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Can Scented Candles Cause Seizures In Dogs?

  • Written By Candace 
  • Updated On
  • 8 min read
Can Scented Candles Cause Seizures In Dogs?

Are Scented Candles Harmful To Dogs? – Our Guide

Scented candles can be a great addition to your home, they cover up unwanted scents and fill your home with an aroma of your choice, but have you ever considered if there harmful to your furry friends? 

Are Scented Candles Harmful To Dogs?

In the unfortunate incident that your dog has had a seizure, you might be wondering if your scented candles are to blame. Most of the time, scented candles cannot cause seizures in dogs, but can irritate them. 

In our guide below we will take you through why candles can be a risk to dogs, scents which are harmful to dogs, other scented freshers which can be irritating and how to choose a cleaner candle. 

Why Are Candles A Risk To Dogs? 

Although candles cannot cause direct harm to dogs through poison, they can potentially irritate a dog’s airways or even pose a fire hazard if you leave the candle lit and the dog alone in the room. 

The reason why scented candles can irritate dogs is that their synthetic fragrance releases chemicals such as naphthalene or phthalates which are harmful to both dogs and humans, but in small amounts, it doesn’t cause too much damage.

Particular essential oils like citrus smells can also irritate dog’s sensitive noses due to their heightened sense of smell, it could also cause depression.

What Causes A Dog Seizure?

There are many things which can cause seizures in dogs, although your scented candle is not likely to blame. 

We’ve listed some causes for seizure in dogs below.

  • High blood sugar. 
  • Brain cancer.
  • Kidney disease. 
  • Strokes. 
  • Liver disease. 
  • Eating poison. 

Which Scents Are Harmful to Dogs? 

Most scented candles are either scented with essential oils or synthetic fragrances which can emit harmful toxins when burned and affect a dogs life through irritation. 

We would suggest avoiding the following scents since they can irritate cats and dogs. 

  • Wintergreen. 
  • Ylang ylang.
  • Anise. 
  • Clove. 
  • Thyme. 
  • Pennyroyal. 
  • Cinnamon. 
  • Pine. 
  • Lavendar (for cats). 
  • Oregano.

Symptoms Of Poisoning In Dogs 

If you do suspect that your dog is suffering from poisoning in essential oils, check for the following symptoms below and take them straight to the emergency vet. 

  • Gastrointestinal signs – Vomiting, lots of salivation and loss of appetite can show stomach upset in dogs.
  • Liver failure – If your dog starts acting abnormally, dully or has yellow gums then these are signs of liver failure. Tarry stool can also indicate this.
  • Internal bleeding – Look for pale gums, vomiting and a racing heart, your dog might also collapse.
  • Kidney failure – This could be increased or decreased urination, you might also see increased drinking.

Other Scented Freshers Which Are Harmful To Dogs 

Scented candles can affect and pollute the air in our everyday lives and dogs life, but there are also other scented fresheners to be aware of which could potentially affect the quality of the air in your home. 

We’ve listed them below.

  • Potpourri – The scent of potpourri is more discreet than other fresheners you can buy for the home but the main harm here can come if your animal eats these dried flowers which can cause serious digestive upset.
  • Air fresheners – Air fresheners such as pine sprays can affect the furry friend’s airways in your home, especially in dogs which suffer from illnesses such as a collapsing trachea and kennel cough.
  • Incense – Incense can be very aromatic and produce a lot of smoke in the house, this can irritate cats or dogs airways especially if they are used with essential oils from our list above.

How To Choose A Clean-Scented Candle For Your Dog

If you love a calming sense of smell in your home to mask unpleasant smells, there are some scented candles which are okay to burn in your home that is known as ‘clean candles’. 

We’ve listed some factors to consider when choosing a clean scented candle below. 

  • Consider the wax and wick – When choosing the wax for your candle try to pick a natural alternative to paraffin wax which emits chemicals when burned, soy wax, coconut wax and beeswax are all great natural wax options.
  • Choose a natural scent – Pick a candle which is scented with natural scents and avoid synthetic fragrances or essential oils from our list above, some dogs actually find certain essential oils relaxing.
  • Keep the flame away – Keep your candle well away from your dogs reach, dogs can be curious about candles especially if they smell like their favourite foods!
  • Consider ventilation – Don’t enclose your dog in a room with a scented candle, the scent can be very overwhelming to dogs, instead make sure the room is well-ventilated.

Alternative Dog-Friendly Ways To Mask Scents In Your Home

If you want to keep your home smelling good but would prefer to avoid scented candles, there are lots of other dog-friendly alternative ways to keep your home smelling fresh.

Alternative Dog-Friendly Ways To Mask Scents In Your Home
  • Simmer aromatics – If you want to fill your home with scents naturally, you can always simmer aromatics, pick ingredients such as citrus peels and simmer in water.
  • Use Febreze – Febreze is safe to use around dogs and helps to mask nasty smells without upsetting your pooch, never spray it directly on your dog, however!
  • Air purifier – Air purifiers are a natural way to remove odours from the air and get rid of fine particles in the air.

How To Make A Pet-Friendly Candle

If you’re worried about burning store-bought candles around your animals, you can always make your pet-friendly candle at home! 

Are Scented Candles Toxic To Cats? Find Out Here!

We’ve got a great method for you to check out below.


  • Soy wax. 
  • Wax pouring pot. 
  • Lead-free wick. 
  • Wick sticker. 
  • Dog-friendly essential oils. 
  • Candle jars.


  1. First of all, melt your soy wax using the double boiler method over medium high heat until the soy wax flakes are melted then prepare your jar by placing the wax wick sticker on the bottom. 
  2. Add 20 drops of your essential oil into the melted wax once ready and pour into the jar with the wick centered, allow to set for around 12 hours. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Dogs Seizures & Candles

Can the environment be the trigger of seizures in dogs?

Yes, there are plenty of environmental factors which could be the trigger of seizures in dogs, examples could be; house, food and stress.

Do scented candles affect the quality of life in dogs?

Yes, scented candles can affect the quality of your dogs life without you knowing, if you are burning a scented candle with an essential oil like cinnamon this could irritate a dog’s airways without you knowing.

Are Bath and Bodywork candles good for dogs?

Bath and bodywork candles are not ideal to burn around dogs since they can often contain paraffin wax and synthetic fragrances.

What household foods can cause poisoning in dogs?

There are many kinds of foods which can cause potential poisoning in dogs, some foods to name are; xylitol, yeast dough, alcohol, avocado, chocolate and caffeine.

What are good alternatives to scented candles?

A great alternative to scented candles for dogs could be flameless candles, just make sure they don’t eat the wax!

Are lavender-scented candles bad for dogs?

Lavender-scented candles are fine to burn around dogs, they are however not good for cats. We would suggest choosing natural types of wax like soy or coconut, however.

What are pet friendly essential oils? 

Some pet friendly essential oils are lavender, ginger, rosemary, chamomile and myrrh.

Are Yankee candles safe for dogs?

Yankee candles will not cause direct harm to dogs but they can bring nasty chemicals into the air since they are made with paraffin wax and synthetic fragrances.

Are Woodwick candles safe for dogs?

Woodwick candles are a safe option to burn around your furry friends since they are made with 100% soy wax.

Are candles safe to light around dogs?

Candles are safe to light around dogs as long as they are not in a drafty area since this could cause them to potentially light things on fire, they should also be blown out before they reach the end of their jar.

Looking for alternatives? Check this out, Are Bath & Body Works Candles Safe For Dogs?

Frequently Asked Questions About Dogs Seizures & Candles

Last Words 

To conclude, scented candles are unlikely to cause a seizure in dogs, they can however irritate a dogs airways and potentially be a fire hazard, harming the dogs. In order to choose a pet-friendly candle, we suggest opting for candles which are made with a natural wax like soy or beeswax and sticking with pet friendly essential oils. 

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


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