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Tips for Bathing Your Bird

March 1 2020

Birds are very cute and lovable little pets. Polly’s pretty, colorful feathers also make her quite unique among our animal companions. Although your winged pal will preen herself, she’ll also need to take baths to stay clean. A local McHenry, IL vet offers some advice on bathing your bird below.

Try Different Things

There are quite a few different ways to bathe birds. For smaller birds, you can put a birdbath in their cage. Polly may also like bathing in a shallow bowl of water. You can also bathe your pet in the sink, or let her stand on your arm and walk beneath a running faucet. Larger birds may even enjoy having a perch in the shower. Another option is to just spritz your feathered friend with water from a spray bottle. Ask your vet for specific advice.


No matter what option you choose, make sure the water isn’t too deep. Birds can drown in just a few inches of water! The water should also be lukewarm, not hot or cold.

Don’t Use Soap

Don’t use soap on your winged buddy. Birds have very delicate skin, and they are quite sensitive to any sort of chemical. Plus, soap isn’t really good for their feathers. If Polly gets something spilled on her, ask your vet for specific advice.

Avoid Soaking Polly

With the exception of a few species, like penguins, that can swim, wild birds rarely fully submerge themselves in water. If Polly’s feathers get completely wet, she won’t be able to fly, which can be very distressing for her.

Air Dry Only

Don’t towel-dry or blow-dry your bird. Polly will need to air dry, which could take a little while. Make sure your little buddy has a warm, sunny spot to dry off on. Birds get chilly easily when they are wet, so try to time your feathered pal’s bath for the warmer part of the day.

Clean The Cage

This is a good opportunity to clean Polly’s cage. Clean and disinfect your pet’s cage, perches, dishes, and toys, replacing the liners, and vacuuming around and beneath it. Don’t forget to give your colorful buddy a treat when you put her back in the cage.

Please reach out to us, your local McHenry, IL vet clinic, with any questions or concerns about your pet bird’s health or care. We are here to help!