My Dog Ate a Candle What Should I Do?

Reviewed By Julie •  Updated: 07/15/20 •  3 min read
Dog Moderate Toxicity Level
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Dogs have been known to eat many things, including candles. Why would a dog eat a candle? Dogs are known for their non-discretionary eating habits. They’ll eat almost anything out of boredom, curiosity, hungriness, or because something just smells yummy!

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But what if your dog eats a candle?

Wax is Not Toxic

In most cases, today’s candles are made with wax that contains non-toxic ingredients. Many candles are made with beeswax, soy or paraffin. So, these will not make your dog sick. However, candles can pose a danger in other ways.

1). The wick: a candle wick is a long piece of entwined string, which is usually attached to a metal base. The wick and the metal base can be dangers for dogs. For one thing, these pieces can be a choking hazard. Secondly, they can become lodged in the digestive tract, leading to an intestinal blockage.

It is strongly recommended to contact a Pet Poison Helpline or your veterinarian.

2). Candle ingredients can be toxic: if a candle is scented, it’s possible your fur baby could be allergic to the scent. And some scents, such as those used in essential oils, can be toxic to dogs. Candles can also contain chemicals that can be harmful for dogs.

Essential oils that are especially dangerous include citrus, cinnamon, tea tree oil, pine, ylang-ylang, and even more.

Do Not Induce Vomiting

If your dog has swallowed a candle or parts of a candle, then do not induce vomiting, unless your vet tells you to do so. This is important. Inducing vomiting could cause additional harm to your dog.

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This should be OK, as long as your canine companion didn’t choke on the candle when he swallowed it. These candles are very small and should pass through the dog’s digestive system without a problem in most cases.

My Dog Ate the Wax of a Candle

In this case, the wax should pass through your fur baby’s digestive tract without any problems. Your dog’s body heat will work to soften the wax, which helps it to pass through. However, a large piece of wax could cause an intestinal blockage.

My Dog Ate the Entire Candle – Tea Lights or Larger Candles

This could be a problem due to the amount of wax, and the wick and metal base could cause choking or become lodged in the intestines. If your dog is choking, call the vet right away to get their advice.

What to Watch for After Dog Eats Candle

If your dog has swallowed a candle and/or parts of the candle, and is not choking, then watch for these symptoms:

These could be an indication that your fur baby is having trouble digesting the candle, or that the candle (and/or wick and base) could be causing an intestinal blockage. This could be a medical emergency, so call the vet as soon as possible.

In most cases, dogs that eat wax should be OK. But do watch your dog for the next few days to make sure the candle passes through OK. And if your dog shows any signs of distress, an allergic reaction, etc. then call the vet immediately.

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Julie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she studied Animal science. Though contrary to the opinion of her parents she was meant to study pharmacy, but she was in love with animals especially cats. Julie currently works in an animal research institute (NGO) in California and loves spending quality time with her little cat. She has the passion for making research about animals, how they survive, their way of life among others and publishes it. Julie is also happily married with two kids.

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