Have you always wanted a pet bird but are prone to allergies? No worries, we’ve got you covered and will delve further into the details of everything you need to know on hypoallergenic pet birds.
If you’ve got limited space in your home and want a great companion, birds can be a fantastic alternative to a dog or a cat. They’re suited for stay-at-home households and require minimal grooming.
They’re also relatively inexpensive to feed, thrive in small living spaces, and are long-lived companions that are incredibly intelligent. From parakeets to parrots, take your pick of some birds that’ll make for a great family pet!
Read on to find out more!
Why Are Humans Allergic to Birds?
The primary cause of allergic reactions in humans is due to the dust, dander and dried fecal matter that birds produce.
Dander can be produced naturally, or be the result of grooming. It’s essentially flakes of skin, keratin, feathers, as well as any dirt or grime that the bird may have picked up. This dust and dander can then become airborne, and result in allergic reactions. Fecal matter that dries at the bottom of the bird cage can also become airborne and wreak havoc in your respiratory system.
There’s a risk of developing a number of serious respiratory conditions, even if you’ve lived with the bird for many years. These can include asthma and a lung condition called allergic alveolitis (aka bird-fanciers’ disease).
What Makes Birds Hypoallergenic?
There isn’t a bird that’s 100% hypoallergenic as they all produce some dander. There are, however, birds that produce less dander than others, and some ways to minimize the spread of dander include keeping your bird clean, along with proper maintenance of their cage.
Are Some Species More Hypoallergenic Than Others?
Yes, there are some species of birds that are considered to be more hypoallergenic than others. This means that they are less likely to trigger allergic reactions in your household.
Hypoallergenic bird species include:
- Eclectus Parrots
- Parakeets (budgies)
- Pionus Parrots
- Quaker Parrots
If you’re prone to allergies or just want to be cautious, then you should stick to birds of these species when adding one to your home.
Parakeets are an especially good choice for allergy sufferers as they produce almost no dander.
At the same time, certain species of birds can cause more severe allergic reactions (they’re known as powder-down birds) and can produce higher levels of dust. Some examples include African Grey Parrots, Cockatoos, Cockatiels and Amazons.
If you’d like a pet bird even if you’re prone to allergies, you must clean your bird and maintain their cage properly.
Read on for details on how to do both!
How to Clean a Pet Bird
There are a few things you can do to clean your pet bird. You can choose to:
- Mist your bird with water
- Wash your bird with soap, and allow them to air dry
- Take your bird to a vet or a professional cleaner
Make sure that you’re doing this properly as the last thing you’d want to do is frighten your bird. If you’re unsure, it’s safer to take your bird to a professional. It also means you steer clear of coming into contact with allergens during the process!
How to Maintain Your Bird’s Cage
Birds can be messy, but keeping their cages sparkling clean will not only keep your bird happy and healthy, but it’ll also help with minimizing allergies. Somethings that you should do to properly maintain your bird’s cage include:
- Removing waste and other materials such as feathers everyday
- Do a deep cleaning every week
- Change out your bird’s food and refill the bottle with fresh water
- Remove seeds or nuts from the bottom of the cage along with feces or other feathers
- Wipe down all surfaces with a vinegar and water mixture or an enzyme spray that you can purchase at the pet store
If you’re taking care of this on your own, make sure you invest in thick rubber gloves and a face mask to prevent coming into contact with allergens present in the cage.
Other Ways to Minimize Bird Allergies
Other than keeping your bird’s cage pristine and cleaning them, there are a few other things you can do to help with minimizing bird allergies and they include:
Ready to Get a Pet Bird?
Sold on getting a bird? Great! Just know that there are still some commitments in taking care of a bird, so you want to make sure that you’re ready to do so. The below are some things that you should take note of if you’re ready to get your very own pet bird:
The bigger the bird, the larger the commitments involved with keeping it. While large birds can also make fantastic companions, they can be louder and more demanding. If you’re just starting, it’s best to start out with a small to a medium-sized bird.
Do some research on your bird’s temperament. Find out if you prefer a bird that likes to socialize, or prefer one that likes to remain in their cage without being touched.
Know about their nutrition and maintenance as some birds have more specific diets, and others require special care. Lories, for example, need a very specific diet of pollen, nectar, and fruit. They also produce liquid droppings that make it necessary for their cages to be cleaned more frequently.
Larger birds can be more costly – sometimes costing thousands of dollars. Smaller birds may be less expensive but also come with various obligations.
Some larger birds such as hookbills require daily exercise and interaction along with time out of their cages. If you’re not able to commit that time, you may want to consider getting a smaller bird that you’ll be able to take care of adequately.
We hope that this article helps you with your search for a hypoallergenic pet bird, and you’ll be able to add one of these adorable animals to your home.