Ask the Vet: Enjoying Scented Products Around Pets

Ask the Vet: Enjoying Scented Products Around Pets

We often get asked whether candles and other scented products are safe for pets. So, to provide you with the best possible answer, we brought in an expert!

Renee Fleming, BSc, DVM, cVMA, CVPP, is a vet at the Guelph Animal Hospital and the co-owner of Dogtopia of Guelph. We asked Renee this question and more about scented products. Read below for her advice!


Renee Fleming and her bulldog Hank. (Photo courtesy of Renee Fleming)


1. Can pet owners safely enjoy scented soy candles in their homes while ensuring their pets' well-being?

Scented soy candles do not cause any health concerns for dogs, cats, birds, or other pets! The concerns that can exist (particularly with essential oils) generally relate to concentrated oil ingestion or topical application.

2. What signs indicate that pets are comfortable and unaffected by scented products in the household?

If pets are comfortable in their surroundings they will typically relax where they are and not relocate. However, I always encourage you to burn a candle or use an oil diffuser in a larger room that goes for any scented product. 

Oil fragrances, reed diffusers, scented candles, and scented room sprays, when used in the surrounding environment are safe.  I love using The Scented Market Scented Spray on my sofa and pet beds for a quick refresher! I would avoid using scented sprays directly on your pet, however.

3. Can you share tips for pet owners on creating a soothing and inviting atmosphere at home using scented products while prioritizing pet safety?

Keep lit candles on surfaces your pets cannot reach, and never burn without supervision. With candles, the biggest concerns are ingestion (hot wax will burn your pet’s mouth or body) and fire hazards.  

For sprays and diffusers keep these tucked away in a cupboard so your curious puppy doesn’t knock them off the counter and chew on them. 

In case of any accidental ingestions, I recommend calling the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Poison Control Hotline - 1-888-426-4435. While you place the call, collect any information you have about the product and head to your local veterinary clinic or after-hours hospital.  

Overall, if you have any concerns, your vet is the best place for advice!  Chances are it won’t be the scented product that has caused the concern, but it is always better to be safe.  Be sure to bring the scented product and any medications or over-the-counter medications your pet is taking to help your veterinary care team. 

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