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Is Cooked Onion Toxic to Your Pet Bird?

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One of the most important elements of being the responsible caretaker of a pet bird is understanding proper diet for the species you own. Whether yours is a budgerigar, finch or parrot, food toxicity is a concern. Onions, cooked or raw, are highly toxic to birds, so keep them apart.

Proper Diet

Seed mix is a common pet bird dietary staple, but the ASPCA advocates feeding pelleted foods instead. Pelleted foods are more nutritionally balanced for birds' needs. Just make sure to purchase only pelleted foods that are formulated specifically for your exact type of bird. If a food is labeled as specifically being only for parrots, keep it just for the parrots.

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Apart from a basic diet of pelleted foods, daily treats fresh fruits and vegetables are beneficial for pet birds. Leafy veggies offer a lot of vitamin content for birds. Always make sure beforehand, however, that the specific fruits and veggies you feed your bird are indeed 100 percent appropriate and safe for him. Some birdie-friendly examples include broccoli, pears, melons, apples, carrots, kiwi, kale, romaine, chicory and oranges.

Onion Toxicity

Although many vegetables are indeed safe and healthy for pet birds, onions in all forms -- from raw to cooked -- are not. Onions are toxic to pet birds. Never feed your bird onions under any circumstances. They consist of sulfur compounds that can transition into poisonous disulfides upon chewing -- definitely not good. For many types of pets, onions are associated with a deadly condition known as hemolytic anemia. Because of the risk, abstain from feeding birds any type of onion. Also avoid feeding birds other members of the onion family such as chives, leeks, scallions and garlic.

Other Potential Dangers

Onions aren't the only potentially dangerous veggies for pet birds. Other hazards include rhubarb, avocado and tomato and rhubarb leaves. Never feed your bird anything unless you have the prior approval of a qualified veterinarian. Also take great care to make sure that your bird's cage never has any remnants of spoiled or old foods. If your bird ignores any food for more than an hour or so, take it out of his cage to prevent him from eating it later on. Spoiled foods are a major no-no for birds -- and all other types of pets, for that matter.