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Pet Poison Safety Tips For Bird Owners
Common Household Items Can Be Toxic To Birds

Helpful poison prevention tips to keep your feathered friends safe:

  • Be award of the plants you have in your house. The ingestion of azalea, oleander, yew, or rhododendron could be fatal.
  • Store all cleaners, pesticides, prescription, and over-the-counter medications out of the bird’s reach. Some cleaning agents may cause mild stomach upset, but others can cause severe burns of the tongue, mouth, and crop.
    • Most pesticide baits contain such ingredients as grains or sugars. These ingredients can attract your bird. When using rat and mouse bait or ant or roach traps, place the products in areas that are inaccessible to your bird.
    • Never give your bird medication unless you are directed to do so by a veterinarian. Many medications that are safe for humans can be deadly for birds, even in small amounts. This includes painkillers, cold medicines, anti-cancer medications, antidepressants, vitamins, and diet pills.
  • Food and beverage items that potentially could be dangerous to birds include onions, onion powder, chocolate (bakers, semi sweet, milk, dark), yeast dough, coffee (grounds, beans, chocolate-covered espresso beans), salt, tomato leaves and stems (green parts), potato leaves and stems (green parts), rhubarb leaves, avocados, cigarettes, cigars, snuff, chewing tobacco, moldy or spoiled foods, tea, and alcoholic beverages.
  • Mothballs, potpourri oils, pennies (minted after 1983), homemade play dough, fabric softener sheets, automatic dishwashing detergent, and batteries could cause problems if ingested by birds.
  • Make sure your bird does not enter areas in which insecticidal foggers or house sprays have been applied for the period of time indicated on the label. Birds are sensitive to inhalants, and they typically require longer periods of time away from treated areas. Contact the manufacturer for recommendations if the label information is not specific.
  • Birds are highly sensitive to inhalant fumes. Some common sources for fumes include aerosols found in hairsprays and perfumes, any source of smoke, insecticidal fumigants, overheated Teflon or Silverstone coated pans, automobile exhausts, tobacco smoke, glues, and paints.

© 2002 The ASPCA