We talked about whether is incense bad for cats before, so today we will talk about whether is incense harmful to dogs. Is it safe?

Dogs improve almost every aspect of our lives. There are many things to appreciate about dogs, including their unconditional love and affection and the simple fact that they are always happy to see us when we get home.

However, there is also the smell.

Dog owners are constantly looking for ways to freshen up the smell in their home because some puppies are a little more “potent” than others. Although you have many options, incense is one of the more well-liked options.

However, is incense harmful to dogs? Is it safe?

Dogs shouldn’t usually be around incense. In addition to irritating a dog’s keen sense of smell, inhaling incense smoke can also aggravate a dog’s delicate lungs and cause mild respiratory problems. The impact can be lessened, though, with good placement and ventilation. 

What you need to know about incense and dogs will be covered in more detail below.

Is Incense Bad For Dogs?

Dogs have a stronger sense of smell than humans, so incense isn’t good for them. A candle may not be able to produce the same level of aroma as incense. Along with that aroma, there is smoke. Dogs are more sensitive to smells than humans are, so the strong incense smell is more potent for them.

Additionally harmful to a dog’s lungs is the smoke produced by incense. Particularly if the dog is in a room that is heavily scented with incense smoke and fumes, it could cause breathing problems. Many dogs only experience a minor impact, but for other dogs, it may cause serious breathing issues.

The Different Forms Of Incense

There are undoubtedly many different types and configurations of incense available for purchase, but sticks are by far the most popular type. We have highlighted some of the other types of incense in the market for you, and they are as follows

  1. Grainy Incense
  2. Powdery Incense
  3. Incense in Dhoops
  4. Stick Incense
  5. Incense in cones
  6. Scented paper
  7. Charcoal Incense
  8. Coils

Why Are Dogs Unsafe Around Incense?

 You should avoid burning incense near your dogs for a number of reasons.

Let’s begin with the most serious issue first: smoke inhalation. 

Smoke Inhalation Risks

Any type of smoke inhalation is harmful to you and your pet. Incense smoke can be a significant source of particulate emissions in indoor air, according to a 2001 report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The respiratory tract may become deposited with the particulates produced by incense burning. These emissions might contain toxins that have mutagenic and other health effects as well as the ability to cause airborne dermatitis.”

To put it another way, smoking can irritate your lungs and airways, which will prevent as much oxygen from entering your body. Future health issues could result from that. It can even be more of a problem for our dogs, who have much more delicate and smaller lungs than we do. 

Some breeds, like brachycephalic breeds, will be even more susceptible to incense smoke inhalation. The term “brachycephalic” refers to “short-headed” breeds, which include Boston Terriers, pugs, and bulldogs. Simply because of the shape of their head and muzzle, these dogs will have more difficulty breathing. 

These breeds already have shorter and more constrained airways because of their short muzzles and noses. These breeds can suffer harm from even a small amount of smoke. 

Smoke inhalation is bad for your dog even if they are not one of the high-risk brachycephalic breeds. Asthma, which is brought on by your dog having an allergic reaction to something they’re smelling, is one of the respiratory issues it can cause. Your dog may find it extremely challenging to breathe if they have asthma because it enflames the airways in their body. 

Irritating Smells

Along with the potential health risks, your dog might not like the scent of the incense you’re burning. Dogs’ noses are amazing. According to dog experts, a teaspoon of sugar in the water of two Olympic-sized swimming pools wouldn’t be a problem for most dogs to detect! Dogs’ noses are much more sensitive than ours, so what we perceive as pleasant smells may irritate your pet. 

Risk Of Fire

It goes without saying that there is a fire risk whenever an open flame is present in a building. You might be in trouble if you add an open flame and an animated dog tail.

And honestly, what dog tail couldn’t be described as overly enthusiastic?

It’s challenging to watch your dog all the time, but it only takes a split second for a happy dog to use their wagging tail to tip a smoky candle over. 

Imagine burning incense the way you normally do. It’s typically mounted on a stick. It’s not a very safe open flame, and if you place it in the wrong spot, your dog might be able to tip it over.


Will You Be Able To Tell If Incense Upsets Your Dog?

Dogs can’t use words to express their discomfort when we’re doing something that bothers them. They can alter their actions to give the impression that they’re agitated or stressed. Some dogs may begin to bark, run around the room, scratch at doors, whine, or make other loud noises. Others might just hunker down and withdraw, possibly covering their faces to prevent incense inhalation.

Unfortunately, a lot of people fail to realize that their dog’s behavior might change after they burn incense. They might believe the dog needs to go potty outside. Even though the dog is now out of the incense burn zone, they will still experience the same issue if they go inside.

Sometimes you won’t be able to tell if your dog is bothered by your incense. Unless they experience a severe reaction that prevents them from breathing or otherwise makes them feel threatened, they might not show it.

What Dangerous Chemicals Do Incense Burners Release?

Several chemical compounds are produced when incense is burnt, and they are as follows;

  1. Benzyne is released when incense is burnt
  2. Another is carbon monoxide, which is released during burning.
  3. Sulfur dioxide is another dangerous chemical released during burning
  4. Lastly, the Formaldehyde compound is released into the atmosphere.

How To Safely Use Incense With Dogs

If you’re set on burning incense at home, we advise taking a few safety measures to ensure that you and your dog will be as safe as possible from any harm. 

Use Quality Incense

We advise you to select a high-quality incense from the many brands and scents available on the market. In general, we should concentrate on two different types of incense.

The first type of incense is traditional incense, which is regarded as the purest type available. It is all-natural and is made up of fundamental scents that can be mixed together to create various aromas. Traditional incense is more expensive because it must go through a laborious and time-consuming process to be made.

However, dipped incense is a more popular and affordable alternative. It might have a small amount of sawdust or charcoal in it in addition to the incense itself. It’s also likely that the stick was treated chemically before being combined with the actual incense.

Obviously, any chemical mixture that comes with dipped incense is not something that either you or your dog should be breathing in. We advise choosing a traditional incense for your home if you’re going to burn incense because it typically burns cleaner. Even though it costs a little more, it is much better for you and your pet.

Ensure Plenty Of Ventilation

Make sure your home has adequate ventilation while burning incense. Try to expel as much of that smoke as you can because it is the primary cause of health issues. To let the smoke out while also allowing fresh air to enter, open a window. Furthermore, avoid enclosing your pet in the same space as the incense burners. Allow them to wander and, if necessary, escape the incense. 

Choose A Safe Spot For Placement

Wherever you burn your incense, take care. At the very least, it must be completely out of the reach of a dog’s wagging tail (no low side or coffee tables); it would be best to keep it in a separate room from your pet. 

Alternatives To Incense

Even if you decide against burning incense, you might still have to deal with your dog’s odor. So, how can you give your house a little more pleasant smell? There are several secure substitutes for incense that still make things smell better.  


The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and Febreze collaborated on a study to examine how Febreze affected various household pets in order to allay concerns that it was unsafe for pets. Febreze is actually safe for pets, according to the study’s findings. 

Febreze is a great choice for reducing dog odor and keeping your home secure for your pet. Follow all of the directions on the box if you decide to use Febreze. 

Air Purifiers

By eliminating unpleasant smells from the air in your house, air purifiers can help with pet odors. While it won’t make your house “smell good” the way incense or other scent products will, it actually gets rid of the odors rather than just masking them. 

If you’re thinking about getting an air purifier, consider the size of your house. A stronger air purifier that can eliminate odors from the entire house rather than just the room it’s in will probably be necessary if you have a large home and only want to buy one. 

Create Your Own Kitchen Scent

Did you know you could make your own scents in the comfort of your own kitchen? You can fill your entire home with a delectable, all-natural scent using only your stovetop and a few simple ingredients. And the best part is that they still work just as well while being much safer for your pet! Try one of these recipes to fill the whole house with a wonderful scent. 

How Should I Handle An Incense-smelling Dog?

Remove your dog from the immediate burn zone if you believe they are reacting poorly to the aroma and smoke of incense. You could let them go outside so they can breathe in some clean air to help their lungs. Another option is to place them in a different room of the house that isn’t affected by the smoke and smell.

Check for signs of breathing problems in your dog. Some dogs might find the potent scent of incense upsetting, but this is typically resolved by removing the dogs from the affected area. Smoke inhalation poses the biggest risk to dogs, so keep a close eye out for any indications that your dog may be having difficulty breathing. If your dog has trouble breathing, you might need emergency veterinary care, but that is a rare occurrence.

Open windows or doors to begin airing out the space while your dog is outside taking in some fresh air. To circulate the air in the space and clear the air of incense smoke, you can also use fans or air purifiers. Wait until the air is completely free of smoke before letting the dog back in.

What Are Some Alternatives To Incense Burning?

If you truly adore your dog, you should think about other options to keep him healthy and your house smelling fresh. Some of the other options are as follows;

  1. Oil Diffuser: Diffusers for oil are among the best alternatives to incense. It doesn’t give off smoke, but it still smells good in your house. Reeds and fragrant oil are used to spread the scent. Peppermint oil or thieves oil are a couple of examples.
  2. Scented Candles: This option may not be ideal, but it is preferable because it prevents the home from becoming overly smoke-filled. The fact that some candles are made with paraffin, which is also harmful, shows that not all candles are created equally. Some safest candles you can find in the market are as follows;


In conclusion, it is best to avoid burning incense near your dog. If necessary, take the safety measures listed above.

Additionally, exercise common sense. Although they can’t tell you, if incense smoke irritates you or others, it’s very likely to aggravate your dog as well.