Is Burning Incense Safe for Pets?

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Incense is an extremely popular way to experience a fragrant aroma throughout one’s home or temple.

The tranquil feeling some of these scents provide can leave us in a state of relaxation and bliss.

It’s common-sense that incense requires flame and requires certain safety precautions during use.

Incense Safety For Pets

A question I am often asked about incense is whether it is safe to burn around pets, such as cats or dogs.

It’s generally not recommended to burn incense around your pets, but ultimately, it’s the owner’s decision.

Air quality is an important health factor for your animals health and well-being.

Unfortunately, many household pets, particularly cats and birds, can be sensitive to smoke.


Although burning incense around your pets it not recommended, if you choose to do so, there are some precautions you can take to make it safer for them.

Place Your Pets in a Different Room

If you are burning incense around your pets, it’s probably easiest to simply place them in a different room.

If you decide to keep them in the room anyways, then you should definitely keep the door open so they have the opportunity to leave the smoke-filled room.

Make Sure the Room has Adequate Ventilation

You should make sure the room you are burning incense in has adequate ventilation.

An easy way to accomplish this is to open a window so that the smoke can escape, instead of building up inside of the room.

Avoid Certain Fragrances & Essential Oils

Additionally, some specific fragrances or essential oils which may be applied to incense may be harmful to pets such as cats or dogs. It’s hard to go into specifics because there are so many different ingredients used in incense, so it’s best to simply keep your incense stored out of your beloved pet’s reach. If they ingest the incense, it may harm them, so take care to make sure they are not able to ingest any incense.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a list of frequently asked questions we are asked regarding this article.

Is Incense Bad For Cats?

Cats in particular have very sensitive lungs and long-term exposure to smoke can negatively effect their lungs.

It’s always best to avoid burning incense around your cats.

Is Incense Bad For Dogs?

Dogs are known to have very strong sense of smell, so it shouldn’t come to any surprise that the smoke and fragrance of incense may bother them.

Some specific species of dogs, such as those with flat faces, are known to develop lung problems, and you should be particularly careful with those breeds.

It’s always best to avoid burning incense around your dogs.

Is Incense Safe For Birds?

You should never burn incense around birds. Birds are extremely sensitive to air pollution and you should never burn anything around them because it can cause them serious health problems.

Alternatives to Incense

If you have pets, there are some alternatives which are safer for them.

Scented Candles

Scented candles produce very little smoke and are much safer for their lungs.

However, you have to make sure the candle is placed in a location where your pet cannot knock it over.

2 thoughts on “Is Burning Incense Safe for Pets?

  1. Avatar
    Andrew says:

    Any incense may not always be beneficial for our pets. A specific flavor may have a negative effect on the olfactory system of a cat or dog

  2. Avatar
    Russell Kirkland says:

    Finding myself stunned at the # of things potentially harmful to cats. I’ve been using incense sticks for a while and haven’t really seen any adverse affects(not really looking till now)(they don’t generally leave the room) I’m always have ceiling and often floor fans running as I’m hot blooded? The sticks are usually burning 4-5 ft above the floor and not accessible to the cats.
    Do the fans provide enough ventilation w/ open doors? 1300 sf house.
    Thanks for your input and advice, Russell

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