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Are Traeger Pellets Harmful To Dogs? (Explained)

Let’s face it, dogs are idiots. They are loyal, wonderful partners as pets and furry family members, but they really do get themselves in trouble a lot with their stomachs and an insatiable need to eat first, think later. 


Will a Dog Eat a Traeger Pellet? 

Given the choice, many canines will consume pellets, especially if they have any kind of a food smell on them.

That being the case, what to do if a dog does do so? How bad of a calamity is it? You could say it depends on how much of an idiot the given dog is, but let’s consider the options.


Are Traeger Pellets Harmful to Dogs?

A Traeger pellet is fundamentally a type of wood. It’s processed and designed to burn quickly.

Usually, they are made of hardwood and not much else. However, some manufacturers will add some chemicals to help their ignition ability a bit more, as well as to possibly fend off pests in bulk storage and help in processing.

The most common additive is soybean oil to help move them along during production and packaging.

Nothing is included that would be poisonous when used as a grill fuel, but that doesn’t mean the pellets are automatically safe to eat.


What Holds Wood Pellets Together?

Traeger pellets are generally a product of high compression.

They are natural wood smashed together into their pellet form, so they don’t expand easily until the burning process is applied.

If moisture was added, over time the pellets would expand, soaking up the water and increasing in size as a result.

But that’s a rare occasion unless the pellet bag or container is left outside in the rain. 


What Happens if a Dog Eats Traeger Pellets?

Your dog will turn into a flying green pig!

No, just kidding. If your canine is adventurous and dumb enough to eat Traeger pellets because the dog was in the wrong place at the right time, or just plain nosey, it could turn into a very bad affair.

One or two pellets are not going to create a crisis.

However, dogs rarely stop with one or two of anything. Typically, dogs will consume anything that even has a remote smell of food on it, which is possible given that pellets are being used in a food-cooking grill.


What to do If my Dog Eats Traeger Pellets 

Once ingested in a larger amount, the dog’s own system will try to get rid of the pellets through vomiting or loose bowel movements, i.e. diarrhea.

Unfortunately, one would think the dog would figure things out by barfing up the pellets.

However, as most dog owners know, their furry friends will actually re-eat the vomit given the chance.

That means then the pellets will likely make it to the stomach and then cause bowel irritation.

That problem will become known, usually at the worst possible time inside a home if the dog suddenly gets sick and needs comfort, usually in a corner or behind furniture.

In these cases, the best thing to do is restrict eating and provide lots of water, keep the dog where it can quickly evacuate, and monitor to make sure things don’t get worse. After about a day or two, the dog should clear the pellets and recover.

However, in bad situations, the pellets could actually cause an intestinal blockage, as they won’t digest and might trigger an infection.

That can result in constipation, loss of appetite, exhaustion, and belly swelling.

Eventually, if it lasts more than a few days, the dog may need to be taken to an emergency vet for medical removal or possibly surgery.

Of course, in a perfect world, you would know your dog has eaten pellets and exactly how many to tell the vet, but that’s rarely the case. 


Final Thoughts

All of the problems above can be easily avoided by simply keeping pellets out of reach of a pet canine in the first place.

Dogs may follow their nose extremely well, but they can’t open containers or cabinets.

Just keep the pellets contained and sealed when not loaded in your Traeger, and you will likely never deal with a dog eating your pellets. Even the best Lassie can’t immaculately make pellets appear out of nowhere to gobble down.