Just imagine living in a cold and dry home where there’s no humidity in the air. It’ll most likely hurt your noses when you breathe. Well, it’s the same for dogs too. Dogs have an even more sensitive nose than we have. So, they can catch soreness in their nose at a faster rate than humans.
That’s why most animal experts recommend using a humidifier in the home. But, are humidifiers safe for dogs? Well, to answer in short, YES, humidifiers are safe for dogs. But while buying a humidifier, you have to keep a few things in mind such as the humidifier type, its byproducts, its working mechanism, etc.
For your convenience, we have further explained this question below. Also, we brought you a full guide on humidifiers and their impact on dogs and other pets.
All you have to do is just to take a cup of coffee and steadily go through this whole discussion. So, let’s get started!
- Are Humidifiers Safe For Dogs? [A Comprehensive Explanation]
- What Positive Effects Does A Humidifier Have On A Dog?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Words
Are Humidifiers Safe For Dogs? [A Comprehensive Explanation]
Humidifiers are as safe for dogs as it is for us humans. As you may already know, in ideal conditions, the house humidity should always be between 30 to 60%.
If the humidity level exceeds 60%, the growth of bacteria, molds and other fungi exponentially increases. On the other hand, if the humidity is less than 30%, it can cause difficulty in breathing and eye soreness to humans and dogs. This is where the humidifier comes in as a solution.
Now, humidifiers are generally safe for dogs if you look out for a few things. The humidity itself is good for the dog, but other byproducts of the humidifier might be hazardous for the dog’s health.
Byproducts such as Vicks, ultrasonic sound, bacterial growth, white dust, etc. can severely cause uneasiness to a dog’s senses. As a result, your dog might get ill. That’s why you need to make sure that humidifiers with these characteristics are not used in your house.
Now, let’s get to know in full detail how these elements in the humidifier can make the humidifier unsafe for your dog:
1. White Dust:
A humidifier is basically a machine that takes water and sprays the water as vapor or water aerosol in the atmosphere. Now, water contains certain levels of minerals. When it is turned into vapor, the minerals get sprayed into the atmosphere too.
And, when the minerals are dispersed in the atmosphere, they form a white powder-like appearance. This is known as white dust.
Now, if the water contains a high amount of minerals, the white dust from this water can cause irritation to a dog’s nose. Also, it can cause dust accumulation on the furniture and other objects in the house. Which, in turn, can be a bit troublesome to clean off as well.
The only solution to the white dust problem is to use distilled water in the humidifier. In the market, there are several water filters that can generate distilled water. We recommend that you use one of those water filters to supply distilled water to the humidifier.
2. High Pitch Ultrasonic Humidifiers:
Some humidifiers use ultrasonic sounds to disperse water molecules in the air. In cases like that, people might say, “are ultrasonic humidifiers safe for dogs?”. In short, ultrasonic sounds create no problem for humans because we can only hear sounds of up to 20,000 Hz of frequency.
But, ultrasonic sounds have a higher frequency than 20,000 Hz. So, it can cause severe discomfort to the dog. Why is that? It’s because dogs can hear sounds of up to 65,000 Hz frequency. That’s incredible, right?
The presence of high-frequency sound in the atmosphere can leave your dog in an uneasy situation. In some cases, it can even get severely sick.
When buying a humidifier, make sure that you choose a humidifier that doesn’t use ultrasonic sound to generate water aerosol particles.
3. Presence Of Vicks And Other Menthols:
Some humidifiers mix Vicks and other menthol materials with the water and disperse it into the atmosphere. But, are Vicks humidifiers safe for dogs? Well, while a touch of menthol can soothe our runny nose, it can cause discomfort to the dog.
It’s a known fact that Vicks and other menthol materials are manufactured from camphor. As it turns out, camphor is not very pleasing to dogs at all. That’s why humidifiers with menthol spraying features are a big No for houses with pets.
Furthermore, because dogs have a nose that is multiple times more sensitive than ours, they get also affected by discomforting menthols very easily.
On top of that, Vicks and other menthol flavors can cause eye burn in young children as well. This means it’s not a good idea to use a mental humidifier in a house where there are dogs and small children.
Before buying a humidifier for your home, check its label and make sure that it doesn’t contain any Vicks or menthol materials.
4. Bacterial Growth:
Bacteria and fungi are harmful to humans and dogs alike. Although humidifiers don’t actively increase the growth of bacteria, they can support an environment for bacterial growth.
Because bacteria have a higher capability to grow in an environment where humidity is higher than 60%, a humidifier can be a catalyst in creating such environments.
Furthermore, animals usually have multiple kinds of bacterias already growing in their body.
Now, a boost up in the moisture content in the environment can further increase the bacterial growth in your dog’s skin. Dermatitis is a disease that is caused by increased bacterial growth on a dog’s skin.
On top of all that, if the supplied water contains any bacteria at all, it can quickly disperse the bacteria in the atmosphere as well. Which can result in mold and fungus accumulation in the house furniture, foods, clothes, etc.
The only solution to the excess humidity problem is to install a hygrometer in your home. Whenever the humidity is hitting above 60%, you have to temporarily turn off the humidifier.
Or, you can also lower the working rate of the humidifier so the home environment humidity stays under 60%.
Also, you need to make sure that the water you’re supplying to the humidifier is boiled and clean. To ensure that, we recommend installing an electric water filter as a water supply source for your humidifier. It will make sure the supplied water is completely free of bacteria.
5. Use Of Warm Mist Humidifier
There is a type of humidifier that practically boils the water and turns it into vapor. Also, this type of humidifier sprays the vapor in the atmosphere later on. Since this type of humidifier is practically a vaporizer in action, it involves creating high heat.
Furthermore, a vaporizing machine constantly running at the corner of your house can be dangerous for young children and pets too. Also, if the hot vaporizer is touched by pets or children by accident, it can cause severe injuries.
A permanent solution to this problem is placing the humidifier at a place where pets and children cannot touch them. Make sure that the humidifier is installed at a high place that is impossible for a dog or child to climb into.
6. Aromatherapy Diffuser Humidifiers:
Aromatherapy diffusers are devices that spread essential oils into the atmosphere. Essential oils contain various types of materials such as peppermint, wintergreen, cinnamon, and citrus, etc.
While these materials can be relaxing for a human being, they can be acutely discomforting for a dog. Furthermore, since dogs have more sensitive noses than humans, these materials can leave a toxic effect on a dog’s lungs.
Before choosing an aromatherapy humidifier, it’s better to check if your pet is comfortable with the particular essential oil you are opting to use. If your dog doesn’t like it, the solution is to never use humidifiers that have aromatherapy diffusion features.
What Positive Effects Does A Humidifier Have On A Dog?
Although there are a lot of things that you have to look out for in choosing a humidifier, humidifiers, in general, can be a relieving tool for dogs too. How is that? Let’s find out below:
1. Eases The Dog’s Breathing
In your winter seasons, the air stays extremely dry and rough. As a result, animals have a difficult time keeping up with their normal breathing activity. In such a situation, a humidifier can act as a blessing to that animal.
As a humidifier quickly increases the moisture content of the air, the breathing of your dog will become much more stable and easier. Also, especially if the dog is suffering from nasal allergy, a humidifier can massively help it.
2. Provides Skin Relief
Since dogs have dense fur on their skin, their skin generally doesn’t get the touch of water for long periods.
Now, if the cold weather has decreased the moisture content of the air, the dog’s skin can get further drier. As a result, the poor animal can suffer from severe skin itching and soreness.
That’s exactly when the humidifier can be of help. As a humidifier constantly sprays water molecules in that atmosphere, the increased humidity can be very relaxing for the pets.
3. Relief To Nasal Difficulty
Generally speaking, you’ll see most dogs snoring while they sleep. But, if your dog has a nasal infection or nasal blockage, it can also be the cause of the snoring. In this case, a humidifier can be a quick solution for the dog’s nasal blockage.
It’s because moist and warm yeast helps release blockages from the nasal canal. As a result, the dog can have a happy sleep without having to make snoring noises.
4. Relief From Dust Allergy
Dust allergy is a common problem to humans and dogs alike. If your home environment has a lot of dust, a quick spray of water can settle down those flying dust and provide a soothing atmospheric condition in an instant.
That’s why having a humidifier installed in your home can help you and your dog stay away from dust allergies.
Since a humidifier constantly stays in action and provides moisture into the air, the dust particles cannot stay airborne for long.
As the dust particles settle down on the ground, the atmosphere gets purified and becomes free from flying dust.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Increased Humidity Cause Discomfort In The House?
As we all know, too much of anything is bad. Generally, humans and dogs are accustomed to humidity levels between 30 to 60%.
In some cases, depending on the seasons, we can even adjust to 70 to 75% humidity as well. But any higher humidity than that can cause severe discomfort to the people living in the house.
Furthermore, increased humidity in the air can cause problems such as extreme sweat, low energy, allergy, and high pressure to humans and dogs.
Can Extreme Humidity Affect The Dogs?
Because dogs have a lot of furs, the body heat of the dogs takes longer to dissipate into the atmosphere. Also, in a condition where there is extreme humidity in the air, dogs might feel heavily tired or uncomfortable.
It’s because, in heavily humid environmental conditions, sweat and other body liquids take longer to evaporate into the air. As a result, the body heat of an animal gets trapped and in turn, the animal can feel very hot.
Is Dermatitis Affected By Humidity?
Yes, absolutely. Since dermatitis is a skin disease, the growth of bacteria in the skin worsens this disease. When the humidity of that atmosphere rapidly increases, the bacterial growth also exponentially increases.
As a result, the bacteria’s presence in the skin of a dog who has dermatitis will also increase. So, it’s safe to say that increased humidity levels can acutely boost dermatitis infection and cause it to worsen very quickly.
So, in the end, are humidifiers safe for dogs? Yes, they are. But only when they are carefully chosen and used.
As dogs are said to be man’s best friend, it is our responsibility to create a comforting environment for them. A humidifier can be a very effective tool in this process (only if it is used with proper caution).
Now, if you use the insights we have provided above, you can surely create an atmosphere that your dog will love. So, we bid you the best of luck in that.