There are many uses of essential oils, from aromatherapy, to cleaning solutions, and even just for freshening our air. However, when it comes to birds, essential oils can be potentially dangerous if you are not using the right oils, or not using it in a bird-safe way. The vapors from certain essential oils can cause respiratory problems in birds and even death in some cases. Therefore, it is important to understand which essential oils are safe for birds and how to use them safely in a household with pets. In this article, we’ll discuss whether essential oils are safe for birds and what precautions should be taken when using them in a household with pets.
Overview of Potential Risks to Birds from Essential Oils – Will They Harm Birds?
Essential oils can provide a subtle soothing aroma without any type of caustic chemicals. However, it’s important to note that although essential oils are generally safe for humans, their use around birds can come with potential risks and dangers.
Topical Application of Essential Oils
Topical application of essential oils to birds is not recommended at all. There is the skin irritant risk that some oils may pose after coming into contact with exposed areas such as feet or beak on an unsuspecting bird. Such physical contact with essential oils could result in dangerous reactions, from skin irritation to liver damage after coming into contact with the oil extract itself, making it an unsafe practice to expose birds directly to essential oils, whether neat or diluted.
Birds have a much more sensitive respiratory system, and this can cause them to become agitated or even sick from the overpowering smells of the oils. Even some natural aromas derived from citrus or other plants can potentially cause skin irritation or respiratory distress in some birds.
In general, it is not advisable to diffuse essential oils directly near your pet bird due to the risk of inhalation that can cause severe lung irritation, both short term and long-term effects if used over time in proximity of a bird.
Diffusing Essential Oils
While essential oils can be toxic to birds when ingested or applied topically, diffusing these oils into a space is much safer for birds.
To ensure safety for your birds when using essential oils to diffuse in the air, it is not advisable to diffuse essential oils directly near your pet bird due to the risk of inhalation that can cause severe lung irritation. It is also a good idea to keep your bird as far away as possible from your diffuser. Also make sure that any concentration you use is not overpowering and that you are only using bird-safe essential oils around them.
There are a few ways to diffuse essential oils into the air, but our favorite approach is using essential oil diffusers to do so, as they can be diluted, and they do not have any open flames or heat that could be hazardous to our birds.
Check out the Vitruvi Stone Diffuser, available in many stunning earth-tone and subtle colors that just blends in so nicely to your space, even doubling as a beautiful decor piece.
Are There Any Benefits to Diffusing Essential Oils Around Birds
Essential oils can have a few benefits when diffused around birds. They can be used to soothe and relax birds, create a calming atmosphere, and improve the air quality in their environment. Nevertheless, essential oils should not be the primary means of addressing stress and depression in birds.
It’s also important to note that not all birds tolerate strong smells as well as others so always use caution when diffusing essential oils near them.
Using Essential Oils as a Natural Insect Repellent
Essential oils can be a great alternative to harsh chemical sprays when it comes to keeping birds safe from annoying pests. Many essential oils are known to have insect repelling properties, which is why they have been widely used for centuries as natural alternatives for protecting people, pets, and plants from pesky bugs.
When using essential oils in the vicinity of birds, however, it is important to remember that birds have much more sensitive respiratory systems than humans and pets. Never spray or diffuse essential oils in high concentration directly onto your bird or within their living space.
To use essential oils as an insect repellent around your bird’s environment, consider spraying diluted solutions on areas away from the bird while they are outside of their cage or aviary. Citronella oil ia a popular option that may help repel insects like mosquitoes and fleas safely, while being safe for birds. Avoid excessive exposure and always check product labels carefully before proceeding with any applications near birds—it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Using Essential Oils as a Natural Air Freshener
Using essential oils as a natural air freshener is an excellent alternative to help create a fresh smelling environment with minimal risk to birds. Unlike potentially toxic chemical-based air fresheners, essential oils are generally safe because they contain primarily natural compounds and have fewer toxins compared to chemical-based products.
When using essential oils in your home it’s important to make sure you are staying away from certain oils, as these can be overwhelming or even toxic for birds because of their sensitive respiratory systems. Additionally, if the scent of the oil is too concentrated, birds may experience symptoms like dizziness and confusion. We have put together each a list of essential oils that are safe and unsafe to be diffused around birds.
Common Essential Oils that are Generally Safe to Diffuse Around Birds (In Moderation)
- Sweet Orange
- Ylang Ylang
Essential Oils that are Unsafe to Diffuse Around Birds (Non-Exhaustive)
- Tea Tree
Our Most Recommended Essential Oil Brand – Plant Therapy
Plant Therapy is one of the best essential oil brands out there. Their scents are absolutely delicious, and they are very well priced. I have been a Plant Therapy customer for many years knowing that their essential oils are ethical, sustainable, and non-toxic, which means many of their oils are safe for diffusing around my birds and other pets. They also come in a variety of therapeutic scents that are sure to make your home smell beautiful while still being efficient at removing odors.
Plus, Plant Therapy provides online resources that give recipes and combinations of oils that can be used as air fresheners or deodorizers. A great example is their recipe for a lemon and lime room diffuser! All you have to do is combine four drops of lemon essential oil with two drops of lime essential oil and voila – you’ve got a delicious air freshener that’s perfect for those days when your house needs a little extra loving.
Plant Therapy’s products are also affordable, so you don’t have to break the bank just to keep your bird-safe environment smelling sweet. Try one out today and thank yourself later!
Safety Precautions When Using Essential Oils Around Birds
Using essential oils around your pet birds can sound like a great idea, but can come with some risks. That’s why it’s important to take certain safety precautions when using essential oils around your feathered friends.
Diffuse Essential Oils in Moderation
Always diffuse in moderation and only when needed, and give your bird plenty of time to breathe fresh air, as their respiratory systems can become overwhelmed if exposed too frequently. Never leave diffusers on overnight or in rooms where birds are sleeping — turn them off before the birds retire for the night!
Only Purchase High Quality Natural Essential Oils from Reputable Brands
Only select therapeutic grade quality essential oils with no chemicals or additives. Not all essential oils are safe for use around birds so make sure you do your research and consult with avian professionals before trying out any new products.
We highly recommend the Plant Therapy brand for their range of natural and highly affordable essential oil products. Check them out by clicking here.
Always Check the Labels
When deciding whether essential oils are safe for your bird, always check the labels. Not all brands are created equal and you want to make sure that the oils you use contain only natural ingredients.
Some synthetic versions of essential oil contain potentially dangerous or toxic chemicals, so avoid these!
What About Commercial Air Fresheners? Are They Bad for Birds?
Most commercial air fresheners are bad for birds. They usually contain synthetic fragrances, colors or other chemicals that are toxic and potentially deadly to birds. The synthetic compounds and dyes used in commercial air fresheners can irritate a bird’s respiratory system and many of them also contain drastic chemicals that can be irritating to the skin and eyes.
There is no safe level of these chemical toxins for birds. Even low levels of exposure can cause long-term damage and health problems for birds.
So if you must use an air freshener in your home, opt for a natural one that is proven to be bird safe. Check out this article where we test and review the safest and best bird-safe air fresheners.
Keep Diffusers Away From Birds’ Cages and Sleeping Areas
It is essential that you keep diffusers at a distance from your bird’s cage and sleeping area. The high concentration of essential oils, despite being 100% natural, can easily irritate a bird’s sensitive respiratory system. Exposure to essential oil particles could cause severe respiratory distress.
You should also open windows in order to ensure there is good ventilation throughout the room. This will help eliminate any lingering scents or particles that could be trapped in the room for a prolonged period of time.
Monitor Your Bird’s Behavior After Exposure to Essential Oils
Essential Oils are powerful extracts with strong scents and should be used sparingly. Even those advertised as ‘safe for birds’ still need to be closely monitored.
Some birds may react well to certain essential oils, while others might show signs of discomfort or distress after being exposed. Signs like fluffing up feathers, yawning excessively, and clumsiness when flying are clear indications that your bird is not happy with the difference in environment created by essential oil vapors. Be sure to stay attentive and avoid overexposure if such signs look present.
Final Words – Are Essential Oils Safe for Birds?
There’s a lot to consider. Birds are sensitive to many substances and lack some of the defenses human beings have against inhaling volatile compounds. In addition, any oil used around your bird should be used moderately and monitored closely.
Ideally, the best way to use essential oils safely with birds is to diffuse them only. Avoid topical application to your birds. That being said, it’s always wise to err on the side of caution as what works for one species may not be appropriate for another.
Finally, discuss questions about essential oil safety with your veterinarian or an avian specialist before attempting to use any essential oils around your bird companion. Ultimately they will be able to advise you adequately on how best to proceed should you feel that recommendations would benefit your particular circumstance.