Learn about the dangers that exist in your house everyday that can harm your parrot
Pet birds and parrots are particularly sensitive to a broad assortment of household dangers. There are several reasons for this, including a bird's small body size, fast metabolism, and hypersensitive respiratory system.
What parrot isn't curious, though? Many pet birds are passionate about exploring everything with their beaks. It is up to you to be vigilant about protecting your bird from the dangers in your home and to be prepared for unexpected emergencies. Two MUST HAVE bird supplies that will allow you to prepare for parrot emergencies are Dr.Burkett's important Avian First Aid DVD and The Bird First Aid Kit.
Even so...Do you know the top household dangers for birds? Hundreds of pet birds experience household accidents each year due to carelessness or because those new to parrots don't know important bird safety tips!
A bird's health is endangered by a wide variety of toxic substances that are commonly found in the home. Poisons enter a parrots body through ingestion (eating) or inhalation (breathing them in). One of the most common poisons for pet birds is insecticides or pesticides. Control Insecticide is safe for use around birds. Other poisons include ammonia, bleach, many glues, nail polish remover, oven cleaner, paint, perfumed candles, and heavy metals (e.g. lead and zinc). Poisonous plants are also dangerous, especially holiday plants.
2) Non Stick Coatings (when overheated)
While technically not a poison, nonstick coatings demand special mention because so many households contain this fatal product. When overheated, non stick coating emit several extremely toxic fumes that can kill birds in minutes. Birds are particularly susceptible to the toxicity due to their hyper-sensitive respiratory system. Teflon is found on non stick cookware, in waffle irons, bread machines, on irons, ironing board covers, curling irons, space heaters, blow dryers, self cleaning ovens and other appliances. Never boil water on the stove top to add humidity to the air. It is way to easy to forget about it and kill your bird.
3) Open Water
Toilets are the most common source of open water in your home. A lot of us put our pet bird on a shower perch in the morning for a quick bird bath and quality time. If you like to spend quality time with your pet bird as you are getting ready for work in the morning, please make sure that the toilet lid is down. Other water dangers to watch for are sinks, bathtubs, buckets, and your dog or cat water bowls. Hot pots of water on the stove are a frequent cause of death in pet birds.
4) Unhealthy Foods
Unhealthy foods might kill a bird. Birds can't digest foods that are high in sugar or salt so they end up with Fatty Liver Disease. Some foods are imminently dangerous, meaning they will quickly result in death. Avoid avocados, chocolate, caffeine and alcoholic beverages. This article addresses common foods that are poisonous for a pet bird.
5) Electrical Cords
Birds explore with their beaks and electrical cords are really inviting and fun to chew. Unfortunately, the resulting electrical burn from a plugged in chewed cord is painful and deadly. Birds also stick their beaks into outlets. Nasty, painful throat burns take months to heal IF your bird survives. Please conceal electrical cords as much as possible with furniture or child safety devices. If you use an electrical bird heater or bird light, insure that the cord is safely concealed. Common PVC plumbing pipe will do the trick.
6) Bird Toys
Make sure your parrot is not able to break off or remove any toy parts. Small parts can be easily swallowed causing choking or digestive blockage. We hear about small toy parts getting stuck in the beak, too. Stick with very reputable bird toy manufacturers to make sure that your bird has safe bird toy sizes and bird toys made from only safe parts.
Always provide your bird with the correct sized toy for their species. If you think you can save money by purchasing a smaller version of a cool bird toy, think again. No one wants to come home to a bird that has choked or injured themselves on an inappropriately sized bird toy.
Rope toys should be examined for long strings weekly. String or rope bird toys are dangerous if they have frays that are long enough to tangle around toes or your birds neck.
7) Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans pose a serious danger when unclipped birds fly into them. Birds are inclined to be tense with things moving above them and many birds find a ceiling fan to be stressful. Make sure that your pet bird is well supervised when your ceiling fan is on.
8) Windows, Doors, and Mirrors
Windows and mirrors pose a danger when birds fly into them. Frightened birds naturally fly toward the light and mirrors reflect the light in the room, whether it is a window, door or a lighted mirror. Hitting solid glass at full speed can easily break your birds neck or cause a concussion. Keep your birds wings clipped to minimize this risk. Even interior doors can be risky. If your bird likes to sit on the top of an open door it could be injured when the door is closed.
9) Other Pets
While birds often live happily with other family pets, you should always be careful when your bird is around them. Even though we may think it is very cute for our bird to cuddle up to a dog or cat, he fluttering motion of birds attracts the prey instinct in cats and dogs and the bacteria in a bite or scratch can be fatal to you bird within hours.
10) Air Quality
Birds are especially sensitive to contaminants in the air. Aerosol products of any kind should not be used around your bird. Cigarette smoke has been implicated in respiratory disease in pet birds. Even nicotine from your hands can transfer onto your birds feathers and cause illness. Carbon monoxide is also dangerous to birds, so use a carbon monoxide detector in the home and be careful not to run your vehicle in an attached garage.
Common Household Dangers:
|Aluminum cooking bags
Automatic dishwasher detergent
Cigarettes and cigarette smoke
Ethylene glycol (antifreeze, film)
Flea collars and sprays
Homemade play dough (toxic levels of salt)
Leather protecting sprays
|Linoleum (contains lead)
Medicines (both prescription and over the counter)
Personal care products
Pesticide strips, sprays, foggers
Pine oil cleaners
Plant spikes and all fertilizer
Plug-in air fresheners
Poisonous plants (inside and outside)
Tea tree oil (Melaleuca)
Teflon cooking pans
Thermometers (contain mercury)