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Are Christmas Trees Safe for Pet Birds?

December 15, 2022

If you’re thinking about buying a Christmas tree this holiday season, you might be wondering if they are safe for pet birds. After all, birds love to chew on things and they aren’t too picky about what they put in their beaks! The good news is there are ways to ensure that your feathered friend stays healthy during the holidays. 

Read on as a local vet talks about how to keep your bird happy and safe during this festive season!

Christmas Tree Concerns

Christmas trees are a common sight in homes during the holiday season. While some pet owners choose to include their birds in the festivities by decorating with lights or stringing popcorn, others opt not to bring their birds near Christmas trees. Why? The answer to this question is both simple and complex: while many types of Christmas trees are safe for pets, they may be dangerous if they’re not maintained properly.

Pine Needles, Tree Sap, and Water Additives 

If ingested, pine needles, tree sap, and even some types of water additives can be harmful or poisonous to birds:

  • The sharp ends of pine needles can easily poke the digestive tract and intestines of a bird if eaten.
  • Pine tree sap is sticky, making it hard for a bird to digest, and may cause diarrhea or constipation in your pet.
  • Some water additives used to make Christmas trees “glow” contain chemicals that are toxic to birds when consumed in large quantities.

Other Christmas Tree Dangers to Avoid

If you have both a bird and a Christmas tree in your home, it is best to keep them apart. Here are a few precautions to keep in mind:

  • Birds need fresh air and light as much as humans do, so it’s important that your tree doesn’t block access to doorways or windows throughout your home 
  • Make sure that you don’t place any furniture underneath the branches of your tree; otherwise, your pet could easily become trapped beneath them  
  • Keep the tree away from the bird’s food and water.
  • Keep the tree away from any other pets (cats included)
  • Make sure the tree is out of reach of your bird
  • Avoid placing any tree in your bird’s cage or aviary that has been treated with pesticides, chemicals, or preservatives
  • Avoid using artificial trees made of toxic materials like polyurethane and polyvinyl chloride (PVC)

The bottom line is that birds and Christmas trees do not go together. If you have both in your home, it is best to keep them apart.

If you have more questions or wish to schedule a checkup for Tweety, feel free to call us, your local vet, anytime!

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