Chocolate is the favorite type of snack around the world. It’s the final product of the cocoa plant. If you offer a bar of chocolate to anyone in the street, grown-ups, or just kids, they will accept it without hesitation. They know it’s the best snack. And of course, this happens with pets as well. They love anything sweet, at least if they can taste sweetness. Dogs and parrots have this ability, but not cats.
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So, Can Parrots Eat Chocolate?
No, parrots can not eat chocolate because of the compound theobromine, which is a toxic alkaloid that exists in the cacao plant. This compound is highly toxic to parrots and dogs as well, and it’s related to caffeine which is also toxic to pets.
And in this article, we dive into everything you need to know, what would happen to a parrot after eating chocolate, and how to react.
Why Chocolate is Toxic To Parrots
The major reason that causes toxicity to parrots when they eat chocolate is the alkaloid compound called theobromine. This compound is not toxic to us humans, but for dogs, parrots, or cats, it can cause painful suffering for them, and this is the best-case scenario. Most times, death can occur as it is always a possibility when pets eat chocolate.
The theobromine component works in the physical and mental levels of any pet. The problem here with parrots is that if they actually survived after eating chocolate, and went through the physical harm safely, they still have to deal with the mental damage chocolate caused.
However, for a human being is doable to manage a mental health issue, and for parrots, this can be very destructive and can lead to deformities in shape and behavior. Such a mental issue can stay with the bird for its whole life, and this is what I have seen in the past: a parrot lost all of its feathers, a parrot became very aggressive toward anyone, skinny parrot barely able to walk.
These were the damages of a small piece of chocolate, and unfortunately, they didn’t get treatment to save what could be saved. They just went through the pain on their own. Parrots are highly sensitive to mental issues, and any parrot can suffer because of them, not only because of chocolate but also because of many other factors.
What Are The Effects of Theobromine On Parrots
When a parrot consumes a small piece of chocolate, expect the bird to have depression, anxiety, vomiting, seizures, liver damage, diarrhea, and heart problems. Again, these symptoms can occur with even small pieces of chocolate, and they can occur to any breed of parrots.
Theobromine symptoms are like the symptoms of caffeine. However, they are not the same, and they can cause different symptoms to any parrot, and they are should not in any parrot reach.
Do Parrots Like Chocolate?
The answer is yes, and this is because parrots can’t sense toxins in their food, and the only thing that might make the parrot refuse the food is the taste of it. And as you know, chocolate is a very delicious snack, and of course, parrots have the sweet tooth so they can fully experiment with the taste of chocolate. Cats, on the other hand, can’t taste sugary flavors.
How To React When a Parrot Eats Chocolate
If you have a parrot that could get its beak into a piece of chocolate, you have to know what type of chocolate he got. Pure chocolate bars are the most dangerous, not like Nutella, which contains chocolate in fewer quantities. Here, keep your eyes on your bird.
Sometimes, nothing bad will happen, especially when the bird consumes smaller quantities of Theobromine. And to your knowledge, the purer and darker the chocolate, the higher is the Theobromine content there is. The sweeter the chocolate and combined with other ingredients, the lower the Theobromine content is.
Anyway, monitor the bird, try to notice if there are abnormalities with its feces, diarrhea is possible after eating chocolate. See if the bird is vomiting or not. Vomiting is a big indicator the bird is Theobromine intoxicated. If none of the visible symptoms showed, then try to interact with the bird to see and notice if there are any changes in its behaviors.
The best way to react is to take the bird directly to the Avian vet for a quick checkup. The vet may ask you to leave the bird for extra observation. However, sometimes, the vet service could not be available at that moment, and the best you can do is to wait and observe what will happen to the bird. Just Remember: Prevention is better than cure.
How To Prevent Chocolate Toxicity
Prevention is better than cure is a principle that everyone should follow regarding his own health of his own pet, so the best thing you should do is to be careful and leave no traces on your hand or even the waste of it in any place that your bird may reach, especially if the bird spends a lot of time outside the cage, or living without a cage for example.
The other thing, don’t eat chocolate in front of your parrot as this behavior will induce curiosity toward what you are eating. In fact, eating in front of my parrot is the way I use to get my bird interested in new food before I serve it to them.
Basically, don’t leave any traces of chocolate available to your bird.
In conclusion, owners shouldn’t allow parrots to eat chocolate. Even in small quantities, chocolate contains Theobromine, which is toxic for parrots. This toxin can cause the parrot to suffer from multiple painful symptoms like diarrhea, depression, and vomiting. And in worst cases, these symptoms can lead to death, especially with small breeds.
And yes, that’d about it. I hope you found this article informative and easy to digest. Thank you for reading…
Hello, my name is sadeq and I am obsessed about parrot And I am here to share everything about raising pet parrots and how to be good owners to your bird.