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by Diane Burroughs August 04, 2016 5 min read

By Diane Burroughs

Updated 01/09/2022

How do you bathe your parrot? It’s something that can seem like an awfully daunting task if you’ve never done it before, but it’s actually quite easy if you go about it the right way. We’ve put together this guide on how to give your parrot a bath, with all the tips and tricks you need to make it as easy and quick as possible while still making sure your feathered friend stays safe and happy throughout the process.

Can you give a bird a bath?

Sure you can! However, some birds do not like water and others are not used to bathing or being handled by humans. If you are considering giving your bird a bath it is best to consult with an avian vet who will be able to determine if your bird is healthy enough for a bath and teach you how to handle your bird safely while giving them a bath.

There are many different ways that you can bathe your parrot and different types of parrots naturally bathe differently so it is very important that you do your homework to help you from start to finish. Listed below are steps on how to give a bird a bath.

Keep in mind that you should never bathe a sick bird.

Why you should give your bird a bath

Routine Parrot Baths Are Good For Your Bird’s Skin Health. Dust can get trapped on a bird’s skin and cause irritation and itching. Poor parrot hygiene has been identified as one of the contributing factors in feather plucking.

And if you have asthma or allergies, breathing in feather dust can make breathing difficult. Bird dust accumulates in your furnace and ductwork too, but bathing helps to minimize the damage. So here’s how to give a parrot a bath.

Don't let anyone fool you - giving your bird a bath every few weeks is a must! From picking out the perfect bird bath to soothing a wary feathered friend, read our article on what you need to know about giving your parrot a bath. It's easy! Bathing a pet bird takes less than 15 minutes and can be done using a bowl, sink, water bottle, or anything else you have handy. Check out the 5 steps below.

How do you train your bird to take a bath without getting your finger bit off?

Remember when bathing a parrot: Our feathered friends aren’t fans of cold water (like most animals). So start by filling their bowl with warm water. It should feel more or less like human bathwater (maybe cooler if you live somewhere really hot). This will help them get used to it easier as they begin grooming themselves in preparation for their bath.

You can either use a bird bathing bowl or spray it. Either way, if your parrot isn’t used to bathing in water that comes from something other than its faucet, start with room temperature (or warm) water and work your way up from there as your pet gets used to having water spray at him or her. This will also minimize any discomfort and confusion they might feel while you are washing them since they are less likely to feel like they are drowning!

When working with your parrot’s personality, one thing to remember: Be patient! While many parrots will eventually begin accepting baths on their own, some birds require training to do so—particularly those that were neglected or abused in their younger years. The clicker training method we recommend has its roots in positive reinforcement and can help you form a strong bond with your feathered friend while making bath time more enjoyable for both of you. And when it comes to working with your parrot's personality, just keep this one thing in mind: Be patient!

How do you bath a bird?

As humans, it's easy to forget that not every animal has the luxury of a fancy shower. Birds are one of those creatures; they don't enjoy long baths nearly as much as us humans do. In fact, trying to give your bird a bath will probably make your feathered friend pretty mad at you! 

Here’s how to get your parrot to enjoy a bath for good. But, taking the time to figure out what kind of bath your bird prefers can go a long way. Tiny birds like to bathe in small dishes or in leafy greens, like lettuce. Medium to large birds prefer a larger dish or a sprayer. If your bird is timid about bathing, give a sprayer with a fine mist setting a try.

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Birds DO NEED baths, and there are tons of ways to give them one! A lot of birds love perching on a shower perch while you're getting a shower. My little green-chipped parrot LOVES bathing in an auto-filling pet water bowl!

 

What should I wash my bird with?

Schedule Bathing Procedure
Daily

We offer a freshwater bath for each of our birds daily. The easiest way to bathe our birds is with a shower perch.

The heavy-duty suction cups stick to a smooth surface shower wall. Our birds love the warm, gentle spray of a shower and we love washing feather dust right down the drain.

 Weekly Nearly weekly we give our parrots bird bath spray to remove any stubborn feathers. This product includes Vitamins A, D & E, plus natural moisturizing oils to nourish the skin. We notice that our bird's feathers look much cleaner, softer, and more vibrant in color after using the bath spray. The natural moisturizing oils promote healthy grooming and soothe itchy skin.
Monthly (or less) Every once in a while, and certainly no more than once a month, we do a deep conditioning style bath using Parrot Shampoo. The parrot ph balanced, low suds lather deeply cleans and conditions each feather thoroughly and its gentle on the skin, too. Parrot shampoo cleans heavily soiled feathers and more thoroughly removes the protective dust - so you definitely don't want to over do it.  We use it before a vacation when our birds will be in the car for a long trip or when our birds have become very soiled for one reason or another - like Smokey bathing in a dirty water dish.

How do you dry a wet bird?

We don’t recommend using a blow dryer for a few reasons. First, they have toxin-laden Teflon that could kill your bird. Also, they tend to dry out the skin. To dry your bird, simply soak up any excess moisture with a towel. Place your bird in a draft-free area and let it air dry. If your home is cold, you may be able to hook up a birdcage heater to the side of the cage or use a heated perch.

Related Posts:

Pet Bird Safety & Grooming

Parrot Foot Health

How To Trim Your Bird's Wings


Diane Burroughs, LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist trained in ABA therapy techniques. She specializes in avian anxiety disorders and is certified in Nutrition For Mental Health. Diane has written a number of bird behavior books and she offers behavior consultations. She's developed a range of UnRuffledRx Science-backed Parrot Wellness Supplies.

Diane's products have been featured in the Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery and at Exoticscon, a conference for exotic pet veterinarians. Her bird collars & supplements are stocked in avian vet clinics and bird stores throughout the US. With over 30 years in the field of behavior, Diane has created thousands of successful individualized behavior plans that help pets thrive.

TAGS: #BathingABird #GiveABirdABath

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