Parrot Safety: 10 Household Dangers That Kill Parrots
Learn about the dangers that exist in your house everyday that can harm your parrot
Pet birds and parrots are particularly sensitive to several of household dangers. There are several reasons for this, including a bird's small body size, a fast metabolism, and a hyper-efficient respiratory system.
What parrot isn't curious, though? Many pet birds love to explore 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.
But, how about learning how to prevent many potential accidents in the first place. Do you know the top household dangers for birds? Hundreds of pet birds experience household accidents each year but you can take steps to protect your bird now.
A bird's health is endangered by a wide variety of toxic substances that are commonly found in the home. Parrots can be poisoned through ingestion (eating) or inhalation (breathing them in). One of the most common poisons for pet birds are insecticides or pesticides. Don't use chemicals around your bird. 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. Learn about safe plants for your aviary here.
2) Non Stick Coatings (when overheated)
Nonstick coatings demand special mention because so many household products contain this fatal product. When overheated, non stick coatings emit several extremely toxic fumes that will kill birds in minutes.
Birds are particularly susceptible to teflon toxicity due to their hyper-efficient respiratory system. Teflon is found on non stick cookware, waffle irons, and bread machines. It is 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. Don't forget to put the toilet lid 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. Read this article to learn about the foods that are deadly for birds.
5) Electrical Cords
Birds explore with their beaks and for some reason, they enjoy electrical cords or exploring uncovered outlets. Electrical burns are extremely critical and frequently deadly. Nasty, painful throat burns take months to heal- IF your bird survives. Please conceal electrical cords as much as possible or if possible, hide them in ordinary PVC pipe. Cover all outlets with child safety devices. If you use an electrical bird heater or bird light, insure that the cord is safely concealed. Again, 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 that it can choke on. Strong beaks can break some plastics into small parts that may be 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 like Super Bird Creations, Planet Pleasures and several others found on this website.
Always provide your bird with the correct sized toy for its 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 itself on an inappropriately sized bird toy.
Rope toys should be examined at least weekly because birds love to pick and preen the string. 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. Being animals of prey, birds are inclined to feel a little anxious about moving objects above them and many birds find a ceiling fan to be stressful. Afterall, hawks fly over wild birds in the hunt. Make sure that your pet bird is well supervised when your ceiling fan is on.
8) Windows, Doors, and Mirrors
A bird that flies into a window or mirror may experience a concussion or broken neck. Frightened birds naturally fly toward the light to escape. It could be a window or a door, but mirrors reflect the light in the room, too. 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 ypu may think it is very cute for your bird to cuddle up to a dog or cat, the fluttering motion of birds attracts the prey instinct in cats, ferrets 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 Products That Kill Parrots:
|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)