Pet Birds and Chemicals, Be Wary of Household Toxins

Keep your bird safe from toxic chemicals

Birds are very sensitive creatures, and many of the products we use on a daily basis can be toxic to them. Know what’s toxic to your pet bird so you can keep them safe and healthy.

Many people don’t think about all the common things that they use in their homes which can be toxic to pet birds. Birds are very sensitive, more so than cats and dogs, and some of the things we would think of as benign, or not think of at all, can cause serious health issues or even death in our feathered friends. However, if you know what’s dangerous, you can take steps to protect your pet birds.

Insect sprays and exterminators – Many people don’t stop to consider the fact that insect sprays, both the ones we can buy at the store and the ones sprayed by an exterminator can be deadly to a bird. Birds are extremely sensitive to airborne toxins. If possible, avoid the use of any bug sprays in the area where you keep your bird, or remove the bird from the room, spray, then allow several hours for the room to air out before bringing the bird back in. If you use an exterminator, be sure to ask them to use a bird-safe spray.

Smoke – Smoke can cause the same problems in birds that it can cause in humans, only the effects are much quicker. Birds can develop lung problems and other health issues from inhaling cigarette and cigar smoke. It is best to not smoke in your home if you have a pet bird. If you must smoke, keep the bird in a room where smoking is not allowed, and do all you can to provide proper ventilation in that room to keep the air clean for the bird.

Teflon – Most people have known for quite some time that Teflon or other non-stick coating on pans can cause the death of birds. While the toxic fumes are said to only be released when the pans reach an extreme temperature, the danger still exists. Even if you don’t use non-stick cookware, keeping your bird in or near the kitchen can present risks from inhaling fumes from food or cooking oil. There is also risk that an escaped bird may be injured or killed in a hot pot or pan. It is wise never to have your pet bird in the kitchen or dining area.

Perfume and air freshener – While some air fresheners may claim to be pet safe, it is extremely unwise to spray perfume or air freshener on or near your bird. Inhaling the particles from these products can lead to a host of health issues or even death. Keep all mist or aerosol sprays away from the area where you keep your bird. Never spray such products in or on your bird’s cage, even if the bird is not inside, as birds love to lick and chew and may still ingest the toxins.

Soap – Many people fail to realize that soap can actually be toxic to birds. You should not use soap or bleach to clean your bird’s cage or toys, and especially not their food and water dishes. If not thoroughly rinsed, toxins can remain on the surface and the bird can ingest them. You should only use hot water and possibly diluted white vinegar to clean a bird’s cage and toys.

If you just do a little thinking, it can be quite easy to keep harmful chemicals away from your bird and keep them safe and healthy. Birds are delicate creatures, so treat them with care and they will live long and happy lives.



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