Making Your Home BIRD-SAFE

There are a few things that you have to alter in your house before adding a bird to your family. Some of the following are common household items or practices that may pose a risk for your bird.

Teflon and Other Non-Stick Cookware

When teflon and other non-stick cookware become superheated, they release aerosolized chemicals in the air. If your bird inhales these chemicals there is a good chance of respiratory failure and sudden death. You should never cook with non-stick pans if you own birds, or if you do wish to cook with these items them move your birds to the opposite end of the house before and after cooking to minimize their exposure.

Cats

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Many homes own both cats and birds, but remember – birds are prey animals and cats are their predators! Even if your bird gets used to having a cat around (some even boss the cats around), your cat always has the ability to endanger or kill your bird. Cats and birds should never be allowed to play together. Cat saliva has certain bacteria in it that are deadly to birds. Even if your cat just mouths your bird, if a tooth scratches the skin, or if there is a bite, then those bacteria can cause death to your bird if your bird is not started on appropriate antibiotics within 12 hours.

Air Fresheners/Candles/Sprays

Birds are sensitive to any aerosolized product. Do not use these around your bird or you may cause respiratory problems.

Smoking

Since birds are sensitive to any inhaled product, the toxins that smoking produces are magnified in birds. We see chronic respiratory disease, lung cancer, and other medical problems in our pet birds if owners smoke around them. We also recommend changing shirts if you have been smoking before playing with or handling your bird, as second hand smoke residue left on clothing can be enough to trigger symptoms.

Ceiling Fans

Birds that have free flight can sometimes be severely injured by running ceiling fans. Make sure to turn off your fans before allowing your bird out to fly in the house.

Open Doors and Windows

Birds that have the ability to fly may be out the door before you even know it. Always cage your birds before opening doors. It is also recommended to microchip your birds if you take them outside frequently so that if they do escape they can be reunited with you once caught.

Lead-based Paint

Some older homes have walls painted with lead-based paint. If your bird chews on the walls and ingests the paint, toxicity may occur.

Open Toilet Lids and Pots

Birds are curious, but are not good swimmers. Birds that fly into open toilet bowls because of open lids can be at risk of drowning. In addition, birds that fly into open pots in the kitchen are at risk for burns.