Even though it may not seem so, there are many hidden dangers a pet bird may face in our household. A lot of things that are safe for humans can be hazardous to a pet bird's health. That happens because pet birds are small, curious, they have rapid metabolism and sensitive respiratory systems. You should always stay vigilant if you'd like to protect your bird. Household dangers a pet bird can face are listed below. If you'd like to contribute to the list, leave a comment under this article.
Photo by Anna Hesser
Windows and doors
Windows and doors are an easy way for a bird to escape. Interior doors can be dangerous too if the bird likes to sit on their top - injuries are very likely if the door is suddenly closed. Keep the windows and doors closed when the bird is out of the cage. Use mosquito nets. Before opening a window or a door, make sure the bird is not around (put up warning signs if necessary). Supervise your bird when it's out of the cage, use special door draft blockers to prevent the door from being shut unexpectedly.
These are dangerous because a bird can get stuck in a narrow gap and injure itself trying to get out. Apart from possible physical damage, it also causes a lot of stress to the bird. Make sure your house doesn't have any gaps the bird can get into. This includes gaps between furniture (wardrobes, cupboards) and the wall. Seal them up with bird-proof material if necessary.
Small birds like budgerigars are sometimes hard to notice, and there have been reports about them being accidentally stepped or sit upon. Be triple careful when you walk in a room with birds, and always make sure there are no birds on an armchair or sofa you'd like to have a seat on.
Birds may accidentally knock up against large mirrors, so it's better to keep no mirrors in the room where birds are allowed to fly. Alternatively, cover the mirrors with some material.
Drafts, sunlight, aerosols, smoking, heaters, ceiling fans
Choosing a place for the bird's cage, make sure it's out of draft and direct sunlight. A cage must never be placed near heaters and other warm objects, as well as near ceiling fans as these are known to make birds nervous. Don't smoke and don't use any sprays around your bird as bird respiratory system is very sensitive.
The bird can drown in toilet and other containers with open water. Keep the bathroom door closed, the toilet lid down, and make sure you don't leave buckets, water bowls of dogs or cats, pans, and other containers with open water in your bird's accessibility.
The bird can land on the stove, hot frying pans, or fall into a pan with hot liquids. Food and Teflon vapours are not safe for the bird, either. Don't let your bird be in the kitchen!
Home plants and inappropriate foods
A lot of human food and some home plants are poisonous to birds. Please make sure your bird has no chance to steal anything from your table, and the home plants you have are safe.
Some birds love to bite on wires, which can result in a severe electric shock. Provide your bird with a lot of biting toys, and be watchful.
The bird's leg can get stuck between keyboard buttons. Supervision is the best thing to prevent this. Do not lit candles in a room where birds are let out of the cage because they may not realize open flame is dangerous.
Poorly made toys
Sometimes toys designed for birds are far from being safe for them. Make sure your bird is not able to break off or remove any parts and swallow them. Rope toys can also be dangerous if they are long enough to get tangles up in. Unfortunately, there have been cases of birds separating the strands on braided ropes, inserting their heads, and strangling as a result.
Cats and other domestic animals
They can injure the bird. Make sure pet interactions are always supervised, or keep the other animals apart from your bird.
Small children, visitors
Small kids may not have the skills to handle the bird safely. Supervision is always necessary. Make sure your visitors are aware you have a pet bird so they don't open the windows, doors, or sit on the bird accidentally. It's recommended to keep your bird in its cage while you have visitors.
The printing ink is toxic to birds. Never allow your bird to play with newspapers, and never place newspapers into your bird's cage for whatever purpose.
Knives, needles and other sharp objects, household chemicals, medicines
These should be kept out of the bird's reach to avoid accidental injury and poisoning.