Essential oils are a hot trend for humans right now. As many people are looking to go more organic and natural in their lifestyles, many people are turning to essential oils as cures for things like anxiety, breathing difficulties, and other health conditions. But anytime we use something like this around our home, we also need to think about the health and safety of our pets. Just because something is safe and healthy for us to use doesn’t necessarily mean the same is true for our parrots
The answer to this question is no. Eucalyptus essential oils are not safe for parrots. Even though they are made from highly concentrated plant substances, many of the additives used in eucalyptus oil are not safe for parrots, even if just being breathed in.
This leads us to many other questions as well. Why isn’t eucalyptus oil safe for parrots? What about just plain old eucalyptus? And does this mean I can’t use eucalyptus to clean my parrots cage either?
Today we will talk about all of these questions and more – so let’s not waste another minute
What is Eucalyptus oil and what do people use it for?
Eucalyptus oil is a type of essential oil that many people believe have health benefits. Eucalyptus trees are native to Australia but are grown around the world. Their leaves, which contain the eucalyptus oil, are long thought to have their own healing properties.
In order to turn eucalyptus leaves into essential oils, the leaves are extracted from the tree, dried, crushed, and then distilled. From there, you can pop them into your essential oil diffuser and release the eucalyptus scent into the air.
For humans, there are many benefits that come along with the use of eucalyptus as an essential oil. Many people use it to help with nasal congestion, asthma, and other breathing concerns. It’s also been used to repel ticks and other bugs, and ease joint pain.
Some people also apply eucalyptus oil topically to the skin to help with things like arthritis, cold sores, and wounds. It’s also been known to freshen breath.
Why is Eucalyptus Essential Oil unsafe for parrots?
The problem with Eucalyptus oil for parrots isn’t necessarily the eucalyptus itself – because eucalyptus is actually considered quite beneficial for parrots (which we will discuss more later). The problem with Eucalyptus oil is that many essential oils contain additives that can be very harmful to your parrot. The added ingredients, of course, will depend on the grade and brand that you are using.
With that being said, you need to be careful of omitting any kind of scent like eucalyptus around your parrots. Why? Because parrots don’t breathe the same way that we do. More specifically, a parrot’s lungs do not inflate when they breathe. Rather, they have air-sacs that help them to take in air. If any type of irritant enters into the air sac, it can prevent a parrot from breathing properly – and eucalyptus oil can be counted in as an irritant.
In addition to affecting their breathing, anything that goes into a parrot’s air sacs also travels straight into their bloodstream. So for a parrot, breathing in eucalyptus oil is the same thing as injecting eucalyptus into the blood which, as you can guess, would be very dangerous.
I’ve heard of Holistic Veterinarians using Eucalyptus oil?
The truth is, the topic of eucalyptus and other essential oils is a touchy one.
Some people agree that you should never use Eucalyptus oils around your parrot.
There are some others, however, that believe it holds some beneficial properties. More specifically, some holistic veterinarians believe that essential oils like eucalyptus can help to enrich a parrots environment, preventing things like feather plucking, self-mutilation, screaming, aggression, and hormonal behaviors.
This line of thought comes from the idea that eucalyptus is widely available to parrots in the wild. The leaves, seeds, bark, and flowers of many plants hold essential oils within, and parrots are exposed to these all the time. So if they don’t do any harm in the wild, then why would they cause harm in the home?
Which side of the argument you fall on is up to you and may require some more research on your behalf. With that being said, if you fall on the holistic side of the argument and believe that it’s safe to use essential oils around your parrot, there are some precautions you should take first:
- Use them in a diffuser. A diffuser can add healing molecules to the air which can help your parrot absorb the oils once they hit the bloodstream.
- Only absorb 3-4 drops of essential oil at a time
- Never diffuse essential oils in a small room with no ventilation, windows, or air circulation. If you are diffusing oils around your parrot, make sure there is a lot of air flow.
- Try to find an essential oil diffuser that does not use heat
- Choose essential oils that are of pure grade
- Look for oils that do not contain any added ingredients
Please note: this is not a suggestion that using eucalyptus essential oil is okay. It is simply some precautions you can take should you decide to forgo advice and use eucalyptus oil anyways. Please speak to a veterinarian before using eucalyptus oils around your parrot in any form.
Can Parrots Eat Eucalyptus?
Yes! It’s important to note that even though parrots should not use Eucalyptus essential oils, they can eat regular Eucalyptus.
In fact, Eucalyptus branches, leaves, flowers, and nuts can all be provided to your parrots on a regular basis.
When in raw form, Eucalyptus is not harmful to parrots and holds anti-bacterial properties that can be beneficial to their health and well being. Many parrots enjoy chewing on Eucalyptus branches.
Can I use Eucalyptus to clean my Parrots cage?
Again, the verdict is up in the air. Some people will tell you this is okay, while others will tell you it can be harmful to your parrots.
If you are going to clean the cage with Eucalyptus oils, be sure that you thoroughly rinse down the cage afterwards so that the parrot does not ingest any of the oil.
With that being said, this is against advice. Our advice is that it’s better to be safe than sorry. There are plenty of cage cleaning alternatives out there that are 100% parrot safe – so why not use one of those instead?
Can I use Eucalyptus to prevent or rid my parrot of mites?
No. While Eucalyptus has been shown to be a preventative against pests like mites and other bugs that can be bothersome to your parrot, it’s not advised that you use it as a cure. If your parrot has mites or any other form of parasite, they require veterinary attention.
Does this mean that I can’t use Eucalyptus oils around my house?
No. You can still use Eucalyptus oils in your home, just do so away from your parrot. Avoid using Eucalyptus oils in the same or adjacent room as your parrot, and you should be just fine.
If you are going to use oils in a home with a parrot, be sure to select a pure grade and use a diffuser to lessen the intensity.
In conclusion, the verdict is up in the air as to whether or not parrots can safely be around Eucalyptus oils. With that being said, we like to err on the side of caution and say no – parrots should not be exposed to Eucalyptus oils.
This includes oils that are used as aromatherapy or oils that are applied topically. Eucalyptus oils should also not be used as a deterrent or cure for mites, nor should they be used to clean your parrots cage.
If you are going to go against advice and would like to use Eucalyptus oils for your parrot, speak to a veterinarian first to ensure that you can make an informed decision.