Can Scented Candles Cause Seizures In Bulldogs?

Scented candles provide a relaxing and aromatic scent to humans. But is it safe for canines? Can scented candles cause seizures in dogs? Some scented candles can be dangerous for canines, specifically due to the oils it contains. In this post, I will discuss the potential harm of your favorite scented candles and what options are safe for your beloved Bulldog.

Can scented candles cause seizures in dogs?

can scented candles cause seizures in dogs

Seizures in canines can be triggered by various stimuli. It can be loud sounds, flashing lights, pesticides, cleaning agents, and more. Another common seizure-inducing substance is poison. Such poisons can be rodenticides, but they can also be dangerous essential oils packed in your scented candle.

Don’t get me wrong, a scented candle won’t cause your Bulldog to drop and convulse right away. You just have to be careful with the specific scent you’re lighting up. Here are some possibilities you need to consider:

Some essential oils can be dangerous to Bulldogs

Most scented candles are infused with essential oils to deliver the aromatic whiff. Through burning, the essential oil will be diffused into the air. Somehow, the scented candle acts as a diffuser by using heat.

This is where the problem may arise on the part of your Bulldog. Many essential oils are proven to be toxic to both cats and dogs. When inhaled, the compounds in the essential oil can trigger respiratory irritations and even full-on poisoning followed by a seizure.

The following are some of the essential oils you should never diffuse, whether through candles or a diffuser:

  • Cinnamon oil
  • Tea tree oil
  • Citrus oil
  • Pennyroyal oil
  • Ylang ylang oil
  • Anise oil
  • Juniper oil
  • Peppermint oil
  • Thyme oil
  • Clove oil

These are just some of the essential oils that could pose harm to your Bulldog. Take note that many essential oils are blended with more than one of these oils. Therefore, it’s best to read the label to ensure that your candle doesn’t have any of these dangerous substances.

Aside from that, some scented candles use synthetic fragrances that could be toxic to Bulldogs and other canines. When burned, these artificial fragrances can release phthalates and naphthalene. These substances can cause poisoning and seizures among dogs.

Whether it’s natural or synthetic scents, both candles can produce volatile organic compounds, depending on the other ingredients.

The scent may appear delicious to your Bulldog

Also, the inviting odor of scented candles may encourage your Bulldog to chew on the wax. Many of us experience that feeling when the candle smells so good you just want to take a bite. That palatable scent is more heightened in canines because of their stronger sense of smell.

Aside from biting into the wax, your Bulldog stands the chance of getting burned in the process of doing so.

However, the most alarming part is the ingestion of the scented candle. If the one you lit up is infused with harmful essential oils, your Bulldog will experience stomach upset and vomiting. But knowing Bulldog’s hypersensitive tummies, they may suffer from more than just diarrhea.

Depending on the concentration found on your scented candle, your Bulldog may suffer from severe illness. For example, tea tree oil-scented candles have a concentration enough to trigger seizures, weakness, and even death.

Whether it has harmful essential oils or not, you should always supervise your dog whenever it’s near the candle. You should place the candle away from your Bulldogs reach.

Signs that your scented candle is poisoning your Bulldog

If you’re using scented candles, it’s important to observe your Bulldog. This way, you can pick tell-tale signs of adverse reaction, including the following:

can scented candles cause seizures in dogs
  • Labored breathing
  • Weakness
  • Drooling
  • Difficulty getting up and walking
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Burns around the mouth
  • Rashes near the lips
  • Muscle tremors
  • Unconsciousness
  • Seizure

If your Bulldog starts behaving differently a few minutes after lighting up a scented candle, you should take it as a sign of toxicity. You should extinguish the candle and bring your Bulldog to the vet’s clinic right away.

Take note that canines tolerate scented candles differently. Others will love lounging with its scent, while some will show adverse symptoms. Just because your friend’s dog thrives in smelling candles doesn’t mean it will be the same for your Bulldog.

Candle ingredients to avoid

The risk of scented candle-induced seizures among canines is rooted in its ingredients. The following are some of the candle ingredients that are harmful not just to your dog but also to you as a person:

  • Paraffin wax. If you’re bent to burn scented candles, make sure that it’s not made of paraffin wax. This substance has slight toxicity to canines. However, paired with poisonous essential oils, such toxicity levels can double up. Instead, opt for soy wax since it burns cleaner.
  • Lead. Some scented candles are fitted with wicks that have a metal core. Such core is often infused with lead, a very harmful metal that could pose harm to both humans and pets. When it burns, the lead substance can cause seizures and erratic behavior among canines.
  • VOCs. Regular scented candles can produce volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like formaldehyde. It’s a carcinogen that will harm both you and your Bulldog.
  • Artificial colors and scents. Artificial additives are often used to add aesthetic value to the candle. None of these are helpful and would just increase the hazards of scented candles to your Bulldog.

Safe scents for Bulldogs

As much as there are harmful essential oils for dogs, there are few that you can safely use. You can diffuse it on a diffuser or a soybean wax scented candle.

  • Cedarwood oil. When diffused properly, cedarwood oil will act as a tick and flea repellent for your dog. This isn’t surprising since many pet owners use cedar wood chips to repel bloodsuckers from their doggo’s bedding.
  • Lavender oil. Scented candles with lavender oil offer a calming effect to canines. This is fitting for Bulldogs with separation anxiety. Still, it must be used properly to avoid a very strong odor.
  • Chamomile oil. Like lavender, chamomile oil can help calm your Bulldog. It’s also known to reduce gastrointestinal upset for both canines and humans.
  • Frankincense oil. This oil is widely used in pet wound care because of its potent antibacterial properties. Scented candles with this oil are also safe to use around dogs in moderation.

To know if a specific scented candle is safe for your Bulldog, you must consult your pet’s veterinarian. This way, you’ll receive proper guidance on how to use the candle and which products you should avoid.

Alternatives to scented candles

Aside from scented candles, there are other ways to help your Bulldog calm down. The following are some of the effective alternatives you can try:

  • Calming sprays. Calming sprays like Adaptil and ThunderEase are specifically formulated to ease anxiety among canines. It’s safe and has very little to no scent, which makes it a non-invasive choice to calm your pet.
  • Beeswax candles. If you’re keen to use candles, beeswax candles are a great pick. It burns cleaner than paraffin, and it’s safer to use around your pet. Many pet products are infused with beeswax, which justifies its safety. Still, you should mind the other ingredients added to the candle to be sure.
  • Soybean wax candles. Another excellent alternative you can try is soybean wax scented candle. Like beeswax, this burns cleaner than paraffin. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, this would be a perfect pick. But then again, you should mind the essential oil added to the candle.
  • Oil diffusers. Another option you have is simply using a diffuser. This is a more straightforward method of diffusing the scent without the potentially harmful chemicals.
  • Pet candles. If you want peace of mind while diffusing scented candles, you should opt for pet candles instead. These are scented but formulated with your pets in mind. It’s 100% safe for most Bulldogs and is also available in a wide range of scents.

Tips to remove pet odors without using scented candles

More often than not, we use scented candles to neutralize pet malodors in our homes. While it’s effective, the candle can pose a threat to your Bulldog. If your pooch is sensitive and doesn’t tolerate your favorite candle, the following are other ways to deal with the odor.

  • Use enzyme cleaners. If your Bulldog keeps having accidents at home, you must clean the spot with an enzymatic cleaner. Unlike typical cleaning agents, those with enzymes will consume the remaining proteins producing the odor. This is a permanent solution compared to masking the smell with scented candles.
  • Use vinegar. Another way to combat dog smells is by spraying a mixture of water and white vinegar. Unlike scented candles, this mixture will not cause seizures. Vinegar is edible, and the smell won’t harm your Bulldog.
  • Bathing. Bathing your Bulldog regularly will help reduce the bad odor it emits. You should practice proper grooming to ensure that you’re removing the cause of the bad smell. Also, if your Bulldog showed adverse reactions to scented candles, it would be wise to bathe them once they’ve recovered. This is to remove the scent that clung to its coat.
  • Wash pet items. Lighting up scented candles will cause the scent to stick to your dog’s items. This includes the doggo’s toys, bed, blanket, and so on. It’s important to wash these items regularly to remove bad odor. Washing will also remove the scented candle odor that could irritate your Bulldog.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can smells trigger seizures in dogs?

A: Any environmental sensory factors like odors and sounds can trigger seizures among canines. Still, visual stimulation remains the most common trigger for both humans and dogs. Nevertheless, smell-induced seizure triggers are possible, but the occurrence is quite rare.

Q: How many seizures can a dog experience before it dies?

A: It’s not the frequency but the length of the seizure that would likely kill your dog. Any seizure that lasts for more than five minutes is life-threatening. Past this point, your Bulldog can suffer from irreversible damages like brain injury and even death. Also, if your dog experiences three seizures within 24 hours, regardless of duration, you must call the vet right away.

Q: How can I prevent my Bulldog from having seizures?

A: The only way to minimize the risk of seizures is to reduce your Bulldog’s exposure to its triggers. If your pooch gets seizures from scented candles, you should stop lighting any of them. The same goes for sound and visually induced seizures. Also, proper vet examination and treatment are necessary to get into the real cause of the health problem.

Q: How does a dog act after a seizure?

A: After a seizure, your dog will be disoriented. This phase can last for a few minutes to a couple of hours, depending on the severity of the attack. Some pet owners noticed that their canines suffer from temporary blindness, appetite changes, and prolonged sleeping after having seizures. It’s best to bring the dog to the vet for proper examination.

Q: How long does it take for a dog to recover from a seizure?

A: After a seizure, your Bulldog may take up to 24 hours to fully recover from the attack. The longer the seizure is, the harder it would be for your pet to recover. Long seizures also cause severe damages that are sometimes irreversible.

Q: Can I burn eucalyptus candles around my dog?

A: Eucalyptus oil is potent and could be dangerous for your Bulldog. You should avoid using candles with this scent. The strong odor can irritate your dog’s respiratory system and ultimately cause poisoning. If you want a fresh odor in your home, it’s best to use pet candles with safe essential oils.

Final words

Can scented candles cause seizures in dogs? It could, especially if you’re lighting up the likes of cinnamon, tea tree, pennyroyal, and mint candles. You should also consult your Bulldog’s veterinarian before using any scented candles to avoid negative effects. And if your dog exhibits adverse reactions, you should extinguish the candle right away and seek veterinary help immediately.


  • Brad

    Hi I'm Brad, the founder of Having been a vet of 6 years I work alongside our team to provide valuable insight into your dog's health. I have a frenchie myself named Senzu who is my pride and joy!