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Are Candles Safe for Pets?

Candles are a popular tool to help people relax after a long day and create a soothing atmosphere. However, if there are pets in the home, its crucial to understand the potential risks that certain candles can have on pets. Certain candle ingredients and burning habits can pose dangers to your furry friends, ranging from respiratory issues to accidental burns. 

Continue reading to learn what ingredients you should stay away from, and signs your pet is bothered by the candles you bring into your home.

Are Candles Safe for Pets?

Candles provide a calming ambiance for us to relax after a long day. However, if you have pets around the home, it’s important to understand what ingredients are safe for them. Unfortunately, certain candles can pose risks to our furry friends due to the substances they release into the air and the potential for accidental contact.

Airborne Pollutants:

One of the main concerns with burning candles around pets is the release of airborne pollutants. Many candles, especially those made from paraffin wax, can emit harmful chemicals such as benzene and toluene when burned. These pollutants can irritate pets' respiratory systems, leading to coughing, sneezing, or more severe respiratory issues, particularly in pets with pre-existing conditions like asthma.

Toxic Ingredients:

Certain ingredients commonly found in candles can be toxic to pets if ingested or inhaled. For example, candles containing lead-core wicks or synthetic fragrances may release substances that are harmful to animals. Pets, especially curious cats or dogs, may accidentally ingest candle wax or other components, causing digestive upset or more serious health problems.

Risk of Burns and Injuries:

Another hazard associated with burning candles around pets is the risk of burns or injuries. Pets, especially kittens or puppies, may knock over candles, increasing the risk of fire hazards. Pets getting too close to open flames can also result in accidental burns on their fur or skin.

Harmful Ingredients in Candles

When considering candles for your home, it’s important to consider what ingredients show up in certain candles that can cause problems with your pet. These ingredients can release harmful chemicals into the air when the candle is burned, which poses risks to both pets and humans.

1. Paraffin Wax

Paraffin wax, a traditional wax used in candle making, is a byproduct of petroleum refining. When paraffin candles burn, they release harmful chemicals such as benzene and toluene into the air. These chemicals are known carcinogens and can cause respiratory irritations in pets. 

2. Lead-Core Wicks

It used to be common practice to create wicks with lead. When burned, these wicks can release lead particles into the air, which can be toxic if ingested or inhaled by your pet. While lead-core wicks have been banned in many countries, it never hurts to double-check your candle before burning it. 

3. Dyes & Colorants

Some candles are colored using dyes with harmful chemicals. When burned, these dyes can release additional toxins, which can be harmful to pets.

4. Chemical Additives

Some candles contain extra candles that help improve burn time, appearance, or fragrance distribution. Like many of the other ingredients, these can also emit additional harmful toxins, which can be bad for your pet. 

Tips for Candle Safety with Pets

With so many toxins and ingredients to look out for, how to you ensure candle safety when you have pets at home? Here are some tips and tricks to keep your pet's well-being top of mind, while also allowing you to enjoy the benefits of having candles burning at home. 

1. Choose Candles Made from Pet-Safe Wax

Opt for candles that are made from natural waxes, such as soy or beeswax. These candles produce less soot and fewer toxins compared to other types of wax.

2. Keep Candles in Safe Places 

While your candle is burning, keep it away from areas where your pet can easily access it, such as high shelves, tables, or enclosed holders. This prevents curious pets from knocking them over or getting burned.

3. Use Secure Vessels 

Always look for candles that come in stable vessels so they can’t be easily tipped over by pets. Always place your candle on flat, stable, heat-resistent surfaces and away from flammable materials. 

4. Supervise Candle Use

Never leave your candle burning unattended, especially if pets are nearby. Keep an eye on them, and always put them out before leaving the room or going to bed. 

5. Keep an Eye on Your Pets

Watch for any signs of discomfort or unusual behavior in your pets during and after burning a candle. Always remove your candle if your pet is showing any of these signs!


Pet owners can enjoy the cozy ambiance of candles at home while minimizing the risks associated with pets. Prioritizing your pets safety is key to creating a harmonious and hazard-free environment for you and your furry companion.

Signs of Candle-Related Issues with Your Pet

If a candle is bothering your pet, there are certain signs they will start showing. Here are the most common signs to be on the look out for if a pet is being negatively effected by candles:

  1. Respiratory Symptoms 

    • Increased coughing or wheezing
    • Sneezing or nasal discharge
    • Difficulty breathing or rapid breathing
    • Unusual noises (ex. Raspy breathing)
  2. Allergic Reactions

    • Excessive scratching or itching
    • Skin redness, irritation, or rash
    • Swelling of the face, especially around their eyes or mouth
  3. Behavioral Changes

    • Unusual lethargy 
    • Avoidance of certain areas of the home where candles are present
  4. Gastrointestinal Issues

    • Vomiting or unusual bowel movements
    • Los of appetite or reluctance to eat
  5. Eyes or Nose Irritation

    • Watery eyes
    • Rubbing of the eyes
    • Runny nose
  6. General Signs of Discomfort

    • Excessive grooming or grooming behaviors not typical for your pet
    • Vocalization or signs of distress when near candles
    • Changes in sleeping patterns or difficulty settling down

If you notice any of these signs, its important to immediately remove your pet from the area where the candle is, stop burning the candles, and consult your veterinarian. 

While certain candle ingredients can be harmful to your furry friends, as long as you are aware of ingredients you should stay away from and are willing to invest in clean candles, you shouldn’t have any problems. 

At La Lueur candles, we pride ourselves in crafting the highest quality candles. Made from a natural coconut wax blend and free of dyes and additional colorants, our candles are safe for humans and pets alike! Take a look at our best sellers

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