Are Candles Bad For Dogs? Explained, Can dogs be in a room with candles?

Are Candles Bad For Dogs? Explained

We all love to keep our homes nice and clean. Candles are not just decorative ornaments; they are also ideal for creating a pleasant and soothing atmosphere in your household. Aroma candles could work like magic in relaxing you after a long exhausting day.

Though most of us enjoy lighting candles, not everyone in your home will be a fan of candles. If you own a pet dog, you could relate to the situation.

You might enjoy the fragrance of candles, but your dog might not enjoy it as much as you do. And as a dog parent, it is crucial to be aware of the impact that candles could make on your dog’s health. 

So, are candles bad for dogs? It’s not that easy to give a fixed answer to this question. In some cases, candles could be bad for your dogs, but sometimes it’s not. However, this mainly depends on the way you use candles in your household, how often you use them, and what sort of candles you use.

Give this article a read to get a comprehensive understanding of how candles could be bad for dogs. Furthermore, to figure out what actions you should take to use candles while ensuring that it doesn’t cause any harm to your beloved pet.

Let’s get started!

Can dogs be in a room with candles?

Suppose that you keep candles in your room; is it safe to keep your dog inside the room while having candles? Here’s what you should know.

You may have already heard that some candles are made from toxic ingredients such as hydrocarbons. Burning them could release unhealthy gasses, including benzene, toluene, and naphthalene.

These gasses cause health complications not only in dogs but also in humans. If you wonder why you should be extra vigilant with dogs, that is mainly because compared to humans, dogs have an intense sense of smell.

And this makes them more prone to getting affected by the fragrance and fume of candles. Wax is the primary ingredient of candles.

Apart from that, they may include essential oils such as eucalyptus, mint, cinnamon, pennyroyal, and sweet birch to produce fragrance.

Inhaling such fragrance oils or getting them on their skins could have adverse health complications on dogs. Considering that, it is not wise to leave your dog in a room with candles, especially while lighting them. 

Candle fumes can directly impact the respiratory system of a dog. If your dog already has respiratory system-related health concerns such as asthma, you should definitely reduce having candles around them.

However, there are specific safety mechanisms that you could follow if you want to keep candles in your room while having your dog. Keep reading to figure out what they are.

Are candles bad for dogs?

As mentioned before, there is no fixed answer for the above question. Frequently candles tend to be harmful to your dog. Nonetheless, by following proper actions, you can reduce the danger to a reasonable extent. 

If we discuss the negative side, candles are considered bad for dogs due to their ingredients. There are candles made of all-natural ingredients, but most of the candles you find in the stores are made of toxic elements such as paraffin wax.

Additionally, candles carry essential oils to give them a pleasant fragrance. Even though these essential oils would help to maintain an aromatic atmosphere in your home, they have the potency to affect your dog’s health in a negative manner.

Dogs are extremely sensitive to fragrance oils. Getting exposed to them constantly could lead your dog to health concerns such as respiratory and nervous system-related issues, liver issues, or even cancers. 

Are scented candles OK for dogs?

From what you read up to this point, you may understand that scented candles are not the best thing to have around your pet dog. But the bottom line is the way you use scented candles is the main reason to decide how dangerous it is for your dog.

Also, not every dog reacts the same way to scented candles. Some could be very sensitive to the fragrance, whereas others are relatively less sensitive.

Lighting a scented candle once in a while provides good ventilation would not cause any harm to your dog. If your dog tends to sniff it, lick it, chew it, or get directly exposed to the toxic fumes that create the problem.

As long as you keep the candles from a distance where your dog can’t reach them, and if you light them following safety measurements, it will not threaten your dog’s health.

Either way, it is vital to be extra careful if your dog has respiratory illnesses or if they indicate sneezing, coughing, and itching when having candles around.

Why are candles bad for dogs?

If you have a fair understanding of what candles are typically made of and what fumes they emit once burning, you should understand why candles are bad for dogs.

As we discussed earlier in the article, the ingredients of candles are the primary reason that makes them toxic. So now, let’s try to understand it elaboratively.

Due to the availability and affordable price, paraffin wax is the commonly used type of wax in the candle-making industry. Paraffin is a byproduct of carbon, and scientifically when burning, paraffin wax produces volatile organic compounds.

These fumes are toxic; hence they possess chemicals. When it comes to essential oils, even though they don’t cause harm to humans, some of them can be poisonous to dogs, especially if it gets into their bodies.

Also, the candle wick, which helps to hold the flame, is usually made with cotton or metal. If a dog chews the metal wick, that will also be unhealthy for them.

Sometimes candles tend to be unhealthy for us human beings as well. But the danger levels are more intense for dogs. As health professionals explain, humans can smell fragrances at minimal concentrations, but it’s different for dogs.

Dogs have highly sensitive noses; therefore, they smell things more intensely. Simply put, hundreds of times more potent than what we smell. And that could make them more vulnerable towards the negative outcomes of candles. 

Can candles cause seizures in dogs?

Seizures are a common health concern among dogs, and it is a neurological condition where dogs lose control of the body. It is hard to trace the root cause behind a seizure.

However, several reasons could trigger seizures, and candles, specifically scented ones, could be one such reason. 

Keep in your mind that not all dogs get seizures due to candles. Still, if you notice excessive drooling, collapsing, stiff muscle, and tongue chewing in your dog while you keep candles around them, pay attention.

Which candles are safe for dogs?

You don’t want to cut off the use of candles completely, but you also want to make sure that it will not interrupt your dog’s health. If you weigh this question, here’s some good news for you. There are some safe options.

The best thing that you can do is swap into naturally made candles. We learned that candles made of ingredients such as paraffin wax could be toxic.

However, there are candles made of entirely natural waxes such as beeswax, coconut wax, and soy wax. They might be a little expensive, but compared to paraffin candles, they help a lot to reduce toxicity.

Not just that, waxes like beeswax and coconut wax have subtle natural aromas that last for a while. So you don’t have to buy scented candles. And that also reduces the danger that it causes to your dog.

Furthermore, if your dog accidentally chews natural wax candles, it may create some complications, but they will not be poisonous as paraffin candles. Also, when you purchase candles, it’s better to buy ones with cotton wicks rather than metal.

Another safe option is using battery opted artificial candles. Artificial candles might not give you a comforting feeling as much as wax candles.

Nevertheless, if you are concerned about your dog’s health, most importantly, if your dog is facing respiratory-related issues, this is an ideal option.

Here are some final thoughts 

Today we primarily discussed whether candles are bad for dogs. One could answer this question from various perspectives. Most candles are made of toxic ingredients, scented with essential oils.

We find these candles therapeutic, but it doesn’t work the same way for dogs. Due to their powerful smelling abilities, dogs may find this disturbing, leading them to face health complications.

Especially if you use candles in your home in an irresponsible way or if your dog already undergoes health concerns like asthma. But if you are mindful of how you use candles in your household, you can avoid such complications.

As a dog parent, most things scale down to how you take care of your pet. Same with the candle situation. It is not impossible to have candles in a household with dogs. All you have to do is be cautious and attentive. That way, you can get the best of both worlds. 

Thank you for reading this post. Stay tuned with Jack Russell Owner for more interesting posts. Cheers from Shaggy and Lenny!


  • Lisa Watson

    Lisa W. is a practicing certified veterinarian (BVetMed Hons in Veterinary Medicine) who graduated from Royal Veterinary College, UK. One of her research fields is mixed-dog breeds and their temperament, behavioral issues, and genetic health concerns. Also, she gathers data about purebred dog breeds and their origin, lifespan, and genetic conditions. Lisa is a loving dog parent who is keen to share her expertise with other fellow dog parents.

    [email protected]

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