Sharing food with our pet birds can be an important part of the bonding process and an enriching activity for both bird and owner to participate in. Not only is it fun to share healthy snacks with your feathered friend, he or she can gain nutritional benefits in the process. On the other hand, sharing unhealthy snacks with your bird can have harmful and even fatal side effects. Keep your pet healthy by becoming familiar with this list of foods that you should never allow your bird to eat. Avoiding these toxic treats will help make sure that your bird stays safe and happy for many years to come!
While birds need a certain amount of sodium in their diets for the proper functioning of body systems, excessive salt intake can cause a variety of health problems in pet birds too numerous to count. To stay on the safe side, make sure that you never share foods with your pet bird if they contain salt. This includes items like store-bought crackers, cereals, and many breads. Make a habit of looking at the nutritional content of the snacks that you share with your bird to make sure that what you are feeding your pet is safe for them to enjoy.
It's fine for adult humans to indulge in an alcoholic beverage every now and then, but even one drink can prove fatal for a pet bird. It's very important to make sure than your bird is never allowed access to any alcoholic drink. Alcohol's toxic effects can begin to take hold of a bird very quickly, slowing vital body functions down to the point that they can eventually stop altogether. To prevent this sort of tragedy, it's a good idea to limit alcoholic beverages to area of your home that your bird has no access to.
Chocolate treats are a favorite of humans both young and old, but the tasty confection can be extremely harmful to your pet bird's health. Along with its delicious taste, chocolate contains a chemical that can act as a toxin on your bird's digestive and central nervous systems. The first stages of chocolate poisoning include vomiting and diarrhea, and the condition can progress to becoming fatal without prompt veterinary attention. Avoid the risk by making sure that no one ever offers your bird chocolate of any kind.
While it might seem odd to find a vegetable on a list of foods that can harm a pet bird, onions (and their relative, garlic) contain compounds that can wreak havoc on a bird's digestive system in large amounts. While many contend that small amounts of onion or garlic powder as flavoring have no ill effects, some studies have also shown that birds who eat onions over a long period of time can suffer from certain anemic conditions. Without treatment and a change in diet, these problems can lead to death. Consult your avian veterinarian for more information on onion and garlic toxicity.
Many bird owners enjoy drinking coffee, tea, and soda, some daily. As most of these drinks contain high amounts of sugar and caffeine, they can be quite hazardous to a pet bird's health if they are allowed even a few small sips. Caffeine in particular can work quickly to speed up a bird's already fast heart rate and increase its rate of respiration. Too much of this stimulant can cause an array of problems leading up to cardiac arrest in many birds. Minimize the chances of your bird coming into contact with this toxin by making sure that all caffeinated beverages are consumed in areas of your home that your bird isn't allowed to enter.