2001-Mon Feb 20 22:24:22 MST 2017
Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
Holidays can bring a great deal of happiness to both people and pets. But
holidays also bring potential dangers to our feathered friends. Though injuries and accidents happen all year long, they seem to occur more often during the holidays. Here are some tips to help you avoid some often overlooked holiday hazards.
birds are dangerous on more than one level. First, avian respiratory tracts are extremely sensitive to the aerosolized perfumes and other chemicals that scented candles emit when lit. Secondly, flames from a lit candle are dangerous if a bird flies or hops too close, as feathers are extremely flammable and can catch fire. Lit candles are a definite no-no around
birds. Flameless, scentless, battery-powered candles are a good alternative if you are going for atmosphere.
The kitchen may be the hub of the house for most people during the holidays for socializing and cooking, but it shouldn’t be for your bird. Like emissions from scented candles,
cooking fumes and smoke can be deadly if your
bird inhales them. Plus, many people cook with nonstick pans, and the vapors emitted by the nonstick coating when it's heated can kill a bird instantly. Some appliances, such as stoves, space heaters and toaster ovens, also have these coatings and should not be used around birds. So take no chances: Move your bird away from these devices into a different airspace and socialize with them in the living room.
It seems like chocolate is in everything we eat during the holidays — cake, cookies, even our drinks. Many of us love the taste of chocolate, and so do our birds. But chocolate contains substances called methylxanthines (specifically, caffeine and theobromine), which birds and other pets
are far more sensitive to than people. Generally, the darker and more bitter the chocolate, the greater the danger to pets. These substances initially cause birds to regurgitate and have diarrhea, plus they increase birds’ heart rates and can lead to seizures. All it takes is a bite or two for a small bird to have a problem. So if you want to treat your bird over the holidays, opt for something safer and healthier, like a small bite of pumpkin pie.
Several plants are
potentially toxic to birds if ingested, and many of these plants are commonly used in decorations during the holidays. Mistletoe, holly, poinsettia, lilies, yew and ivy are among the plants that birds should not have access to. So if you love holiday plants, better to opt for the fake variety to keep your bird safe.
Bird owners often have to face the predicament of what to do
with their birds when they go out of town. To minimize stress, ideally, a pet
sitter should come to care for the bird in the bird’s home. If this isn’t an
option, bird owners should be very choosy about where they board their birds.
Though it seems nice to have the bird in the company of other feathered friends,
such as in a pet store or aviary, if the health status of the other birds
present isn’t known, you may be exposing your pet to
life-threatening infections if you board him there. If you have to house your
bird out of your home when you are away, it’s best to find a place where there are no other birds. The exception to this would be a veterinary hospital or
facility that requires blood testing of all birds before boarding. Though it’s
impossible to test for everything, at least some general blood tests should be
performed to try to minimize the spread of disease.
The holidays are here. Let’s keep our birds safe
and happy. Don’t forget that birds are intelligent, curious creatures and it's
only natural for them to want to investigate anything “new” around the house.
Keep an extra-close eye on them, avoid these holiday hazards, and hopefully the
holidays will be safe and joyful for all.
More on Vetstreet.com:
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Get all the best pet news and information sent right to your inbox!
Thank you for subscribing!
Many dogs will eat just about anything in
their path. That's why it's so important to
know the signs of intestinal…
From taking pills to clipping nails,
we’re here to help you take the stress
out of things many dogs loathe.
With plenty of patience, practice and
praise your dog might be willing to accept
— or even enjoy — this dental care…
Need a leash for regular outings or one
that can walk multiple canines? These
types of leashes are your best…
The fun and rambunctious Flat-Coated Retriever, known for his puppyish enthusiasm, makes a great family pet.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.