can birds drink sparkling water

Birds can be like toddlers: They are both very oral and like to check things out by putting them in their mouths. Just like children, when pet birds are out unsupervised, this habit of tasting things can get them into trouble. As an avian veterinarian, I treat birds every week for getting into toxic substances. Though some foods and objects are clearly potentially toxic to birds, there are others that might not be so obvious. Also, what may be toxic to one bird species may not be to another. Despite some variability in species susceptibility to certain toxins, as well as a lack of scientific studies proving the toxicity of certain substances in birds that are definitely toxic to mammals, there are some items to which birds should never have access. Here are perhaps the top 10 toxins for which I treat bird patients in my veterinary practice.

5. Onions and Garlic

These delicious spices, which are thought to be heart-healthy for humans, are well-known to be poisonous to dogs and cats and have killed geese and other house birds. Cooked, raw, or dehydrated onions all contain sulfur compounds that, when chewed, can rupture red blood cells and result in anemia (insufficient red blood cell production). Additionally, onions can cause ulcers by irritating a bird’s crop, esophagus, and mouth. Allicin, a substance found in garlic, can occasionally cause anemia in birds. Birds are best described as bland; avoid giving your birdie spices.

6. Salt and Fat

Salt: This beloved condiment is overindulged by many of us, and birds also enjoy it. But for a small bird, a few chips or pretzels can contain potentially toxic amounts of salt that can upset his electrolyte balance, causing excessive thirst, dehydration, kidney dysfunction, and even death. Let’s face it: what bird doesn’t love to munch on a bunch of salty chips, popcorn, crackers, or pretzels? Similar to humans, some birds may develop atherosclerosis, or the accumulation of fat deposits in the arteries, as a result of eating fatty foods like nuts, fatty meat, and large amounts of butter. This condition can cause heart disease and stroke in certain birds. Similar to humans, some bird species appear to be more susceptible to coronary artery disease, high levels of triglycerides and cholesterol, and Amazon parrots. Additionally, a bird’s risk increases with even a few bites of high-fat or high-salt foods if it is smaller in size. Therefore, it is best to simply exclude these foods from your bird’s diet.

According to legend, giving birds carbonated water can cause them to burst because of gas accumulation in their bellies. However, this is most likely untrue because birds can burp it up. Although the stomachs of birds and humans differ in certain ways, both have an oesophagus that enables food to pass through to the crop (where a human stomach would be). As birds have no teeth they swallow food whole. It descends to the crop so that it can be regurgitated to nourish their offspring. Consequently, they ought to be able to regurgitate gas if they can regurgitate food. However, it’s best to stick to still water for your pets because it’s not really natural for birds or other animals to drink fizzy water!

FAQ

Can animals drink sparkling water?

If humans can drink carbonated water, can dogs safely drink it too? The short answer is yes, dogs can drink carbonated water. You just need to make sure that you’re serving only carbonated water and not water that includes extra added flavors. Even then, you’ll only want to keep portions to a couple of sips.

Can birds drink La Croix?

No bird can drink carbonated water.

Can my bird drink soda?

Caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea and soda are tempting to share with your bird, but even a few sips of these beverages can be extremely hazardous to your feathered pal. Caffeine may cause increased heart rate, arrhythmias, hyperactivity and even cardiac arrest in birds.