Essential Oils and Pet Birds

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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    30 thoughts on “Essential Oils and Pet Birds

    1. Laur D says:

      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 !!

    2. Javier Vallejo says:

      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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