Do you love the sweet aroma of scented candles in your home? But what about your pets – are candles bad for dogs?
Many of us like filling our homes with scented candles in the fall, winter, Christmas, or throughout the year. Some use these candles as aromatherapy, others to reduce bad odors, and many people love having their house filled with certain fragrances.
Dog parents must remember that some fragrances we find particularly alluring may be irritating and even toxic for their pups. The first reason is that canines have a much stronger sense of smell than humans. Some candles contain essential oils and synthetic fragrances, including harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can be dangerous for our furry companions.
Some more sensitive dogs, especially smaller-sized ones, as well as cats, are susceptible to various respiratory ailments, which can result from breathing in too much of these essences and chemicals. Allergic reaction symptoms such as coughing or sneezing are common among more sensitive pets. This is especially true when the candles or other aerosols or plug-ins are used throughout the day and night in an enclosed space.
Essential oils and certain overwhelming smells can irritate the dog’s respiratory system too.
Another risk of having candles like this in a home with pets is that some pups may be tempted to grab and eat one of these deliciously-smelling décor items. This can pose a choking or blockage hazard. The wax, oils, and other contents can cause digestive issues such as diarrhea and vomiting. In extreme cases, ingesting a candle can lead to poisoning or severe allergic reactions.
Of course, you should keep burning candles and any other open flame safely away from inquisitive pups.
Thankfully, there are some pet-safe fragrances, candles, and diffusers that you can use in a home with dogs without worrying about harming your furry friend.
Read on for more info about the risks of scented candles for dogs and the best and safest options to use for peace of mind.
What Are the Risks of Scented Candles and Air Fresheners for Dogs?
Some air fresheners and candles contain highly concentrated essential oils, which can be irritating and even toxic to pups.
The most common essential oils poisonous to canines include mint, eucalyptus, cinnamon oil, wintergreen, sweet birch, camphor, clove, tea tree, and pennyroyal.
Pups may be harmed if they inhale highly concentrated essential oils, ingest them or get them on their skin. Some symptoms of essential oil poisoning in canines include vomiting, difficulty breathing, pneumonia, seizures, and liver failure.
Dogs with asthma are especially susceptible to such scented candles’ fragrance, smoke, and fumes.
Many scented candles and other air freshening products contain synthetic fragrances. These can worsen asthma symptoms and cause respiratory problems in dogs and humans alike.
These harmful toxins include phthalates and naphthalene, parabens, and lead. These substances are associated with an increased risk of endocrine balance disruptions, diabetes, and even some types of cancer.
Exposing your dog or other pets to high VOC concentrations can lead to many short-term and long-term adverse health effects and issues.
Other risks come from the dog toppling over a burning candle and causing a fire or burning itself. Or from eating a deliciously smelling candle and choking, suffering a blockage of its GI tract, or poisoning itself.
What are the Safe Scented Candle Options?
When you are shopping for scented candles that you can safely use in a home with dogs, you should read the labels of the products thoroughly.
Certain candles and other air freshening products are marked as pet-safe.
You may opt for candles made of natural soy wax rather than paraffin, which is a safer option for pups.
There are candles made specifically for pet-odor removal and control. They contain enzymes that will help remove unwanted odors from your home and are safe for your furbaby.
But even if the candle is marked as pet-safe and friendly, you should always keep a close eye on your dog when you first light it up. Look for respiratory problems or irritation symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, and difficulty breathing. If you notice any worrying signs, extinguish the flame, open the windows or take your dog outdoors until the fumes and smell are gone.
In case of severe symptoms, make sure to call your veterinarian immediately!
Also, keep a burning candle or any open flame away from your dog! Keep in mind that your pup may unwillingly knock over a burning candle with its wagging tail and start a fire.
Another reason to keep deliciously smelling candles away from canines is that they may try to eat them if they can get a hold of them. Eating a scented candle can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other GI tract issues. But some candles and their wicks can pose a choking hazard. They may also cause a blockage of the intestines or stomach or cause injuries and internal bleeding.
So, it is best to keep all scented or unscented candles away from your furry companion at all times – before and while using them.
This can save you a lot of worries and expenses for veterinarian care and keep your furbaby healthy and safe!
Dogs have a heightened sense of smell and are much more sensitive to essential oils, and synthetic fragrances than humans are.
Make sure to use pet-safe scented candles and diffusers at home to decrease the risk of your four-legged friend suffering from respiratory problems, allergic reactions, and even poisoning.
The good news is that some candles are marked as safe for pets. So you can use them instead of the ones with highly concentrated essential oils and chemicals.
You should always keep these products out of reach by your dog, whether burning or plugged in.