Are Humidifiers Good for Dogs?
You've known for a while that a home humidifier is a great investment for your family. Does that include your four-legged furbabies?
You naturally want the best for your pup, and care for his wellbeing. Is it safe to let him breathe in the moist air that a humidifier emits?
Turns out, the answer to the common question, "Are humidifiers good for dogs?" is a resounding "yes"!
Today, we're exploring a few of the reasons why it's safe to run your unit with Fido sleeping right beside you, as long as you follow the proper precautions. Read on to learn the benefits you can expect when you add this step to your daily pet care routine.
What Does a Humidifier Do?
A humidifier raises your home's relative humidity levels to a comfortable and healthy range. The EPA reveals that this level should ideally lie between 30% and 60%. If yours creeps above that limit, it can encourage the growth of mold, mildew and other harmful bacteria.
At the same time, there certain months of the year when your relative humidity levels can easily dip too low. For instance, the winter months can zap the indoor and outdoor air of its natural moisture. As we pump forced heat through our homes and run space heaters to add more warmth, we can dwindle the humidity levels even more.
When you pour water into your humidifier, it turns it into water vapor. Then, it releases that vapor back into the air around you, adding to its overall moisture level.
As a result, your family can experience myriad health benefits almost immediately, including:
- Less sinus congestion
- Softer, smoother skin
- Less static electricity
- Less frequent snoring
- Allergy symptom relief
- Less spread of viruses
In addition, a humidifier can also make your room feel a little warmer. It can also help protect your precious wood furniture and hardwood floors, both of which are susceptible to warping, splintering or cracking if the air is too dry.
Does Your Dog Need a Humidifier?
We've covered how a humidifier can benefit your entire family, but could your dog be suffering from an affliction that a humidifier can soothe?
Believe it or not, your pet can suffer from seasonal allergies just like any human. They can also get dry skin when the air in your home isn't humid enough. Let's take a look at how both of those aggravating conditions can affect your fluffy pal.
A few of the telltale signs that your dog is experiencing extremely dry skin include:
- Dandruff in his fur
- Pimples on his skin
- Hair loss
- Scabby skin
It's important to note that while your dog's dry skin could result from low moisture levels in your indoor air, there are more serious conditions that could be at play, too.
A few of the less common reasons why your pup might be scratching more lately include:
- Cushing's disease
The pollen in the air doesn't just make your eyes to water and your nose to itch. Your dog can also feel the effects, too.
In addition to seasonal allergies, dogs can also fall victim to food allergies and environmental allergies, as well. A few of the most common irritants that trigger an allergic response in your pet can include:
- Animal dander
- Flea saliva
If exposed, a dog that's sensitive to any of the above can exhibit myriad signs, including dry skin. If allowed to exacerbate, excessively dry skin can lead to a condition known as atopic dermatitis. This causes redness, itching, and inflammation at the affected site.
Is your dog suffering from allergies? A few of the signs to look out for include:
- Itchy, red, inflamed skin
- Runny nose
- Runny eyes
- Swelling at face, lips, ears, eyelids or ear flaps
- Frequent licking
Talking to Your Veterinarian
While a humidifier can help relieve the symptoms of both dry skin and allergies in your dog, it's always best to consult your veterinarian if you believe a more serious, underlying condition is at bay.
Especially when it comes to allergies, delaying treatment could cause your pet to suffer an even greater setback. A humidifier is only meant to offer relief for mild, controllable symptoms and even then, you should use it under your veterinarian's guidelines.
In many cases, a humidifier will be part of a larger, prescribed treatment plan. For example, your veterinarian might prescribe allergy medication or shots to relieve your dog's short-term suffering and recommend a humidifier for sustained health.
Are Humidifiers Good for Dogs? Benefits to Know
Now, let's take a look at a few of the many ways a humidifier can benefit your family pet, starting today.
Opens Air Passages
If your pup is suffering from allergies, their nasal passages can easily become inflamed. In some cases, this can lead to scabs and sores inside of their nose, which can even cause a nosebleed.
All of these factors combine can make it difficult to relax during the day and sleep through the night. If you've ever had allergies or a cold, you know firsthand the misery of congestion!
As a humidifier releases water vapor into the air around you, that uptick in humidity allows the clogged and blocked mucus in your dog's nasal passages to open up more easily. In a short amount of time, the cold-like symptoms they were exhibiting are relieved.
Another reason why your dog's air passages might be clogged?
If you've recently boarded him, he could have contracted kennel cough. Also called canine infectious respiratory disease, this is an upper respiratory infection that can make your beloved pooch pretty miserable. It spreads easily through kennels and similar environments through contaminated surfaces, airborne droplets, and direct contact.
Signs that your dog might have kennel cough include:
- Dry, hacking cough
- Nasal discharge
- Runny, itchy eyes
Keeping the air moist with a humidifier can help relieve your dog's airways and help him (and the whole family!) find much-needed relief.
If your pet is showing signs of dry skin, it won't take long for you to notice it. Besides the constant scratching and obvious hair loss, he might also be restless. The incessant pacing can keep you awake, too!
Thankfully, a humidifier can help.
When you place one in the same room as your pet, the water vapor can help soothe his dry, irritated skin. After a few days, you should be able to notice a change in his fur, skin, and demeanor.
You love your pup and would do anything for him. Yet, his snoring has to go.
Certain breeds, including pugs and bulldogs, are naturally susceptible to snoring due to their psychological makeup. Then, there are some dogs who snore because they're overweight and have excess tissue around their neck and throat.
However, any dog can snore when there's an obstruction in his nostrils or nasal passages.
Household allergens can lead to mucus buildup and a pesky postnasal drip that causes your dog to snore. While it's important to wash your dog's bedding frequently to keep those triggers at bay, a humidifier can also help.
The mist released by your unit can help moisturize your dog's nasal passages to help him breathe easier through his nose. It can also keep his mouth and throat from getting too dry.
As mentioned, your dog can have a range of allergies. If you noticed signs of an allergic reaction, a humidifier can be a valuable part of your overall treatment plan.
Many of the symptoms associated with pet allergies, including itchy eyes, runny nose, and sneezing, can dissipate if there's more moisture in the air.
Which Humidifier is Best for My Dog?
In your quest to find the best humidifier for your entire family, make sure to consider your indoor pets, too.
During your research, you'll find that there are two main types of humidifiers. These include:
- Warm-mist humidifiers
- Cool-mist humidifiers
Cool-mist humidifiers also include a subcategory of units called ultrasonic humidifiers. Let's review how each one works and which one is best suited for your pup.
Warm-mist humidifiers work as their name implies. An internal heating mechanism warms the water you pour in until it reaches its boiling point. Then, it escapes out of the humidifier nozzle as warm steam.
One benefit of these models is that the steam can help kill any airborne bacteria floating in the air. The steam in the room can also add a slight amount of extra warmth.
Yet, they are not for everyone.
As you'd expect, these humidifiers are not recommended for families with young children. They're also not the safest option for your pet.
If anything or anyone knocks the tank of a warm-mist humidifier, the boiling water inside could become a serious burn hazard. These units are also the most expensive to run, as they have to maintain a constant boiling temperature for as long as you run your machine.
Far and away, cool-mist humidifiers are the safest option for your entire family. These can work in one of two ways.
Traditional Cool-Mist Humidifiers
First, you can buy a traditional model that turns the water into vapor using an internal fan.
Still infinitely safer than a warm-mist option, the only drawback to these is their operating noise. You'll hear the fan as it runs all night long, and if you (or your pet) are a light sleeper, it could keep you awake.
Ultrasonic Cool-Mist Humidifiers
Then, there are newer, more modern ultrasonic cool-mist-humidifiers. These turn the water into vapor using a high-frequency, vibrating diaphragm that's made from either ceramic or metal.
The vibrations are powerful enough to produce a fine mist that's every bit as effective and safe as the type that a traditional cool-mist humidifier can provide. A major benefit of upgrading to an ultrasonic model is the quiet operation.
Due to the vibrations, these models don't require the use of a fan. That means your dog can reap all of the benefits of instant, cool mist relief without the whirring sound of a fan in his floppy ear all night.
You can keep a cool-mist humidifier in the same room as your pet's bed. Just try to make sure he doesn't spill the water over!
Points to Keep in Mind
As we've discussed, a humidifier can be an excellent addition to your home. Before you install yours, there are a few points to remember.
First, try to let stagnant air leave the room as much as possible, rather than relying on your humidifier to freshen the room. If your dog is suffering from allergies or dry skin, it's best to keep the air new and free from household allergens.
Moreover, be sure to keep your pets hydrated all year long. While we tend to hyper-focus on hydration during the summertime, it's equally important during the wintertime. When it's chilly, your pets still need access to clean, fresh water at all times.
If you notice any symptoms that appear to be more serious, it's always wise to consult your veterinarian before moving forward.
Find a Humidifier for the Whole Family
Are humidifiers good for dogs?
By now, you've learned why the affirmative is true. As long as you choose the right model and practice simple safety precautions, your canine companion should be able to enjoy your unit for years to come.
Looking to invest in one today? Ready to add more health, wellness and comfort items to your home? You came to the right place.
Feel free to browse our entire collection. If you have any questions along the way, contact us!