Are Humidifiers Safe For Dogs?

correct answerThe Short Answer is:

Yes - It depends on the situation whether humidifiers are safe for dogs. Humidifiers for example create mist that filters out unhealthy bacteria making them safe for your dog. Humidifiers are only unsafe if they can be reached by your dog.

In this research you will know the answer to the query “Are Humidifiers Safe For Dogs?“.

Like me you probably consider your dogs to be a member of the family as well. There is a dog in my house that survived distemper.  Because of that I tend to be more careful when choosing products for him.

He suffered from very dry eyes as a result of distemper among other symptoms. The infection somehow damaged his tear ducts so he is no longer able to produce tears properly.

Because his eyes are so dry I decided to investigate getting a humidifier to keep the air moist. It will hopefully prevent his eyes from getting so dry and red.

While researching which humidifier to buy I came across some articles that said some humidifiers were not suitable for dogs.

I was intrigued by that when I heard it. To be honest I had no idea such a thing existed. It turns out to be true.

I discovered the following.

Are Humidifiers Safe For Dogs? 

The use of humidifiers is just as beneficial to dogs as it is to people when the air is dry and the humidity is low.

If you use a humidifier around a dog there are a few things you need to keep in mind.  

  1. Vicks and other mentholated products may be used by them
  2. Dogs find these sounds unpleasant due to their high pitch
  3. They release bacteria into the air that can exasperate canine dermatitis issues.
  4. Burns can easily occur when using warm mist vaporizers
  5. Diffusers that use essential oils that are poisonous to dogs can be used for aromatherapy

Are Vicks Vaposteam humidifiers safe for dogs?


In some air humidifiers Vicks is specifically designed to evaporate into the air.

The main ingredient in Vicks is camphor which is excellent for unclogging and soothing nasal passages in humans.

It turns out that dogs are toxic to camphor.

In addition to being dangerous if your dog ingests it Vicks and other products containing eucalyptus menthol or tea tree oil are very strong in odor.

The smell of these products can be overpowering to dogs as they already have a very sensitive sense of smell.

The use of menthol products can also cause your eyes to burn.

With my dogs very sensitive dry eyes using a product that could burn his eyes is out of the question.

I wouldnot have guessed humidifiers could have such a problem.

High-pitch sounds

One type of humidifier that is popular is the ultrasonic humidifier.

It basically means that the sound frequencies it creates while running are above what people are actually able to hear.

A very quiet humidifier is what its meant to be.  People definitely find it to be so.

Nevertheless the frequencies it creates can be very loud and alarming to dogs. In any case it is uncomfortable.

As a matter of fact there are other products that use ultrasonic frequencies to repel pests animals and control excessive barking from dogs.

It wasnot exactly the reason I was searching for a humidifier for my dog.

I believe this is a good product if you want to add humidity to your bedroom and control the barking dog next door at the same time. Thats something that needs to be invented

It might have just happened.


It is possible for dogs to be extremely sensitive to bacteria parasites and fungi. When there is a source of bacteria around such as a humidifier they may develop dermatitis.

It is well known that humidifiers are germ farms. Mold and bacteria are not only growing because of poor maintenance but also because of poor maintenance.

In addition they can disperse bacteria and minerals already present in the air as well as humidifier water.

I do not mean to pick on them but ultrasonic humidifiers do not even include a filter that keeps these pollutants out.

If you plan to use your humidifier for your dogs you need to choose one with a good filtering system and distilled water.

Warm mist vaporizers

Water is boiled into a vapor by a warm mist vaporizer or humidifier.

There is a general safety issue for animals and even more so for small children because of this.

It is important that these humidifiers are kept out of the reach of children and animals.

They’re generally used to add humidity to the air and do not do much to ease sinus issues so placing them higher up would not affect their effectiveness but it’ll keep your little ones including your dogs safe from getting burned.

Aromatherapy Diffusers

The aromatherapy diffuser can also serve as a humidifier in many cases.

In relation to the issue that dogs have with Vicks and other mentholated products

In air diffusers many essential oils contain ingredients that can be harmful to dogs.

Dogs may have difficulty breathing some popular essential oils like cinnamon peppermint wintergreen and citrus.

Ingestion of these plants can cause poisoning.

So there you have it. As it turns out buying a humidifier for your dog is not as straightforward as I thought.

As long as you take into account the fact that not all humidifiers are made the same and not all humidifiers are good for dogs humidifiers can definitely benefit dogs as well as other animals.

Will a humidifier hurt my dog?

There is nothing wrong with the humidifier its the additives especially Vicks and Tea Tree Oil that can harm your dog.

Dogs can benefit from cool mist humidifiers by reducing allergies and snoring as well as by reducing dry eyes and snoring. Dogs also enjoy the cool breeze created by cool mist humidifiers.

It turns out “simpler is better” when you’re looking for a humidifier for your dog.

The bells and whistles that are actually high-pitched for dogs such as essential oils are not what you want.

The only thing you need is something that mists the air and filters it at the same time.

Humidifier safety

Regular maintenance is necessary for humidifiers to function properly and not become health hazards.

Keep the humidifier clean every few days to prevent it from becoming a mold and bacteria dispensary instead of a cool-mist dispenser.

In order to prevent mold from growing inside of the humidifier you simply need to take it apart and wash it every few days.

The humidifier parts should not be placed in the dishwasher however. The high heat of a dishwasher may not be suitable for all of those plastic parts.

In addition to overusing humidifiers there is also the risk of overheating.

You may not achieve what you intended if there is too much humidity in the room.

What Are The Risks Of Using Humidifiers With Pets?

Pets are not harmed by the basic process of a humidifier adding moisture to the air. A pet can benefit from this moisture by easing allergies soothing skin making breathing easier and perhaps even reducing snoring. 

However you must know your options as previously mentioned. It is better for pets to use a cool-mist humidifier rather than a warm-mist humidifier. Because a warm-mist humidifier uses boiling water and could potentially burn your pet if knocked over or if your curious furry friend gets too close.

It is important to be careful with both cool mist and warm mist evaporative humidifiers because of the water in their reservoirs. There is a risk of shock if the humidifier tips over close to an electrical outlet. You may want to keep that in mind if you have a pet that is rambunctious or curious.

The growth of dust mites and mold can be facilitated by high humidity.

Last but not least if your pet is extremely curious and will not leave the humidifier alone you might want to reconsider. If you want to provide your pet with relief talk to your vet about other options. For your own use make sure the humidifier is in a room where your pet is not present. If you are running a humidifier make sure you are always present with your pet.

You should always ensure your pets are comfortable and well taken care of as the colder drier weather approaches. Make the most of the coming season by checking out our blog for helpful tips fun winter destinations for you and your pet and more.  

If you want to read more about dog food tips read here: Dog Food Tips and Tricks.

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