Household Dangers that Kill Parrots!
A bird's health is endangered by a wide variety of toxic substances that are commonly found in the home. Most parrot owners know there are many dangers around your household that can potentially be life threatening for parrots. 

We have compiled a handy list to keep you birds happy and healthy!

1) Self-Cleaning Ovens & Appliances

One of the major causes of parrot deaths is the self-cleaning oven function. Yes you heard me! Self-cleaning ovens are lined with PTFE (Teflon) and reach 900 degrees Fahrenheit during the self-cleaning oven cycle. This will emit gasses and fumes into the air and kill your bird rather quickly. Think about it - if this kills your bird, what is it doing to your health?. New appliances can also emit fumes, please ensure these are tested first away from your birds. This includes but not limited to toaster ovens, crock pots etc.

2) Perfumes, Scented Candles and Aerosol Sprays

Most of us love spraying perfumes and lighting a nice scented candle. Unfortunately when you have birds, this is something that you should never do. Essentially anything that we can smell, is completely deadly to them. Cigarette smoke is also very toxic to them. BBQ smoke coming into the house is also highly toxic. 

3) Household Cleaners

Any type of household cleaners that have any kind of scent should also not be used around parrots. If you are a parrot owner, it's time to switch over to natural alternatives or find a bird friendly all purpose cleaner. Plain old vinegar and water works wonders as a cleaner. Or you can use a bird safe cleaner called Pet Focus

4) Teflon
Teflon can be present in many forms, typically they can be found in non-stick cookware. They are in pots and pans, portable heaters, popcorn bags (yes you read that right), hair straighteners, hair dryers, toasters, waffle makers, rice cookers, slow cookers, irons and the list goes on. Please do your research when you are purchasing items for your household!

5) Poisoning (Zinc, Lead, Insecticides etc)

Parrots can be poisoned through ingestion (eating) or inhalation (breathing them in). One of the most common poisons for pet birds are insecticides or pesticides. Other poisons include ammonia, bleach, many glues, nail polish remover, oven cleaner, paint, perfumed candles, and heavy metals (e.g. lead and zinc). Poisonous plants are also dangerous, especially holiday plants. It is very important to know that zinc and lead poisoning in parrots can actually be found in cheaply made parrot toys so it is imperative that you know where your toys are coming from. Any type of chains, quick links, bells can contain zinc. Stainless steel or nickle plated hardware is the only type of metal I would recommend using. 

6) Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans pose a serious danger when unclipped birds fly into them. Being animals of prey, birds are inclined to feel a little anxious about moving objects above them and many birds find a ceiling fan to be stressful. Afterall, hawks fly over wild birds in the hunt. Make sure that your pet bird is well supervised when your ceiling fan is on.

7) Windows, Doors, and Mirrors

A bird that flies into a window or mirror may experience a concussion or broken neck. Frightened birds naturally fly toward the light to escape. It could be a window or a door, but mirrors reflect the light in the room, too. Hitting solid glass at full speed can easily break your birds neck or cause a concussion. Even interior doors can be risky. If your bird likes to sit on the top of an open door it could be injured when the door is closed.

8) Open Water

Toilets are the most common source of open water in your home. A lot of us put our pet bird on a shower perch in the morning for a quick bird bath and quality time.  Don't forget to put the toilet lid down! Other water dangers to watch for are sinks, bathtubs, buckets, and your dog or cat water bowls. Hot pots of water on the stove are a frequent cause of death in pet birds.

9) Other Pets

While birds often live happily with other family pets, you should always be careful when your bird is around them. Even though you may think it is very cute for your bird to cuddle up to a dog or cat, the fluttering motion of birds attracts the prey instinct in cats, ferrets and dogs and the bacteria in a bite or scratch can be fatal to you bird within hours. 

We highly recommend keeping an avian first aid kit handy in cases of emergencies! Yunnan Baiyao is also a natural blood clotting powder for birds!

It is also helpful to know in advance where your nearest avian vets are located - Here are some Avian Vets in Canada!


Do you have anything else to add to this list? Please post your comments below!



Date 2/21/2020

(...and queue the wing-clip-verboten-nazi hate mail for suggesting wing clipping for safety)

The Parrot Shop

Date 2/21/2020 11:51:07 AM

That is definitely a personal preference that will vary with everyone. I do think that it really depends on if you have other animals in your household, your bird cage location etc. Lots of factors to consider :)


Date 2/21/2020

Yes I think it’s important to also bring up new ovens omit a chemical that is deadly to birds too. Takes a month or two before they can be on the house after purchasing a new oven.

The Parrot Shop

Date 2/21/2020 11:51:49 AM

YES!! Any new appliance - I would also include crock pots, toaster ovens etc too :)

Mindy Berchansky

Date 2/21/2020

Wow. Such great information. I recently moved into a place with brand new appliances. I did not know using the oven when brand new could be dangerous and it is too late for that. However, I was going to self clean it and luckily the actual instructions talked about the process being deadly for birds. So I didn't do it. Do you think when the spring comes around, if the door to the outside is off the kitchen, would it be okay to put the bird outside and do the self cleaning? If I brought them back in later in the day, do you think that would be safe. Or should I move the bird to another level? Again, great information. Thank you.

The Parrot Shop

Date 2/23/2020 8:00:22 AM

Honestly I would advise against using the self-cleaning function all together. It is not healthy - even for us and I wouldn't even chance it. I would definitely try to find a natural cleaner - baking soda and vinegar works really well. Hope this helps :)

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