Are Yankee Candles Safe For Dogs? (Important Information)

Most people can’t deny how great scented candles are to make your home smell divine, and one of the most popular and best-scented candle brands is Yankee.

However, while we humans clearly enjoy the wonderful aromas of scented candles, it’s easy to forget about our dogs and how they might affect them.

If you’re a dog owner, you need to consider whether or not the scented candles you’re burning are safe for dogs. 

So, are Yankee candles safe for dogs? It is safe to say that in general it is safe for dogs to be around Yankee candles as they ate made from refined Paraffin wax. However some of the essential oils present in specific candles can actually be toxic to your dog.

A photo of 2 Yankee candles
Yankee candles are made from Paraffin wax which is safe but can contain toxic essential oils.

Refined paraffin wax simply means that there is not as much oil contained in the wax, which is better for everyone.

Paraffin wax is often used in many different medical and cosmetic products. However, if a dog were to consume a Yankee candle, it would make him very unwell.

Thus, as long as Yankee candles are used safely and out of reach of pets, there is no reason why they are unsafe for dogs. There are better options, though, as we’ll discuss throughout this article.

A dog friendly alternative candle.

Before I continue with this article I just wanted to share with you these beautiful pet friendly candles that I use from Amazon (don’t worry it opens in a new window). They come in a variety of different scents and are made from 100% soy wax with no nasty chemicals in the fragrance oils. If you love candles but love your pets as well they are definitely worth checking out.

What is the main ingredient of Yankee candles, and is it safe?

The ever-popular Yankee candle originated in 1969 in Massachusetts when the company founder, Michael Kittredge, melted crayons down to make a present for his mother.

They are now the most famous and iconic candles in the world. 

Yankee candles are made from premium-grade refined paraffin wax, which means they burn cleanly and consistently. The wick is made from 100% natural fibres. The scents are created using essential oils. 

Just like people, dogs are attracted to the sweet aromas of Yankee candles. Given that dogs have around 50 scent receptors for each one humans have, it’s no surprise that their sense of smell is amazing.

So naturally, this means that your dog will likely to attracted to the sweet aroma of a burning Yankee candle. 

As we’ve stated above, you don’t need to worry about burning Yankee candles in your home as a dog owner as they don’t pose a big risk to dogs’ health.

However, it is always good practice to keep all candles away from the reach of your pets – even if they are not alight.

There are many benefits to burning scented candles like Yankee candles around your home. They can create a really relaxing atmosphere and get rid of any foul pet odours too!

The downside…

While Yankee candles are safe for your dog, we need to consider alternatives. After all, paraffin wax comes from crude oil, a fossil fuel.

So while safe, it is not as environmentally friendly as some alternatives like soy wax, beeswax, coconut-based wax, or vegetable wax.

Are dogs allergic to essential oils present in candles?

We often consider essential oils to be natural products and, therefore, harmless. However, when exposing our pets to scented candles that contain essential oils, we need to consider their safety. 

Typically, essential oils are extracted from plants. In the chemical definition, essential oils aren’t really oils at all. Rather, they are made from a plant’s volatile compounds. 

Even though essential oils have great benefits to humans, they can be harmful to our pets – even if the oils aren’t in direct contact with the animal.

Essential oils are powerful, and they are made up of highly reactive molecules. For us, this is great, and it’s the reason why essential oils have an effect on us. However, for dogs, essential oils can be problematic.

As far as dogs are concerned, here are some essential oils that can be harmful:

  • Anise
  • Cinnamon 
  • Citrus
  • Clove
  • Garlic
  • Juniper
  • Peppermint
  • Pine
  • Tea tree
  • Wintergreen
  • Ylang ylang

Do Yankee candles contain essential oils?

Yes. Yankee candles use fragrance oils and essential oils to create their famous scents.

If you go to the Yankee Candle website, you’ll see a list of ‘fragrance notes’ for each product.

For example, their Evening Star scent contains lemon and juniper as top notes, ylang-ylang and baby rose as mid notes, and guaiac wood and powdery musk as base notes.

Unfortunately, as you can see from the list above, this candle contains two essential oils that are toxic to dogs. And, whilst the scent will likely contain this in very small quantities, you should carefully consider your scent choices. 

Tips to keep your dog safe when burning candles

When it comes to dogs, candle safety is much more than where you place your candles.

However, your first consideration does need to be location. You should never leave a candle unattended, regardless of whether you have a dog or not. 

Candles are a huge fire hazard, and even more so if you have a dog running around your home. Whenever you leave a room, you should always extinguish any lit candles. 

When you are in the room, and they are lit, they should not be placed on low windowsills or coffee tables. Instead, a mantelpiece, high table, or shelf should be considered. 

As we’ve mentioned above, some essential oils are harmful to dogs, so it’s important to know the signs of poisoning in case this should occur.

The first thing you might notice is behaviour. Often, the way your dog is behaving is the first sign that something is not right. Here are some other things to look out for when you’re burning candles with essential oils:

  • Their breath, fur, skin, or vomit smells of essential oils
  • They have difficulty breathing
  • They seem lethargic
  • They drool
  • They’re weaker
  • They have problems walking, or they stumble
  • They paw at their face or mouth
  • They have burns or redness on their tongue, gums, lips, or skin
  • They vomit

To avoid poisoning, you should keep all essential oil-based candles away from your dog even when the candles are not lit. 

Did you know that essential oils can also be dangerous for pet cats? For more information check out my are Yankee candles safe for cats guide.

Final thoughts on if Yankee candles are safe for dogs

There’s no doubt about it, we want to make sure our dogs are safe, and if you’re a Yankee Candle lover, you’ll want to make sure they are safe for your pet.

In summary, Yankee Candles are safe for your pet, and they’re not going to come to any harm as long as you use them safely. That said, there are some considerations when it comes to using scented candles around dogs.

Remember that your dog’s sense of smell is at least 10,000 times better than yours, and so what smells divine to you might be really overwhelming for your dog.

You also need to take care to choose candles with ingredients that aren’t toxic to dogs. One consideration is the inclusion of essential oils that are harmful to your pet. 

Finally, most Yankee candles are made using refined paraffin wax. While this is generally considered to be safe, it can be slightly toxic if consumed.

For this reason, candles should be kept well out of reach even when they are not lit. Consumed in excess, paraffin can cause a severe reaction that can put your dog into a coma.

The bottom line is that yes, Yankee candles are safe for dogs, but you need to use them wisely.

Andrew Scents and Aroma