Tips for a happy, healthy holiday!
Holidays are a wonderful time of year to enjoy family, friends and your best furry, feathered, and scaled friends! Many of us love to decorate our homes and bake goodies this time of year. This can be exciting, fun and safe, if done properly and with an awareness to potential dangers it can bring to pets. Follow these guidelines so you can avoid accidents and have a safe and enjoyable holiday season!
Inhalant irritants seem to be a very common problem anytime of the year, but can especially become an issue when it gets colder and our homes are closed up. This is increased during the holidays when everyone wants their home to smell festive, when they are bringing in decorations, doing more baking, cooking and more.
Inhalants can be just an irritant, but they can even cause illness or death.
- Some important ones are Teflon coated substances such as cooking pans, heaters, and even some Christmas lights. Always check the labels of products you are purchasing and keep birds out of the kitchen.
- Even aluminum surfaces put off a toxic substance when food burning occurs, and it happens at a lower temperature than Teflon. Many times it’s the fumes from the smoke that can cause problems in the birds.
- Other things around the kitchen include self cleaning ovens, any type of burning food, and boiling water on the stove the bird could potentially fly into.
Candles– scented and unscented can both cause problems. The only safe type of candle around birds are candles that are made of beeswax. There should also always be strict supervision so the candle cannot get knocked over, and the bird cannot get to the flame.
Incense and essential oils should not be used around birds. Especially in diffusers. Basically, keep the air pristine and clean for birds, as a large part of their body is their airsac!
- Humidifiers are very important this time of year to keep their respiratory system moistened and working well, but the humidifier must be cleaned frequently to prevent any buildup or mold. Be sure not to use any additives in the water, as well.
Other inhalant irritants:
- Carpet deodorizers, tree scents, many cleaning solutions, cigarette smoke, smoke from fireplaces if not well vented, any type of aerosol scents in the air or wall plug-ins.
- Febreeze and leather or suede protectants can be deadly if used with the bird nearby.
- Ribbons, or any colored paper or decorations that the bird could ingest or get wrapped around their neck.
- Treated Christmas trees or artificial trees with flocking sprayed on it can be toxic if ingested, and glass ornaments that break while the bird is playing with it can be a real danger as well.
- If you have your carpet cleaned for the holiday festivities, you need to air out the room thoroughly prior to bringing your bird back into the area.
- Decorative lights are very tempting to the curious cockatoo or macaw, and can cause electric shock when chewed on.
As you can see, there are many potential dangers to birds during the holidays and other times of the year. Just be aware of these possible problems so you can avoid disaster for your precious bird companion, so everyone can have a wonderful holiday season!