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Essential Oils and Pet Birds

Posted on August 10, 2020 by Chad Pegura | 31 comments

Essential Oils and Pet Birds

Important Safety Considerations for Essential Oils and Birds

It is extremely important to use only the top-notch therapeutic grade essential oils around and with your pet bird. While many essential oils claim to be pure, actually, they often can be found to contain chemicals that can prove fatal to birds.

For this reason, we only recommend pure essential oils that have been tested by an independent third-party laboratory.

Before you begin using any essential oil on a bird, an examination by a veterinarian is recommended.

Can You Use Essential Oils for Pet Birds?

Yes. Since many of the aroma products on the market are created with bad quality, synthetic or adulterated essential oils or other man-made fragrance oils, many people believe that all essential oils are toxic to birds. We now know this is not the case. While all birds have a distinct way that they should be exposed to essential oils, it has been discovered that birds not only benefit, but can thrive with the addition of essential oils into their lives.

Why Would We Use Essential Oils on Our Birds?

While it is impossible to duplicate the wild environment for a captive bird it is necessary to do our very best to make the most healthy environment possible. A lack of such an environment can lead to many serious issues, including a number of the problems that people cite for giving up their pet birds including self-abuse, noise making, aggression, feather plucking and other aberrant behaviors.

Essential oils are naturally occurring compounds and found contained within the leaves, flowers, bark, seeds, and rinds of many plants. This means that wild birds are certainly continually exposed to essential oils as they climb, forage, play, and fly in their wild environment. Could the absence of essential oils in the life of pet birds be an element yet to be fully considered in the care of birds in captivity?

Enhancing the sense of well-being of your pet bird, strengthening their immune system and using essential oils as an anti-microbrial and anti-viral are just some of the many reasons for applying essential oils to your pet bird.

Common Essential Oils for Use with Birds

  • Roman Chamomile
  • Frankincense
  • Geranium
  • Helichrysum
  • Lavender
  • Citrus: Lemon, Orange
  • Patchouli
  • Rosemary
  • Ylang Ylang
Essential Oils and Pet Birds

    Ways to Use Essential Oils with Birds

    There are multiple ways to use essential oils with birds, no matter the type of bird. The following are two of the most effective ways for you to use essential oils on your avian friends.

    Cold-air Diffusion

    Cold-air Diffusion is certainly one of the best methods to introduce essential oils into an avian environment. A nebulizing diffuser™ is the quickest and most effective method for most birds.

    In general, it is recommended to begin with approximately 10-15 drops of essential oil (whether a single oil or a blend) added to your diffuser. When unsure, diffuse on LOW volume and for less time, as many of the recommended blends can be quite powerful. This will allow your feathered friend to get introduced to essential oils slowly.

    It is advisable to monitor the bird(s) closely for the first 5-10 minutes of diffusion, especially if your bird is new to a particular essential oil, blend, or essential oils in general. Increase the amounts and frequency of diffusion gradually, although most homes find that eventually they can diffuse on an almost continual basis bringing amazing potential health and lifestyle benefits to their birds.

    Water Misting

    Another favorite technique that is being used on countless pets birds is misting with a mixture of essential oils in water. Birds often enjoy being misted with water for bathing, and when essential oils are added to this "ritual", many bird parents find that their birds enjoy it even more.

    It is important that the essential oil and water mixture be contained within a glass spray bottle and at an extremely low % concentration (<0.5%). Before each use, it is recommended to shake the mixture well prior to misting onto the bird.

    Guidelines for Best Practices with Essential Oils and Birds

    Whenever you diffuse a new essential oil or blend for your bird, start with very short periods of diffusing for several days and increase the length of time slowly over the next couple of weeks. When using a new essential oil, always watch the bird during the first several diffusing sessions and for at least ten minutes following the diffusing sessions to make sure there are no negative reactions. For the first couple of days, check on the bird frequently.

    Some online sources state that tea tree, pine, cedarwood, and citronella can be harmful to birds, but this is certainly thought due to exposure to too much of the essential oil at once and not necessarily the specific toxicity of the underlying essential oil itself. The bottom line is start small and move slowly.

    It is essential to consider that even in humans, all essential oils can be harmful if used in excessive doses or concentrations. Generally it is best to be cautious, go slow and use only small amounts to gauge sensitivity in your subject.

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    25 Responses

    MARLENE GROVE
    MARLENE GROVE

    September 18, 2020

    Thank you for this information, as a bird owner of a cockatoo I appreciate your sharing!

    Anna Kość
    Anna Kość

    August 17, 2020

    wow, thats amzing i did not realizred about using eo for birds!

    Coline T.
    Coline T.

    August 16, 2020

    Thanks, everythingw need for happy birds! :-)

    Brittany Lynn Waelde
    Brittany Lynn Waelde

    August 16, 2020

    Love the info. I have been thinking of getting birds so this is some really good insight

    Marina
    Marina

    August 16, 2020

    Good info!

    David Esca
    David Esca

    August 14, 2020

    Thanks for info

    Maria Teresa Fernandez Ferreira
    Maria Teresa Fernandez Ferreira

    August 14, 2020

    I am increasingly amazed at the properties of essential oils

    Dianne
    Dianne

    August 14, 2020

    Interesting, not something I had considered before.

    Emily B
    Emily B

    August 13, 2020

    I would never have thought of this!

    Manni
    Manni

    August 12, 2020

    Thank you for this interesting information

    Scotty
    Scotty

    August 12, 2020

    The water misting EO’s is a great idea.

    John H.
    John H.

    August 12, 2020

    I didn’t know that birds could use essential oils.

    Jennifer H.
    Jennifer H.

    August 12, 2020

    We have had a few different parakeets as pets.

    Liz
    Liz

    August 11, 2020

    useful tips…thank you

    Liz
    Liz

    August 11, 2020

    useful tips…thank you

    Shirley
    Shirley

    August 11, 2020

    This is fantastic information thank you

    Laur D
    Laur D

    August 11, 2020

    I would have never thought to use oils on a bird. I probably would have kept the diffuser away from the bird.
    I think everyone with pets need to research the oils they want to use do they don’t use any that would harm them.
    I’m looking into starting to use oils. I have 2 small dogs. I will be researching for sure. Thanks for the info !!

    Steph
    Steph

    August 11, 2020

    Very interesting and useful info!

    Kelly Lynn
    Kelly Lynn

    August 11, 2020

    Wow a lot of info and things I never even thought about.

    Esco Garcia
    Esco Garcia

    August 11, 2020

    a great article where every day we learn something new about oils.

    Enri Garcia
    Enri Garcia

    August 11, 2020

    Thanks for information

    Margaret Gallagher
    Margaret Gallagher

    August 11, 2020

    Never have thought they could be used on birds – what a joy

    Debbie Bashford
    Debbie Bashford

    August 11, 2020

    no birds yet maybe one day, so good to know

    Mercedes Saeta
    Mercedes Saeta

    August 11, 2020

    Interesting…

    Javier Vallejo
    Javier Vallejo

    August 11, 2020

    Thank you very much for the information, although I do not have birds as pets, surely my friends will use this information well.

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