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Can Birds Eat Chocolate?

Just like eating cheese, consuming chocolate is one of the most enjoyable things in the planet. To human beings this may be the most tantalizing treat of all, something that we all crave. Other animals love the taste of chocolate as well. They, too, find it incredibly tasty, but it is truly something that they should not be digesting. In dogs, for example, chocolate can be quite dangerous to the canine and if ingested they may have to be taken to the vet.

So what happens if your pet bird ate chocolate? Would it be in danger? This begs the question, Can birds eat chocolate?

Can Birds Eat Chocolate?

The truth of that matter is no. Chocolate can be quite lethal to birds and should not be given to them at all, whether you are talking about your family pet or the birds that are in your yard.

When a bird eats chocolate it has a very adverse effect on their digestive tract, which can lead to such things as diarrhea and vomiting. If not treated right away the symptoms will consistently get worse. It will eventually start affecting the bird’s central nervous system. This will lead to seizures and bouts of unconsciousness. Because many birds are perched when these occur they are likely to fall and get hurt. Eventually, they will die from this. There are also findings of similar effects when birds eat peanut butter, although research is still wanting.

This seems crazy that chocolate could have such adverse effect but, as mentioned before, many animals find chocolate to be quite dangerous to them. Birds are clearly no different.

What to Do if  Your Bird Ingests Chocolate?

First of all, don’t panic. While chocolate is not good for the bird, if it only had a little nibble then you don’t have much to worry about. It may get sick, but it will recover. So if it simply nibbled at a piece of a Hershey’s Kiss or a chocolate bar, no need to get too worried. Just keep a close eye on the bird to make sure that it is ok. If you find that the symptoms are getting worse then it is time to take action.

If your bird has eaten a large portion or is getting worse then you need to start taking action. The first thing to do is to try to get it to drink water. You need to flush its system as quickly as possible, and water can do some real good for you.

You also want to call the vet to see what they recommend. It is important to know the exact species of bird, the chocolate consumed and about how much you think the bird ate. The more information you can provide to the doctor the more likely it is that he or she can help you.

What you will find, in many cases, is that the vet will tell you to monitor the bird closely unless a large amount was ingested. Watch for seizures, and if this occurs then you will need to contact the vet again. This is a clear sign that the nervous system is affected.

Also read: 

Everything you need to know as a bird keeper