Skip to main content

Get reimbursed on your pet's routine care with Mint Wellness by Pet Assure! Enroll Today >

Sit. Stay. Read.

7 Healthy Bird Treats Your Pet Will Love

The right bird treats can help you train your feathered friend while maintaining its health.

May 20, 2024 4 min read
7 Healthy Bird Treats Your Pet Will Love

Most animals love their treats, and birds are no exception. Giving your pet the occasional tasty treat can help you bond with your feathered friend while also serving as a key training incentive. Additionally, healthy treats can enhance your bird's health and wellness when administered at the right times and in the right quantities. Let's explore the subject of treats for birds, from the place of treats in a bird's daily diet to some of the smartest and most popular bird treat choices.

When and How to Give Your Bird Treats

Birds definitely benefit from a varied selection of treats on a regular basis. These intelligent animals can get bored easily -- and boredom can lead to unwanted behavior. Treats can keep your bird interested and engaged, which not only supports cognitive wellness but also helps you train your winged pet. During training sessions, you should always be ready to dispense treats whenever your bird obeys a command correctly.

Don't get treats confused with meals. Most birds should get about 60 percent of their daily calories from commercially-prepared bird food pellets, with another 30 percent coming from fruits and vegetables. Treats should make up only the remaining 10 percent of your bird's daily diet. Dispense them either as a training aid or as a daily snack break in which you and your bird can strengthen your mutual bond.

Bird Treats to Avoid

Certain treats should never go near your bird, no matter how appetizing they might seem. In fact, some treats commonly enjoyed by humans can have devastating health effects on birds. Examples include foods containing avocado, caffeine, alcohol, garlic, onions, chocolate, and the sugar substitute xylitol.

Too much fat, sugar, or sodium can also prove harmful to birds. For instance, you should never feed your bird potato chips, microwave popcorn, or other salty snacks. It's also wise to cross fatty nuts and meats off your bird treat list.

Healthy Bird Treats for Your Feathered Friend

Even after excluding the choices noted above, you still have plenty of delicious treat options that your pet bird will probably love. On your next shopping trip, look for the following healthy bird treats.

1. Seeds and Nuts

Birds naturally munch on seeds in the wild, so your pet should feel right at home with seed-based treats. Ideal choices include grape, pumpkin, berry, pomegranate, mango, tomato, squash, and citrus fruit seeds. Steer clear of apple seeds and fruit pits, which can prove toxic due to the cyanide compounds they contain.

2. Fruits

Many birds like the sweetness and tartness of common fruits. Feel free to feed your bird bits of banana, mango, cherry, orange, and papaya. You can also feed it pieces of apple as long as you've removed any seeds first. Birds can even enjoy spicy peppers (which technically count as fruits) without experiencing the "burn" that we humans get from these foods.

3. Beans and Sprouts

While raw beans are toxic to birds, cooked beans are not only safe but also provide lots of healthy protein and fiber. Simply boil any varieties of beans you have on hand and let them cool off before giving them to your pet. (But remember not to add salt -- after all, you're not cooking these beans for your human family members!) Thoroughly-washed sprouts also serve as a welcome bird treat.

4. Cereal Grains

Birds love all kinds of cereal grains, including corn, quinoa, and oats. Thankfully, grains offer nutritional value as well as a tempting taste sensation. You don't need to cook or soak the grains before offering them to your bird, but you do need to make sure you're giving it just the pure grain as opposed to sugary cereal.

5. Nuts

Walnuts, almonds, and other nuts appeal greatly to birds, although you have to be careful not to let them consume too much fat from this particular treat category. Your bird may even get a healthy workout from tapping away on a nut with its beak to penetrate the shell. Of course, you're allowed to lend assistance if it can't crack the nut by itself.

6. Popcorn and Pasta

Birds can safely eat popcorn in both popped and unpopped forms. Just make sure to use unprocessed popcorn instead of the fatty, heavily-salted microwave variety. If you have some pasta in your pantry, you can even feed this nutritious food source to your bird, cooked or uncooked. Your bird will get a healthy serving or carbs as it enjoys this treat.

7. Vegetables

Like humans, birds derive a wealth of nutritional benefits from vegetables, one of their regular food sources in nature. You can treat your bird to peas, squash, kale, broccoli, greens, peas, and various root veggies with confidence. First, however, take care to wash away any traces of pesticides.

Dietary or Nutritional Concerns? Consult Your Vet

As noted above, the wrong treats can threaten a bird's health, while even too much of the right treats can encourage obesity and other health issues. If you have any concerns about your bird's weight or overall health, schedule a wellness exam with an experienced avian veterinarian. He or she can keep track of your bird's weight from visit to visit while advising you on proper nutrition and answering any questions you may have as a concerned bird owner. In the meantime, have fun delighting your bird with tasty, healthy goodies!

Ready to start saving money on pet wellness care?

Then take a look at Mint Wellness, the pet wellness plan that provides fast reimbursement on routine pet care. Save on vaccinations, wellness exams, preventatives, dental, and more!

Learn More