Parrots and other pet birds are the third most popular pet in the United States, and we share our lives with approximately 3 million of them. Companion birds of all sizes, from parakeets to macaws, have special requirements when it comes to the types of cleaning products used to clean our homes.
Canary In A Coal Mine
The respiratory system of a bird is very sensitive to chemicals and airborne pollutants. Remember the old phrase “a canary in a coal mine”? Because of their extremely sensitive respiratory systems, canaries would be sent down in to the mine shafts ahead of the human miners to detect any poisonous gases, and if the birds survived, it was considered safe to send the workers into the mine.
A bird breathes with a bellows-type action that pushes air in and out of the lungs, and exposes their respiratory system to airborne pollutants and fumes at a faster rate than humans. Small birds such as canaries breathe at a rate of 12 to 16 breaths per minute and larger parrots at a rate of 25 to 40 breaths per minute. Compare this to humans that take 12 to 16 breaths per minute. Because of the efficient nature of a bird’s respiratory system, they are extremely sensitive to common household toxins, fumes, and chemicals. Air fresheners, oven cleaners, and carpet deodorizer sprays are just a few standard household products that have been linked to respiratory illness or deaths of pet birds.
Even some standard cleaning products such as bleach or pine-based products, while normally non-toxic to birds, can emit dangerous fumes that can irritate a bird’s lungs. Aerosol or pump spray products can also be a problem.
Pet Friendly Cleaning
A green cleaning service that uses pet-friendly cleaning products is a safer and healthier alternative for both humans and birds. Please contact us for more information about how we can help keep your home clean and your feathered companions safe with our environmentally-safe green cleaning products.