In general, do parakeets smell at all? They do not! Parakeets are very clean creatures. If you give them a bathtub, they will gladly take baths every day. They preen themselves constantly. They don't go outside. They don't go in the mud. They don't really “get dirty”.
Parakeets eat dried seeds and fresh fruits and veggies, so they do not have bad breath either! All of these factors make this animal one of the cleanest pets to own.
What Could Make Your Parakeet Smell Bad?
As mentioned above, parakeets do not generally smell, if yours does this could be due to a few reasons:
- If you do not keep their water and food bowls clean. This is a bacteria breeding ground. They are susceptible to many diseases from this, so be diligent in changing the water on a regular basis.
- Another reason could be due to illness or injury which may cause them to have an unpleasant odor. If your parakeet has been sick for a few days and has developed a bad odor.
- If your parakeet has an injury that is allowing bacteria to enter the wound you may want to take him in to see a vet for proper treatment.
This could be due to their nails catching on something rough or from not keeping their cage clean enough over time.
Parakeets need to have their nails clipped sometimes. If they don't, they could hurt themselves on the toy or perch. In future, trim your parakeet's nails by removing a tiny portion of it with sanitized clippers. You only need to snip a bit.
If you have noticed a bad odor coming from your parakeet's cage or area there are a few things you can do to improve the general hygiene of the cage.
How To Improve The Hygiene Of Your Parakeet & Cage
1. Provide a fresh water and food dish daily.
Throwing out the old food and water in your parakeet's cage daily and replacing it with fresh food and water will ensure that you do not have stale food left over and bacteria growing which results in bad odors.
2. Clean your parakeet's cage once a week to prevent bad odors.
*Remember to clean your parakeet's cage at least once a week.
How to clean your parakeet cage: step-by-step:
- Remove any items from the cage before cleaning it.
- Wipe off old food from the cage bars and corners of the cage periodically to keep odor-causing bacteria at bay.
- Take the empty cage to the shower and turn on hot water. The hot water helps loosen food that is stuck to the cage. Use a brush to scrub the cage. You will remove anything that is left on the cage after it has been in the shower.
- Once there is no more debris on the floor of the cage, spray it with a bird-safe cleaner: we recommend this one. Clean the cage with disinfectant following instructions on the bottle, then thoroughly rinse to remove all disinfectant.
- Dry the cage completely. While the cage is drying, clean the perches, toys and accessories.
- Keep perches clean and free of debris by scraping off any extra material and wiping down with a damp cloth.
- Sand wooden perches periodically to improve traction for your pet.
- To keep your bird entertained, change the toys in the cage. Throw out broken or torn toys to protect your bird from illness.
- When your bird's cage is completely dry, put the accessories back. Put your bird in his clean home.
3. Change your parakeet's bedding every two weeks to prevent bacteria build-up.
Remember to change your parakeet's bedding every two weeks. It is easy for bacteria to build up in the bird bedding area because it is a warm, moist environment that the bacteria need to thrive.
4. Bathe your parakeet once a week.
The best way to give your parakeet a bath is with room-temperature water in the sink, or you can use an eye dropper with water to wet the feathers.
While your parakeet has a bath, do not spray their head with water and do not touch any of their sensitive areas such as their eyes or vents.
Birds do not need to have baths more than once a week because they groom themselves constantly during this time.
Parakeets do not require soap in their bathing routine but if you must use soap, please remember not to leave any soap residue on your bird when you're done giving them a bath because it could irritate their skin and cause sores.
5. Let Your Parakeet Bathe Itself.
Some parakeets bathe themselves in fresh, wet plants. Give your parakeet a chance to do this by offering the tops from beets or carrots or a leaf of lettuce. The water from the leaves falls on his feathers and he bathes himself, indirectly.
To prevent your parakeet from smelling, make sure to bathe your bird early in the day so his feathers have time to dry before he takes a nap.