how to bathe a cockatiel bird

Getting a new pet is always exciting as well as a huge responsibility for you as you have to constantly take care of your pet and look after it. The problem most pet owners make due to lack of knowledge is they do not groom their pet bird at all or even if they do, they do it in the wrong way. The question that most pet owners have in mind is, ‘how to bathe my cockatiel?’ In this article, I will help you to find out the answer. 

To bathe your bird, there are three simple methods of doing it. The first and the easiest one is to put a clean bowl or dish with water and it will take a bath by itself. The second one is to put your cockatiel under running water. You can do it on the kitchen sink or under the bathroom shower. The final one is to spray clean water with bottle spray. But make sure you got experience with this or you should stick with the first two methods.

Bathing or washing your cockatiel is an easy and necessary process. Although clipping the nails and wings are necessary steps to groom your favorite pet companion, it is best left to a professional. Doing these without any experience can result in injuries and cause harm to your cockatiel. If the injury is done on a severe scale, it may as well need veterinary attention. Washing or bathing is comparatively easy and you can do it yourself. Here in this article, I will discuss bathing your cockatiel – how to bathe a cockatiel and how often you should bathe a cockatiel, what you should follow while washing your pet bird and what you shouldn’t. So, let’s get into it.

How To Bathe A Cockatiel Bird

  • To bathe your cockatiel, you must first introduce it to water. Cockatiels have individual personalities and each bird tends to react differently. Some birds may like bathing and some may not like the presence of water at all. Whether they like it or not, a cockatiel must be washed on a regular basis because it is necessary. So, introduce your pet bird to water first. Put a small dish full of water (other than the drinking pot ) in the cage and see if your bird showers in it all by itself. Birds like to keep their feathers clean and they enjoy doing it by themselves.
how do you bathe a cockatiel

Offer lukewarm, clean water in the dish and make sure the dish is a bit heavy so when the bird gets in the dish, it doesn’t get knocked out. Make sure the water is clean and safe. Clean the dish every time your bird uses it to wash. This way, if your bird is new to the water, it will be introduced to water and learn to bathe itself. 

  • You can also bathe your bird under running water. You can place your bird under the bathroom shower or even in the kitchen sink. Place your bird under the running water and bathe the cockatiel. Make sure the water is lukewarm and the flow is steady. Too heavy a flow may cause the bird trouble and the bird won’t be able to take a shower and clean itself. 

After the shower, clean the sink with boiling water and disinfectant, so there is no chance of spreading germs and diseases. 

Also Read: How To Make Cockatiel Friendly

  • Some birds may not like to be placed under the water. In this case, you can try spraying water on them. Get a squirt bottle and fill it with clean water. Spray two or three fine mists at your bird from nine to twelve inches away. This process will help your bird to clean off dirt, dust and oil from its feathers.

Some Facts To Keep In Mind 

how often should you bathe a cockatiel
  • Use plain and clean water, so there is no chance of your bird getting infected by germs or diseases. Birds in their natural habitat take a bath in puddles. So, to keep that natural touch, do not use anything extra rather than just plain water for cleaning your pet bird.
  • Make sure to provide the water at the perfect temperature. If the water is too hot, your bird can get burnt and even develop a serious injury because of it. If the water is too cold for your bird, it may catch a cold and may get affected by various diseases too. The best option is to provide lukewarm water for bathing. Make sure the temperature is appropriate for your bird before letting your bird bathe.
  • Birds can easily catch a cold. Bathing them should be done very carefully so that they don’t catch a cold and develop more serious conditions following a cold. Bathing your bird in the warmest part of the day is essential because the temperature will help to dry off the feathers of your bird before nightfall. If bathing is not done in the warmest part of the day, there is a chance that the feathers won’t dry off and your bird will catch a cold because of it. So, it is essential to choose a suitable bathing time in a day. 
  • Never use soap or shampoo products while bathing your cockatiel. Human soap and shampoo products are harmful to your pet bird’s feathers. The feathers naturally have oil and moisture on them, which make them look shiny. Using soap and shampoo on them may result in unhealthy plumage and ruin the shiny look. Soaps and shampoos, especially antibacterial soaps are toxic to cockatiels. If soap is necessary, you can use mild glycerin soaps. You can only use it on the body, not the face. The best option is to bathe your bird in soapy water. 
  • Let your bird naturally dry itself. Allow your cockatiel to naturally dry its feathers just as it is done in the wild. Cockatiels are wild birds and they take showers in puddles. In order to dry themselves after a shower, they shake off the remaining water off them first, then preen and fluff off the feathers and wait for them to dry. Unless it is a hot day, make sure to keep the windows closed while your bird dries itself or else it will catch a cold. Never use blow dryers on cockatiels. Blow dryers can cause damage to the feathers and even can be toxic to your bird.

How Often Should You Bathe A Cockatiel? 

Well, this is a widely asked question by many pet bird owners. The answer depends on some facts. In summer, there is extreme heat. Extreme heat can be harmful to your bird. To prevent your bird from getting sick and to make sure it stays healthy, bathe your cockatiel every day in summer.

In winter, there is not much heat during the day. That does not mean your bird won’t need a shower. Cockatiels don’t need a shower to just escape the heat. A shower is also essential to keep your bird clean and germ-free. As it is pretty chilly in winter, once or twice a week is a preferable time you should get your bird a bath. Although, you have to make sure to bathe your bird in the warmest part of the day during winter else your bird may catch a chill. 

how to bathe my cockatiel

Why Is Bathing Your Cockatiel Necessary? 

Bathing is important for cockatiels. That depends on various factors. Bathing is necessary during summer because of the extreme heat. To survive the heat, your bird needs to cool off. Bathing is the only way to cool off during summer. It is also necessary for your cockatiel to stay clean. Here is why bathing is essential for cockatiels :

  • Helps to take off the dirt from your bird’s feathers
  • Removes dust, dirt and germs 
  • Motivates preening
  • Prevents skin issues and itches 
  • It is also a fun activity.
  • Keeps the feathers clean
  • Soothes irritated skin and helps to get rid of excessive moisture and oil
how to bathe a cockatiel

So, in short, what you should know about bathing your cockatiel is to bathe your bird always with clean water. Do it during the daytime and let your bird dry the feathers by itself. Keep the room warm after the bath to help in the drying process and prevent a cold. Bathing your cockatiel is one of the main steps to taking care of your bird. It is essential for good health and the mind. Take care of your cockatiel and bathe them regularly. I hope this was helpful to you.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Is it okay to bathe a cockatiel? 

Yes, it is okay to bathe a cockatiel. In fact, it is necessary to bathe a cockatiel on a regular basis. Cockatiels should be encouraged to bathe because it is necessary for them. Bathing your bird keeps it clean and germs-free. If you leave your bird without a bathe for a long time, the feathers will be dirty and it will also develop diseases.

Moreover, a shower helps to keep the colorful feathers of a bird shiny. Regular showering keeps your bird’s skin healthy and free of infections. Cockatiels have individual likes and dislike towards things, so make sure to see how your bird reacts towards a bathe. Act according to it and encourage your bird to take a shower. To keep it interesting, offer treats every time your bird takes a bath. This will encourage it to take a shower. 

Can I wash my cockatiel with soap?

What most cockatiel owners don’t know is that you should never use soap while bathing your bird. The mistake that most pet owners make is using soap or shampoo while bathing their pet bird. Human soap and shampoo products are not suitable for birds. In fact, these products can even damage your bird’s skin and feathers. These soap and shampoo products can be toxic to your bird as well. Antibacterial soaps are very toxic to a cockatiel.

So, never apply soap or shampoo on your cockatiel. The feathers of cockatiels have oil and moisture on them, which makes the feathers look shiny. Using soap and shampoo washes off this oil and the shiny look is lost. The use of shampoo or soap also results in unhealthy plumage. So, remember to never use soap or shampoo while bathing your cockatiel. You can, however, use mild glycerin soaps if it is needed to clean the feathers.

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