GUELPH, ON (October 28, 2021) – The Guelph Humane Society (GHS) is reminding pet parents to be extra vigilant this Halloween. From an abundance of potential toxins, such as chocolate, to increased foot traffic at your doors, there are a number of safety concerns to consider this weekend.

“One safety concern that is less well known are chip bags,” says Melissa Stolz, Intake & Behaviour Coordinator at GHS. “Chips bags, treat bags, plastic bags in general create a suffocation risk. Cats and dogs stick their head in the bag, looking for treats and smelling scents. Once their head is inside the bag, they inhale and the bag tightens around their necks. Pets can suffocate to death in less than five minutes.”

Snack bag pet suffocation is more common than people think, causing an estimated two to five pet deaths every single week across the United States. These are completely preventable deaths once people are aware of the risk.

Kittens Tomioka, Shinobu, Tanjiro, Kanao, and Zenitsu had a festive photo shoot while in foster care. These kittens are not yet available for adoption.

“The simplest thing you can do is cut bags when you’re done with them,” advises Stolz. “Snip the plastic before disposing of the bag so that if a pet does get their head inside, you’ve created an airhole for them. It’s also important to keep chip bags and treat bags out of reach – put them up in a closed cupboard when the bags are still full, then cut them and put them in a closed garbage once the bags are empty.”

Click here to watch a video with Stolz, with more tips on preventing snack bag pet suffocation.

Besides an increase of chip bags at Halloween, GHS has some other reminders for pet parents this weekend:




About the Guelph Humane Society

The Guelph Humane Society advocates for all animals, and in particular those animals whose lives it can influence, through care, education, community support, protection, and leadership. Founded in 1893, the Guelph Humane Society provides care and shelter for approximately 3,000 homeless, stray, injured and abused animals each year in Guelph and Wellington County. GHS is a registered charitable, non-profit organization that does not receive government funding. Visit to discover more.


Follow GHS:

Facebook: @guelphhumanesociety

Twitter: @guelphhumane

Instagram: @the_ghs


Media Contact

Natalie Thomas

Manager, Marketing and Communications

Guelph Humane Society