Whistler pet owner warns of household dangers after French bulldog suffocates on common item

Click to play video: 'Dog dies after suffocating in a chip bag' Dog dies after suffocating in a chip bag
A Whistler pet owner whose dog got caught in a common household item is sharing his story in the hopes it will help prevent future tragedies. Kristen Robinson reports – Sep 30, 2018

When Cody Alkerton left his French bulldog at home to watch the Crankworx mountain biking competition in Whistler last month, he never expected he’d return to find his beloved Oscar dead.

“I lost my best friend because I didn’t know,” the Whistler construction worker told Global News.

“It was easily preventable.”

Alkerton’s one-and-a-half-year-old pet died after suffocating on a common household item. He and his roommate discovered Oscar behind the couch with a chip bag covering his head.

Cody and Oscar. Supplied

“He had, like, the bag over his head. Robbie’s bawling his eyes out. I started crying I pulled like, pulled the bag off and it was like suctioned on like it’s like a vacuum around their head,” said Alkerton.

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READ MORE: ‘Heartbroken’ pet owner warns others after dog dies suffocating on common household item

Alkerton tried to perform CPR on a non-responsive Oscar before he and his roommate rushed him to the vet – but it was too late.

“They were just like yeah there’s nothing we can do, like he was already gone… They just suffocate within about three-to-five minutes basically, so it’s pretty tough,” said Alkerton.

Alkerton said he’s sharing Oscar’s story in the hopes of preventing it from happening to anyone else. Supplied

Veterinarians are familiar with the deadly dangers of plastic and snack bags around the home.

“It does happen every once in a while, so it’s unfortunately something we do see on a rare basis,” said Dr. Carsten Bandt of Canada West Veterinary Specialists.

READ MORE: Saskatoon SPCA wants potential pet owner to join ‘Kittinder’

Once a dog’s head is stuck in a snack bag, their oxygen supply depletes quickly as they try to breathe.

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“They get their head stuck tightly in that bag… and what happens with them is they start breathing in that bag and they use up all the oxygen and they get no new oxygen supply, and then they suffocate from oxygen failure,” Dr. Bandt told Global News.

The tragedy can be prevented by keeping snack or plastic bags far away from children and pets.

Veterinarians say it’s not uncommon for pets to suffocate on plastic bags. Supplied

“Both have the same potential of being able to suffocate them unfortunately,” said Dr. Bandt.

Alkerton is still heartbroken knowing that his dog died after getting into a regular sized chip bag.

READ MORE: BC SPCA treating dozens of dogs seized near Williams Lake

“He trusted me to live in my home so that’s the most difficult part that kind of eats away at you,” Alkerton told Global News.

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Alkerton hopes that by warning other pet owners, more senseless deaths can be avoided.

“I can find the strength to do this because I want to raise awareness so that it doesn’t happen to anybody else.”

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