Are Scented Candles Bad For Dogs? Let's Find Out!

Updated on May 31, 2021

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Can Scented Candles Be Harmful To Dogs? - Our Guide

Scented candles are great to fill our home with lovely smells, but scented candles can be very strong which makes them something to consider when burning them near our furry friends.

Can Scented Candles Be Harmful To Dogs?

Some scented candles can be very harmful to dogs depending on their strong scents, for example, paraffin candles emit chemicals and some scents made with certain essential oils can be poisonous to dogs.

We've discussed in further detail below what makes candles bad for dogs, which are pet-safe candles, safety tips and what to do if your dog eats or burns himself on a candle.

What Makes Candles Bad For Dogs? 

Before we get into which candles are good for dogs and the safety tips surrounding using them, let's start with what makes candles bad for dogs.

There are three main ingredients which can be classed as poisonous candle ingredients; wax, wick and scents.

Most of the time nowadays, the candle wicks are made out of pure cotton which isn't as bad for dogs when burned. 

Paraffin Wax

Paraffin wax is not an ideal candle to choose if you want to avoid chemicals being burned in the air, they are a small health risk to dogs and humans due to them releasing carcinogens when burned. 

Most scented candles are unfortunately made with this type of wax since it holds the scent better and is cheaper candles to make.

Essential Oils/Synthetic Fragrances

Depending on the candle you choose, its delicious scents will either be fragranced with fragrance oil or essential oils.

Fragrance oils can often be full of chemicals, making them not ideal to burn near dogs while some essential oils are irritating to dogs such as tea tree, cinnamon or pine.

Essential oils are unlikely to harm dogs when burned around them in small quantities but some dogs can be allergic or more sensitive than others so we suggest picking dog-friendly sweet aromas instead.

Which Candles Are Safe For Dogs? 

If you love scented candles in your home, you are better off choosing unscented candles due to dogs' heightened sense of smell, or, if you can't go without your scents choose candles made with natural wax such as beeswax candles and ensure they are scented with dog-friendly essential oils.

Which Candles Are Safe For Dogs? 

Make sure lit candles are in a ventilated area with space around the dog so they have a chance to move if they get uncomfortable.

If you're looking for an alternative candle, Check this article. Are Bath & Body Works Candles Safe For Dogs?

Safety Tips For Candles & Dogs 

When lighting scented candles around dogs, you want to follow precautions to avoid any accidents. 

We've listed the main safety tips for burning candles around dogs below as pet owners. 

What To Do If Your Dog Eats A Candle?

If you are in an unfortunate situation where you find your dog has eaten a candle, you should first consider the ingredients. 

Parrafin wax, soy and most other waxes are not toxic for dogs but are also not ideal to ingest, what matters more here is if the scents and dyes used in the candle are toxic. 

The best you can do is call your vet for advice, there might be bowel obstruction caused by the wax of the candle and burns, they will likely induce vomiting or do an x-ray to solve this.

What To If My Dog Burns Himself On A Candle? 

If your dog has managed to burn himself on a lit candle you want to follow the steps below for a minor burn, if more severe take them straight to the vet!

  1. First of all, a cold compress on the dog burns for around 20 minutes. 
  2. Next deal with the wax, if it peels off to remove the wax and clip the hair coated with it if the wax does not come off take the dog to the vet.
  3. Apply an antibiotic cream and keep the area clean with a bandage to prevent the dog from licking the area. Check after 24 hours to see if the wound is healing, if it looks infected take the dog to the vet.

Last Words

Overall, scented candles are not great to burn near dogs due to their sensitive noses, some essential oils like pine can be toxic to dogs and irritate their airways, while wax types like paraffin emit chemicals when burned. 

What To If My Dog Burns Himself On A Candle? 

To make your pooch happier, we suggest burning unscented all-natural candles made out of soy wax or beeswax. If you do choose a scented candle make sure the essential oils or fragrance is dog friendly to avoid upsetting them.

Furthermore, we also made an article for you if Can Scented Candles Cause Seizures In Dogs. This will surely help you!

If you're looking for an answer if scented candles are bad. This article is for you!

Smell is one of the human senses which can flow through the whole body. I am the Founder of where we talk all about scented candles. Known as Candace the Candle Girl, I know pretty much all there is to know about scented candles. I make and sell them on Etsy and Ebay - so be sure to ask if you have any burning questions :) (pun intended ;) )

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