The Ultimate Guide to Choosing The Best Humidifier For Your Dog

humidifiers for dogs

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We recently moved from Alaska to the much drier mountains of Colorado. We absolutely love where we live, but it has definitely been an adjustment to living at 9000ft+ elevation, and the dry air that comes with it!

We definitely miss the humidity a bit and started looking into the best humidifiers for dogs and their families.

I grew up in Florida, and there is no more humid moment than stepping out of the Orlando airport in the middle of summer when we head home to visit family!

We rescued Roxy and Rico while living in Puerto Rico, so they were very used to humidity. After a few years in Alaska, we moved to the mountains of Colorado and! 

Since we don’t have central AC, we started looking for options to cool off in the summer while adding moisture to the air. Roxy and Rico are both so much happier and more comfortable since we added an evaporative cooler to the living room, and so are we!

We still needed something to keep the humidity comfortable through the winter months once the heat kicks on, though. Here’s why humidifiers are so helpful, tips to pick the right humidifier, along with some of the best options for humidifiers for your family and your furry friend!

Humidifiers for dogs in winter

Why Are Humidifiers Good in Dry Climates?

An air humidifier is beneficial in dry climates because they add moisture to the air. This water vapor helps to reduce the symptoms of dry air, such as itchiness, dry skin, and respiratory health issues like a runny nose or stuffy nose. 

Humidifiers add water vapor to indoor air, which increases the amount of water molecules in the air and, therefore, the relative humidity. Dry winter air can cause chapped, itchy skin and exacerbate respiratory problems.

Those winter months can be brutal! Adding moisture to the air with a humidifier can relieve dried-out skin and lessen coughing and help moisturize your dog’s nasal passages and mucous membranes. Adding humidity to indoor air can also reduce static electricity.

When we first moved to Colorado, we were renting a house in one of the drier areas. We were constantly getting shocked! I couldn’t even pull out the vacuum without getting an unpleasant surprise. Once we added a humidifier, it went down considerably. Plus, the dryness in our nasal passages went way down, and I noticed the pups weren’t as sneezy!

Like humans, dogs can have issues when the air is too dry. When the air humidity is extremely low, it can lead to a number of respiratory problems, including coughing, wheezing, and asthma. It can also dry out your dog’s skin.  

Fortunately, there are a number of ways to help your dog (and your family) maintain a healthy respiratory system – one of which is humidification.

What is the Ideal Humidity Level For Dogs and Their Families?

Humidity is the amount of water vapor in air. The higher the relative humidity, the more water vapor in the air. But how much humidity is good? The ideal humidity for both humans and dogs is between 40-60%.

In general, the ideal relative humidity for health and comfort is somewhere between 30-50% humidity, while USDA recommends 65% for dogs. Too low humidity level can lead to problems such as increased drying out of skin and hair, heat intolerance, and respiratory issues like asthma.

Too high of humidity can lead to too much moisture and the growth of mold and bacterial growth, as well as increase allergic responses in people and animals.

What are the Different Types of Humidifiers?

There are many humidifiers on the market to choose from when pet owners are looking for one to purchase for your dog. The type of humidifier, the size of the tank, and the type of humidification will all play a role in what is best for your pet. It is important to choose a humidifier that is right for your family’s needs, as not all humidifiers are created equal.

There are five common types of humidifiers available. These include warm mist, cool mist, ultrasonic, evaporative, and vaporizers. 

Warm Mist Humidifiers: Warm mist humidifiers produce a warm, steam-like vapor. These humidifiers use heat to create the vapor and are often small in size, making them perfect for small spaces. These are great for adding warm moisture during the winter, but need a bit of caution to prevent your dog from knocking it over and coming into contact with the hot water.

Cool Mist Humidifiers: Cool-mist humidifiers produce a cool, mist-like vapor. These are great for warm environments and during the summer months. Unlike warm mist humidifiers, the cool mist doesn’t produce mist with boiling water. Instead, it uses a fan to evaporate water that’s been pulled up.

Ultrasonic Humidifiers: Ultrasonic humidifiers utilize vibration o break down water molecules even smaller, which creates vapor. These humidifiers use less water than other types of humidifier and are often very quiet. 

Vaporizers: A vaporizer uses electrodes to convert water into steam, which is then released as a warm, pure vapor. These also create boiling water, so I recommend staying away if you have a rambunctious dog that gets zoomies, as they could get scalded by the hot water.

Evaporative: An evaporative air cooler, or swamp cooler as they are sometimes called, cools and humidifies the air using the natural process of evaporation. It draws in dry air from the surrounding area and uses evaporation to cool and humidify it. The dry air passes over a water-soaked paper filter, or “wick,” and then releases into your home as moist vapor. 

What To Consider When Picking A Humidifier For Your Dog

When choosing a humidifier for your dog, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, consider the size of the room your dog spends the majority of its time in.

If being used in a smaller room, a cool mist humidifier may be best suited because they don’t produce heat and don’t require a lot of water.

Alternatively, an evaporative humidifier may be better for a large room where your dog spends more time lounging around.

What Precautions Should I Take With Introducing a Humidifier To My Home?

If your pet has respiratory issues, it’s possible they may be worsened by high levels of humidity. For these reasons, it is important to consult with a veterinarian before purchasing a humidifier for your pet if they have existing respiratory issues, and monitor the humidity in your house to make sure it stays around the optimal humidity level.

How To Keep Your Humidifier In Great Condition

While humidifiers can provide many benefits, it is important to keep them clean and well-maintained to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. These contaminants can be released into the air if not properly controlled, posing a health risk.

Maintaining appropriate humidity levels is crucial to preventing the growth of harmful bacteria, mold, and dust mites, which can trigger allergies and exacerbate respiratory problems such as asthma. If you have a steam-based humidifier, handled it with care as it can become hot and cause burns.

Ideally, you should clean your humidifier at least once a week.

To clean your humidifier, always unplug it from the outlet first. Water and electricity can be dangerous together, so taking this extra safety measure is important. Give the base and tank a daily rinse and dry.

At least once a week, clean the humidifier to get rid of any mineral buildup, using vinegar or another solution suggested by the manufacturer. If you use bleach or any other cleaning chemicals, be sure to rinse the tank with several changes of water, so that the machine doesn’t put them into the air next time you use it.

You should check your filters or cartridges regularly, and change them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

What Type Of Water To Use in A Humidifier

The type of water used in a humidifier can affect the humidifier. Distilled or regular tap water can be used in your humidifier. However, some tap water is high in mineral content and will cause a mineral build-up. Consequently, distilled water is preferred.

Vicks Mini Filter-Free Cool Mist Humidifier

The Vicks Mini Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier creates cool, visible mist to help temporarily relieve cough and congestion symptoms for better breathing and more comfortable sleep. The half gallon tank personal humidifier is designed for small rooms and has adjustable mist control to regulate the humidity level.

The air humidifier can operate for up to 20 hours on the lowest setting, and the automatic shut-off function turns it off when the water tank is empty. The transparent tank has a wide opening that makes it easy to fill, use, and clean. has a filter free design that means you won’t need to replace filters, and the wide tank opening allows for easy filling and cleaning.

LEVOIT Warm and Cool Mist With Built-in Humidity Sensor

This LEVOIT Warm and Cool Mist Humidifier is the one I purchased and really like it! It has the option for either warm or cool mist, so I can run the warm mist if I want to add humidity to the bedroom before the pups head in, or the cool mist if we’re all already in bed. It’s the best of both worlds!

The levoit humidifier is a warm and cool mist ultrasonic humidifier that can disperse warm or cool mist throughout your living spaces to create a soothing atmosphere. It has a built-in humidity sensor that can automatically shut off when the desired moisture level is reached. Plus, it has a remote control so you don’t even need to get out of bed to turn it on or off as needed.

Vornado Evap40 4-Gallon Evaporative Humidifier with Adjustable Humidistat

Evap40 Whole Room Evaporative Vortex Humidifier creates a comfortable, perfectly humidified living space quickly and quietly. Vornado’s deep pitch blades pull large volumes of harsh, dry air through two humidifying filters, and then circulates the humidified air throughout the room, providing complete and uniform humidification in spaces up to 1,000 sq. ft.

With the Evap40, you’ll enjoy automatic humidity control with a built-in humidistat. The easy-to-use control panel lets you choose your desired humidity level and fan speed (low, medium, or high). Plus, its extra-large 4 gallon water reservoir capacity provides up to a 4 gallon water output when operated continuously on high, so you can enjoy long, uninterrupted operation and fewer refills.

Everlasting Comfort Humidifier With Cool Mist

The large capacity 6L (1.6 gallon) tank of the Everlasting Comfort ultrasonic humidifier runs for up to 6 nights per fill. Unlike smaller cool mist humidifiers that require frequent fill ups, it works 2 times longer.

You can get up to nearly a week of nighttime use (8 hours per night on the lowest mist output setting) which makes it much easier to remember to use without having to fill as often. The large tank can be a bit cumbersome to deal with when filling, however, since it doesn’t need to be filled as often it’s worth it.

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