Decorating our homes is something we all do for comfort and aesthetic, but when we have pets, the decor may vary based on the type and size of our fury friends. While we may focus on removing items that can be chewed or scratched, we may be overlooking other harmful decor that can be damaging to our pets, such as candles.
Candles set the mood, they add color and style to a room, and they produce delicious smells that make us feel good. However, these products may contain ingredients that are harmful to our fury friends in various ways. Read on to learn about candle safety for your pet and how to ensure your candles are causing harmony, not harm.
What’s in your candles?
You may think of candle safety in regard to fire, and we’ll get to that, but did you know there are harmful chemicals in most candles? Candles may smell great and add to the decor of a room, but when they’re burned, their ingredients are released into the air, which can cause harm to ourselves and our pets. When purchasing candles, here are a few ingredients you don’t want on the list:
- Paraffin: Paraffin is a common ingredient in most candles, especially cheaper versions. It’s a wax that is made from Petroleum, and when burned, releases harmful carcinogens. Paraffin can also cause severe health issues if ingested by your pet. While some candles use refined paraffin wax, which means it contains less oil in the wax than regular paraffin, it can still be harmful, especially if ingested.
- Artificial coloring and scents: Just like food, candles can contain artificial coloring and scents for bright appearances and yummy smells, but these ingredients can cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems when they are inhaled.
- Acrolein, acetaldehyde and formaldehyde: These chemicals are sometimes used as fillers, and like artificial ingredients, when burned, they can cause allergic reactions and reduce the air quality in your home.
- Lead wicks: When lead is burned within a candle, it can release toxic fumes and cause nervous system issues within pets and humans.
These are just a few of the toxic chemicals that are put into most of the candles out there because they are cheaper to make versus all-natural products. All of these ingredients attack the respiratory system in animals and humans, reduce air quality in the home, and cause reactions within the body. Think about candles the same way you think about food: if you can’t pronounce the ingredients, you don’t want it in your home.
What to look for when buying pet-safe candles
On the flip side of this harmful candle conversation, there are ingredients that won’t harm us or our pets when burned. And luckily, there’s focus now more than ever on creating pet-friendly candle options. Etsy even has a whole category dedicated to it! When shopping, look for the following candle options for your home:
- Natural soy
- Vegetable-based or coconut wax
- Unscented options (unless pure essential oils are used)
- Unbleached cotton, paper, or wood wicks
Candles that are using the above ingredients burn cleanly and safely, releasing no particulates or soot. This means the air quality in your home won’t be negatively affected. Beeswax candles are the lowest processed candles you can buy and actually purify the air when burned! When looking for scented candles with essential oils, research individual effects on your pet type before purchasing. While most aren’t harmful, there may be some that are animal-specific, especially when it comes to dogs.
These options may be more expensive than the candles you’ll find at discount stores and at the malls, but the health and wellness of you and your pets are far more important. Go all natural and avoid harmful toxins in your home to keep everyone happy and healthy.
Where are your candles located?
While candle ingredients can be a hazard, the candles themselves can also pose problems, too. You always want to make sure your candles are in high places that cannot be knocked over or accessed by your pets. They could swish their tails into the flame and get burned, and they could knock them over causing a fire. Be mindful of where you set your candles and how long you leave them burning. It’s never a good idea to have them burning in an unoccupied room.
Another thing to consider is the scent. For our pets, especially dogs, their sense of smell if far superior to ours, which means they are greatly affected when it comes to smelly things. This reinforces the importance of clean burning candles, but this is also a reminder that they may think that a candle is food. Having clean burning candles without artificial scents reduces that risk, but if they do get into the candles and try having them for a snack, they won’t get as sick from vegan or soy-based products.
You may or may not choose to burn candles all the time, but just like the food we eat, the air we breathe should be clean and free from toxins. When considering candles, choose the all-natural, organic options whenever possible. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients, you don’t want it in your home.
While it’s important to assess what’s in our candles, it’s also essential to know what’s in our pet’s food. That’s why Old Mother Hubbard and Wellness have created various natural products without fillers and additives to ensure your pet is healthy from the inside out. Your pet deserves the best. Let Old Mother Hubbard and Wellness take care of the rest!