Are Incense Sticks Harmful To Pets? Which Ones are Safe?

Burning Incense Sticks is blissful and Spiritual for most of us But do they pose a risk To Pets? There’s nothing more pleasant than coming back to a fragrant home. Especially when you own a pet-rich household, nice fragrances become a necessity. And for that, people use multiple products ranging from Candles, Electric aroma diffusers, Wax melts, Essential Oils, and Incense Sticks.

Lighting Incense Sticks is an age-old form of aromatherapy practised all around the world. These sticks can create a relaxing or calming atmosphere, but they aren’t suitable of using around pets. Incense sticks expose pets to powerful fragrances and smoke. Both of these, when inhaled, can irritate your pet’s respiratory organs or lead to other sensitive health issues. Therefore, individuals who have pets at home should try staying away from Incense Stick usage to the most. Once in a while usage could be overlooked, but one never knows which day can prove bad.

Incense Sticks Harmful To Pets

Why Are Incense Sticks Bad For Dogs and Cats?

There are several ways by which Incense Sticks can prove harmful to your dogs and cats. It’s generally not recommended to burn Incense around your pets or even humans who have respiratory problems. 

Incense sticks are organic biotic material that, when burned, releases fragrant smoke. They are basically made up of a thin bamboo stick covered with a layer of herbal and wood powder, adhesive powder, and fragrance material.

There are several benefits of burning Incense sticks ranging from aromatherapy to sleeping aid, stress relief, and much more. However, since the list of disadvantages is so strong, benefits often get ruled out.

While burning Incense sticks at home, we often expose our family and pets to certain risks.

Here are details on the same:

For the initials, upon burning Incense sticks, the smoke that spreads into the atmosphere leads to particulate emissions. According to an age-old report from ‘The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’ and other such facilities burning Incense sticks pollute indoor air to a very high level. The particulate emissions released from the process can deposit in the respiratory tract.

This, as a result, can trigger respiratory allergies or give birth to some. In addition, since smoke inflames your lungs and air passages, less oxygen reaches your lungs. This is a major disadvantage as well as a threat for both pets and humans. 

All dog breeds, though brachycephalic breeds especially are always at a higher risk of side effects from smoke inhalation. They can easily get trouble breathing, and the condition can soon turn dangerous. 

Simultaneously, cats are 14 times more smell-sensitive than humans. And therefore, the ill fragrance dispersion from Incense sticks will impact them in a very negative way. Depending upon the fragrance and its allergic possibilities, the usage of Incense sticks can prove dangerous for cats.

And with that, the danger of smoke inhalation is anyways alive. Upon burning, Incense sticks release polyaromatic hydrocarbons, carbonyls, and benzene. All these gases/ compounds are carcinogens, and overexposure to them can prove fatal. 

Long-term exposure to smoke can lead to lung damage in both dogs and cats. 

Is Incense Bad for Birds?

Incense Sticks are extremely unsafe for Birds. Burning Incense around your furry and feathery friend isn’t a good idea at all. The chemicals that release upon burning Incense sticks make the air toxic. The same chemicals, when reaching the bird’s respiratory system, can cause trouble in breathing and more such problems.

The smoke can also trouble your birdy’s eyes, making it difficult for them to navigate around. Also, since birds inhale as twice as humans, the danger always doubles up for them. 

There’s no way you can make Incense sticks safe for birds. Even the ones with all-natural ingredients and subtle aromas will prove problematic for them. Opening a window or promoting better airflow too cannot make a major difference for them. 

Are There Any Pet-Friendly Incense Sticks? Safe Ones For Using Around Pets?

If you cannot overcome the need for Incense sticks at home and are still worried about your pet’s health, go with pet-Friendly Incense Sticks.

There are quite a few brands that produce and advertise their products as pet-friendly. A wide range of user bases has even benefited from the same.

Here are some of the popular recommendations:

  1. Pet Incense Sticks
  2. Gonesh Best Friends Oliver 4-Pack Incense
  3. Gonesh Best Friends Pet-Friendly Incense Sticks Dexter – 30 Sticks
  4. Natural Sandalwood Incense 220 Sticks, Low Smoke, no Artificial Fragrance
Sale
Gonesh Best Friends Oliver 4-Pack Incense
  • GOLD QUALITY: Our Incense has the highest charcoal content of any brand currently on the market - it delivers the purest, cleanest burn, and crystal clear fragrances. We dip our incense by hand to maximum fragrance absorption, meaning it lasts longer
  • LONG LASTING: Package contains 20 incense sticks, 45+ minutes for each stick.
  • WORLD WIDE: Enjoyed by millions; our unique fragrances are known the world over. Gonesh Incense can be found in stores in the United States, Japan, Canada, Mexico, China and more!
  • ETHICAL PRACTICES: Gonesh Incense utilizes fair trade labor and environmentally responsible production methods to give you the best incense around. MADE IN CHICAGO, USA. Packaging is recyclable.
Gonesh Best Friends Pet Friendly Incense Sticks Dexter - 30 Sticks
  • LONG LASTING: Package contains 30 incense sticks, 45+ minutes for each stick.
  • WORLD WIDE: Enjoyed by millions; our unique fragrances are known the world over. Gonesh Incense can be found in stores in the United States, Japan, Canada, Mexico, China and more!
  • Our fresh fragrance features white floral Jasmine and sheer Musk notes paired with creamy Vanilla.

PLEASE NOTE: Before using any of the above Incense sticks in your pet-friendly home, do your research well. Also, keep monitoring your pet for any discomfort or reaction. If found, discontinue the usage of Incense sticks right away.

Is Incense Bad for You? Are Incense Sticks Safe For Humans?

Incense is a smoke-emitting substance, and burning the same can prove toxic on so many levels. Even though when Incense sticks are made of all-natural substances, they, upon burning, release chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). PAHs are also produced from burning tobacco leaves and coal, and they have been linked with cancer-causing

Burning Incense sticks once in a while will not harm you. However, making it a habit can prove dangerous. Regular usage of Incense can trigger chronic inflammation in the body, affect metabolism, increase the risk of heart health, and lead to respiratory diseases like Asthma, TB, and more. 

How To Burn Incense Sticks Safely? Right Way Of Burning Incense Sticks

Incense sticks have been used culturally and traditionally for thousands of years. In Indian Hindu culture, people light Incense sticks in the temple as an offering to a god.

Simultaneously, in Buddhist culture, Monks light Incense sticks for meditation. There are more such religious and cultural beliefs that promote the usage of Incense sticks. And that is why we do not discourage lighting them. 

Instead, if you are very sure about using Incense Sticks, pick the safer way. And for doing so,

  1. Use only good quality Incense sticks, preferably the ones that make less smoke. 
  2. Always keep the burning Incense stick away from small kids and pets.
  3. Choose a fragrance that no one in your house is allergic to.
  4. Avoid Certain Fragrances & Essential Oils, especially the ones that are not suitable for pets.
  5. If you are burning Incense sticks due to religious reasons, keep them limited to your home temple. 
  6. While burning Incense sticks, ensure plenty of Ventilation. 
  7. Always keep the risk of fire in mind and therefore keep Incense sticks under constant monitoring. 

Wrapping up…

Incense Sticks are undoubtedly harmful to pets including dogs, cats, and birds. Your pet may not experience the best of his health if you are constantly using Incense Sticks around the house. Therefore least in pet-friendly homes, choose some better alternatives. Go for Scented Candles or Wax Melts made up of Beeswax and pet-friendly fragrances. Or use air purifiers, and they will keep the bad odor away. 

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