How to Give Your Pet Bird A Bath Indoors

How to Give Your Pet Bird A Bath Indoors

A 9 minute read by Eddie Waithaka

#birdbath #parrotbath

Feathery pets are adorable, exciting, intelligent, engaging, and everything in between, but they are also a giant ball of dry and dusty plumes that demand a wash at least once a week.

I know some pet birds may prefer less (or more) baths weekly, but you'll have to decide what is ideal for them, then entice (or discourage) them from too little or too much shower time.

They are intelligent creatures, trust me, I know, but they are only as clever as a five-year-old and will do things they like (such as bathing under a tap or water stream) even with zero benefits😊.

So, what is the right way and time to bathe your bird, you ask?

Well, it's nothing too complicated. Most will bath themselves all the time if enough water is available

Granted, there are two ways I go about it, one of which your bird will prefer to the other.

The first way is to give your bird (parrot) a little, shallow container of water and leave him to bathe himself. Given this chance, most will get in, dip, and wash for a pretty minute.

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You only need to make sure the bowl is wide enough for your bird.

Of course, a wider container (than your pet) is ideal but never smaller, plus the water should not go past his feet rest he drowns instead of swim🏊‍♀️ in it😢😞.

It's ok if your bird wants to soak up unless it's on a chilly day.

Essentially, your birdie will get out of the water on his own once he feels all clean and has had enough swim time.

In the second method uses a spray bottle placed above your bird a lot like a miniature sprinkler. Once you press it, the water will come out like a mist (do not shoot at them), and your birdie will spread his wing for a good soak up.

Lukewarm water is best for use when bathing your bird, not too hot and not too cold.

See Mimi Rose's video for more insight.

How Do You Get Your Bird to Take A Bath

I did mention bathing your bird is not too complicated, and it still ain't, but your bird needs to first trust you and be willing to shower.

New birdies are especially reluctant to bathe and won't even let you touch them, so you need to come up with hacks to help them appreciate a bath more.

To start with, use positive backing to encourage your birdie.

For instance, I've noted over time that my GCC appreciates a bath more when the environment is right. So if I know he is not eager for a shower, I put on my vacuum cleaners ( which he responds to) or play some soft music.

I really don't know what it is with parrots and vacuum cleaners, but it seems to work for more than a few birdie owners, I included.

Now, perhaps the only way your bird knows when to bath is if it's raining, more so if you have a wild-caught parrot. As such, it might help to have the sound of rain in the background while giving him a wash.

Just keep in mind if you push him too hard, he might lose interest in baths more than he already does, so entice him gently until he warms up to the idea.

You can also try different ways of bathing him to see which he likes better. If it's the first time you are trying to shower him, I suggest you go for the spray bottle trick first since it soaks him a lot less.

Besides, most birds don't like being confined, and using a bowl might have that effect, especially if he does not trust you yet.

Assuming your birdie does not like to be handled, try misting him while in the cage. Treat it like you're giving the cage a rinse, but remember to remove any paper or dyed toys first.

Depending on how your bird reacts to the bath after spraying him with a bottle, you can then experiment with different types of bowls. Some birds respond better to large bowls, while others love smaller bowls.

Don't be surprised if your macaw or grey loves a small bowl, while your cockatiels won't get into any tiny container.

Having said that, your bird might hate the idea of a bath because of things you've done (or they've experienced before), so I must mention you should not put him directly under the shower stream or let him submerge into the water.

This helps keep water off your bird's nose and lungs and respiratory ailments like pneumonia at bay.

See, birds do not have a coughing mechanism as we do, and the best they can do is sneeze to get rid of water from their lungs, which is barely efficient, and if your bird feels distressed by that (or risk getting sick), he won't want to take a shower

How to Bathe Your Bird for The First Time

You may have a new bird that is just starting to trust you, but you're afraid if you push him too hard, he will go back to not liking you. Obviously, one of the things you won't know how to do is introduce birdie to an indoor bath.

What to do?

Well, I think there is nothing more gentle than a light mist from a spray bottle. It will rarely vex your bird, and he will give you enough feedback to work with.

Besides, you can pretend to be cleaning the area around him to see his reaction once the water hits his body.

For instance, you can act like you are cleaning his cage with him in it. This way, he may be disinterested, but if he likes the feeling of water on his body, he will open his wings and signal you to do it again.

Some folks prefer to take their birdies to the shower with them (which might work, don't get me wrong), but I just feel there is so much going on in the bathroom that might be overwhelming for a bird that barely trusts you.

I mean somewhere between the smell of shampoo, cleaning products, and the buzz of a showerhead, your bird will get lost on what is safe and what's not, and granted his first response would be flight inside a closed space, an accident is ever so possible in an instance.

So, perhaps if you do not have immediate access to a spray bottle, consider placing him near a container, bathtub, or sink with just enough water in it and see if he takes a swim.

You can encourage him by maybe swirling or splashing the water lightly with your hand, but do not shove him into the bowl. Let the need to bath come from him.

Most birds I (or friends) have had can't resist a swim a bowl of water. It's part of your feathery pet's natural instinct.

How Often Do Birds Need to Bathe

A bird shower (bath) a week is what I recommend and do with my birdie, but I know keepers who do it twice a week or once in about a week and a half.

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Either of these timelines is good enough, only make sure you do it the right way to keep your bird's plumes and skin moist and free of dust, and also help your steer clear of respiratory ailments, such as pneumonia.

Nonetheless, I would like to think bird species from the tropic (mostly kept as pets) get some amount of rain every week in the wild, so a weekly bath should not be too much for them.

You may want to clean dusty birds, such as cockatiels and African grays more, but don't force them if they are not eager for one.

For less dusty and active birds, lesser baths are ok.

Can I wash, Bathe My Bird with Shampoo, Soap

A resounding No!

Birds do not need soap or shampoo to bathe. They only need clean, room temperature to lukewarm water either in a wide bottom and low sides dish or a misty splash from a spray bottle.

See, birds produce oil and powders to keep them clean and healthy on their own, depending on the species, and shampoo or bath soap will only strip away these moisturizers from their plumes.

Almost all shampoos and soaps are not safe for your bird to breathe or ingest, so you working without them is best.

How to Dry Your Pet Bird, Parrot After A Bath

There are only three ways I dry your birdie after a bath. I can either air (sun) dry them, use a hairdryer or tose them in a preheated room or cage.

Of course, each of these tricks have limitations, but they should work when the conditions are right.

In summer, I shower Pickles (my GCC) early and place him in an outdoor aviary for the better part of the day to sun (air) dry, but in winter (or when he has had a late shower), I prefer placing him in a preheated cage to dry.

You can go the conventional hairdryer way, but my birds do not enjoy it as much. Besides, while using a hairdryer, you risk over-drying a bird that should ideally be left a little bit damp and moist for the grooming and preening they do after.

So, how do I preheat my birdies cage or room, you ask?

For the cage...

,...I cover it with a blanket on three sides and hook a hairdryer to the outside of the pen. I let it heat the space while I bathe (more like giving him a spray or a bowl of water to wade in😎😀😁) pickles.

After the bath, I remove the dryer (or not, it depends), then place my bird in his cage and let him warm up in the little steam room I created for him.

Granted your birdie might have his own room or is allowed to dry in your bedroom, the alternative (to warming the cage) is preheating the space (room) while you bathe your birdie, then let him air dry inside while you go about your other business.

Thats all for this post, see you in the next one🙋‍♀️🙋‍♂️👋.

All the best with your clean, fluffy, cuddly birdie🦜🐦.