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by Diane Burroughs July 29, 2020 7 min read 4 Comments

Did you know that your feathered friend can greatly benefit from misting?

Birds in the wild get regular showers, thanks to the rain. You might even come across birds taking a quick bath in lakes and puddles. Bathing is a part of a bird’s natural grooming routine.  

But, pet birds don’t get as many baths as they should. 

We should change that, shouldn’t we? 

In this article, we’ll explain why misting baths are great for your feathered friend, and how to give him one. 
We’ll teach you everything you need to know. Let’s get started!  Here's what we'll cover.


Why Parrots Need a Misting Bath

So, what’s the deal with all of these bird sprays on the market? 

Bird sprays are popular as an important first line of defense against feather plucking, molting support, and itching. They're often the first and most affordable defense line at the first sign a plucking problem.

Everyone wants their bird to be comfortable in its own skin and to have beautiful, healthy feathers. 

So, let’s take a look at why parrots could use a misting bath!

Improved Skin Health 

Since parrots are from tropical regions, they are prone to dry skin in household environments--especially if your home's air-conditioned and has central air.

Cold and dry environments lead to dry skin, itchiness, and general discomfort. Daily misting with soothing bird sprays can help to moisturize the skin and condition the feathers. 

Feather Care and Support

Feathers are a parrot’s best asset--they use them for warmth, flight, mating rituals, and more. Keeping the feathers clean and in good condition is crucial, especially for powder down birds like Cockatoos, African Greys, and Cockatiels. 

So, how can we help them? 

You can start off by not using harsh shampoos that strip away preening oils and even exacerbate dry skin issues. Herbal mists with the proper PH and soothing ingredients support healthy skin.

If done right, a misting bird bath is bonding, comforting, and healthy for your pet. Depending on the type of spray, it can support various skin and feather ailments that may lead to plucking.

Opt for natural products with bird-safe preservatives. 

So, let’s get to it.  Here is how to mist your bird for best results.

Keep it Fun!

How to mist a bird

Always keep misting lighthearted and enjoyable for the bird! Some birds are fearful at first, especially re-homed birds that may have been squirted with water as a disciplinary technique.

Keep in mind that the goals of misting are to ease physical discomfort, improve skin and feather health, and not to stress your parrot out.  Consider training your parrot to accept a misting bird bath.  We’ll get to that below.

Misting for Different Conditions: Choosing an Appropriate Spray!

Misting is incredible for your bird’s feathers.

Misting sprays offer protection for different skin issues and some solutions even contain preening oils that help ensure that your bird looks magnificent.

How to use a bird bath spray


Food allergens, dry skin, nutritional deficits, low humidity, infrequent baths, and environmental allergens all can cause your bird to feel itchy.  For best results, you should use a moisturizing misting spray such as theUnRiffledRX FeatherSoft Itching Parrot Relief formula. 

FeatherSoft Anti-Itching Spray for Birds

FeatherSoft is an herbal, oat-based spray that cleanses the skin, binds to the skin to preserve moisture, and has anti-inflammatory properties.

Abrasions and Rashes 

Aloe Vera is a natural way of healing rashes and abrasions that may lead to feather plucking.  Is is thought to speed wound healing by improving blood circulation through the area and preventing cell death around a wound. When a bird pulls out a feather, the follicle becomes inflamed, which can in turn make feather plucking worse. UnRuffledRX Aloe Vera Spray supports skin health and may help relieve itchy skin, remove scales, and clean the oil sacs and pores.

Aloe Vera Spray for Birds

General Bath Spray

Often, our feathered friends don’t get as many baths as they need!

Did you know that wild birds bathe daily?  Not only do baths moisturize the skin but they also cleanse feathers and promote healthy preening. Mom and dad teach their young the benefits of bathing as well as how to use their preening gland.

Your pet needs routine baths, too.  

What to do!? 

Daily baths can help improve feather quality.NatraPet Bird Bath Spray with Preening Oil is an excellent option because it lightly coats the skin and feathers with gentle oils that promote healthy preening. This is important for hand-reared chicks that were never taught how to use their preening gland.

Divert Plucking

Has your feathered friend been obsessed with plucking? 

To divert plucking, you should go with an anti-pluck spray like theNo Pick Parrot Anti Plucking Spray. 

Train Your Bird to Enjoy Misting! 

Wild birds learn to bathe daily rituals from mom and dad. However, those born and brought up in captivity might not feel the same. Some birds are even scared! 

So, what can you do?

You can train your bird to enjoy it! You can and should support your pet! Here’s how you can do it. 

First Things First! Choose the Right Treat!

Now, Introduce Your Bird To The Mist

If your bird has traditionally been fearful of misting, you’ll need to show her that misting is safe and fun. Make sure that the liquid that comes out of the trigger is a mist as opposed to a squirt. 

 Keep the mood light and playful.  You may want to spray yourself and act like its incredibly soothing and fun.  Show the bird the bottle and offer a treat it for tolerating the bottle in its presence several times so that your bird feels safe around the bottle.

 Next, show your bird the trigger and treat for tolerating it about 6- 8” away from its body. Then, slowly introduce your bird to a gentle spray.  

 Now, spray the bottle and reward the bird each time that it doesn’t freak out with its favorite treat.  

 Finally, spray the bird and treat it. Just one spray followed with a treat. Keep it slow and ensure that your bird is tolerating the spray.  

 Keep training sessions short, about 5 minutes and always end on a good note.

Moving on. 

Bathing a Bird: A. Light and Gentle Mist Goes a Long Way 

Misting mimics rain showers and makes the bird feel safe and comfortable. 

Here’s what birds enjoy: 

  • Some birds love to beperched on the skinwhile enjoying their shower 
  • Thesmaller the bird,thesmaller the drops should beto make it a gentle process 
  • You’ll need to teach a captive birdhow to engage in the right skin and feather care.You can find out more about thathere
  • Themore controlyourbirdhas over the process, thebetterit will be in the long-term 
Here’s How to Mist a Bird

Giving a misting bird bath

How Often Should You Mist Your Bird?

Mist your bird every day 

Since wild birds bathe daily, you should plan to mist your bird on a daily basis, too. For general bathing, mist the feathers good, making sure to get the chest and under the wings. You don’t have to drench your bird but once a week or so. A light misting goes a long way.

If your aim is to relieve itching or heal the skin, ensure that you spray the affected area two to four times a day.

How will that work!? 

You can create a schedule. It’s best to bathe your bird in the morning---try to avoid evenings as your feathered friend might get chilly at night and get sick. We recommend daily baths if: 

  • Your bird isitchy due to dry skin 
  • Hasallergic reactions 
  • Has beenexcessively scratchingand has rashes abrasions due to it 

Misting doesn’t take a lot of time, so it can be a part of your morning routine.

General Instructions For Misting Pet Birds 

Don’t worry, misting a bird isn’t rocket science. 

However, there are a few things you should keep in mind when misting your feathered friend. 

Avoid the Face!

How to mist a bird

Avoid the face--especially the eyes and nares.  

The solution won’t harm your feathered friend but most birds don’t like getting the spray in their eyes, nose, and ears. After all, you wouldn’t want to get sprayed in the face. You should ensure that misting bath time is always a pleasant activity for the bird!

Itchy Skin? Try a Soaking Spray with FeatherSoft

Itchy skin can be irritating. 

There are many reasons why your bird might be itchy--dry skin, poor nutrition, allergies, etc. are some common reasons. 

What can you do to help your feathered friend? 

You can opt for a soaking spray with a herbal mist that supports the skin. Soaking helps remove the dead skin cells and promotes healthy preening behavior.

Molting Parrots and Bird Bath

Molting parrots really appreciate being misted with Soothing Aloe Vera Spray.  It eases the discomfort of the molting process. For one thing, the sheath of the growing feather can be brittle and uncomfortable.  Moisture softens them up. 

The ingrowing feather causes discomfort and possibly some inflammation as it pushes out of the follicle.  Aloe Vera Spray is a good choice to support your bird.

Misting a molting bird

Charting and Observing the Process 

Want to know if the product is working? 

Charting the results can help keep track of that. It’ll help you ensure that themisting bird bath is working. 

Chart your progress when training a bird

So, how can you do that? 

For instance, you’ll know that the product is working if your bird was scratching and plucking three times a day before providing daily misting, but only once a day after misting.

  • Start with a baseline. Observe your bird’s natural behavior--how many times is the plucking, scratching, chewing, or over-preening each day? How intense is the behavior
  • Introduce the product. Once you’ve established the baseline, document the frequency and intensity of your pet’s behavior after using the product.  

All in All Offering a Misting Bird Bath’s Should be Enjoyable

Did we go through everything you needed to know about misting bird baths? 

Daily misting promotes healthy preening, moisturizes the skin, cleanses the feathers.  A comfortable bird is less likely to engage in behavior problems such as plucking. Plus, it's a great time to bond with your feathered friend.

Misting is good for pet birds


4 Responses

John Volk
John Volk

April 29, 2022

Good info, May I add, make it fun? Here’s what works every time for us and new birds. If using spray bottle use it on YOURSELF! And act like it’s fantastic. (if using a mist that has chemicals in it for the birds health use 2 bottles that look the same. Just don’t let it see you switch bottles for it) Spray it up in the air first and WALK INTO IT yourself. then spry it on yourself. They will see they need to be part of that fun. Once it works it will work great and you don’t have to spray yourself. Just MLAO.

Gabrielle Lucci
Gabrielle Lucci

April 29, 2022

Hi, Diane: Nice to see you in video format. Loved meeting Smokey. What I would like to see is a demo of an actual misting and to know whether only certain parrot species tolerate or prefer it. For example, some big birds love to perch in the shower with their owners. Others prefer to splash about in shallow dishes and my Peached-face lovebird, Jake, likes to be in the sink with the faucet running so he can run or drag through the water on the bottom of the sink or put parts of himself under the running water stream. Jake doesn’t seem to like misting OR maybe it is the way I do it or how it comes out of the bottle or all three. I spray a fine mist upward over him to try to simulate a rain-forest mist coming down on him. He tolerates it slightly but then flies away. To help sell your misting products, I would like to see demos of misting or spraying techniques on real birds. It makes no sense to sell products without guidance on how to administer them. Vet has Jake on meds now and part of his protocol is to irrigate his under wing area with a saline solution. This is really a two-person job. Not even the vet tech, when asked for a demo, could hold Jake, open his wing and operate a spray bottle aimed toward his wing without getting any on his face. I live alone, so I have a neighbor come over every night to help me while I hold Jake. Not everyone has a neighbor like that. Secondly the little spray bottle I am using at home has a very wide circular dispersal area and a short, strong delivery. To compensate for that, the sprayer has to be held close enough to his body so his face is not in the line of fire, which my helper shields with a paper towel; yet far enough away so that it doesn’t blast him but because the sprayer is close to his body with strong output. I’m afraid it doesn’t feel too gentle to him. This is a very awkward way to have to spray this particular area on a bird. So the equipment is important. I bought one of your products which is just sitting on the shelf now. It was supposed to make Jake stop irritating his under wing skin by tasting bad, yet the bottle is huge, the spray is very strong and wide, and I don’t have a live-in tech to help me. Plus spraying it gets it over other parts of his body which he can reach and needs to clean. He won’t do that if he tastes bad. I hope this gives you some food for thought. Thanks, Gabrielle

Pam Silver Barger
Pam Silver Barger

April 29, 2022

I also keep mister hanging on cage so I don’t forget. when they see it they start fluffing up in excitement.

Pam Silver Barger
Pam Silver Barger

April 29, 2022

I give my Greys a real bath by filling a clean deep sink with warm water. I let the sprinkle faucet fall on the edge (to simulate rain).they love it and put on quite a show. You can see the powdery substance floating in water afterward. I gently lift them out by wrapping in soft towel and put them in cage to finish preening.

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