Are Scented Candles Bad For Dogs?

Candles are wonderful to create a beautifully scented environment, but did you know, the wick, the wax, and the scent could affect your and your dog’s health?

I had no idea until my dog had a persistent cough and our vet suggested I checked the fragrances in our home were dog friendly.

So, I delved into looking into whether I had dog safe home fragrance and am here to share what I learnt!

While the products at Anglian Dog Works are formulated to be dog safe, many scented candles, diffusers and air fresheners, such as plug-ins and aerosol types come with risk factors. These products may contain irritating or harmful ingredients and emit toxins or chemicals into the air, which can be harmful to both humans and dogs1.

But don’t throw away your home fragrances just yet!

Read on to find out the risks factors in candles, features that make safer alternatives for dogs, then decide if you need to make changes in your home.






Paraffin wax.

Most candles are made from paraffin which can release more potential impurities and irritants that can bother both your and your pet's respiratory system plus release carcinogens2 when burned and can be toxic for dogs if consumed.

Candles made from natural soy. 

Coconut wax, vegetable-based wax, or beeswax are other "Cleaner-burning" alternatives.



Those that have metal wires in the centre which may emit heavy metals into the environment.

This can affect you and your pets central nervous system, cause acute poisoning or slowly causing imbalance of essential minerals in the blood – and as a result, a change in behaviour and chronic illnesses.


Unbleached 100% cotton, paper, or wood wicks.

(If the label on your favourite candle does not specify “lead-free” then chances are, the wick was made with a metal lead core.)


Artificial scent and colours.

Some of these artificial products may release synthetic fragrances that aggravate existing respiratory illnesses like asthma in people and pets or harmful toxins.


100% pure, therapeutic grade natural essential oils.

Research the effects of any essential oil on the dogs before exposing them to them; avoid those that are toxic to pets and consider those with beneficial aromatherapy effects.