Cold or windy weather calls for indoor heating, but this can cause skin dryness and blockage of the nasal passages. While the effect is more prevalent on humans, it can occur on pets, especially dogs.
In most cases, dry climates can make a dog suffer from itchy skin and stuffy noses. A solution that most homeowners consider is to buy a humidifier to add moisture to the air. But will a humidifier hurt a dog when you operate it in your house?
When used properly, a humidifier is safe for dogs. However, adding oils and other substances can be risky to a pet, depending on their contents.
Furthermore, dogs with underlying medical conditions can be at high risk if they breathe in white dust diffused from the humidifier. Note that the effects may be more prevalent on specific dog breeds than on others, even if you buy pet-safe humidifiers.
Benefits of humidifiers for dogs?
Humidifiers are safe and beneficial for dogs in different ways. These include:
- They open up air passages in dogs suffering from allergies.
- Proper moisture levels in a room can help soothe a dog’s dry skin and prevent restlessness, consistent scratching, and hair loss.
- They help specific dog breeds stop snoring by moisturizing their nasal passage and allowing them to breathe easily through the nose.
A humidifier can also alleviate allergy symptoms in dogs, including itchy eyes, runny nose, and sneezing.
What are the dangers of humidifiers to pets?
Despite its usefulness, a humidifier can only be safe if you operate it out of reach of the pet. In addition, the risk increases significantly depending on the type of humidifier you are using.
Here are different types of humidifiers and how they affect pets.
Warm mist humidifiers
Warm mist humidifiers generate warm mist in the air and are ideal for cold environments. Furthermore, they help prevent the accumulation of bacteria in the air.
However, warm mist humidifiers can be dangerous to dogs because they use boiling water. Keep the humidifier away, especially if your dog likes climbing on dressers or countertops.
Cool mist humidifiers
Cool mist humidifiers are the best for pet owners. You can operate them in the same room as your dog to create a calming environment.
However, a cool-mist humidifier can harm your puppy if it disperses hazardous minerals and particles that irritate the lungs due to hard water.
To avoid this, consider using distilled water. Tap water has high mineral content that can turn into white dust when dispersed into the air. We’ve created a guide on several ways to prevent white dust from forming a humidifier.
Ultrasonic humidifiers use high-frequency sound vibrations to turn water into mist. The advantage of these humidifiers is that they do not use heat and they operate quietly.
But one of the many ultrasonic humidifier dangers is that they do not have filters. As a result, they can disperse white dust and allergens into the air and create a greater risk for bacteria.
Also, ultrasonic humidifiers tend to accumulate microbes within the appliance. When dispersed in the air, a dog that gets into direct contact with the impurities may suffer from respiratory infections.
Are essential oil humidifiers safe for dogs?
Essential oils in humidifiers are a danger for pets in their most concentrated form. That means that you have to dilute them before using them in a humidifier.
But it is not as straightforward as it may seem. When these oils come into contact with your pet, it may lead to depression, low body temperature, and instability.
Your pet may also start vomiting or develop diarrhea if it ingests the white dust from the essential oils.
Which essential oils are more dangerous to dogs?
Some essential oils are harmful to your dog than others. But that depends on factors like the concentration level and product formulation.
For example, some dogs can have issues with any concentrated form of tea tree, eucalyptus, cinnamon, citrus, peppermint, pine, and wintergreen oils than any other essential oil. While some of these are used to deter dogs from peeing or digging, make sure to use them as advised.
But even if the concentration is not 100%, avoid using a humidifier for a prolonged period when your dog is around. Also, it is unnecessary to use humidifiers and essential oils if your puppy has an underlying medical condition.
Humidifiers are safe for dogs and can prevent restlessness, consistent scratching, and hair loss. But they can also pose some dangers. Avoid using essential oils in your humidifier since they might harm your pet.
You should also use distilled water instead of tap water in your humidifier to reduce the dispersion of white dust. Before you buy a pet-friendly humidifier, please consult with your veterinarian to help you determine whether it will be safe for your dog.