Happy Holidays

The holiday season is filled with many things that can that can be harmful to your Parrot. Even the hustle and bustle with family, friends, the blinking decorations or plates of food can add stress or harm your Parrots. Keeping them happy and safe is always a top priority. Here are some things to be careful about while you celebrate the festivities.

According to Dr. Tara Sager of Calgary North Veterinary Hospital, the main reasons for emergency visits during the holiday is ingesting toxins, particularly chocolate. If your Parrot ingests anything in the non-safe food list, go immediately to the vet. Do not try to induce vomiting.

The second most common reason for an emergency visit is trauma from someone stepping or sitting on your Parrot. If your Parrot is bleeding apply pressure to the wound and get to the vet immediately.

Here is a list of several other dangers that our curious Parrots may be attracted to.

1. Poinsettias, Holly and Mistletoe are all beautiful however the leaves can cause direct irritation to the mouth, crop and digestive tract and even death.
2. Ornaments may contain paints with heavy metals such as lead that can be fatal to Parrots. Broken glass ornaments can cause punctures and cuts to a Parrot’s body.
3. Candles, potpourri and incense should never be used around Parrots as the can cause respiratory distress. Improperly vented fireplaces can also pose a risk.
4. The shiny sparkly tinsel lodges in the crop and requires surgery for removal. 
5. Most fake Christmas trees have galvanized (zinc coated) metal branches. Real trees are treated with a fire resistant coating which is toxic to Parrots if ingested. Larger flighted Parrots can knock over a tree when attempting to land and possibly injuring themselves in the process. 
6. Christmas wrapping paper is NOT confirmed to be safe for Parrots and many have glitter that can get lodged in the crop. 
7. Ribbons and bows can easily wrap around a Parrot’s neck, wings or toes causing distress.
8. Electrical cords need to be kept away from those curious beaks. 
9. Sweets (cookies and other baked goods) unless specifically made for Parrots should not be given as a treat. The refined table sugar can cause immune suppression and other nutrient deficiencies 1
10. Savoury foods tend to have a lot of salt in them. Ingesting salty food is unhealthy for Parrots. 


As always supervise your Parrot(s) while out of their cage.  Our feathered friends can quickly get into heaps of trouble especially while you are distracted even for just a moment. Avoiding these things will help prevent an emergency visit to your local veterinarian this Holiday Season.


Calgary North Veterinary Hospital and Campus Estates Animal Hospital in Guelph are 24 Hour Emergency Service facilities with veterinarians specializing in birds attending or on call throughout the holidays.


1 http://www.africangreys.com/articles/other/refinedsugar.htmn