We often see birds in our practice who are in distress. It is important to remember that birds are small and sensitive animals. Our feathered friends need special care to ensure their safety. Here are some things to keep in mind.
- Your kitchen is a hazardous place for your birds. Fumes from cooking and cookware can quickly overcome them, causing sickness or death.
- Do keep your birds in an area that is temperature stable, near a window but not in direct sunlight.
- Birds can be overstimulated easily: children, other pets, television can all cause stress.
- Limit interaction with cats and dogs. In addition to the dangers from rough play, their saliva is laden with foreign bacteria that can cause illness in birds.
- Exercise is important and birds love to explore your home. Be sure to keep your windows and doors closed, ceiling fans turned off and heat sources (stove, tea kettles, space heaters) secured when they take flight.
- Certain foods are toxic to birds. The most common ones are avocados, chocolate, garlic, onions, tobacco, dairy products and alcohol.
- Are your houseplants safe for birds? A great resource to determine if your houseplants are safe for pets is the ASPCA’s Plant List
- Products such as air fresheners, hair spray, scented candles and potpourri are common hazards. And of course, fumes from pesticides, paint, glue and automobiles should be avoided as well.
- Be sure to wash food and water cups daily.
- Do speak and sing to your bird softly!
A little awareness will ensure that your birds are healthy and happy for years to come.