Do you have a pet bird? If so, you’ll want to take some extra precautions to keep Polly safe over the next few weeks. The holidays can be very dangerous for our feathered friends! Read on as a Dahlonega, GA veterinarian lists some holiday hazards for birds.


Trees are a huge danger for pet birds. Our winged friends live in trees in the wild, so it’s no surprise that they’re instinctively drawn to them. Holiday trees have sharp needles that can injure your feathered pal. Tinsel, ribbons, lights, and ornaments are also hazardous. You definitely don’t want Polly trying to chew tinsel, or getting tangled up in a light strand! If that weren’t enough, many trees may have been coated with fertilizers, fungicides, and other chemicals that aren’t safe for birds.


Several popular seasonal plants, such as mistletoe, poinsettia, holly, ivy, yew, and chrysanthemums are toxic to Polly. Choosing fake plants may seem like a good option, but many of these are also unsafe, as they can break into small pieces that could injure your bird if she tries to chew them.


Birds have very delicate lungs, and can get very sick from inhaling strong fumes. Scented candles, incense, potpourri burners, perfume, and fireplace smoke are all toxic to your colorful little pet. Cooking fumes are also hazardous, as many types of modern cookware give off vapors that are dangerous to birds. Keep Polly in rooms with fresh, clean air.


Crackling fires are both warm and cozy, which make them a perfect touch to make your home feel really welcoming. However, your winged buddy could seriously hurt herself if she gets too close to a candle or fireplace. As mentioned above, smoke is also a concern.


Polly definitely deserves a treat, but stick to foods you know are safe. Never give your bird chocolate; caffeine; alcohol; garlic, onions, or chives; avocado; anything high in fat, salt, or sugar; or anything that contains xylitol. Ask your vet for more information.


Guests should of course never pose a direct threat. The issue here is more that many people don’t know what is and isn’t safe for birds. You don’t want someone leaving your door open and letting your pet escape, or smoking near her cage. Keep a close eye on Polly!

Season’s Greetings! Please contact us, your Dahlonega, GA vet clinic, anytime.