Safety & Dangers in the Household

"Household Dangers"

by Sally Blanchard

What household  items are dangerous for my birds?

I am afraid this list could go on forever but I will list as many as I know of at this time and readers can let me know if I have left any out. There is a good chance that just about every product contain­ing made by companies that use chemicals we can't pronounce can be toxic to our parrots. New carpeting outgasses toxins, fumes from paneling can be toxic, adhesives used in construction and flooring can kill parrots ... We REALLY need to check products out before we bring them into our the home we share with our parrots! It is also important to realize that birds don't always die right away from a toxic exposure but they may end up with compromised health issues. Often if a vet knows that a parrot has had a toxic exposure, they will put the bird in a nebulizer to help clear the lungs, air sacs, and other sensitive organs. Continued exposure to household toxins such as hair spray, air fresheners, etc. can eventually cause organ damage and death.

Teflon, Silverstone, T-fall and other non-stick coating used in Cookware, Fumes from Self-cleaning Ovens, Stove Drip Pans, Irons, Ironing Board Covers, Bread Makers, and other household appliances:
Many items in addition to pots and pans have non-stick coatings. When overheated, these items can release fumes that are deadly to birds. I personally would not own any cookware with non-stick coating as there is too much room for error. I can be a forgetful cook and occasionally have house­ guests who may not know about the danger to my birds. I do not want to take the chance. I would rather scrub pots. Portable heaters often have a coating on the heating elements to prevent rust. It is best to use these in the garage or a room far removed from the birds until that coating is burned off.

Burning Plastic of any kind--overheated plastic pan and pot handles, burning oil, and just about anything burning on the stove or in the household:

Non-stick coating is not the only thing that releases toxic fumes when it burns. Some woods burned in the fireplace can create problems for birds, especially if the fireplace is not well-vented.

Scented Candles, Plug-in Air Fresheners, Incense, and Potpourri:

The vapors from the oils in these products can be toxic and even fatal to birds.

Cigarette, Cigar, and Pipe smoke, Marijuana smoke, Nicotine on hands and cloth­ing, Ingested Tobacco and Marijuana:

Any smoke and/or fumes can be dangerous to birds. Nicotine on hands can cause contact dermati­tis, especially foot problems. Ingesting tobacco products can make birds sick.

Aerosol Sprays of any kind, Oven Cleaners, Furniture Polish, Air Fresheners, Car­ pet Fresheners, Tub & Tile Cleaners, Cleaning Supplies, Bleach and Ammonia fumes, Oil-based Paint and paint product fumes, Tile Adhesives, Insecticides, Flea Bombs, Fertilizers, Fungicides, Hair Spray, Spray-on Deodorants, Perfumes, Co­lognes and more:

Use common sense. Anything that produces fumes can cause parrots health problems and in some cases, be fatal to them. It is best to take birds out of a room if it is being cleaned, painted, etc. and only bring them back after the room has been thoroughly aired out and the fumes are gone. Keep your par­ rots out of the bathroom when you use spray products of any kind.

CHEWABLES: Leaded Stained Glass Decorations, Old Paint on Woodwork, Costume Jewelry, Curtain Weights, Lead Fishing Weights, Lead pellets, Solder, Some Artists Paints, Pencils and Chalks, Some Cage Paint & Galvanized Wire, Metal Hardware that Flakes or Chips some Woods:

Most or many of these items contain heavy metals such as lead, zinc, or cadmium which are toxic to parrots when chewed and ingested. If you suspect your parrot has eaten something with any heavy metal, it is essential to get him to the vet immediately. In some cases, x-ray will show that the foreign object is still be in the crop and the crop can be flushed. If the heavy metal goes into the digestive system, it can be a long, involved and expensive process to get it out and save your parrot's life.

Avocado, Chocolate, Alcohol, and Rhubarb:

These are the most common foods that I know of that can be toxic and should not be given to birds.

Forever, peanuts have been considered a staple of any companion parrot's diet. They are in just about every parrot mix. The truth is that peanuts are loaded with aflatoxins - molds that can kill your parrots. This is particularly true of the animal grade peanuts in most seed mixes but human grade peanuts can also be problematic. I don't feed my parrots peanuts and would encourage other parrot caregivers to remove them from their parrots' diets. The seed mixes that don't contain peanuts are most likely made by companies that actually care about the health of your parrots.



Household Poisons

Dangerous Trees, Plants & Flowers:

Dangerous Trees Plants Flowers
Bird Safe Cleaning Products:
Bird Safe Cleaning

Bird Safe Trees, Plants & Flowers:

Bird Safe Trees plants flowers
Thanks to Best Friends Animal Society 
for sharing the information on this page!