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Bird Poison Prevention Tips

Pune Draker


If you share your home with a companion avian, you know how sensitive your feathered friend is to his environment. Birds, for example, are more adversely affected by smoke and gases than dogs, cats and other mammals, and special considerations must be taken to keep them in the “sing” of things. In honor of Adopt A Rescued Bird Month, we asked Dr. Jill A. Richardson of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) for some smart tips to keep your home safe and secure for your pet:

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

“Birds are highly sensitive to inhalant fumes,” explains Richardson. Please avoid exposing yours to fumes from overheated Teflon- or Silverstone-coated pans, automobile exhaust, tobacco smoke, glues and paints, insecticidal fumigants, perfume and hair spray.

Most pesticide baits contain ingredients, such as grains and sugars, that can attract your bird. Should you need to use rat and mouse bait or ant and roach traps, take care to place them in areas that are inaccessible to your pet.

Keep all prescription and over-the-counter drugs out of your bird’s reach, preferably in closed cabinets. Says Richardson, “Pain killers, cold medicines, anti-cancer drugs, vitamins and diet pills are all examples of human medications that can be lethal to birds, even in small doses.”

Never allow your bird access to areas in which cleaning agents are being used or stored. Should your pet ingest them, he could suffer from a range of symptoms, depending on the substance, from mild stomach upset to severe burns of the tongue, mouth and crop.

Polly may want a cracker, but she certainly shouldn’t have the following foods that are potentially harmful to pet birds of all species:

  • avocados
  • alcoholic beverages
  • chocolate (baking, dark, milk, semi-sweet)
  • coffee (grounds, beans)
  • onions and onion powder
  • potato leaves and stems (green parts)
  • rhubarb leaves
  • salt
  • tea
  • tomato leaves and stems (green parts)
  • tobacco (cigarettes, cigars, snuff, chewing tobacco)
  • yeast dough

If you suspect your bird has gotten into a potentially poisonous substance, call your veterinarian or the APCC’s emergency hotline–1-888-4-ANI-HELP–for round-the-clock telephone assistance. For more information on poison prevention, visit APCC online.

© 2002 ASPCA

Courtesy of
424 East 92nd St.
New York, NY 10128-6804
(212) 876-7700

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