What Candles Are Safe for Parakeets?

Parakeets, with their vibrant plumage and cheerful personalities, are popular pets that bring joy to countless households. As responsible parakeet owners, it’s crucial to provide them with a safe and healthy environment.

One common concern among parakeet owners is whether scented candles are safe to use in their homes.

What Candles Are Safe for Parakeets?

While enjoying the soft glow and ambience of candles, it’s crucial to be mindful of your parakeet’s health.

Some candles can release harmful chemicals and fragrances that may negatively impact your pet’s respiratory system.

1. Unscented Candles

Unscented candles top the list as the safest option for parakeet owners. These candles are free of added fragrances, essential oils, or artificial scents.

Because they lack these potentially harmful additives, unscented candles emit minimal to no odours, making them an excellent choice for bird-friendly homes.

2. Beeswax Candles

Beeswax candles are a natural and parakeet-friendly choice. Made from the wax produced by bees, they are typically free from synthetic fragrances and harmful chemicals.

Beeswax candles may emit a mild, natural honey-like scent, which is generally well-tolerated by parakeets.

3. Soy Candles

Soy candles are crafted from soybean oil and are often considered safe for parakeets. They tend to be free of harmful additives and synthetic fragrances.

However, always check the label to ensure that the soy candle you choose is fragrance-free.

4. Plain Paraffin Candles

Plain paraffin candles can be used safely around parakeets, as long as they are free of added scents or dyes.

These candles typically have a neutral odour, making them a less risky choice compared to heavily scented varieties.

5. Non-Toxic Candle Brands

Some candle manufacturers specifically produce non-toxic, pet-safe candles. Look for reputable brands that advertise their candles as safe for pets, including birds.

These candles are formulated to minimize harmful emissions and fragrances, reducing the risk to your parakeet’s health.

6. Homemade Beeswax or Soy Candles

For those who enjoy DIY projects, making your own candles from beeswax or soy wax can be a rewarding and safe option.

By controlling the ingredients and scents, you can ensure that your homemade candles are free from harmful additives.

Why You Should Avoid Scented Candles for Your Parakeets

While creating a cosy and inviting ambience in our living spaces is a delightful way to enhance our surroundings, it’s important to be mindful of the potential hazards that lurk within our homes, especially when it comes to the use of scented candles.

1. Chemicals and Artificial Fragrances

One of the primary reasons to steer clear of scented candles around parakeets is the presence of chemicals and artificial fragrances.

Most scented candles contain synthetic fragrances, essential oils, and various chemicals to create their pleasing scents.

When these candles burn, they release these compounds into the air, which can be harmful to your parakeets.

2. Overwhelming Scents

Parakeets have incredibly sensitive respiratory systems, and their sense of smell is far more acute than ours.

What may be a pleasant fragrance to you could be an overwhelming and stressful scent for your parakeet. Strong and artificial scents can cause discomfort and distress to your feathered friend.

3. Respiratory Issues

The most significant concern with scented candles around parakeets is the potential for respiratory problems.

When your parakeet inhales the chemicals and fragrances released by scented candles, it can lead to various respiratory issues, including:

  • Laboured Breathing: Parakeets may struggle to breathe normally when exposed to the fumes from scented candles.
  • Coughing: Irritated airways can lead to coughing in parakeets, a clear sign of respiratory distress.
  • Nasal Discharge: Excessive exposure to scents can result in nasal discharge, indicating irritation of the mucous membranes.

4. Irritation and Vulnerability to Infections

Scented candles can irritate the mucous membranes in your parakeet’s respiratory passages. This irritation not only causes discomfort but also weakens their immune system, making them more susceptible to respiratory infections.

The combination of irritation and compromised immunity can lead to serious health issues in parakeets.

5. Stress and Behavioral Problems

The stress caused by exposure to strong scents can lead to behavioural problems in your parakeet. They may become agitated, anxious, or even exhibit signs of aggression.

This can negatively impact the quality of life of your pet and the bond you share with them.

6. Long-Term Health Effects

Prolonged exposure to scented candles can have long-term health effects on your parakeets.

Chronic respiratory issues can lead to a reduced lifespan and decreased overall quality of life for your feathered friends.

How Can I Identify Safe Candles at the Store?

Parakeets have sensitive respiratory systems, making it crucial to select candles that won’t harm them

1. Read the Label

When shopping for candles, the first step in ensuring their safety for your parakeets is to read the label carefully. Look for candles that are explicitly labelled as “unscented,” “fragrance-free,” or “natural.”

These labels indicate that the candles are less likely to contain artificial fragrances and chemicals that can be harmful to your birds.

Yummi Unscented Candles offers a variety of unscented candles in different shapes and sizes. These candles are a safe choice for parakeet owners.

2. Check for Non-Toxic Formulas

Search for candles that are advertised as non-toxic or pet-safe. Manufacturers who prioritize safety often mention this in their packaging.

Non-toxic candles are less likely to emit harmful fumes when burned. Root Candles Seeking Balance offers a range of candles with natural, non-toxic ingredients. They are a trusted brand known for their commitment to safety.

3. Opt for Beeswax or Soy Candles

Beeswax and soy candles are generally considered safe for parakeets as they are made from natural ingredients.

These candles are often free from synthetic fragrances and harmful additives. Big Dipper Wax Works Beeswax Candles offers a selection of pure beeswax candles that are a great choice for bird-friendly homes.

4. Look for Bird-Safe Certifications

Some candle manufacturers go the extra mile to ensure their products are safe for pets, including birds.

Check for certifications or labels like “Pet-Friendly” or “Safe for Birds” on the packaging. Pet House Candles are specifically designed to be safe around pets, including birds. They come in a variety of scents and are labelled as pet-friendly.

5. Avoid Highly Scented Candles

Candles with strong, overpowering scents are more likely to irritate your parakeets’ sensitive respiratory systems.

Avoid candles labelled as “intensely scented” or “long-lasting fragrance.” IKEA Glimma Unscented Tealights are a budget-friendly choice for those seeking unscented candles with minimal fragrance.

6. Seek Recommendations from Pet Stores

Consider visiting pet stores or shops that cater to bird owners. They often carry a selection of products that are safe for pets, including candles.

Store staff may also provide recommendations based on their knowledge of pet safety.

What Are the Signs of Candle-Related Distress in Parakeets?

While enjoying the warm glow of candles, it’s important to be aware of the potential distress that candles can cause to your feathered friends.

1. Labored Breathing

One of the most noticeable signs of distress in parakeets exposed to candle-related irritants is laboured breathing.

Watch for rapid, shallow breathing or any signs of your parakeet struggling to catch its breath. If you notice this, it’s a clear indication that something may be affecting their respiratory system.

2. Coughing and Sneezing

If your parakeet starts to cough or sneeze more frequently than usual, it could be a reaction to the irritants released by candles.

These behaviours are signs that your bird’s respiratory passages may be irritated or inflamed.

3. Excessive Feather Picking

Parakeets may resort to excessive feather picking as a coping mechanism when they’re stressed or uncomfortable.

If you notice your bird plucking or chewing its feathers more than usual, it could be a response to candle-related distress.

4. Nasal Discharge

Irritants from candles can lead to nasal discharge in parakeets. If you observe clear or discoloured discharge around your bird’s nostrils, it may be an indication that their respiratory system is being affected.

5. Reduced Activity Levels

A sudden reduction in your parakeet’s activity levels, such as decreased playfulness or appetite, can be a sign of distress.

When parakeets are exposed to irritants, they may become lethargic and less engaged in their surroundings.

6. Open-Mouth Breathing

In extreme cases of respiratory distress, parakeets may resort to open-mouth breathing as they struggle to get enough oxygen. This is a serious sign that should prompt immediate action.

7. Change in Vocalizations

Pay attention to any changes in your parakeet’s vocalizations. An increase in vocalizations, particularly in the form of loud or distressed calls, can indicate discomfort or distress.

8. Agitation and Restlessness

Parakeets experiencing distress may become agitated or restless. They may move around their cage more than usual or exhibit signs of anxiety, such as pacing.


The key takeaway is that when you have parakeets as part of your household, you should avoid scented candles and exercise caution when selecting candles for use in your home. Always read labels, look for non-toxic formulations, and consider bird-safe certifications when choosing candles.

Additionally, opting for alternative lighting options, such as battery-operated flameless candles, can provide a cosy ambience without posing risks to your feathered companions.

Written by Justin Michaels

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *