Informational Guide

Are Humidifiers Safe For Dogs?

Pets, including dogs, benefit from having a humidifier in the house. A dog’s airway is similar to a human airway and can suffer from allergies.

by Josh M

Humidifiers help add moisture into the air so that we can breathe better, but humidifiers aren’t just for humans. Pets, including dogs and cats, benefit from having a humidifier in the house. A dog’s airway is similar to a human airway and can suffer from dry mouth, dry nose, itchy throat, and allergies.

Humidifiers can safely add water back into the environment so that your dog’s airway is comfortable and breathing is easy.

Woman Lying on Bed with Dog

Yes, the short answer is that humidifiers are safe for dogs. However, there is a concern over hot mist humidifiers. If you use a hot mist humidifier, make sure that you keep it out of the reach of your dog so they do not burn their nose or mouth on the device (you know how curious dogs can be!).

Dogs can sleep in a room with a humidifier and live there as long as it is kept safely out of reach.

  • Can help open the dog’s nasal passages
    A humidifier can help open the dog’s nasal passages. Similar to how humans feel when they stand in a hot shower and feel their airways open up, the same thing happens with dogs. A humidifier adds moisture back into the air and moisturizes the airways in the process.
  • Can help prevent snoring
    A humidifier can help a dog stop snoring because the dog’s airways will be moisturized. One of the reasons dogs snore is because their airways are too dry.
  • Can help relieve their allergies
    Dogs experience allergic reactions for many reasons, but certain environmental triggers can exacerbate the problem. Dogs who live in dry areas and experience dry throats, dry mouths, and dry noses can experience more allergy symptoms.
  • Soothes the dog’s skin
    A dog with dry skin may be living in a dry climate or dry environment. Adding a humidifier to the room can solve dry skin issues.

How Can A Humidifier Benefit Your Dog?

If you notice that your dog has dry skin and allergies, then it may be time to purchase a humidifier for your home.

Dry Skin

When dogs have symptoms of dry skin such as itchiness, dandruff in their fur, flaking skin, and fur falling out, then it is time to find a way to give them more moisture in their environment. One of the best ways to do this is through a humidifier. Instead of the environment pulling moisture out of their skin, the humidifier will compensate.


Dogs experience allergies just like humans do, whether they are indoors or outdoors. Dogs can be allergic to other animal dander, dust, feathers, pollen, and other airborne pollutants. Air purifiers can help with allergies as well as humidifiers.

Humidifiers work to temper allergy symptoms by helping dogs keep their mucous membranes healthy. This leads to fewer sneezes, coughs, and other allergy issues.

What To Consider When Choosing A Humidifier With A Dog At Home

Two Short Coated Gray and Brown Puppies Lying on White Bed
Humidifier Type

There are three main types of humidifiers: cool mist humidifiers, warm mist humidifiers, and ultrasonic humidifiers.

The cool mist humidifiers are best for pets because they emit cool mist, so even if your dog gets in front of your humidifier, they won’t be hit with air that is too hot or could burn them.

Ultrasonic humidifiers are another type of cool mist humidifier, but they are filter-free, are extremely quiet, and help to keep bacteria levels low (clean and environmentally friendly).

The warm mist humidifier is a favorite for people who want a warm, fuzzy feeling in their home. These humidifiers add a warm mist into the room, which can feel more comfortable for some. They also are better at adding moisture to the environment. However, they can occasionally harm dogs because of the “hot to the touch” mist and unit.

Safety Systems

We recommend purchasing a humidifier with an auto-shutoff feature for your pet. This ensures that you can run the humidifier for your dog even when you are not home. We also recommend avoiding floor units. It is much better to keep your unit out of your dog’s reach.

Noise Levels

Most dogs are not bothered by humidifier noise, but humans tend to be frustrated when the humidifier noise levels are too high. Humidifiers that have fans are louder overall. Stick to a unit that doesn’t have a fan for a more quiet experience.

Power Requirements

When it comes to the power requirements for most humidifiers, the difference between units can be stark. We recommend looking at models that are energy-efficient so that you won’t need to spend too much money running your humidifier each month.

How To Use Humidifiers Safely When You Have Pets

When you have pets, it is important to follow proper humidifier safety procedures.

    • Place the humidifier in a safe space
      Make sure that you place the humidifier in a safe space where your dog cannot get to it. We recommend placing it on top of a desk, dresser, or other piece of furniture so that the dog cannot reach it.
    • Turn off when not in use
      When you are not using the humidifier, make sure that you turn it off. If your humidifier has an automatic shut-off feature, then you won’t need to worry about this, but we recommend not running a hot mist air humidifier when you are not home.
    • Safe with brachycephalic (short-faced) breeds
      Humidifiers help brachycephalic breeds breathe by opening their air sacs.
    • Steer clear of essential oils
      Avoid essential oils. Most essential oils are toxic to dogs, and those that are not toxic can easily cause allergic reactions in dogs.
    • Keep it clean
      A lot of bacteria can easily build up in a humidifier, so you need to keep it clean in order to avoid humans and animals getting sick. Rinse your humidifier with a disinfectant, vinegar solution, or manufactured solution once per week.
White Brown Dog on Bed

People Also Ask (FAQ)

Is a Vicks humidifier bad for dogs?

Yes. Vicks vapor rub is dangerous and can be fatally toxic to dogs. If you have a dog at home, do not purchase the Vicks humidifier. You want to purchase a humidifier that only uses water and does not add camphor (Vicks VapoRub).

Does a humidifier help with dog smell?

Yes, and no. A humidifier is not designed to remove dog smells, but it does help to reduce dog odor coming from skin conditions and mouth conditions. A humidifier with an air purifier can help remove other dog smell odors.

Is Eucalyptus bad for dogs?

Eucalyptus oil is toxic to dogs and should not be ingested or distributed into the air that they breathe. Eucalyptus oil is also toxic when applied to the dog’s skin.

Can dry air affect dogs?

Yes. Dry air can affect dogs by drying out their nose, mouth, and respiratory airways. Dry air can also dry out their coat and make it brittle.

What scents are toxic to dogs?

Dogs have many toxic reactions to oils, including cinnamon, peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree, pine, citrus, wintergreen, and sweet birch. We recommend avoiding essential oils in your dog’s humidifier space.


Humidifiers are great for dogs as well as humans because they add moisture to the air and make it easier to breathe. They also help keep skin moisturized and can help your dog’s coat stay shiny and smooth rather than dry and brittle.

As long as you store your humidifier in a safe space, your dog will be safe and reap the benefits of your humidifier.

Heating up for summer? Check out our article on dog house air conditioners

Last Updated on September 27, 2021

Josh M

My name is Josh and I am obsessed with the HVAC industry. I created this website to help HVAC techs of all levels get the best out of their heating & cooling systems. I have spent thousands of hours studying air conditioners, heaters and home air products so you can learn & buy with confidence. Learn more about the team here.