking out or while they’re passing the time in the exam room. Whatever you do, just do something to help your clients become aware of and avoid this devastating tragedy.

They need and want to learn this type of stuff—and they want to learn it from you! I do hope you'll take this professional “call to action” to heart and that these resources will help you and your team help your clients even more in their daily lives with their pets.



Pet Suffocation Awareness Resources for Sharing with Your Clients:

For additional education, be sure to read the JAVMA article, “Snack bags pose suffocation risk to pets,” posted on April 25, 2018, at



Dr. Jason Nicholas is President and Chief Medical Officer of Preventive Vet™, a content publishing and consulting company made up of a group of dedicated veterinarians, certified trainers, behaviorists, writers, creatives, educators and, above all, awesome pet-loving people. Our mission is to minimize and prevent pain, suffering and disease in cats and dogs everywhere. We do this both direct to pet owner (social, blogging, etc.) and also—very importantly—by helping veterinary teams, pet product companies and industry leaders better understand, promote and communicate proactive, vetted, engaging information and awareness to their pet-owning clients and the general pet-loving public. Preventive Vet is the leading online resource for veterinarian-endorsed preventive health and safety information for dogs and cats. Visit us our site,, to learn more about us and what we do and why we're doing it! And for high-quality client education and bonding books for your veterinary practice(s), check out our 101 Essential Tips book series.
Preventive Vet™ is an MWI Animal Health Distinct Advantage™ program partner. To discuss how your practice can qualify for a free Distinct Advantage program membership, contact your MWI Territory Manager.