As an owner of a pet, it is up to you to ensure your parrot is safe around your home. Providing safety, be it for humans, properties, or pets can be challenging, and impossible to offer a 100% guarantee. This is because every scenario or decision you take carries with its rewards and the risks. So the best thing you need to do when thinking of parrot proofing your house is to understand your bird and the environment you want it to live in, then you can decide on your own which risks are worth taking and which ones are not.
In this article, we are going to take you through tips for parrot proofing your house. We may not include everything on this list, so in case of an accident involving your parrot, don’t hesitate to contact your avian vet.
Table of Contents
- 1 Doors, windows, skylights
- 2 Suffocating or crushing
- 3 Kitchen Risks For Parrots
- 4 Risks in the Bathroom for Parrots
- 5 Laundry Risks For Parrots
- 6 Parrot Interactions
- 7 House Temperatures
- 8 Electrical cord risk
- 9 Heat sources
- 10 Fumes and smoke
- 11 Heavy metals
Doors, windows, skylights
Though they are one of the most common domesticated birds, parrots don’t understand glass and will attempt to fly through it. To reduce the risks of injuries, consider doing the following:
- Use blinds, shades, or drapes to cover your windows as well as glasses on your door when your parrot is out of his cage. You can also use decals on your windows to deter your parrot.
- Ensure your curtains are strong and securely installed, and occasionally check them for loose wires or holes.
- Drapes and curtains tend to be a threat especially if your parrot’s toenails grow long. So make sure your parrot’s nails are clipped to appropriately.
Suffocating or crushing
Parrots are social and very active birds and sometimes they will hide under objects or enter small openings to nest. This can be the case of you parrot is loose, so ensure follow the actions below.
- When closing a door or a shelf, make sure your parrot is no on the way through the opening or sitting on top of it.
- Do not allow your parrot in places where electrical tools, computer printers, vacuum cleaners or any devices with moving parts are being in use.
- Be careful when using recliners or fold-out beds as your parrot may get underneath them.
- Cover all your house’s air ducts to prevent your bird from getting inside and lost.
- Avoid sleeping with your bird as you could easily crush them
- Before laying or moving anything around in your house, especially areas where there are several layers of fabric, check and make sure your parrot has not gotten between the layers.
- Last but not least, always look where you walk and put heavy objects, as many cases of parrots injuries or deaths have been from being either stepped on or heavy objects placed on them.
Kitchen Risks For Parrots
Your kitchen is perhaps the riskiest room in your house with every object or corner posing a threat to your parrot. Always keep your kitchen door closed to minimize the risk of an accident. Your kitchen should be off-limits to your parrot. Some of the dangers posed to your parrot in your kitchen include:
- The most common ones are burns from open stoves, coffee pots or tea kettles, hot burners, hot cooking oil or boiling water.
- Drowning in a bowl of water, undrained sink or even glass of water if your parrot tries to drink directly from the glass.
- Cuts from knives and other sharp objects
- Injuries or trap in open kitchen appliances such as freezers and refrigerators
- Injuries or even death from toxic fumes such as Teflon, oven cleaners or self-cleaning ovens as well as fumes from cleaning supplies
- Toxic foods. Remember not all the foods we eat are safe for parrots, including avocado, chocolate, beans, grounds, colas, and caffeinated drinks.
Risks in the Bathroom for Parrots
The bathroom is another room with plenty of hazards for your parrot, and just like your kitchen, it should also be out of bounds for your bird.
- Secure the windows of your bathroom to prevent your parrot from flying in.
- Keep your medical cabinet locked all the time
- Avoid using curling iron as it may produce PTFE fumes
- Store safely other potentially harmful items like aerosol hairsprays, shaving cream, hair dyes, and all your cleaning supplies.
Laundry Risks For Parrots
Another risker room of your house is the laundry and poses a number of hazards to your parrot, so make sure you take the required measures.
- Be careful when placing or removing your laundry from baskets as your parrot may be sleeping in the basket.
- Avoid hot irons in the presence of your parrot to prevent the risks of burning and harmful PTFE fumes.
- Always close the doors to the dryer and washer and be careful when loading and unloading the laundry.
- Make sure all your cleaning supplies are safely stored, including bleach, detergents, liquid softeners, fabric softener sheets, fabric dyes, and any other potentially toxic supply. They shouldn’t just be out of reach for your parrot but also your kids as they could expose them to your bird.
As you know, by their nature, parrots are very social birds and with this comes loads of hazards. During its interaction, your parrot could get hurt, or hurt you or a child.
Interactions with kids
- Be careful when leaving your kids with a parrot. Before deciding to allow this kind of interaction between your parrot and the children, consider the age of the kids and their levels of maturity as well as experience with pet birds and the temperament of the bird.
- Don’t be afraid to lay down the rules concerning the handling of the parrot in your house including who is allowed to feed him.
- Show kids the right way to play or interact with parrots
- Have a safe area for your parrot to retreat in case he is tired of human interactions.
Interactions with fellow pets
Another cause of concern is the interaction between your parrot and other pets in your house. You should always be careful when introducing your parrot to other pets in your home. Generally, parrots get along well with cats but less compatible with dogs. Some dog breeds like poodles, retrievers, and poodles are bred for hunting, and therefore, can be a threat to your parrot.
Ferrets should never be allowed in the presence of parrots as they are highly aggressive and can attack your parrot regardless of its size.
All in all:
- Avoid leaving a loose bird in the presence of other pets unattended, even if they get along very well.
- Ensure your parrot’s cage is in a secured place where it cannot be tipped over by vulturine behaviors of other pets.
- Prevent your parrot from accessing places set aside for small pets as these places usually contain molds.
- If you have fish make sure you always cover the fish tank to prevent your parrot from drowning, drinking the water, which may be contaminated by infectious bacteria or water cleaning chemicals.
- Keep away water dishes to prevent your parrot from drowning
- Keep away cat litter boxes as dust and scent can cause respiratory issues to your parrot, or ingestion that can cause obstruction of the digestive path.
- Seal off areas where heat lamps are installed as these can cause serious burns to your parrot. Besides, these lamps usually emit toxic fumes from their covers if coated with PTFE.
- Other pets may also lead to invasion of fleas and ticks, so make sure they are all sprayed.
Both cold and high temperatures can be harmful to your parrot. Also, fans in your house can be hazardous to your parrot, both regular and ceiling.
- Don’t place your parrot cage in a drafty place, keep your bird away from fans, heat registers, and open windows. Also, don’t place your parrot in a cold room or outside in the sun.
- Ensure all the fans in your house are turned off when your parrot is loose.
Electrical cord risk
In modern days, our homes are full of electrical cords due to the increased numbers of electric appliances we use. Electric cords pose serious threats to parrots as chewing on these cords may cause serious burns or even electrocution.
To reduce the risks of injuries caused by electrical cords, use the following:
- Cord concealers are tough plastic that comes in different sizes and colors and are usually used over baseboards.
- Spiral cable wrap is a flexible plastic scabbard that can be wound around electrical cords. However, you must be careful as your parrot may still chew through this material.
- Polyethylene hard tubing or PVC pipe can be used to hide the cords by cutting through the tubing or pipe.
The heat sources in your home are also a major risk threat to your parrot. Burns is one of the most common parrot injuries since they are usually active around the house. Your parrot can be burnt in other places other than in the kitchen.
- Don’t leave your parrot unattended in a room with open flames from candles, heated potpourri pots, fondue pots, or any other sources of heat.
- Don’t let your parrot close to the heat radiators
- Keep your parrot caged whenever you light up your fireplace or using a space heater. While a fireplace can prevent direct access to the fire, the doors can heat up and still burn your bird. Keep the damper and fireplace doors closed when you are not using them.
- Light bulbs are other items that can lead to burning injuries to your parrots, especially the halogen kinds. They are also usually hot even after switching them off, so make sure you cool them before letting your parrot off.
- Avoid leaving matches in the presence of your parrot as they can be poisonous.
Fumes and smoke
You need to be careful with the kinds of fumes and smokes being produced in your home as your parrot respiratory tract is not as developed as humans’. Just keep in mind that whenever a fume or smoke becomes too strong for you, it could already have done much damage to your parrot.
- Don’t let your parrot inhale smoke from whatever source. Smoke from cigarettes and cigars can lead to severe eye, respiratory, and skin conditions. Before getting a parrot to ensure you have installed smoke detectors as well as carbon monoxide alarms.
- Fumes from kerosene, gasoline, lighter fluid, as well as other petroleum products, are harmful to parrots.
- Marijuana can also affect your parrot, as cases of depression and spewing have been reported.
- Fumes from paint, preservatives and wood stains, turpentine, mineral spirits, paint thinner, painter remover, and any other solvent are not good for parrots.
- Scented candles, tee tree oils, potpourri, air fresheners, and essential oils are also toxic.
- Avoid exposing your parrot to cleaning supplies as well as disinfectants such as bleach, ammonia, phenols, pine oil, window cleaning, spot remover, cleaning solution, and floor polish.
- Keep away perfumes, room deodorizers, hairsprays, deodorant, and nail polish remover or any product with propellant.
- Items such as permanent markers, glues, and mothballs can also give off fumes.
Heavy metals you need to keep away from your parrot include lead, zinc, and arsenic. These are also common in our houses and may be used in items made for parrots such as toys and even cages.
- Lead is available in linoleum, certain types of paints, tile, plumbing materials, batteries, lead foil, putty, golf balls, solder, lubricants, the back of some mirrors, roof coverings, cork foils of wine bottles, rug pads, insulation, drapery weights, fishing sinkers, newsprint, dyes, lead shots, and stained glass objects.
- Zinc is available in solder especially in bird cages, zippers, snaps, padlocks, galvanized metal, costume jewelry, and clasps and chains in parrot pets.
- Arsenic is available in most insecticides, pesticides, weed killers, rodenticides, wood preservatives, alloys, and insulations.
To avoid heavy metals from affecting your parrot, be mindful of the material of the cage you buy for your parrot. Also, check the toys and make sure they are not made with any of these harmful metals.
You can always get non-heavy metal items for your parrot.
Other toxic to be careful of include:
- Toxic houseplants such as morning glory, philodendron, and poisonous ivy among others.
- Guns and its supplies including powder, cleaner, and ammunition
- Christmas decorations such as angel hair, tinsel, tree flocking, ribbons and balloons, glass ornaments, and Easter basket.
- Some soils can also contain harmful chemicals, especially pesticides and fertilizers and can harm your bird. Organic soils can too contain harmful substances such as fungi, which can cause severe fungal infections to your parrot.
To prevent your parrot from flying around into troubles, consider clipping its wings. While this does not mean it will never fly again, it will sure slow it down and even if it was to fly into something, it won’t have serious injuries. Use a flight suit with lanyards.