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Is Vinegar Safe for Birds?

Many people often wonder if it is safe to use vinegar in their bird’s water or food dishes. 

The short answer is yes. Vinegar is safe for birds, provided you use apple cider vinegar (ACV) and follow the proper dosage guidelines. Apple cider vinegar has several health benefits for birds, including improving digestion and reducing yeast growth over a healthy bird’s skin.

However, there are a few things you need to be aware of before using vinegar to ensure the safety of your bird. In this article, we will guide you on how to prevent mishaps when using vinegar around birds. 

Is Vinegar Safe to Use Around Birds?

Vinegar is one of the oldest known substances used for cleaning purposes. It can be made from almost any organic substance (most commonly, sugars) and contains acetic acid. There are many types of vinegar, some made from fruits, others from honey and sugar cane, but all have acetic acid as their primary active ingredient.

The most common kinds of vinegar used around birds are the following:

  • Vinegar (4% acetic acid content)
  • White vinegar
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Malt vinegar

Apple cider has a more robust flavor than the others, while malt vinegar has a slightly different chemical composition. All have acetic acid as their active ingredient.

Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits Birds

What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is made from fresh apples that are pressed to release the juice. It also contains the “mother of vinegar,” which imparts many beneficial qualities to apple cider vinegar. The mother of vinegar contains enzymes, pectin, and trace minerals that birds can use in different ways.

What Are The Key Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) to Birds?

ACV has several vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that can benefit your bird’s health. ACV can provide enzymes and minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, chlorine, phosphorus, iron, silicon, and other trace minerals that birds need to stay healthy.

What Are The Key Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) to Birds?

Although apple cider vinegar has many benefits for birds, the most important one is it helps reduce stress. Apple cider vinegar can calm an upset bird when given in small amounts regularly. It can also help older birds heal faster when combined with fresh fruit and veggies in the bird’s daily diet plan.

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It can also help reduce harmful bacteria in the gut, clean any fungal infections on the skin, and it will increase your bird’s overall immunity. Apple cider vinegar helps with feather mites by shutting down the reproduction of mites that feed on blood. Other benefits include the following:

  • Feather picking: Some birds may like it; others may not. If you choose to give your bird apple cider vinegar, it should be diluted with water. It may also be helpful to cut this out from their diet plan if they are already experiencing a problem.
  • Feather mites: Apple cider vinegar can help reduce the population of feather mites on your bird’s skin. Add one tablespoon of ACV to a cup of water, and then rinse your bird with this solution.
  • Toileting: ACV can help your bird become more hydrated, making it easier for them to go to the bathroom. Simply adding ACV to water or fruit and veggies will ensure that they get the hydration they need.
  • Bad breath: Having bad breath can be a sign of an underlying health problem. It can also be a symptom of fungal infection on your bird’s beak or feet. ACV can help with bad breath by killing the bacteria that cause it.

Apple cider vinegar can treat some ailments, but be sure to get in touch with a veterinarian immediately if your bird is ill or injured!

How do I use vinegar at home without harming my bird?

Vinegar is a pure substance, and when used in small amounts around birds, it should not cause any issues. Some people use it as part of their cleaning solution for various surfaces around the home, and it can also be used for washing dishes or tiny amounts of bird toys.

If you choose to use it on surfaces where the bird can access it, the vinegar should be diluted with water by at least three parts water to 1 part vinegar. It is also best to use a spray bottle for better control of the application area.

Can I Clean My Birdcage Using Vinegar?

You can use apple cider vinegar to clean the hard surfaces of your birdcage. For this purpose, you should dilute 1 part ACV with nine parts water and then use it as a disinfectant on your cage’s bars and other surfaces. This mixture will kill the most harmful germs and bacteria.

Apple cider vinegar can be used on toys, perches, and cages to reduce the number of harmful germs that may cause your bird to become sick. Ensure that you rinse any surface thoroughly after cleaning it with ACV since this substance can corrode some materials.

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Do not use vinegar in high concentrations or undiluted. If there is any chance that it has been consumed, contact your veterinarian immediately.

How do you safely store vinegar at home with a bird?

When storing vinegar in the home, close the lid tightly to avoid any fumes or spills. If there are any fumes, allow them to dissipate before placing your bird back in the room. Have a non-toxic cleaner on hand if you choose not to use vinegar.

Pros and Cons of Using Vinegar


Many people like to use vinegar because it is safe to use around birds and other pets. Besides, vinegar is also cheap and readily available in supermarkets. 

Fun fact: You may not already know that vinegar also helps with moisturizing the skin!


Unfortunately, vinegar can cause problems with a bird’s digestive system and can increase thirst if overused. When undiluted, it also has a smell that birds may not like, which could start or worsen a plucking problem.

What happens if my bird consumes too much vinegar?

The best action to take if this happens is to contact a veterinarian immediately. There have been cases where vomiting and diarrhea are caused by a bird ingesting too much vinegar. If not treated, the bird could become dehydrated, which can be harmful or even deadly.

Heated Vinegar is Toxic to Birds and Other Pets

One of the critical ingredients in apple cider vinegar is acetic acid. This acid becomes harmful when it’s heated and can, therefore, cause some problems if your bird consumes it. If you choose to give your bird ACV, make sure that it has cooled to room temperature before allowing your bird to consume this substance.


Using vinegar around your bird is safe as long as you dilute vinegar with water. Apple cider vinegar tends to have the most benefits for birds, as it has additional vitamins and minerals. Vinegar can be used to clean cages, toys, and perches. It can also be used as a supplement to your bird’s food to aid with digestion or as a solution to bathe your bird to take care of mites.

However, it is important not to use vinegar undiluted, as it can harm your bird. You should also seek out a veterinarian if you believe your bird is showing signs of ingesting too much vinegar.

Otherwise, you can use this cheap and effective alternative to commercial cleaners to keep your bird’s living space spic and span.