Are Scented Candles Safe for Pets? A Snout and Scent Discovery

Candles can be the epitome of comfort. The peaceful glow, the sway of sweet smells and the flicker of the flame being let loose in your home.

Each glass jar can be representative of a past memory or feeling that just doesn’t compare with anything else. Scented candles represent a seasonal comfort and luxury that not many other household items can afford.

Yet, when it comes to our cats, dogs, hamsters, hedgehogs or other furry loved ones at home, can the same be said?

1. Are Scented Candles Safe for Our Pets?

Simply put; general scented candles that you could buy from a supermarket are not great for your pup or cat.

And there are many reasons for it, too. Let’s take dogs as one consideration. They have 50-times the number of olfactory senses that us humans have, going from around 5million to 250million.

So, thinking about that lovely ‘Eucalyptus Extravaganza or Mint Burst’ scent with notes of mint and other strong scents might seem like a lovely calming and mild scent to us two-legged animals. But, for our four-legged counterparts, it can be an offense to their little snouts.

However, it’s not just the smell of scented candles that can be unsafe for our family, it’s the chemicals involved with them, too.

Here, when we say family, we mean everyone. From man’s best friend to our own children. The chemicals that are present and burned into the air are actually pollutants that can affect general wellbeing.

2. What Aspects of Scented Candles Might Not Be Safe?

While there may be some oils and other ingredients to general wax candles that are safe for our woofers and meowers, there are plenty of others that make up nearly every general store candle you’ll find.

For example, the number one ingredient in mass-produced candles is paraffin wax. Made from petroleum, it is a key ingredient in bringing out a scent to its full potential and allowing for a slow and powerful burn.

However, when it is burned into your home, it can cause headaches and nausea in your pet. Not to mention the carcinogens that are also released into your home’s atmosphere.

In fact, you might be surprised to hear that a recent study across the pond by the American Chemical Society found scented candles to harbour anywhere from 800 to 1500 different chemicals.

Then, you’ve got to watch out for ingredients that are directly toxic for your pet. While these can be present in both general and natural wax candles, it is important to find the right animal-friendly scent booster for your home.

Here are some toxic ingredients and oils you should look out for:

  • Acetaldehyde
  • Acrolein
  • Anise
  • Cinnamon
  • Eucalyptus
  • Formaldehyde
  • Juniper
  • Lavender
  • Lead
  • Limonene
  • Linalool
  • Oregano
  • Pennyroyal
  • Peppermint
  • Pine
  • Sweet birch
  • Tea Tree
  • Thyme
  • Toluene (the wick)
  • Wintergreen
  • Yarrow
  • Ylang Ylang

With contact to these types of toxins, be it through inhalation or through a compelling urge to try and eat the new sweet smell, your family pet could start to show mood swings, anxiety, nausea, lethargy, diarrhoea, stomach pain, bronchitis and more.

So, make sure you’re always aware of the ingredients before you try to rid a room from the smell of a Netflix binge featuring various snacks.

3. Which Natural Wax Candles are Safe for Our Furry Family Members?

If – like us – you simply can’t resist the call of a natural candle burning in the side of the room for perfect atmosphere, there are other options. You don’t have to go completely cold turkey on the beautiful slow glow of relaxation.

However, you do need to be aware of the ingredients and the scents (smells are pretty much a personal preference past the toxic ingredients, so have a trial-and-error period to see which scented candle your pet best responds to).

Natural wax candles, made from beeswax, coconut oil or soy are all perfect alternatives with just as much power and life.

In fact, when it comes to beeswax, the scents of the undertones can be much softer and pet-friendly than the sharp scents used with a paraffin wax seen at a normal store.

Not only this, but if you choose a coconut-oil based natural wax candle, you could be giving your furry friend a shiny coat in the process. This is because it is great for dry skin on both us and our four-legged pals.

While you may always have inquisitive ninja pets such as nimble cats and bouncing rabbits finding their way over to the open flame, you’ll at least take comfort in knowing they aren’t being poisoned in the process. You just need to super-stick the candle jar to the surface so it can’t be knocked over!

To find out more about natural wax candles and finding new safer scents for your home and family – whether it’s four legs or two – have a look at the handmade natural wax candle selection here at Pour Toi.

We pride ourselves in being sustainable, environmentally friendly, safe, hand-made and all-kinds of sweet burning in your home. Alternatively, contact us to find out more! Our family are always happy to help.