Birds, like most animals, need to be clean to stay healthy. Bathing is a great way to help keep your pet bird clean; it helps reduce dirt, parasites, and other things on the bird.
Yet, it’s essential to ensure they are dry afterward so they don’t get sick. Let’s look at how to dry your bird after a fun bath!
Option 1: Go natural!
Bathe your bird early in the day
Bathing your bird early in the day will allow plenty of time for it to dry before bedtime. Doing so will ensure your bird is completely dry before returning to its cage.
Failing to dry your bird can lead to health problems, such as respiratory or skin problems.
Bathing early in the day also can help establish a routine with your bird and a time to interact with you.
Remember that birds feel vulnerable when their feathers are wet. Having wet feathers means they can’t escape from danger.
It is up to us to ensure they are safe and warm while drying. This is especially true if your bird has its wings clipped, as it will feel more defenseless during this time.
Try to find the warmest room in the house and start by putting all the extra items and having their favorite treats and toys ready to go.
This will help ensure that bath time is a fun experience for them! You will want to ensure the room is distraction-free before your pet starts its bath.
Let your bird dry naturally
Ensure your bird is in a warm, draft-free area where it can stay safe and cozy until it is totally dry.
Letting your bird air dry may take a little longer, but it’s safest. This is also an excellent way to build your bond and have some special playtime.
Layout a warm towel on a flat surface and gather their favorite playthings. Consider a freestanding drying perch for them to stand on while drying.
Surround the perch with soft, warm towels to make it more comfortable and encourage them to play.
If your bird is a larger, more intelligent parrot, this is an excellent time to work on color and shape toys.
Wrap your hand in a towel to let them perch on your hand and rub on you to dry.
Talk to your parrot as this helps establish your bond. Speak in a happy tone and with lots of laughter to help them stay alert and learn while drying off.
Adjust the room temperature
The ideal room temperature for drying a bird is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. If the room is too cold, your bird may become chilled and get sick.
Watch for excessive shivering, which signifies your bird is still wet. One way to increase warmth is by adding more heated towels wrapped around hot water bottles.
Ensure plenty of ventilation in the room so your bird can dry its feathers. If the room is too hot, your bird may become overheated and could also get sick.
Keep a watchful eye on their breathing and offer clean water to drink if they become overheated.
It’s best to let your bird air-dry, and don’t be too surprised if they start to climb up on you and nuzzle.
This is your bird’s way of absorbing your body heat and showing that they trust you as a fellow flock member.
Option 2: Use drying tools
Use a heating lamp
A heating lamp will help to dry your bird’s feathers faster. Ensure the lamp is set to low heat and that you keep a close eye on your bird while drying.
Mount the light about 1-2 feet above the bird, and remember to keep the wires away. If your bird gets too close to the heat, it could get burned.
You will want a bulb that is 50w or lower. You can use an aquarium thermal tape thermometer to check the temperature of your bird. This will help you ensure you don’t warm your bird too much.
You can also help your bird dry under a lamp by using a fan. Make sure the fan is not blowing on the bird.
This will help circulate warm air around it. Again, you’ll want to watch your bird and ensure it doesn’t overheat.
Use a hair dryer
Many people feel they should use a hair dryer to speed up drying their bird after a bath.
After all, a hair dryer dries our hair after a shower; so why not do the same with drying our feathered friends?
Using a hair dryer on a bird can be dangerous. The high heat from the dryer can cause burns, so be careful. If the hair dryer has a Teflon coating, it can emit toxic fumes that can harm your bird.
If your hair dryer doesn’t have chemical heat treatments, keep it moving, so you don’t hold it in one spot for too long.
Movement helps protect your bird from getting too hot and burning itself. It also helps to prevent the feathers from drying out too.
So, while a hair dryer may be an easy way to dry your bird, it is not recommended.
Use a towel
A towel is an easy and preferred method of drying your bird. To do this, you can do a few things to make the process easier.
- Ensure the towel is large enough to cover your bird completely. If the towel is too small, your bird may end up wetter than before you started drying it.
- Be gentle when you’re drying your bird. You don’t want to rub the towel into its feathers, which can damage them. Instead, use a light circular motion and get all the water off your bird. Make sure to get all the water out of their feathers. Pay special attention to your bird’s head, neck, and vent (the area around the cloaca).
- Make it fun! Make a game of “hide and go peep,” “where’s my pretty bird,” or other fun, exciting games that strengthen your bond. Give them their favorite treats and toys while playing and laughing with your bird.
- Finally, give your bird time to dry off completely before putting it back in its cage. If you put it back in while it’s still wet, it may become too cold.
Health concerns if you don’t dry your bird after a bath
Potential health problems
When you bathe your bird, it’s essential to dry them off completely when you’re finished. Not doing so can lead to health concerns.
Birds that stay wet for extended periods can develop fungal or bacterial infections. These can cause respiratory problems, skin irritation, cracking beaks, and even death.
Ensure their cage or enclosure is warm, cleaned, and checked for high or low humidity levels. If it’s not, this could also cause health problems for your bird.
If your bird doesn’t want to stay dry, try a smaller water dish or water bottle training your bird to prevent unwanted bath time.
You can also reduce the water level of your bird’s dish. It’s also a good idea to provide your bird with a warm area to perch after its impromptu bath.
Water-resistant vs. waterproof feathers
People think that because they see wild birds in the rain, their pet bird’s feathers must also be waterproof.
Birds have two types of feathers, water-resistant and waterproof.
Water-resistant feathers help keep a bird’s body dry. They work by repelling water, which means the water doesn’t stick to the feathers.
Waterproof feathers help to prevent the bird from getting wet and keep it warm. Diving birds, such as ducks and pelicans, have waterproof feathers.
A gland around the tail produces these waxes and oils. Preening helps distribute them onto their feathers.
After your pet bird has had a bath, it will be shivering. Like when we shiver to get warm, birds do the same thing to their bodies.
As wet feathers clump together, shivering separates the feathers to help dry them. Shivering also helps increase their body temperature.
Finally, please put your bird in a warm place that they like. You can help them by drying them off with a warm towel and then preening them.
Small fleece cuddle tents or cozy corners also give your bird an area to dry and clean themselves. Provide fresh water, treats, and food to help your bird return to its usual self.
Making sure your bird is dry after a bath is essential to keeping them healthy and happy.
If your bird is healthy and used to drying themselves after a bath, then make sure the room is warm and safe while they do so.
If the towel method works, ensure it is warm and large enough to dry your bird. And if you have a bird-safe hair dryer, use it to add some fun time together at a safe distance.
These simple steps ensure that your feathered friend is clean, dry, and safe from harm!