lighted candles

If you’re a fan of bubble baths and scented candles, you probably enjoy the pleasant aroma that surrounds you when you relax. If you’re also a dog owner, however, you might wonder if it’s okay to indulge your candle habit around your pups. Are candles bad for dogs?

Burning some types of candles could be bad for your dog, yes, but there are ways to keep them in the house safely. We’ll go over some of the dangers of candles for your dog in this article. In addition, we’ll let you know how to enjoy soothing candlelight with your dog in the house.

Candles And Dogs: A Few Burning Problems

Air Quality

Most commercially-produced candles are made of paraffin wax, a petroleum by-product. Various studies conducted over the years have raised concerns about how burning this type of candle impacts indoor air quality.

When they burn, candles release particles into the air in the form of soot. Some of the chemicals in paraffin soot are considered cancer-causing. It is worth noting that other studies have concluded that normal candle use may not produce dangerous indoor air quality, even in small spaces.

However, these studies aimed to determine the danger to humans, not dogs. Dogs may be more sensitive to the soot emissions from candles, especially if they have an underlying breathing problem.

Essential Oils

Scented candles often contain essential oils as the source of their fragrance. Many essential oils are toxic to dogs, according to the Pet Poison Control Hotline. Typically, the biggest concern with essential oils is from liquid potpourri or oil diffusing devices, which can expose the dog through skin contact or breathing droplets in the air.

It is unknown how much essential oil is released when you burn scented candles. However, you have to keep in mind that dogs have a keener sense of smell than we do. Even if they aren’t breathing in essential oils, the strong scent of a burning candle could irritate their respiratory tract.

Additional Concerns

Dogs may knock over and break candles in glass containers, potentially injuring themselves on the shards. They may also chew on or ingest candles. While paraffin and other wax products aren’t toxic if eaten, there’s always the risk that the ingested candle could cause an intestinal blockage.

And of course, there’s the risk of your dog knocking over a burning candle and starting a fire or burning themselves.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Tips To Keep Dogs Safe Around Candles

If you want to continue burning candles around your dog, consider buying unscented candles made of soy or beeswax. Beeswax produces less soot than paraffin, without the concern for toxic compounds. Burning unscented candles reduces the risk that your dog will be irritated by strong fragrances or essential oils.

Keep candles safely out of your dog’s reach, on a sturdy surface where they can’t be knocked over easily. Never leave your dog unattended with burning candles. Better yet, ditch the fire entirely and switch to flameless candles.


No, you don’t have to give up candles entirely to keep your dog safe, but you may need to make some adjustments. With some of the concerns regarding indoor air quality, you may be doing yourself and your heating and air conditioning system a favor as well. If you have any concerns regarding burning candles around your dog, don’t hesitate to discuss them with your veterinarian.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay