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Showering Your Parrot with Love

Parrots need to be showered on a regular basis; in fact, parrots are one of the pets who get the most health benefits from regularly being exposed to water. If you don’t give your bird routine access to water, their skin with get dry and flaky and their feathers will lose their pliable, bright condition. For most parrots, misting or gently showering your pet with water is ideal, but two or three times a week will usually suffice. If you live in a colder climate and during the winter months you may want to shower your parrot more often or have a humidifier installed in the room where your parrot spends most of their time.

Why Do Parrots Need Showers?

Parrots who don’t get enough moisture from the air or shower can develop itchy, dry skins that causes your bird to scratch with their beak and begin pulling out their feathers in an attempt to relieve their discomfort. Feathers will also become brittle and the shafts can bend or break.

How Do I Shower My Parrot?

The easiest way to bathe parrot is to mist them with a spray bottle filled with plain water. Don’t aim the spray nozzle at him, however, because a concentrated spray can sting their skin. Instead, shoot the water into the air above your bird so that the water will fall over him like a gentle rain shower. Most parrots will wiggle, preen and spread their wings so that the water hits every inch of their skin and feathers. Take the time to let the water get down through their feathers to their skin. You can do this in their cage as long as you throw out the cage liner when done and put in fresh, dry liners. If you’d rather, the shower or a large sing with a spray attachment can also work well.

If showering your parrot isn’t convenient, try putting a shallow water bowl in the bottom of the cage. Your bird will enjoy splashing around (but expect to get a fair amount of water slopped on the floor) and preening in a bath.

Whether showering or bathing a parrot, never use any kind of soap or cleanser. These can damage the skin and feathers or even make them sick. Unless a parrot is excessively dirty or has been exposed to some kind of oil or grease, water is the best solution. If your parrot is coated with something potentially dangerous, your best option is to immediately take him or her to an avian veterinarian.

How to Dry a Parrot After Bathing

During warmer months, parrots can simply air dry while they preen and arrange their feathers. If it’s colder outside or the room temperature is cool, it can be tempting to use a hair dryer to speed up the process of drying. Do NOT do this. There are chemicals on the heating coils of many dryers that can poison your bird. It’s also easy to burn their skin with the high temperature. Rapid drying also defeats the purpose of showering because it will usually dry the skin and feathers too much. If the room is too cold for your parrot’s comfort, using a heat lamp meant for birds can be placed near the cage to keep him or her warm while he dries.

Parrots have their own method of keeping warm after showering or bathing – their chest muscles quickly expand and contract to encourage blood flow and keep them warm. Many people mistake this for shivering, but it isn’t. It’s a perfectly natural way to help them stay comfortable until they are dry by increasing their body heat.

The most rewarding part of showering your bathing a pet parrot is the obvious delight these beautiful birds take in the water.


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