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Bathing Your Bird

March 16, 2021

Have you recently adopted a bird? Congratulations! Our feathered buddies are very sweet and lovable pets. Of course, just like any other animal, Polly will need regular grooming. Read on for some tips from a local Thorold, ON veterinarian on bathing your bird.

Time It Right

Never try to dry Polly with a towel or blow drier. Your winged buddy will need to air dry. Your pet can get chilly quickly when her feathers are wet. Keep that in mind when choosing a time for your little friend’s beauty session. Ideally, you’ll want a warm, sunny day. In winter, turn the heat up a bit.

Let Polly Have Her Say

There’s more than one way to give your bird a bath. One option is to just provide your colorful friend with a birdbath for her cage. This is a good option for smaller birds. You can also let her sit on your arm or finger and splash herself in a trickle of water from the faucet. Larger birds may even want to go into the shower with you.  Another thing you can do is just spritz your pet with water. This will prompt Polly to start preening herself.

No Soap

Never use soaps or shampoos on your feathered pal. Polly has very delicate skin, which could get irritated by the suds.

Water Depth

Never put Polly in water that is any deeper than her legs. Most birds can’t swim. Your colorful pet also won’t be able to fly with wet feathers. This could be very scary and distressing for her. 

Time It Right

While your cute pet is drying off, take the opportunity to clean her cage and dishes. Scrub, disinfect, and change her perches and toys, and vacuum around the cage. Polly will enjoy clean feathers and a clean home. This is sort of like the bird equivalent of getting into clean pjs and freshly-changed sheets after taking a bath or shower.


Pay close attention to the temperature of Polly’s bathwater. It should be lukewarm, not too cold or too hot.


Once your winged buddy is all done with her bath, give her a special treat! A new toy wouldn’t be inappropriate either. This may also be a great time for you to take a photo of Polly.

Do you have questions about bird care? Contact us, your local Thorold, ON veterinary clinic, anytime!