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Household Dangers for Pet Birds: Protect Your Feathered Friend

As pet owners, it’s our responsibility to provide a safe environment for our birds. This means being aware of potential household hazards and taking steps to prevent accidents. In this article, we will explore some of the most common household dangers for pet birds, and provide tips on how to keep them safe.

Household Dangers for Pet Birds Protect Your Feathered Friend

Unhealthy Foods Can Be Dangerous

Unhealthy foods can be detrimental to the health of a bird.

A bird’s body is not designed to digest high amounts of sugar or salt, which can lead to fatty liver disease due to the buildup of fat in its organs.

This can be exacerbated if they consume food that is imminently dangerous. This means that it will kill them quickly and with little warning.

Examples of such foods include avocados, chocolate, caffeine, and alcoholic beverages. All of these are toxic to birds as they contain toxins that their systems cannot process safely.

If you plan on keeping a pet bird it is extremely important that these foods are avoided at all costs as they can prove fatal.

Any other food given should be well-researched and purchased from reliable sources like pet stores or avian specialists before being presented to the bird for consumption.

Taking preventative measures rather than dealing with problems after can help birds avoid the worst scenarios regarding their diet and health risks associated with unhealthy food choices.

Toxic Sweet Treats for Pet Birds

It can be tempting to offer your pet bird sweet treats every now and then. However, it’s important to remember that some of these treats can be dangerous.

It’s best to stay away from honey-based sweets as they can contain botulism spores which can be lethal for birds.

Additionally, many sugary treats are high in fat and calories which can lead to obesity and other health problems.

It’s best to stick with treats specifically designed for birds, such as fortified pellets or fruits like apples, oranges, or pears that have been washed and peeled.

If unsure about a certain treat or food, it’s always best to consult a veterinarian or avian specialist before feeding it to your pet

Two blue colored birds and a yellow bird in a cage

Fruits Toxic to Birds

Most birds love fruit and it can be enjoyed without any risk of harm.

However, when offering certain fruits like apples, pears, cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines, and plums to your feathered friends you need to take extra care.

These particular fruits contain small amounts of cardio-toxic cyanide in their pits and seeds.

This means that your bird should not be allowed to consume these features if they are present.

Fortunately, there are plenty of other wonderful fruits that can still be shared safely with birds such as grapes, citrus fruits, squash, pumpkins, tomatoes, melons, mangoes, pomegranates, and berries – all without the concern of deadly consequences.

Just remember to core out the seeds and pits filled with peril first.

Toxic Beverages for Pet Birds

Caffeine has been known to cause tachycardia, hyperactivity, arrhythmias, and even cardiac arrest.

It’s best to stick to water and fruit or vegetable juice to quench your bird’s thirst.

Alcohol is a depressant that can be fatal for birds, so keep the avian family members in their cages when alcohol is being served.

Other Toxic Pet Bird Foods

Dried beans contain hemagglutinin, a poison that can be deadly to birds, so be sure that any beans you feed your bird are thoroughly cooked.

Mushrooms are a fungus, and birds are very susceptible to fungi.

There are mushroom varieties that cause liver failure in pet birds.

In fact, all moldy foods are potentially toxic to birds. So, make sure to change all fresh food after 30 minutes to avoid contamination.

Salt, which is necessary for all living things, can actually cause kidney failure and death to pet birds when consumed in excessive amounts. It’s best to keep the salty treats away from pet birds.

Different foods may be toxic to different birds, so research is necessary before feeding a pet bird anything new.

Being sure that what a bird is being fed is safe for it will give it a long life and its owner joy for years to come.

Other Dangers To Your Pet Bird

Pet birds make wonderful friends and companions, and brighten the lives of millions of people.

Sometimes though they meet tragic ends due to hidden, or misunderstood dangers.

There are a number of things that can pose a danger to your pet bird.

Some are more obvious than others, and some are the hidden dangers that claim a lot of birds each year.

Cats and Dogs

This one is a no-brainer, or at least it should be. However, a lot of birds meet their fate in the jaws of household pets.

Sometimes pet owners get too lax in this department and the consequence is horrible.

Don’t assume your cat or dog “loves” your bird simply because they behave when you’re in the room.

All it takes is one nip, and your bird will be history.

Ceiling Fans

This one is overlooked sometimes due to the fact that ceiling fans are so prevalent in our homes. We tend to forget that they are there.

Also, any other type of fan or moving appliance should be used with caution.

One whack with a fan blade is about all any bird can stand.

Cooking And Teflon

Hot burners on the cooktop, pots of boiling hot food, and cooking fumes can be extremely dangerous to birds, for obvious reasons.

Also, a hidden danger is the Teflon coating and other non-stick coatings used on some non-stick cookware.

When overheated, this can give off gases that have been proven to be harmful. And, it is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of pet birds.

In this category, we will also mention self-cleaning ovens.

Self-cleaning ovens give off fumes when in the cleaning mode which can be very harmful to birds.

So, it’s best to have a plan for safely dealing with this type of oven before using it.

Household Chemicals & Aerosol Sprays

The fumes from commonly used disinfectants and cleaning agents can cause harm to birds.

Some household cleaners that have chlorine bleach, phenols, and ammonia can emit dangerous fumes. These fumes may lead to irritation, poisoning, or even death in pet birds.

Aerosol personal care products can also be harmful. Pay special attention to aerosol sprays such as hairspray, perfume, and deodorant. These aerosol products can pose a respiratory risk for birds.

Exposure to this substance can lead to various health complications, such as inflammation and breathing difficulties.

In severe cases, it may even result in death, especially if there has been significant or direct exposure.

Cleaning products like carpet and upholstery cleaners or fresheners can also be deadly for birds.

Open Water Sources in the Home

Open water sources in the house, such as toilet bowls, sinks, bathtubs, buckets, and pet water bowls, pose a drowning risk for pet birds.

In addition, be cautious of boiling water on the stove if your bird is allowed in the kitchen.

Two colorful birds kissing

Electrical Cords and Outlets

Electrical wires and outlets pose a serious danger to birds.

In their natural environment, they explore with their beaks, so it’s no surprise that they are especially curious about uncovered electrical cords and outlets.

Sadly, many pet birds have sustained critical burns from biting into these items.

If undiscovered in time, the animal can suffer a nasty, painful throat burn that can take months to heal – if they even survive at all.

In order to protect your pet bird from the danger of electrical cords and outlets, it is important to conceal them as much as possible or hide them in ordinary PVC pipes.

It may also be necessary to purchase child safety devices to cover outlets and ensure that any electrical bird heaters or lights come equipped with safely concealed cords.

By taking proactive steps like these to protect your feathered friend from electrical hazards, you could save their life.

Burning Candles

Candles can be dangerous to pet birds due to the toxic fumes that they release when burned.

These fumes can cause respiratory problems for birds and can even lead to death in severe cases.

In addition, birds are very curious creatures and may be attracted to the flame of the candle, which can result in burns or even a fire.

It is important for bird owners to avoid burning candles around their pets and to opt for safer alternatives such as battery-operated candles or essential oil diffusers.


An open door or window is all it takes for your precious pet to fly away, into a world he is unequipped to handle.

If he’s a finger-trained pet who knows your voice, you may be able to call him back.

Placing the cage outside may entice him to come home as well.

A lot of birds die each year because negligent owners let them escape.

Tobacco Smoke

Tobacco smoke is dangerous for birds, just as it is for humans.

Cigarette and cigar smoke contain a variety of chemicals including nicotine, carbon monoxide, and formaldehyde which are toxic to birds.

Inhaling the fumes from cigarettes can lead to respiratory problems in pet birds and can even be fatal if they are exposed to second-hand smoke for long periods of time.

To keep your bird safe, it is important to make sure that smoking does not take place near the bird’s cage or in the same room as the bird.

A little boy holding a parakeet on his finger

Human Dangers for Pet Birds

The last and one of the hidden dangers for pet birds are house guests, who swat and grab at flying birds purely out of reflex.

In the process, a lot of birds are injured or killed.

Always warn your guests, or keep the bird in the cage until the guests are gone.

It is a normal human reaction to swat at an unknown moving object, such as a flying bird landing on their head.

If you plan on purchasing a bird as a pet, or if you already have one, please consider the bird’s life as important as any other pet.

I hope these tips on household dangers for pet birds have helped in caring for your new feathered friend.

Remember, you’re their protector and it is important to take precautions to keep your feathered friend safe.

So, make sure you’re doing your job to keep them out of harm’s way.

Anne Perry

Sunday 26th of November 2023

I have not had birds in years.


Monday 6th of November 2023

I volunteer at a bird center and every time I enter a pet store that sells live animals (including birds) I just feel sad

Anne Perry

Thursday 19th of October 2023

I know ceiling fans and open windows are a hazard,


Friday 22nd of September 2023

It's so sad how many people get pets like birds, rabbits, ferrets, etc. and have no clue about their needs.


Thursday 21st of September 2023

I love birds, but owning one sounds fraught!

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