Top 10 Bird Dangers Lurking in Your Home

5. Toxic Foods

Chocolate, caffeine and alcohol are known to be toxic to birds and should never be offered to them. Other toxic foods include avocado, garlic, onion and highly salty snacks. Avocado contains a substance that can cause fluid to pool in birds’ hearts and lungs, and garlic and onions can lead to a fatal anemia. Ingestion of large amounts of salty treats, like chips and pretzels, can disturb a bird’s fluid balance and potentially lead to cardiac problems. These foods should never be given to pet birds.

6. Human Medications

Ingestion of prescription and over-the-counter drugs for humans is the leading cause of pet poisonings, according to the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. That problem is no less significant for birds than it is for cats, dogs and other pets. Birds love to pick up small round objects, like pills, in their mouths and can swallow them whole. Many of these medications have serious side effects in birds when they consume them at doses meant for people, and birds’ rapid metabolism leaves little time to treat them. Bird owners must take extra care not to leave any medication out where a curious bird could get to it.

Cat stalking bird

7. Other Pets

Cats and dogs are natural predators, and birds generally are prey. Dogs and cats instinctually want to run after and catch a flying or moving bird, and often, these pets go after birds with their mouths and claws. Teeth and nails can easily puncture a bird’s skin, and the force of jaws grasping a bird is often enough to injure or kill a bird. Furthermore, the bacteria and other germs inside a cat's or dog’s mouth are foreign to a bird and, if introduced through a wound, can lead to serious and often fatal infections. Even a well-intentioned cat or dog who merely wants to pick up the bird and play with it can cause serious injury. Consequently, dogs, cats and birds should never be allowed to play together unsupervised and should never be trusted together, no matter how docile they seem.


Join the Conversation

Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!