Keep Pets Away From Snack Food Bags on Super Bowl Sunday

Keep pets away from snack food bags on Super Bowl Sunday. Read more at https://madmikesamerica.com/2014/02/keep-pets-away-from-snack-food-bags-on-super-bowl-sunday/

It’s that time of year again when videos featuring dogs eating out of chip bags are touted in Frito-Lay’s contest for Doritos Crash the Super Bowl VIII with two winners ultimately being chosen to air during the game on Sunday, February 2, 2014. Now while it may be entertaining to see cute dogs stealing chip bags from their owners, a dog eating out of a chip bag presents a clear and present danger to our unwitting pets.

The fact is dogs are suffocating weekly in chip bags! As the Founder of Prevent Pet Suffocation, created to educate the public on the suffocation risks from chip bags after my own dog died in a Cheetos bag, I hear firsthand from devastated pet owners who contact me on Facebook, Twitter, and through my website about how they found their beloved dog dead with, in most cases, a Frito Lay chip bag covering their beloved pet’s head.

These are not negligent, uncaring dog owners who have left their dog to fend for himself.  These are dedicated dog lovers who had absolutely no idea these mylar-type chip bags posed a suffocation risk to their pets. Like me, they were shocked and distraught to think in a manner of minutes, they lost a cherished family member to something that often weighs no more than several ounces. They did not know that these bags create a vacuum-like seal around the dog’s neck once he puts his head into it looking for crumbs.  The more he or she  tries to breathe, the tighter the seal becomes, and the dog is often unable to get the bag off of his head. Many stumble around desperately, unable to breathe, losing their bowels in the process. They die within minutes, often leaving behind signs of a horrific struggle.

In 2013 alone, I documented 75 dogs that died from suffocation with 50 of them suffocating in chip bags, mostly, but not exclusively Frito-Lay products.  In addition, another five dogs were fortunately saved at the last minute by their owners, and, these are only the dogs I have heard about – the ones whose owners reached out. I shudder to think of the actual number.

Frito-Lay has long known about the suffocation risk to pets their chip bags pose. But they have remained mostly quiet. Sometimes they send out polite sympathy notes to bereaved dog owners including coupons for their chip products.  They have told some owners their dog’s death is an isolated incident and have told news reporters they are aware of my concerns. Furthermore, they told me they are aware of the issue, and that I should become my own advocate.

I have repeatedly tried to contact Tom Greco, President of Frito-Lay North America, but he has never returned my calls or answered my correspondence. Why do I want to meet with Tom Greco? To open a dialogue with Frito-Lay about what we can do to increase awareness of the suffocation risks and to get them to add suffocation warning labels to their chip bags.

Currently, my online petition to Frito Lay asking they add these warning labels has over 6700 signatures.  Many of the supporters’ comments cite a personal experience of losing their dog to suffocation or they know someone who had it happen to their dog.

So, if any “funny” Super Bowl commercials air tomorrow, as in the past, showing dogs tricking unsuspecting people out of their delicious chips, please think about the innocent dogs who took their last breath in a chip bag, and help me spread awareness about this growing threat to our animals.

Please sign and share my online petition at and visit my FB page as well as my website as well at to learn how to protect your dog and home by properly disposing of chip bags and other food packaging. While you are there, scroll through the Memorial Photos and see for yourself many of the loving dogs who died needlessly while trying to rescue a few crumbs from a deadly chip bag.

Many thanks to Bonnie Odem Harlan for this article and for everything she does to keep our pets safe from harm.

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Posted by on February 1, 2014. Filed under COMMENTARY/OPINION. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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33 Responses to Keep Pets Away From Snack Food Bags on Super Bowl Sunday

  1. Rachael

    February 1, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    Bonnie what a wonderful thing you’re doing. A friend of mine lost her cat not too long ago and I left a comment here: https://madmikesamerica.com/2013/12/urge-frito-lay-to-put-pet-suffocation-warnings-on-snack-bags/#comments Please keep up the great work, as our animals need all the advocates they can get. And thanks Mike for such a wonderful, animal friendly place. We love MMA in my family.

    • Bonnie Harlan

      February 1, 2014 at 9:15 pm

      Thank you, Rachael! I appreciate it! Yes, cats can suffocate in chip bags, too.

  2. Bill Formby

    February 1, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    Rascal always has his own chip and dip bowl. It would be rude to make him eat out of a bag. 🙂

    • Michael John Scott

      February 1, 2014 at 7:34 pm

      ..and because you’re a caring and cautious “dad” Bill 🙂

  3. Peter Biehn

    February 1, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    I’ve had dogs for decades and always give them the bags after we finish. Nothing has happened to any of them. Guess we were just lucky, and won’t do it anymore. Good on ya.

    • Bonnie Harlan

      February 1, 2014 at 9:22 pm

      Thanks, Peter! Please make sure you cut up or tear all chip bags after use!

  4. Bella Mays

    February 1, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    First I heard of such a thing, and glad I read it. I’ve cats and no dog and went to the pages but don’t see where cats are at risk. Can you tell me if they are?

    • Bonnie Harlan

      February 1, 2014 at 9:18 pm

      Hi Bella, cats are at risk, too, but I’ve only been informed of a few that have suffocated. One cat got stuck in a plastic pet food container and couldn’t get out. So, I definitely recommend keeping chip bags and other food packaging away from them, too.

  5. rowdy62

    February 1, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    This is valuable information that should be shared everywhere. I know of two dogs that suffocated in bags, but, they were plastic/Mylar treat bags, such as are sold here in Brazil. I know they are sold as well in the US. You should cut up your bags after you’re done with them so your “kids” can’t get into mischief. You should do more of this sort of thing. Thank you very much.

    • Bonnie Harlan

      February 2, 2014 at 9:25 am

      Thank you! You are correct – please make sure all chip and snack bags are kept out of reach of your pets, and then cut or tear up after use. These bags also end up in backyards and landfills where wildlife and stray animals can get into them.

  6. TerryGilden76

    February 1, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    We have a little poodle and we adore her. One day we came home from a movie and her little head was stuck in a bag of doritos. She had peeded and pooped all over but was alive. We rushed her to the vet who checked her out and kept her overnight. She’s not the same as she was. A little more quiet and reserved,so the vet thinks she lost brain cells beccause of oxygen deprivation. We love our little girl and we’re happy she’s till with us but she isnt the same.

    • Bonnie Harlan

      February 2, 2014 at 9:44 am

      Hi Terry – so glad you found your sweet poodle in time! I have had three poodles over the years, and they are wonderful. Unfortunately, you saw firsthand the havoc these chip bags can wreak. I’m glad she’s still with you!

  7. Norman Rampart

    February 2, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    As none of our 6 cats are aficionado’s of American football I think they’ll be safe on Sunday.

    I will, however, remember this contribution on English football’s F.A. Cup Final day.

    Last year Gracie Mae The Fruit Bat (she is a cat by the way) got her head stuck in my bag of spicy potato sticks. I wouldn’t have minded but it was half full!

    Great article Bonnie particularly as it isn’t something us dumb humans would necessarily think about.

    Thank you!

    • Bonnie Harlan

      February 2, 2014 at 8:04 pm

      Thank you, Norman! Glad Gracie was ok!

  8. Maggie22

    February 2, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Thanks for this. Very valuable information.

    • Bonnie Harlan

      February 2, 2014 at 8:06 pm

      Thank you, Maggie! Please spread the word!

  9. Diane

    February 7, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    Thank you for this very important information. Years ago when soda came with the plastic rings, I always cut them. Anything plastic that goes in the trash that an animal can get caught in, I cut up. I’ve seen the videos and hear of animals who suffocated or starved to death. However, I never heard about the chip bags. They will also be cut up from now on. I’m sure that they are not only dangerous for our pets, but also for wildlife. Since these bags are dangerous for animals then one would think they would be dangerous for small children as well. You’d think that would give the companies enough incentive to at least put warning on the bag. I’ll also spread the word.

    • Michael John Scott

      February 7, 2014 at 11:41 pm

      Thanks Diane.

    • Michael John Scott

      February 7, 2014 at 11:45 pm

      We’ll keep writing about such things Diane because our animals need protection from us humans. I appreciate that you are spreading the word.

    • Bonnie Harlan

      February 8, 2014 at 9:19 am

      Hi Diane, yes, I agree – the bags could pose a risk for small children, as well – which is what I also told Frito Lay’s Tom Greco in a letter. Thank you for your support and efforts to spread the word, too!

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  21. TJ

    September 9, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    Good tips – I’d better eat all the snacks myself 🙂