My Dog Ate a Candle – What to Do Next

Disclaimer: The content on MyPetChild.com is for informational purpose only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian when in doubt.

The base material of candles typically consists of paraffin wax, beeswax, or soy wax. A combination of the wax and other secondary ingredients can make candles dangerous to dogs when ingested.

What happens when a dog eats a candle?

A large part depends on what was used to make the candle. For example, a plain candle made with paraffin wax could be considered slightly toxic to dogs. Ingesting a small amount of paraffin wax candles may lead to mild gastrointestinal symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea.

Things can get worse if the candle used secondary ingredients that are toxic to dogs. Scented candles, for example, may make use of essential oils. Certain types of oils, such as cinnamon and citrus oil, are poisonous to dogs. To be on the safe side, scented candles should never be lit in the presence of a household animal.

Candle wax, by nature, softens when it gets warm but it’s still possible for obstruction to occur somewhere along the dog’s digestive tract. The risk of this happening is higher with small-sized dogs. Bowel obstruction, for example, could happen if the dog was to ingest too much candle wax at once. Bowel obstruction may lead to symptoms like abdominal pain, constipation, and a loss of appetite.

What to do if your dog ate a candle

We would suggest calling the pet poison hotline or the vet to be on the safe side. Be prepared to answer questions such as the amount and the type of candle the dog ate. The vet could then decide whether it’s necessary for the dog to have an appointment for additional diagnosis.

You shouldn’t try to induce vomiting at home unless it’s recommended by the vet. For starters, it might not work if the candle wax content is already too deep inside the dog’s digestive tract. It might also make things worse if the dog tries to regurgitate the materials of the candle (some of which may be toxic to dogs).

In the meantime, keep a close watch of the dog. Take note of any potential changes in their eating and pooping habits. If the dog gets lucky, the candle wax content will pass and appear in the poop after a day or two. Any changes in behavior should have you take the dog to the vet straight away.

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