Birds are not nearly as hearty and hale as other domestic pets. That’s why it’s important to ensure the environment you are providing them is safe and free from harmful materials that can adversely impact their health. With this in mind, here is a list of 10 common household items that can endanger pet birds.
1. Electrical Cords
These items are actually considered dangerous to a variety of pets, and that’s because of the risk of shock from animals chewing on them. Birds explore things by probing them with their beaks. Keep all wires and electrical cords out of reach and concealed from your pet bird.
2. Standing Water
Yes, birds love to splash around in water and bathe themselves. The problem is that if the water is not in a shallow bowl and it’s deep enough, your bird could fall in while investigating and accidentally drown. Keep toilet lids down, if you allow your bird access to the rest of the house, and properly secure all other sources of standing water.
This seems like a no-brainer, but be sure to remove your pet bird to a safe area when the bug man comes to spray or if you apply chemicals to your home yourself. Inhaling chemicals of this sort or ingesting them can be lethal to them.
4. Cleaning Products
Bleach and ammonia can also be lethal if inhaled by birds. Think how overpowering they can be to humans when inhaled. Your bird could become overwhelmed in a fraction of the time. When using products like these, remove your bird to another room far from the fumes and close air vents.
5. Non-Stick Coatings
Cookware conveniently comes with easy to clean non-stick coatings like Teflon. The problem with these surfaces is if you overheat the pan and burn the coating they are toxic to both the humans that eat the food cooked with it and the fumes emitted can kill your bird. Pots and pans aren’t the only products containing it, either, so be vigilant.
6. Nail Polish Remover
If you use polish on your nails, you almost certainly use nail polish remover from time to time. Don’t use it in the same room with your pet birds, especially if it’s acetone based, and throw all tissues and/or cotton balls saturated with it in the trash outdoors as soon as you're done.
Getting ready to paint? Well, you know what a headache the smell can bring on, and you probably weigh 100 pounds or more. Imagine what your birds would be going through. If you can, remove birds from the house before painting and air the home out thoroughly before returning them. Fumes travel, so putting them in another room might not be enough.
Here is another product that can cause dizziness in humans along with foggy thinking. Glue can be so strong when inhaled that sadly some people seek it out in order to get high. Spare your birds from this impromptu buzz, because it may kill them instead. Try and mend items to be glued outside and let them dry thoroughly before returning them to the house.
9. Oven Cleaner
Products for cleaning your oven should basically go without saying, but here it is anyway: don’t use them unless your bird or birds are safely outside or in a rear room far, far away from the fumes that come with using oven cleaners. If a product recommends you use a mask, how do you think it will affect your bird?
Believe it or not, body fragrances — which for the most part are alcohol based — can also have an adverse impact of our little feathered friends. For that reason, don’t apply them in the same room as your winged pets and close the door to the room you’re using them before and after applying the scent.
Most of these items involving fumes should be a matter of common sense, but sometimes we forget to use them properly. Always follow labels and instructions for products containing chemicals, such as only using them in a well-ventilated space. By doing so you'll help keep you and your pets safe.