A cute golden retriever puppy laid down and looking directly at the camera. Sourced from Unsplash.

Are Wax Melts Safe for Dogs and Cats?

5 mins read

We all love that magic moment when we pop a fragrant wax melt into the warmer and our home begins to fill with heavenly aromas. But if you share your living space with four-legged family members, you've likely found yourself pausing, wax melt in hand, and wondering: Are wax melts safe for dogs and cats?

You're not alone in pondering this—many pet parents grapple with the same concern. After all, our pets are more than just animals; they're part of our family. And just like we wouldn't expose our human family members to anything potentially harmful, we hold the same standard for our furry companions.

In this article, we’ll clear the air by providing a comprehensive, well-researched answer to that burning question: Are wax melts toxic to animals? We'll look at the different components, consult experts and offer some guidance to give you peace of mind the next time you reach for that wax melt.

Are Scented Wax Melts Toxic to Dogs and Cats?

When it comes to the safety of your pets and the delightful aroma you want wafting through your home, fragrance oils can be a bit of a mixed bag. Simply put, not all fragrance oils are created equal. Quality plays a huge role in how safe or unsafe these oils can be around your furry friends.

While you may be tempted to reach for essential oils as a purer alternative, it’s worth bearing in mind that natural doesn’t necessarily mean safe. In fact, essential oils like eucalyptus, tea tree and certain citrus oils should generally be avoided in homes with dogs and cats. Determining a pet-friendly fragrance oil for wax melts all comes down to examining the ingredients of every blend. 

The Importance of Transparency

In a nutshell: Transparency is key. And rather than getting caught up in the fragrance oils vs. essential oils debate, focus on scents with detailed ingredient lists and safety guidelines that will let you know whether they are toxic to animals. This extra step gives you confidence in knowing exactly what you're bringing into your home—and how it could affect all its inhabitants, two-legged or four.

A black and orange striped cat with bright green eyes laying on a sofa. Source from Unsplash.

Does a Pet Parent Need to Worry About Wax?

You might not give it much thought, but the type of wax you use can play a significant role in both the quality of your scent experience and the well-being of your pets. While wax may seem like just the vessel for your chosen fragrance, its composition actually holds sway over various aspects like scent throw and burn time, as well as safety.

Pet-Friendly Wax Options

If you're a conscientious pet parent, you'll want to lean towards waxes that are naturally derived and free from harmful chemicals. Coconut and soy waxes tick these boxes and are often cited as more pet-friendly options due to their natural composition. While, with the correct use, paraffin wax is perfectly safe, there is a risk of giving off potentially harmful by-products as it burns. 

Making an Informed Choice

When shopping for wax melts or making your own, always check for detailed information on the type of wax used—just the same as for fragrance oils. This will help you make an informed choice that aligns not just with your aromatic preferences, but also with the safety of your furry family members.

What The Experts Say 

When it comes to the safety of pets and the use of wax melts, veterinarians and pet experts offer some pretty sound advice. The consensus is that strong scents can be overwhelming or irritating to pets, especially if they have nowhere to escape to. However, it's also true that high-quality fragrance oils, when used in a well-ventilated area, pose minimal risks to both dogs and cats. 

The key takeaway here is that moderation and the quality of ingredients are vital. Your pets should always have the option to move to another space if they find a scent overpowering or irritating.

A poodle or similar breed wearing a blue collar perched on an armchair. Sourced from Pexels.

A Guide to Keeping Furry Friends Safe

Ensuring the safety of your four-legged family members doesn't require a complete overhaul of your aromatic lifestyle, just some thoughtful adjustments. Here are some tips that are easy to implement:

Select Your Scent Wisely

Opt for high-quality fragrance oils that adhere to safety guidelines. Quality is key to ensuring that the aromas released are as benign as possible for all members of your household.

Choose a Natural Wax 

Choosing a pet-friendly wax option like coconut or soy can make a significant difference. These waxes tend to be more natural and produce fewer by-products that could be harmful to sensitive noses.

Open Those Windows

Ensure good ventilation in the room where you're using wax melts. Fresh air can help disperse the fragrance and reduce the concentration of any volatile compounds, making it less overwhelming.

Keep Your Burner Clean

Regular upkeep of your wax burner is a good habit to get into. A clean burner ensures no residual scent accumulates, which could be irritating for sensitive noses—whether they belong to humans or pets. Pssst, check out our wax melt burner cleaning guide for tips and tricks. 

Opt for a Flameless Burner 

It’s best to avoid tealight wax melt burners to minimise fire risks around playful pets. Don’t have an electric wax melt burner? Don’t worry, there’s other options. Why not place a wax melt in a bowl near a warm, sunny window? It will gradually release a gentle aroma—much less likely to cause irritation. 

Keep It Out of Reach

It should go without saying, but keep all wax melts, warmers, and other accessories out of paw’s reach. Pets are curious creatures and might try to ingest or play with these items, posing obvious risks.​​

A grey and white cat with bright yellow eyes, perched in a wicker basket. Sourced from Pexels.

Peace of Mind for Pet Parents

So, are wax melts safe for cats and dogs? Even though certain fragrances and types of wax might be less suitable for pets, it doesn't mean you have to forego the simple pleasures of wax melts altogether. By being discerning with your choices and maintaining good practices, such as ensuring proper ventilation and opting for high-quality, pet-friendly ingredients, you can strike the perfect balance between a fragrant home and a safe, comfortable space for your four-legged friends.

3 Response(s)

NI Candle Supplies LTD

I presume this also applies to candles as well as wax melts?
NI Candle Supplies LTD replied:
Thanks for your comment Michelle, that’s correct – the advice is for both candles and wax melts.

NI Candle Supplies LTD

So what Ingredients are to be avoided in fragrance oils? This article brushes over it without much detail. Can you explain about ‘toxic to aquatic life’ and what truly means for pet fish owners pls?
NI Candle Supplies LTD replied:
Thanks for your comment Emma, the idea behind the article was to highlight that fragrance oils are safe around cats and dogs, so long as they are used correctly. In terms of the statement, ‘toxic to aquatic life’, this is in relation to the product being released into the water – given it is very unlikely a fish owner would pour molten wax or place a wax product in with their fish; products made using fragrance oils are considered safe to use around aquatic life, again so long as they are used correctly. 


NI Candle Supplies LTD
Katy Taylor -Speed

Hi which of your fragrance oils are better for pet homes
NI Candle Supplies LTD replied:
While we don’t market any of our oils as being specifically safe for pets, we would suggest looking at our oils that don’t require a UFI as these trigger fewer allergens. They can be found here: https://www.nicandlesupplies.co.uk/collections/no-ufi

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