National Pet Suffocation Awareness Week - Week After Thanksgiving
(Last Updated On: November 9, 2022)


National Pet Suffocation Awareness Week reminds us of the risks food packaging poses to our pets. Each year during the week after Thanksgiving, take time to learn the preventative measures to keep your pets safe.

Most pet owners are unaware of the dangers of food packaging poses for their pets. That’s why this day is so important. Any type of plastic wrapping or bags poses a danger. Our pets are drawn to the smell and flavor of our food as well as the lure of their snacks and kibble. We all do it. During a commercial, we leave a bag of popcorn on the coffee table. We set the groceries on the counter. The garbage can is also an easy target while we take a shower.

Our pets by nature wait for their opportunity to pounce. And it’s dangerous! Regardless of the size or breed of animal, they can suffocate in 3-5 minutes. The average commercial break is 4 minutes. Our average shower is 8 minutes long. Even the closed snack and cereal packaging left on countertops lure our pets while we are not at home.

Pet owners can protect their furry companions.

  • Store packaged food in high cabinets or in pantries
  • Use a locking garbage can or store under the sink
  • Gates provide separation from food areas and pet areas during family gatherings
  • Store snacks and cereals in plastic containers
  • Eat snacks from bowls instead of from the bags
  • Cut bags along both sides to prevent an animal from being trapped in the bag
  • Become diligent about returning packaged foods to their storage areas
  • Learn pet CPR
  • While exercising our pets, watch for litter. This includes bags that may have blown into our yards as well.

The week is also an opportunity to share the stories of our pets – those we’ve lost due to suffocation and those who’ve been saved thanks to increased awareness. Our pets bring joy to our lives. They improve our health and are a part of our family.

HOW TO OBSERVE #PetSuffocationAwarenessWeek

Take time this week to make your home pet safe. Share information with your pet-loving friends and family. Let your veterinarians know of these risks so they can share with their clients, too.

To learn more, visit and use #PetSuffocationAwarenessWeek to share on social media.


In 2015, Prevent Pet Suffocation and Preventive Vet founded National Pet Suffocation Awareness Week to bring awareness about this preventable issue for pets.


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