When we bring our feathery friends to our homes for the first time, it’s hard to imagine how many things are potentially harmful (or even lethal) to them. Here is a list of a few things to look out for, and to make sure that your bird keeps far away from.
Teflon (Non-Stick) Pans
Perfumes, Aerosols, etc
This is for the same reason as the above. Since a bird’s respiratory system is far more sensitive than ours, it’s important to keep any strongly smelling substances away from them.
It’s amazing how many deaths are caused by bird toys each year. Anything from unravelling rope (which can cause a bird to hang itself), to small beads or substances which can be swallowed. Beaks can be caught in the gap between poorly-closed O-rings, which can cause the bird to seriously injure itself. Some toys are not made with pet-safe materials, and be aware that toys meant for other pets, such as dogs or cats, are not meant for your birds. For example, catnip, which is in many cat toys, is a potential toxin to birds. Be aware of where you are buying your toys, and monitor them every day to look for unravelling ropes or potential hazards.
Ensure that when you buy your bird’s cage, the width of the spacing between each bar is small enough so your bird cannot get its head through. It may get stuck and injure itself trying to get out. Also, some cages are galvanized, which can harm your bird through zinc poisoning. Go with a cage you know is zinc-and lead free, and even avoid the ones that are zinc coated in powdered paint. The paint will chip off over time, exposing the metal underneath. Many people prefer rope perches, as they are both comfortable and flexible, having grooves which can prevent cramps in a bird’s foot. However, if you do decide to go for these, regularly check the perches to make sure there are no unravelled strings that could get caught in your bird’s foot.
Sleeping With Your Bird
While not enough studies have been done to prove this, hot-mist humidifiers do contain a Teflon-heating coil. It’s unknown whether this coil would heat up enough to break down the Teflon coating, but as a precaution, it is better to check with your humidifier’s provider.
If you have any house plants around your home, know that some of them may be toxic to your pet. Don’t allow your bird to go near them, as some have a tendency of wanting to eat at the leaves.
Make sure your children know how to handle a bird. Some are too young to properly understand that your bird is not a toy, so keep it out of harm’s reach.
There are countless dangers for birds in our homes, but hopefully this list helped you think about some of those dangers you may not have considered. Some things can be lethal for our pets, and it is important to ensure that we remove as many of these potential hazards as we can.