Woman Is Warning Pet Owners About This Dangerous Kitchen Item After Beloved Dog’s Tragic Passing

While most dog owners would prefer to spend as much time as possible with their pups, there comes a point when they have to leave their furry friends while they go to work, school, or wherever else their responsibilities take them. Thankfully, dogs are capable of being just fine on their own for the day.

Yet that wasn’t the case for one couple in Houston, Texas. They returned home like any other day—except what they found was just about any pet owner’s nightmare scenario. And if you’re not careful, it could happen to you, too…

No one loved their dog more than Christina Young and her boyfriend, Christian Villareal, of Houston, Texas. For years, their sweet pit bull mix, Petey, was their favorite part of coming home every day.

Unfortunately, this would all change on one seemingly ordinary day in February 2018. When the two kissed Petey goodbye before they left for work, they had no idea it was the last time they’d see their happy dog.

Christian was the first one to notice that something was horribly wrong as soon as he returned home later that day. “I came home and was not greeted at my door like usual,” he said.

Christina Young / Facebook

Christian didn’t want to assume the worst. After all, there must have been a perfectly reasonable explanation, so why panic? “I thought Petey was hiding from guilt from getting on the couch,” he explained.

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Sadly, that wasn’t the case. After walking inside, Christian started looking around the house—where he eventually found Petey lying on the dining room floor. Petey wasn’t moving.

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To Christian’s horror, Petey was dead. Moments later, Christina returned home and walked in on the tragic scene. “I feel like I have been living my worst nightmare,” she later said. But what could have caused this tragedy?

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Christina didn’t mince words when she described what happened; she posted a message on Facebook in an effort to warn other pet owners. “There is no way to describe the sadness, guilt, and emptiness we feel in our hearts and our home,” she began…

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“I discovered my poor sweet boy lifeless in our dining room with a chip bag over his head,” she wrote in her post. As it so happened, this mundane item was what led to Petey losing his life. But how?

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When the couple made the seemingly harmless mistake of leaving an open bag of potato chips on the counter before they left home, they had no idea they were putting Petey at risk. Yet, that’s exactly what happened.

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“[Petey] got it off our counter,” Christina wrote, explaining how the incident occurred, “and after eating all the chips, he went back for crumbs and got the bag stuck over his head.”

Such average dog behavior is fairly common—pretty much every dog loves human snacks—and yet it led to something terrible in this case. “Each time he tried to get some [chips], he inhaled causing the bag to tighten, ultimately resulting in suffocation,” Christina explained.

It’s difficult to blame Christian and Christina for being ignorant to the dangers of such a mistake when, as far as they knew before the incident, almost anyone could have done the same thing…

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Initially, however, the couple wasn’t just horrified—they were also confused. Petey was a smart, healthy dog. Wouldn’t it have been easy for him to simply take the bag off of his head with nothing more than his own paws?

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In short, not exactly. Petey’s untimely demise was more than a freak accident: it was actually quite common. Said Christina, “After doing research, the stats on how often this happens is shocking.”

Christina Young / Facebook

In fact, even if Christian and Christina were home, Petey might still have been vulnerable. “Three to five pet suffocations get reported every week, and 42 percent of those occur while the owner is in the next room,” Christina continued.

Additionally, the whole process happened too quickly for Petey to escape. “It only takes about three minutes for their oxygen to drop to fatal levels,” Christina noted. “In fact, [in] 90 percent of the incidents reported, the owner had never heard of this until it happened to them [us included].”

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It’s important to remember that any large snack bag presents this sort of risk to dogs, not just potato chips. “We’ve seen the bags can be deadly,” confirmed American Veterinary Medical Association spokesman, Michael San Filippo.

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Michael recommended that pet owners avoid these kinds of dangerous situations by tearing apart the loose bags. Additionally, they should make sure that these bags are completely out of their dogs’ reach by storing them in cupboards.

Jaranda / Wikimedia Commons

Christian and Christina weren’t the only ones who tried to spread the word about this issue. Bonnie Harlan founded Prevent Pet Suffocation after her own dog, Blue, died from suffocating on a bag of Cheetos on December 13, 2011.

Prevent Pet Suffocation / Facebook

As for Christina, she hoped that by sharing her story, other dogs won’t befall the same fate. “I just ask that in honor of my boy Petey that you be extra careful,” she wrote. “Warn other dog owners, and give your fur babies some extra love today, and every day after this.”

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Hopefully, this will serve as a lesson to many more pet owners that they need to be careful about what they leave around the house within their dog’s reach. Always put away your food!

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