Are Candles Dog Friendly?

Candles are generally dog-friendly in that they don’t typically cause harm to dogs, however there are occasions when the type of candle you burn may potentially cause discomfort to your dog.

Candle causes for concern

Burning candles releases chemicals and particles into the air. These chemicals can sometimes contain toxic substances such as carbon dioxide and other particulates that may be harmful to the health of humans and dogs. 

However, the amount of chemicals released are minute and there have been no conclusive studies that show the amounts of these substances cause ill health to us or our four-legged friends. 

That doesn’t mean that these substances don’t cause problems when inhaled in large quantities. Burning candles away from dogs and in well ventilated spaces will reduce exposure to potentially harmful chemicals.

Potential Candle scent issues for dogs

In addition to substances released when burning candles, certain scents may cause problems for some dogs.

Our pets have highly sensitive noses which detect scent far easier than our human noses. Candles sometimes have artificial perfumes added which may cause discomfort to your dogs if burned in close proximity to them.

These scents may contain harmful substances which when burned could release further gases into the air. Candle manufacturers aren’t required to label all ingredients in candles, the candle industry is not regulated in the way that the food industries are.

It is impossible to know exactly what is in your candle unless you opt for a natural, plant-based or vegan candle.

Candle lighting warning

Always be careful when burning candles around dogs. Lit candles on low surfaces have the potential to be knocked over and cause fires, or to burn your pets if they get too close. Light candles on high surfaces away from your pets and never leave a candle burning unsupervised.

Natural Candles

One way to ensure that the candles you burn in your home are safer for your pets is to opt for a natural candle. 

Candles made from plant-based waxes are less likely to give out harmful substances and be fragranced by artificial scents. Beeswax and soy candles are good options and make sure you opt for a candle with a cotton or wooden wick.

Essential oils added to natural candles will be made from plant-based derivatives in often high concentrations. It is worth checking any scented candles you go for, as some essential oils are extremely harmful to dogs. 

Particularly fragrant candles that smell nice to you may be overpowering for your dog whose sense of smell is far superior to our own.

What to do if your dog experiences symptoms

When burning a candle, if your dog experiences any symptoms which are unusual or excessive to normal, put the candle out immediately, seek fresh air and if symptoms don’t improve consult your vet.

Best Scents for Dogs

Having a dog in the house may mean that your home has that unique pet odour. Burning scented candles can help mask any unpleasant odors but it is vital to choose scents that are non-toxic and safe for your pets.

The following should be safe to burn around your dog but if you notice any discomfort from them, put the candle out immediately.

The best essential oils for dogs are:

  • Lavender Oil
  • Myrrh
  • Frankincense
  • Chamomile
  • Ginger

Essential Oils Harmful to Dogs

It is best to avoid the following scents when choosing candles for your home as these essential oils may be toxic to your dog.

  • Peppermint oil
  • Cinnamon
  • Pine
  • Thyme
  • Tea Tree
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Juniper

These lists are by no means exhaustive, and it is a good idea to always check the labels of the candles you buy and to burn them safely when you have pets and children in the house. 

Find out more about candles by visiting our candle faq for the latest information on how candles work & how to trim your candle wick.

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