Bathing is an important part of a parrot's regular grooming routine. Allowing your parrot to accumulate dust, dirt and dander isn't going to cause any immediate health problems, but it will certainly affect their state of mind.
Dirty parrots are more likely to pluck and scratch themselves, which can lead to feather loss along with open sores. The good news is that you can prevent this from happening by bathing your parrot on a regular basis.
How Often Should I Bathe My Parrot?
Some owners may feel inclined to give their parrot a bath every day, but this really isn't necessary. In fact, bathing them too often can lead to overly dry skin. Depending on the air quality inside your home and your parrot's activity levels, you can probably get by with bathing them twice a month.
Of course you may want to bathe them more frequently if they are noticeably dirty, but once every other week should suffice. If you’re having a hard time remembering the date you need to clean your parrot, make a note on the calendar and stick it on the refrigerator.
The Towel Method
When you’re ready to bathe your parrot, take a washcloth and run it lukewarm-temperature water for a couple seconds until it’s nice and moist. Before using it, ring the excess water out so your parrot won’t be overwhelmed. As long as your parrot is calm, they shouldn’t put up much of a fight when you try to clean them.
Take the towel and gently rub down their wings and body until you've covered their entire body. You can help ease and calm your parrot by talking to them and telling them how good they are.
The Spray Bottle Method
Alternatively, you can bathe your parrot using a simple spray bottle. Just fill it up with lukewarm-temperature water, turn the nozzle so it’s on the mist setting and give your parrot a couple sprays whenever they need a bath.
This method typically doesn't work as well as using a washcloth, but it’s a quick and easy way to clean your parrot without opening their cage.
It’s important to only use room temperature water when bathing your parrot, as warm water can cause scalding. Stick your finger underneath the water to see how cold it is before using it on your parrot. If it feels too warm or too cold, you’ll have to make some adjustments.
Some parrots are naturally fond of the water and will jump right in when given the opportunity. If you haven't done so already, see if your parrot will bathe itself by filling up the sink with room temperature water and placing your parrot next to it.
You can encourage your parrot to take a dip by gently splashing some water on it. If all goes well, the parrot will jump in and begin bathing itself.
Let Em' Do Their Thing!
Some parrots are naturally drawn to water and will jump at the opportunity to splash around (just look at the photo published above). If you haven't done so already, see if your parrot will bathe themselves. You can fill up your bathtub with a couple inches of water and place your parrot nearby.
All parrots -- big and small -- should be bathed on a regular basis. It's not uncommon for parrots to develop a buildup of dust, dirt, dead skin cells and even loose feathers on their coat. The dust and dirt can stick inside their feathers where it restricts their normal range of motion which might even lead to them sneezing and coughing more frequently. Depending on the severity of the problem, dirt and debris may also cause intense itching.
Some owners may feel inclined to give their parrot a bath every day, but this isn’t necessary. Depending on the air quality and how active your parrot is, you can probably get by with bathing them only once every other week.
Of course you may want to bathe them more frequently if they are noticeably dirty, especially after a fun and safe trip outdoors, but this is a good rule of thumb to follow. If you’re having a hard time remembering the date you need to clean your parrot, make a note on the calendar and stick it on the refrigerator, or another idea is to set a reminder on your phone.