Discovering that you or a member of your family is allergic to your beloved bird(s) can be devastating for a devoted parrot lover. The good news is there are things you can do to help alleviate your symptoms and keep your feathered family together.
Parrot allergies are caused by feather dust which a bird emanates whenever he shakes, preens himself or ruffles his feathers. Allergies to birds are among the most common type of pet allergies. Some parrots produce much more feather dust than others. For example, African Greys and cockatoos can cause the air filters in your home to become caked with white, powdery dust; while cockatiels and parakeets produce much less powder. We can vouch for this as our African Grey Jerry and Umbrella Cockatoo Marshmellow have a lot of dander while our DYH Amazon Kiwi does not have a lot of dander.
If you or a family member is allergic to parrots, you will notice yourself coughing and sneezing. A stuffy nose and watery eyes are also common. In more severe cases, you may experience difficulty breathing and a fever. Here are a few ways you can reduce the effects of feather dust and live happily with your birds:
Wash your hands after handling your parrot. If you’ve just spend 20 minutes playing with your bird on his bird stand or parrot playgym, be sure to thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water before touching your eyes or face.
Clean the birdcage daily. Regularly sanitizing your parrot’s living quarters can go a long ways in reducing allergies.
Eliminate the carpet. If possible, replace your carpet with a hardwood floor. Think about it—every time your parrot ruffles his feathers, or spends time playing with his bird toys, he is spreading dust that gets lodged in the carpet. If replacing your carpet is not an option, be sure to vacuum frequently.
Bathe Your Bird. Frequent bathing can keep feather dust to a minimum. You can even take your parrot in the shower with you. To make the experience more fun for your feathered friend, bring along a couple of bird toys for your parrot to play with.
Mist Your Bird’s Feathers. If bathing is too much hassle, or if your parrot won’t stand it, try misting your bird’s feathers with a spray bottle.
Coping with pet allergies can be challenging, but with a few modifications, you can make it work for you and your family!!