Posted on Leave a comment

Protecting Your Parrot: 10 Foods That Can Be Toxic

Parrots are highly sensitive to certain foods that may be safe for humans and other animals. The following list includes some common foods that are known to be toxic or harmful to parrots:

Avocado: Avocado contains a substance called persin, which can be toxic to parrots and may cause heart and respiratory problems.

Chocolate: Chocolate contains theobromine, which is toxic to birds. Even small amounts can cause symptoms like tremors, seizures, and even death.

Caffeine: Caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea, and soda should be avoided as they can be harmful to parrots. Caffeine affects their central nervous system and can lead to hyperactivity, cardiac problems, and even death.

Alcohol: Alcohol is extremely toxic to parrots. It affects their liver, kidneys, and central nervous system, and can lead to severe health issues or even be fatal.

Onions and Garlic: Onions and garlic, in all forms (raw, cooked, powdered), contain compounds that can cause damage to a parrot’s red blood cells, leading to anemia.

Mushrooms: Many types of mushrooms can be toxic to parrots and may cause digestive upset, liver failure, or neurological symptoms.

Rhubarb: Rhubarb leaves contain high levels of oxalic acid, which is toxic to parrots and can cause kidney failure.

Fruit Pits and Seeds: Some fruit pits and seeds, such as those from apples, cherries, peaches, and plums, contain cyanide compounds that are toxic to parrots. It’s best to remove pits and seeds before offering fruits to your parrot.

Salty Foods: Parrots have a low tolerance for salt. Avoid giving them foods high in salt, such as chips, pretzels, and processed snacks, as it can lead to dehydration and other health issues.

Junk Food and Sugary Treats: Parrots have unique dietary needs and should not be given sugary or fatty foods like candy, cookies, or fast food. These foods can lead to obesity, malnutrition, and other health problems.

It’s important to note that this list is not exhaustive, and individual parrots may have different sensitivities or allergies. If you’re unsure about a particular food, it’s best to consult with an avian veterinarian or an expert in parrot nutrition before introducing it into your parrot’s diet.

Further Reading

  1. ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center – This resource covers a broad range of potential toxins for pets, including food items. (
  2. PetMD’s “Bird Food: What Your Pet Birds Shouldn’t Eat” – This is an article that provides a list of foods that are potentially harmful to birds, including parrots. (
  3. The Spruce Pets’ “Toxic Foods Your Bird Should Never Eat” – This article details various foods and substances that should be avoided for the health of your pet bird. (

Leave a Reply