Pet Bird Care: How To Boost Air Quality Indoors
Within American indoor settings, the levels of air pollutants are often 2 – 5 times higher than outdoor levels, according to the EPA.
Considering how important air quality is to pet birds, this was a pretty shocking discovery for me.
Since birds have VERY sensitive respiratory systems, they’re much more susceptible to getting sick from airborne pollutants than we humans are.
Birds simply didn’t evolve to be immune to airborne toxins/odours.
In fact, inhaling even the smallest amount of airborne pollution can be damaging to pet birds.
Wild parrots breathe nothing but fresh air, and they need that same air quality in captivity to remain healthy.
Unfortunately, there are so many common household items that emit fumes/odours into the atmosphere that aren’t good for our beloved birds.
Common Household Odours That Are Toxic To Pet Birds
- Fumes from non-stick cookware (Teflon, PTFE)
- Smoke (Cigarette, marijuana, or smoke from burnt food)
- Heavily odorous cleaning supplies (Disinfectant spray, wipes, and any other strong-smelling cleaning supplies)
- Air freshener sprays
- Scented candles & incense
- General cooking fumes
- Carbon monoxide (Typically comes from fuel-burning appliances, such as gas stoves, ovens, water heaters, etc)
- Paints (Strong toxic odours emit from open paint cans and freshly painted walls)
- Nail polish
- Aerosol sprays (Hair spray, deodorant)
- Bird dust/dander
Yes, birds can even be negatively impacted by their own airborne dust dander if inhaled excessively.
Your bird’s respiratory system (As well as your own) can get damaged if they breathe in any of the listed odours, even in small amounts.
I’m not going to sugar-coat anything, birds can actually die from inhaling some of these toxic fumes!
One infamous bird killer is fumes from non-stick cookware.
There have been countless cases of pet bird death because the owners weren’t aware of the extremely toxic fumes emitted from non-stick pans.
If you’re unsure if something is toxic or not, please follow this general rule of thumb:
General rule: If something is toxic to us humans, it’s definitely toxic to pet birds. However, not everything that is toxic to birds is toxic to us humans.
12 Ways To Improve & Maintain Indoor Air Quality For Pet Birds
1) Keep fresh air circulating throughout the house with open doors and windows
2) Invest in an air purifier with a HEPA filter. HEPA filters can trap super fine dust particles with 99.97% efficiency, which is ideal for eliminating bird dander and other small pollutants from the air.
3) Clean the house and bird areas regularly (Vacuuming, wiping with damp cloths, removing dust, etc)
4) Avoid using heavily odorous cleaning supplies indoors
5) Store odorous boxes and packages outdoors, or at least a few rooms away from your birds
6) Avoid smoking indoors (Obviously)
7) Avoid cooking around your birds and thoroughly ventilate the house when cooking
8) Get some houseplants! (Certain houseplants have been proven to filter/absorb a variety of gases, odours, and chemicals from the air. Make sure you’re aware of which plants are safe and toxic for birds. You’ll need to keep birds away from toxic houseplants.)
9) Avoid spraying aerosols (hair spray, deodorant) indoors
10) Avoid using scented candles indoors
11) Ensure all heating devices are working properly and aren’t decreasing the air quality with harmful odours.
12) Wash bed sheets, drapes, and blankets regularly as they attract a lot of dust and allergens.
Avoiding the use of toxic odours indoors and regularly cleaning the house is an effective way to improve and maintain good air quality, so you and your flock can breathe easily.
Hopefully, you found huge value in this short article!