My Dog Ate Incense Sticks: What to Do?

An incense stick is a famous aromatic material found in many houses. Incense fills the house with a pleasant scent and makes the environment aesthetic. 

Incense sticks are of no harm to humans as they have a great smell and make the environment positive. But, this does not mean that incense is safe for dogs. Incense contains a lot of chemicals that make it very harmful to dogs. 

So, in this article, we are going to look at the repercussions of a dog consuming incense and what can be done to prevent this from happening. Stay hooked! 


What Should I Do If My Dog Ate Incense Sticks? 

Incense is a very famous aroma in homes and is used for religious worship, aesthetic reasons, meditation, aromatherapy, and many ceremonies too. 

But, these occasions are restricted to a human only. Incense contains a large number of chemicals which make it very dangerous for pets, especially dogs. 

Dogs have sensitive lungs, more sensitive than humans which makes them vulnerable to the bad qualities of an incense stick. 

The chemicals in an incense stick can affect your dog extremely, they will have a greater effect on your dog than on you. 

If your dog consumes incense then it is likely to fall ill and could have diarrhea, shaking, lack of coordination, sneezing, coughing, vomiting, and loss of appetite. 

The dog can also face problems while breathing and it is likely to drink more than usual. A dog comes in a state of utter distress and discomfort after eating incense. 

Your dog is likely to behave unusually. Incense can be even more dangerous if it is on a wooden stick and it can be very sharp for your dog’s food pipe. 

The dog might have problems swallowing the incense as wooden incense can be very harsh and sharp on the intestines and the stomach as well. 

This wooden incense can cause a blockage or obstruction in the dog’s food pipe that will make digestion worse. Your dog could even require surgery for its removal. Hence, contact a veterinarian immediately. 

Now that we have looked at the consequences of a dog consuming an incense stick, let us look at the solution for this issue. 

Any dog owner wouldn’t want their dog to suffer so badly, so here are some solutions to get rid of the incense stick.

1. Don’t Try to Force the Dog to Vomit

You might think that if the dog pukes out the stick, it will be okay, but this advice often backfires. A dog may get esophageal irritation because of this. 

Things could end up even worse if the dog is made to puke out forcefully. Hence, always consult a vet before you decide on anything like this. 

2. Keep Your Dog in a Safe Place

Either keep your dog away from the incense stick or put the incense stick in another room to prevent your dog from the stick’s harmful effects. 

3. Visit a Veterinarian

Your dog may look good on the outside but it is a fact that an incense stick can cause much harm to a dog’s lungs. Hence, ensure that you visit a vet and take precautions. 

To avoid all these steps, make sure to remove the incense stick from your dog’s vicinity. Keep the stick in the open or a well-ventilated room. 

What Causes Incense to Be Harmful to Dogs?

When incense is burned, it releases a fragrant smoke. This smoke consists of 21% of wood and herbal powder, 11% of adhesive powder, 35% of fragrance material, and 33% of the bamboo stick. 

Herbal and wood powder are used in the making of incense sticks. It is made up of Cinnamomum Cassia Bl, Glycyrrhiza Uralensis Fisch, and Nardostachys Chinensis Bastal. 

These elements are also used in the making of Chinese traditional medicines. An incense fume contains many gas products and other organic compounds. 

The smoke releases gases like CO, NO2, CO2, SO2, and many others. These gases are highly poisonous and toxic for dogs and other animals. 

Incense burning also produces chemical compounds like Benzene, Xylene, Aldehydes, and Toluene. These chemicals are highly dangerous for furry animals. 

What Can Happen if a Dog Ate Incense Sticks? 

If a dog consumes incense sticks, then it is likely to fall ill. The dog can have a variety of problems like diarrhea, vomiting, respiratory problems, sneezing, coughing, loss of appetite, and sluggishness. 

The dog could also start shaking uncontrollably, would prefer to drink more than usual, and could also experience breathing problems. 

Whenever a dog inhales the poisonous fumes released by an incense stick it is likely to experience the utmost distress and discomfort. The dog can behave unusually. 

If an incense stick is on wood then there is a possibility that the stick can get stuck in the dog’s food pipe, stomach, or intestine. This could lead to blockage. 

This obstruction in the food pipe could result in poor digestion and in problems with swallowing food. Your dog might need surgery to get rid of the stick. 

Hence, if you ever witness your dog showing such symptoms or behaving unusually, then go for a veterinarian’s advice as soon as possible. 

Can Incense Kill Dogs?

Dogs have sensitive lungs as well as sensitive noses. If they smell incensed from too close then they could start sneezing or coughing excessively. 

Incense releases fragrant smoke, which is poisonous and highly toxic for dogs. However, dogs will not die if they smell or eat incense. 

Dogs may develop certain breathing problems and they may have a loss of appetite but they cannot die because of an incense stick. 

However, if dogs are given incense sticks to consume or the sticks are placed near them and burned daily then this might damage their lungs heavily. 

Can Dogs Be Allergic to Incense?

Pets like cats, dogs, and many other animals are guaranteed to be allergic to every type of air pollutant, detergent, makeup, aerosol spray, and incense smoke. 

Incense smoke releases highly toxic chemical compounds like Benzene, Xylene, Aldehydes, and Toluene which makes the air toxic for inhalation. 

The dogs often show symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, sneezing, coughing, and more. If your dog shows the same symptoms then take it to a vet immediately. 

Hence, you should never burn an incense stick near a dog as it can cause respiratory problems and is bound to irritate a dog’s sensitive lungs. 

So, yes, dogs are allergic to incense sticks. They cannot consume the sticks in a large quantity because they might cause certain respiratory problems like asthma. 

Can I Burn Rose Incense Around My Dog?

Most researchers and veterinarians say that it is not recommended to burn incense sticks around your pets, especially dogs.

Providing your dog with a good quality of air becomes the owner’s responsibility. The good air quality will ensure your dog’s good health and well-being. 

You should avoid burning incense sticks near your dog but if you find it inevitable then here are some tips that you should follow to protect your dog.

1. Ensure That the Room is Well-Ventilated

Before burning an incense stick in your room ensure that your room is well-ventilated. A good way to do this is by opening your room windows. 

2. Avoid Certain Essential Oils and Fragrances

Many people prefer to add some essential oils and fragrances to an incense stick which can be very harmful to a dog’s lungs. 

Incense in itself is a very harmful substance for a dog and adding other essential oils or fragrances to it would only worsen the effects of incense on your fluffy friend. 

Hence, it would be best if you kept the incense stick out of your dog’s reach. If they ingest incense they might harm themselves and damage their respiratory system. 

3. Keep the Dog in a Separate Room

Before you decide to burn an incense stick in the room, make sure that you drive your dog away from that room. This way the dog will be saved from toxic smoke. 

But, if you still wish to keep the dog in the same room you should open the door so that if the dog feels uncomfortable, it can freely move out at any point in time. 

How to Prevent Your Dog from Eating Incense Sticks?

You should ensure that the incense stick is kept as far as possible from a dog. The only way to prevent your dog from consuming incense is by finding a replacement for it. 

Your dog might not understand that incense is harmful and dangerous for its health hence it is your responsibility to ensure that the dog does not ingest it. 

Incense sticks can cause the dog to sneeze, cough, to have trouble breathing and the dog could also experience a loss of appetite. Incense sticks are hazardous for a dog. 

You can use negative reinforcement to prevent your dog from ingesting an incense stick. The dog might be attracted to its smell unaware that this smell contains poisonous fumes. 

Final Thoughts

Dogs have much more sensitive lungs and noses than ordinary human beings, because of this dogs are unable to bear the smell of incense. You should give your dog incense within a limit only. 

Even if dogs ingest an incense they often start to vomit, sneeze and cough. Some dogs also have problems breathing and a wooden incense stick can even block their food pipe. 

Disclaimer: This blog should not be considered as being professional pet medical advice. The content published on this blog is for informational purposes only. Please always consult with a licensed and local veterinarian for medical advice.

About Shaun Clarke

Shaun is passionate about pets and animals, especially dogs, cats, and rabbits. He owns a dog and a couple of cats too. He loves visiting wildlife sanctuaries and shares a strong bond with animals. When he is not writing, he loves to do a barbecue in the backyard with his family and friends.