The Strange, Sad Way This Dog Died, and How You Can Keep Your Pets Safe

Helicopter parenting does not apply solely to children, considering it is not uncommon to encounter (or even be friends with) an overly protective dog owner. Granted, a responsible pet owner is greatly appreciated, but how much coddling is too much when it comes to a fur baby?

At a certain point, dogs seem to be somewhat on autopilot — letting its owner know when it needs something. But the truth is, caring for a dog is a lot of work that requires attention and dedication. Nevertheless, many attentive pet owners have been forced to bid their beloved pup a premature farewell. Recently, a pet owner’s dog experienced an unexpected and bizarre death. Find out below how this dog (and many others) have died in a strange and sad way, and how you can keep your pets safe.

1. The owners were not at home, but that does not always matter

Cute puppy pitubull American Staffordshire Terrier isolated on white background. Close-up with space for copy
Her puppy got into something he shouldn’t have. | LARISA SHPINEVA/iStock/Getty Imagse

When Christina Young and her partner Christian returned to their Texas home, a devastating scene awaited them. Their beloved and beautiful pit bull, Petey, lay dead. While the cause of death is far less common than being struck by a car, many other pet owners have experienced the same tragic story. In fact, Bonnie Harlan went through a similar scenario back in 2011.

Next: Only a few minutes is needed to cause death. 

2. This deadly accident only takes three to five minutes to happen

A young Leonberger puppy is lying
Many dogs are left alone all day. | olostock/iStock/Getty Images

While keeping the family dog safe and sound is the top priority for all responsible owners, many know that when accidents happen, they typically go down quickly. What’s even more unfortunate is that many owners are not able to bring their dogs to work every day, so leaving them home alone is inevitable. For Young, Harlan, and many others, the cause of their dogs’ deaths only took three to five minutes — the same as a human.

Next: Here’s how tragedy struck these pet owners’ lives. 

3. The dog suffocated in a chip bag

The puppy suffocated on the bag. | iStock/Getty Images

When Young and her partner returned home to find Petey dead, the cause was more than alarming. Petey discovered a chip bag full of crumbs. Like so many food-motivated dogs do, Petey stuck his head into the bag for the crumbs but was sadly unable to realize the dangers of suffocation. Unfortunately, Young’s adored dog could not remove the bag from his head quickly enough and died of suffocation.

Next: Find out where Petey found the chip bag. 

4. An old chip bag was pulled from the trash can

puppy exploring a garbage cana
The puppy had gone into the trash can. | Studio-Annika/iStock/Getty Images

The empty chip bag was not haphazardly lying around in Young’s home. Instead, the bag was inside the trash can, right where it belonged. But that did not stop Petey from rummaging through the trash when the couple was not home. Dogs are animals, after all, so keeping themselves from indulging in a crumb-filled bag of Frito Lays from the trash takes an extreme amount of discipline.

Next: In this case, maybe size really doesn’t matter.

5. Size, wit, and strength do not matter

old boy pug puppy
It’s dangerous no matter the dog. | LexiTheMonster/iStock/Getty Images

Every dog owner would like to believe that their fur baby is too small, too smart, and too strong to get caught up inside of a chip bag, but unfortunately for this case, size truly does not matter. According to Young, “With there being nothing left inside, every time he would go for more he would inhale, making the bag tighter and tighter around his head,” she wrote. The mere scent of the bag’s remnants kept Petey and others going back for more.

Next: Here’s how often this tragedy strikes homes around the world.

6. It’s far more common than you think

boxer puppy
It’s sadly pretty common. | ElizabethHoffmann/iStock/Getty Images

Prompted by the loss of her dog Blue to the same tragic ending in 2011, Harlan created the organization Prevent Pet Suffocation. Through this organization, Harlan discovered Blue and Petey’s deaths are not uncommon circumstances. Instead, three to four wrecked pet owners are reaching out to her every single week seeking answers and comfort. In fact, Harlan sent out a survey only to learn of nearly 1,300 pet suffocation cases. She believes that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Next: Harlan plans to put a stop to this tragedy. 

7. Frito Lay is being petitioned to place warning labels on the bag

Open Bag of Chips
Pet owners want a warning on the bags. | artisteer/iStock/Getty Images

Considering the prevalence of dog suffocations, Harlan noticed some striking similarities. The majority of the cases are the result of dogs getting caught up in Frito Lay chip bags. While the company is not to blame, pet owners are asking the company to place warning labels on the bag, because Harlan believes owners “can’t prevent what we don’t know is a danger.” Although Frito Lay is “sympathetic,” warning labels have yet to be put into action.

Next: But it’s not just Frito Lay bags that are the culprit. 

8. Other bags are to blame as well

Cereal cookies in bag on table
Any sort of plastic bag that could attract animals is a threat. | belchonock/iStock/Getty Images

Although Cheetos and Doritos are arguably quite addictive, the Frito Lay brands are not the only snack bags enticing dogs and even cats. Bags with remnants of cookies, deli meats, leftovers, and practically any other tasty treat are also suspect. Even if hardly any food remains in the bag, animals are attracted to human food and will pursue it.

Next: Find out how to prevent this tragedy from hitting too close to home.

9. Make sure to keep trash cans secure

Clean kitchen
Make sure your garbage is secure. | Jupiterimages/iStock/Getty Images

Most kitchen trash cans have lids, but not everyone springs for that luxury. And if you have a kitchen trash bin with a swinging lid, that still may not be enough. Consider purchasing a bin with a locking lid for your kitchen rubbage. This is a simple and inexpensive way to keep your trash secure, but also an easy measure worth taking to provide a little extra peace of mind.

Next: Other everyday habits can lead to freak accidents.

10. Avoid leaving chips and other snack bags easily accessible

Customers of Ralphs supermarket use plastic bags
Avoid leaving any bags out. | Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Most of us are guilty of grabbing a few chips or crackers out of the bag then rolling it up and tossing it onto the kitchen counter. Or maybe you’re guilty of leaving the pantry door open just enough for a smart snout to pry it open and have its way. The fact is that leaving chips, pretzels, and other bagged snacks is a welcome target for your dog to indulge.

Next: You may not know about these other deadly items lurking in and around your home.

11. Sago palms can be deadly

Sago Palm
Gnawing on the plant can be toxic. | NajaShots/iStock/Getty Images

Let’s face it, although sago palms are beautiful, the plant’s texture does not necessarily lend itself to being appetizing. But dogs can be weird creatures, and if they manage to gnaw on a little bit of the plant, it could be deadly. Although the toxic plant can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and a loss of appetite, the more serious symptoms include liver failure and uncontrollable hemorrhaging.

Next: This popular treat is bad news for canines. 

12. Xylitol gum is harmful

Xylitol chewing gum
It could be fatal for dogs. | memoriesarecaptured/iStock/Getty Images

Opting for xylitol gum may be a healthier choice for humans, but it is quite the opposite for dogs. In fact, consumption can cause serious complications for canines, and the backlash can be fatal. Unfortunately, dogs who do partake could face fatal hypoglycemia and liver failure.

Next: Another household culprit of deaths in dogs.

13. Puppies like to chew on cords

hands of men unplugged plug
Puppies are at high risk. | iStock/Getty Images

New puppies may be adorable, but caring for and training the pup is a full-time job. Although electrocution is less common in older dogs, puppies are at high risk. In homes, cords are all over the place and an easy target for little ones to indulge their curiosities. While a little shock is unlikely to kill your dog, full-on deadly electrocution is possible. As such, it is a good idea to keep your cords contained and covered.

Next: How dangerous is marijuana? 

14. Marijuana is so strong that it is now deadly to dogs

A woman rolls a marijuana cigarette as photographed
It’s deadly for dogs. | Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

For decades, a dog getting into its owner’s weed stash was a funny joke. Schwag is a thing of the past though, and now marijuana has morphed into a very potent little flower. A recent study was carried out in order to find out if all this newfangled weed can be deadly to dogs. Out of 125 dogs, two actually died after ingestion. Keep your stash safely stashed.

Next: A gentle reminder of a well-known fact.

15. Antifreeze will always be deadly

antifreeze for sale
It’s seriously toxic. | Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Antifreeze being a toxic and deadly chemical to both animals and humans is a widely known fact, yet dogs still die every year from poisoning. The odorless, sweet taste of antifreeze is indulgent to dogs. As a result, canines experience a range of symptoms after ingestion. While drunken behavior is common, seizures and fainting can ensue. Induce vomiting is necessary to relieve and prevent death in your dog.

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Source: Newsweek