Can I Burn Candles Around My Dog? Yes, but…

The short answer is yes, you can burn candles around your furry companion.

But there are certain factors you should be wary of if you choose to burn candles around your dog.

These include, the type of wax they are made of, open flame or not, artificial scents, and the use of essential oils.

The obvious risks

When trying to scent your home to either mask odors, or just to freshen up your space you should be mindful of your dog, and any other pets.

If your dog is active, and constantly runs into things, or gets rambunctious, having a candle with an open flame where they could possibly run into, would not be a great idea.

Keep your pet and your home safe by keeping the candle a safe distance from where they can reach.

What candles are safe to burn around dogs?

You can make or buy candles that have their base consisting of soy, vegetable or plant wax, and ones that use a paper or cotton wick that is not bleached.

It’s always important to use scents that are safe for your pet, and won’t harm their airways or overall health.

Bath & Body works is a brand that is widely known as one of the best in the world, and this is influenced heavily on how they are made.

family with dog and candle

Their main ingredients are based around the natural and safe alternative waxes, although they still at times use paraffin wax.

Bath & Body Works candles are tested to make sure they are safe for sale and use, and they meet and even exceed the industry standards, making them safe to burn in your home, and safe for you and your pet.

The type of wax you burn should also be taken into consideration

Paraffin wax is an ingredient that should be best avoided when possible.

Usually mass produced or cheap candles, such as off brand and those sold at discount stores like dollar stores, are usually made with paraffin wax.

When lit these candles emit carcinogens, and that is something that should be avoided and not ingested by you or your pup.

It’s best to burn candles that have another wax as their base. These include beeswax, coconut, or even organic soy.

Don’t forget about the wick!

Candle wicks can also be potential dangers for your dog.

These wicks are often secured in candles with tiny pieces of metal, so if ingested these can be potential choking hazards.

Choosing candles with unbleached wicks is also another great option that can keep your dog safe, in the event they eat or swallow part of it.

Dog friendly options

So while it may seem that there are not a lot of options for burning candles in your home don’t be discouraged!

There are plenty of safe ways to scent your home, or create the ambiance that a candle projects, all while keeping your dog safe.

As previously mentioned, when you choose a candle with soy, coconut or beeswax, not only are you choosing a more sustainable option, these are a better option for everyone’s respiratory systems.

They also will break down more easily if your pet accidentally decides to make your candle a midnight snack.

You should also take into special consideration what candles you burn If your dog has been diagnosed with asthma or other breathing problems.

Choosing an unscented candle is the best option for your dog in this situation because they still create the ambiance of a traditional scented candle, but without the potential dangers of essential oil or artificial scents wreaking havoc on your dog’s respiratory system.

Flameless candles or electric candles are also popular among those with pets. They keep fragrance and harmful carcinogens from emitting out into the air, and they also help keep your pet extra safe.

Essential oils can be dangerous to your dog

Essential oils are often touted as “natural and safe”. It appeals to those who want a “green” and environmentally friendly lifestyle, and it keeps artificial fragrance and toxic materials out of your home and your environment.

But essential oils can be detrimental to a dog’s health. Essential oils are highly concentrated forms of liquid that are made from plant compounds.

This is what gives your candles their deliciously intoxicating scents. Essential oil scents that are especially harmful to canines, include: peppermint, wintergreen, tea tree, sweet birch, cinnamon and citrus.

Essential oils are rapidly absorbed through the skin, and many are metabolized or absorbed through the liver, the Pets Poison Hotline explains.

Dogs and puppies with liver problems are exceptionally more sensitive to these effects. With that being said you should monitor your pet around these candles with essential oil scents, and never allow your dog to eat or lick essential oil candles.

It’s also important to never put essential oils on your dog.

lady dog and candle

Signs that your dog may have essential oil poisoning

Signs that your dog may have ingested candles with essential oils include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty walking or uncoordinated behaviors while walking.
  • A strong aroma of the fragrance on their coat, or breath.
  • Muscle tremors, lethargy, or vomiting. As well as, redness or burns on their skin, tongue, gums or lips.

If you suspect your dog has essential oil poisoning contact the Pet Poison Helpline (800-213-6680), a 24/7 helpline or seek help at your nearest emergency vet.

Wax Melts And Air Fresheners, are they safe?

Wax melts became a popular option as an alternative option to candles.

Pawfect Scents, a pet friendly company that makes wax melts that are safe for dogs, explains that 70% of wax melts (and candles) contain those toxic ingredients that are harmful to your dog.

Wax melts are often square blocks of wax, (usually paraffin), that are melted using a heating device, to scent your home.

An alarming fact is that wax melts and candles are often marketed to those looking to “mask unpleasant odors”, such as those caused from pets.

But the harsh reality is that these scent masking agents are those that are unfriendly to your dog and their immune system.

Air Fresheners and Plug-Ins

Air fresheners and plug-ins contain harmful VOCs. VOC’s are volatile organic compounds that have a high vapor pressure at room temperature, and low water solubility.

That definition is just a complicated way of saying that VOCs are human made chemicals that are often found in paint thinners, petroleum fluids, and dry cleaning agents.

VOCs are environmental and human health dangers, and pose as harmful contaminants to your dog and pets as well.

Air freshener sprays and plug-ins contain the same VOCs, but air fresheners are generally used less intensely in one sitting. But it’s important to remember: they can still harm pets if inhaled. 

Dogs as well as other pets, (and humans!), should not inhale air fresheners or plug-ins directly, and pets should not be present in the room when you spray an air freshener.

If you spray furniture, you should always make sure that the surface is dry before your dog is allowed near or on it.


Candles can be safe around your dog, as long as they are not ingested, (such as eating the candle or wick).

It’s best to have your candles be out of harm’s way, away from your energetic pup, and be made with safe or plant based materials when possible.

Never leave your dog alone with candles, and be extra observant when choosing items scented with essential oils.

Remember to always put out the flame on your candles before leaving your home.