Are Scented Candles Bad For Dogs?

We all enjoy candles, whether they’re used for birthdays or dinners. I don’t think there’s anyone who doesn’t like having scented candles in their room.

However, while you’re enjoying the aroma of your candles, keep in mind that you have a dog in your home who may not be safe with them. 

This same concept can also be carried over into scented sticks, often used to help the home smell of a certain fragrance.

As a result, think twice before purchasing scented candles if you are a dog owner. This article covers the various types of harmful candles and what to do if your dog ingests any.


Harmful Types

Paraffin Wax 

Almost all scented candles are made of paraffin wax, composed of crude oil. When it burns, it emits many harmful chemicals, just like other petroleum-based products.

Candle burn residue can be seen along the carpet’s edges or behind the frames on your wall. Furthermore, the dye and scents added to the candle’s wax aggravate the situation. 

Scented candles are bad for your health; imagine how bad they are for your dogs. Dogs are more sensitive and have a weaker immune system than humans because they are smaller. 

Chemicals from paraffin wax can easily accumulate in their bodies, causing problems with their systems. 

While candles are a great way to freshen up the air in your home, they also silently affect your pet.

Formaldehyde, Acetaldehyde, and Acrolein 

As frightening as these names appear to be, they are more dangerous to your dog’s health than they are to read. 

Burning candles emit toxic and undesirable chemicals such as formaldehyde, acrolein, and acetaldehyde, which pollute indoor air. 

Because we are constantly breathing, any chemical in the air will be inhaled. Some of the chemicals found in scented candles include acetaldehyde, acrolein, and formaldehyde. 

They are well-known to be hazardous volatiles. When inhaled, it can have a negative effect on the lungs. 

Many dogs have confirmed breathing problems after being exposed to scented candles containing the ingredients mentioned above. 

If exposed for an extended period, it can severely impair the lung’s ability to breathe in the fresh air properly.

So be cautious when purchasing candles and always read the labels carefully. Make sure that the candle you are buying does not contain any of these chemicals.


Lead in candles is another primary source of concern. Wicks with metalcore is used in the majority of the candles. The metal wick keeps the candle straight as it burns.

Some candle makers use lead for this purpose, which raises health concerns. 

According to research and evidence, burning lead-based candles causes increased lead accumulation indoors

Unnecessary lead exposure and inhalation into the lungs can harm your dog’s central nervous system. If you notice your dog chomping his jaw, he has most likely inhaled some of the lead. 

Because this product is so dangerous, the United States passed a law prohibiting lead in candles. As a result, the lead wick is not allowed to be used by any manufacturer. 

What’s more, most candle manufacturers have voluntarily discontinued the use of lead in scented candles. This, however, does not apply to other countries.

What To Do If Your Dog Eats a Scented Candle 

Stay Vigilant 

If you’re a dog parent, please think twice before buying and lighting scented candles in your home. 

No one wants to jeopardize their dog’s long-term health just to have a nice-smelling house for a short time. But, unfortunately, dogs have an uncanny ability to smell and taste everything in the house. 

It is just as dangerous to consume scented candles through the mouth as it is to inhale the fumes. So if your dog eats a scented candle by accident, you should take it very seriously. 

If the wax is still in your dog’s mouth, make him chuck it out. 

However, if this strategy fails or your dog has already ingested the wax, stay vigilant. Keep an eye out for any signs and symptoms.

Take Him To The Vet 

As you may have guessed, a scented candle can be just as harmful to your dog’s brain as any other foreign object. 

As a result, if you have evidence that your dog has consumed a scented candle, keep an eye out for symptoms and take him to the vet. 

First, call the emergency number to confirm which hospital/clinic you should take your dog to; they are prepared to handle any emergency. 

Check your dog’s breathing pattern on the way to the vet and make a note of it if it’s changing. Then, when you arrive at the office, make it clear which type of candle your dog has consumed.

 He may recommend a laxative to help flush it out of the stomach. 

In severe cases, the dog may require an x-ray or scan, and if the condition does not improve after a few doses of medication, the dog may require surgery.

Home Care 

Consumption of candles may result in constipation. If your dog has been fully checked by a veterinarian, keep him under observation for at least the next five days.

Give the prescribed medications on time, and feed your dog soft food. In the case of constipation, pumpkin has shown significant improvement. 

If your dog isn’t allergic to pumpkins, you can add a tablespoon of canned pumpkins to his or her food. For a small dog, one or two spoons are recommended. 

However, if your dog goes more than two days without a bowel movement, you should contact your veterinarian right away. 

Some dogs may experience soft stools or diarrhea even after the candle has been removed from the stomach. 

Similarly, if diarrhea or watery stool does not improve within a day or two, consult a veterinarian. In addition, look for symptoms such as a loss of appetite, lethargy, or vomiting.


Artificially scented candles have grown in popularity in recent years, and almost every home now has them in its bedrooms or bathrooms. 

Like a parent to a toddler, a dog’s parent must exercise extreme caution when decorating the house. 

Candles that contain hazardous chemicals such as paraffin wax, lead, and acetaldehydes should not be purchased. If your dog eats a scented candle by accident, take him to the vet. 

Get him checked out and keep him under observation until he is fully recovered.

Written by Brian Rucker

Brian Rucker has been a dog lover since childhood. He has had his Lab Mix with Hound for over 10+ years now! They enjoy playing outdoors together. Brian loves sharing his knowledge about all things dog on this website. Read more of Brian's articles.