What candle scents are bad for dogs? A Step-by-Step Guide

Swap out burning candles for LED votives.

The only guaranteed way to avoid injuries associated with candles is not to use them in your home at all. However, that doesnt mean you have to give up on the hygge vibe youre hoping to achieve. Lugones recommends investing in LED votives that mimic a flickering light. “Since they dont produce a real flame, you also have more flexibility on where you can place them without having to worry,” she continues. “And because they produce an artificial flame, you also avoid the risk of harmful fumes from a burning flame or potential essential oils that could be toxic to your pet.”

Essential oils are the volatile organic compounds extracted from plants that contribute to their fragrance and taste. Pets are especially sensitive to these products and depending on the concentration and formulation, just a few drops of tea tree or eucalyptus oil can cause severe illness; clinical signs can range from weakness, to depression, seizures, low body temperature, salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, and even death.

It’s best not to apply any oils directly to the skin of your pet for this reason, and even diffusing some oils can trigger a cough or symptoms of allergy. Which oils should never be used around pets? Some suggest pine, wintergreen, cinnamon, citrus based oils, peppermint, camphor, clove, bitter almond, garlic, horseradish, mustard, and pennyroyal essential oils are dangerous to dogs and cats.

Sprays such as Febreze are perfectly safe to use in your home, though you want to avoid direct contact with your pet as they may be a stomach or skin irritant. If you choose to diffuse, monitor your pets for any respiratory symptoms. As no long-term studies have been conducted to verify safety of inhaling oils, let the buyer beware. Most importantly, keep all diffusers, candles, and sprays out of reach. Pets are susceptible to burns when lit candles and hot wax meet skin.

There are safe ways to coexist with the smells we associate with cleanliness and holiday cheer. When purchasing candles, look for those that are made from natural ingredients such as soy, beeswax, and bluecorn and are free from artificial fragrances. A wick made from cotton is cleaner to burn than those that have metal wires in the center which may emit heavy metals into the environment.

In addition to the harm caused by the burning of candles and the release of artificial chemicals into the air, the delicious smells can entice dogs to nibble on candles, wax, or ingest oils. Ingestion of most candles will generally lead to nothing more than an upset stomach and diarrhea. Consuming or absorbing essential oils through the skin and mucous membranes can be a whole different matter.

Which Candle Scents Are Good for Dogs?

On a positive note, while some candle scents arent recommended for dogs, other candle scents can actually be good for dogs! Candles made with the following essential oils could actually have some aromatherapy benefits for your dog:

  • Bergamot
  • Frankincense
  • Myrrh
  • Lavender
  • Ginger
  • Chamomile
  • Rosemary
  • Eucalyptus
  • Here are some super dog-friendly luxury candles from the Harlem Candle Company with beneficial scents:

    Dr. Becker Discusses the Dangers of Scented Candles and Plug-ins

    Not all candles are created equal, some may help reduce the stress experienced by our dogs but others may only further harm them!

    If certain aromas can change the mood of anyone (from making them feel relaxed to excited), imagine how this affects our dogs with superior nasal glands! This sensory ability can be used to the advantage of all fur parents because studies have shown that calming scents have been proven to reduce the stress experienced by dogs.

    However, not all candles are created equal. Which candles should you avoid? This post has everything you need to know.