I love peppermint and like to incorporate it within my tea, I feel like it freshens me up and gives my system that boost of energy I need.
However, every time I get my peppermint out my parrot seems to be rather interested.
He’ll go into his “chattering” mode for a while and just go absolutely crazy from it.
I was about to give him some and thought, should I be giving my parrot peppermint?
That was when I decided to do some research.
The answer to this is no, parrots cannot eat peppermint because it can cause them to dehydrate and increases the chances of heartburn. If Dehydration occurs it can cause muscle cramps/spasms and can lower the parrots immune and central nervous system, which can eventually expand into more illnesses.
In this article, we’ll look at why parrots cannot have peppermint and alternative “peppermint treats” you can give to them.
Feeding your parrot peppermint isn’t the only thing that’s bad for them, but actually the smell.
Surprisingly, most parrots hate the smell of peppermint and it can act as a deterrent.
Some parrots use their senses of smell to locate their food or nests.
Peppermint can be so strong that it can intercept their senses and can cause them a lot of confusion when using their senses to located certain things.
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What Can Peppermint Oil Do To Your Parrot
As mentioned above, parrots cannot have peppermint as it can cause dehydration and increases the chances of heartburn.
This is the same for peppermint oil, peppermint oil is a purer version of the raw materials used to make peppermint.
The smell that comes off peppermint oil, naturally or through a diffuser can be a lot stronger than the raw leaves.
This strong smell can act as a deterrent for parrots and is actually used by pest control agencies to clear an area of birds without having to harm them.
They also use other oils such as garlic oil, cayenne pepper oil, and vinegar.
Now you know that peppermint oil is bad for your parrot, what oils are considered safe around them?
Not all oils are bad to have around your parrot and some are considered beneficial to have around them.
If you commonly use diffusers around the house to make it smell better or for stress reasons, you’ll be able to use pure or non-toxic oils.
These oils are lavender, lemon, and geranium.
Just like with us, parrots can experience the same benefit from having diffused oils in the air.
As they breathe them in it can lower stress levels and anxiety.
Some oils also have the ability to minimize the number of bacterias that is in the air.
Can Parrots Have Peppermint Tea?
As you can see, peppermint isn’t considered the best idea to give to your parrot.
However, there’s a strong myth lying behind peppermint tea.
If peppermint tea is only made from raw ingredients such as water-mint and spearmint leaves, it can be considered nontoxic to a parrot.
But before you start giving your parrot peppermint tea.
Remember that they hate the smell, and this can be a massive discouragement for them to try it.
There are some great peppermint tea alternatives that you can give your parrot.
Parrots love natural teas like green and black tea.
You still have to make sure that some ingredients aren’t found in these teas.
At all costs, avoid green and black teas which include caffeine or theobromine as an ingredient.
Caffeine or theobromine is very toxic to parrots and even in small amounts.
They can have an instant increased heart rate and can lead to cardiac arrest or death.
Most caffeinated teas are made for human consumption and contain caffeine suitable for humans to digest.
Therefore, making your own green or black tea will be the most ideal way to give your parrot tea.
This will ensure that these ingredients aren’t used.
What Are The Negatives of Giving Your Parrots Peppermint?
You know now why peppermint is bad for parrots, but how does it harm them?
Peppermint is toxic to parrots and toxins can increase the chances of disease.
Harmful foods for parrots can have a massive impact on the bird’s immune system.
The parrot’s immune system is made up of lots of different cells which helps them protect themselves from bacteria and viruses.
If a parrot has a weak immune system, it means they are at risk of experiencing more frequent infections and have a harder time to get over these.
As mentioned throughout this article, the smell of peppermint can cause a lot of confusion for parrots and is used as a natural deterrent by pest control companies.
The peppermint can intercept their senses, which they commonly use to find their nests and food.
Peppermint has such a strong smell that it can cause the parrot to have large amounts of confusion and therefore an increase in stress levels.
If you’re using a diffuser this can easily be avoided if you just use other natural remedies, like non-toxic lemon or lavender oils.
As you can guess, if your parrot experiences the above negatives then you can expect them to have a shorter life expectancy than normal.
If your parrot has a weak immune system and an increase in stress levels it can be more open to infectious diseases.
With all of these issues piling up, it will be harder for the parrot to get over the disease and you will have to seek veterinary help.
They may be able to offer medicines and diet requirements to make your parrot better but if they’ve experienced this over a long period, they can only do so much.
Alternatives to Giving Your Parrot Peppermint
Peppermint is made from a mixture of water-mint and spearmint leaves.
All mint flavors and smells are considered toxins for parrots.
However, alternatively here are some natural leaves which you can feed your parrots.
The first one to mention is watercress.
Watercress is an easily accessible leaf and belongs to the cabbage family.
It includes high levels of vitamin A and it helps restore a bird’s low immune systems, poor growth and development, and any respiratory disease they may have.
Next is spinach, spinach is great for us humans and even better for our parrot friends.
It has a high amount of vitamin C and all birds can benefit from this.
Vitamin C can lower stress levels and overall increase the wellbeing of your parrot.
Parsley is another great alternative you can give your parrot.
Parsley has high amounts of calcium which is used to keep the nervous system strong, as well as bones.
Calcium maintains and helps the nervous system and improves communication with cells to fight infectious diseases easier.
Making sure your bird gets enough leafy greens, is important as they all share similar benefits to one another.
Another great leafy vegetable you can give your parrot is butterhead lettuce.
It contains a huge amount of a bird’s daily value of vitamin A (depending on your bird).
Vitamin A is a great nutrient for birds and is required to keep them healthy.
All of the above leafy vegetables are great alternatives to giving your parrot peppermint.
However, it should all be taken with a balanced diet. It’s important to give the correct amount of nutrients to your parrot day in and day out.
A consistent diet will have more long-term benefits than one that isn’t.
Is the Smell of Peppermint Harmful to Parrots?
The smell of peppermint will only be harmful to parrots if it’s a smell they can’t get away from.
For instance, if you’re using peppermint oil in a diffuser located in the same room as the parrot.
They may show signs of stress and confusion, changing the oil to a toxic-free one with lemon or lavender oil will be much better.
Peppermint is a very strong smell and even stronger for parrots.
Parrots use their smell senses to understand where certain things are.
Peppermint can intercept that and can lead to the parrot getting increasingly confused about where certain things are and can cause massive amounts of stress.
Typically, they use peppermint as a natural bird repellent.
This won’t necessarily harm the birds but it’ll throw them off from entering an area.
It can also be used as a natural repellent for most rodents like rats.