National Pet Choking Prevention Day Date in the current year: June 22, 2024

National Pet Choking Prevention Day National Pet Choking Prevention Day is an annual awareness campaign held on June 22. It was launched to educate pet owners about choking hazards and teach them how to pet proof their homes to keep their furry (or not so furry) companions safe.

National Pet Choking Prevention Day was launched in 2023 by Bow Wow Labs, the producer of a safety device designed to prevent dogs from chocking on chew treats, and renowned veterinarian Dr. Judy Morgan. They teamed up to educate pet owners and veterinarian professionals about the most common pet choking hazards and the simple ways to protect beloved pets from choking on toys, treats, and other items.

According to statistics, more than 200,000 pet choking accidents occur in the United States alone every year. Choking can cause significant physical damage and may even be fatal. Witnessing a choking incident can be very distressing for pet owners, not to mention that a trip to the nearest emergency vet can cost a fortune.

Pet choking comes in two main forms. The most common form is airway obstruction, when a foreign object gets stuck in the windpipe. Another form comes from items wrapped around animals’ necks, like collars, cords and strings, which can cut off the air supply.

The top choking hazards for dogs are balls, bully sticks and long-term chews, chew toys, food packaging and trash, and sticks, whereas cats most often choke on fishing pole/wand type toys, hair ties and rubber bands, plastic, strings, and window blind cords. Pet owners may be aware of choking hazards like treats and toys, but they often disregard choking risks with everyday items that their pets may have access to like children’s toys, food left unattended, plastic bags, etc.

How to safeguard your pet from choking hazards? First and foremost, make sure that the toys, treats and chews you buy for your pet are proper sized. For example, toys that are smaller than the animal’s windpipe are a big no-no. Ideally, toys should not be able to fit completely inside your pet’s mouth.

It is also important to know your pet’s habits and behavioral quirks to understand where the danger may come from. Some pets like to swallow things whole, others like to chew on fabrics, etc. Knowing your pet’s likes and dislikes makes it easier to identify potential hazards and do your best to remove them.

It is best to always supervise your pets when they are playing with their toys or chewing on their treats, especially if there are multiple animals in your household: a toy that is perfectly safe for a cat or a small dog may be a choking hazard for a larger dog, so leaving toys and chews lying around and letting your pets play with them unsupervised is not the best idea. You should also be extra careful if you have young children; make sure their toys are out of your pets’ reach.

The best way to celebrate National Pet Choking Prevention Day is to identify the choking hazards in your home and safeguard it, throw away all toys and treats that can be a choking hazard and buy your pet new safe toys and treats, and spread the word on social media with the hashtags #NationalPetChokingPreventionDay and #EndPetChoking to educate the others about the dangers of choking.

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National Pet Choking Prevention Day, pet-related observances, choking hazards, awareness campaign