Taking on a new pet comes with a mix of unique challenges and situations. One of those challenges can be the way they smell. A pet with an odor can be a major problem for some owners who don’t have time to dedicate to cleaning or those who are sensitive to scents in their home. But what about parakeets? Are these a particularly smelly pet to own? Here is all you will want to know.
So, do Parakeets smell? Parakeets do not naturally smell or give off any odor. However, a parakeet’s cage can begin to smell if not cleaned regularly. Parakeet droppings do not carry a strong odor, but if left to build up on the cage floor, bars, and perches, the area will begin to smell. Parakeet smell is mostly based on the care they receive from their owners, not the bird themselves.
In many ways, it’s up to you.
And how willing and able you are to regular cage cleaning.
It’s just part and parcel of parakeet ownership.
And it benefits your bird too; besides, keeping them in a clean, hygienic environment is going to make life much easier and pleasant for your bird.
Not to mention the health benefits of that too.
With that said, let us now explore what you can expect when owning this small, chirpy parrot in regards to the smell of your home.
They may not take up a lot of space, but will their stench extend beyond it?
Let’s find out!
Do Parakeets Smell Naturally?
Parakeets are naturally very clean animals without any noticeable scent. They do not have sweat glands like humans and create very little natural odor.
Unlike dogs and some other pets, Parakeets don’t have a major need for going outside. This means they don’t have access to dirt and other grime to roll in and build up stinky smells.
Parakeets also are avid ‘preeners,’ which means they spend a lot of time using their beak to straighten and clean their feathers, preventing dirt build-up and smell.
If you place your nose near or into a Parakeet’s feathers, you might notice a slight scent that is actually often described as pleasant.
This mild scent can be brought on by the food the bird eats that often has sweet seeds and grain pieces.
People may wonder if Parakeet droppings (poop) has a bad smell since their birds will be living in cages indoors.
The good news is, even Parakeet droppings have very little scent.
Parakeets eat a fairly basic dry seed-based diet most of the time, which means they aren’t making poop with the strong scent many of our pets have.
The biggest factor at play when a pet Parakeet and its habitat begin to smell is owner care and the bird’s general health.
A lack of owner care or a sick bird can lead to undesirable smells.
Let’s take a closer look at what may cause a Parakeet to smell.
What Can Make Parakeets Smell?
The two main reasons that a Parakeet may begin to smell are a lack of regular cage cleaning by the Parakeet’s owner or the Parakeet experiencing an illness. A few other less common reasons for birds to smell are spoiled food and water or a bird that has gotten itself wet.
An Unclean Cage
The droppings of a Parakeet do not typically have a strong or noticeable smell. This doesn’t mean they are entirely scent-free, but they do not create the strong, noticeable odors of human, dog, or other pet waste.
When Parakeets can begin to smell is if their cage is not properly cleaned on a regular basis – at least every third day for general cleaning with occasional deep cleanings mixed in.
As with any animal waste that begins to build up, it can have a strong smell.
As waste that sits breaks down, it may have small amounts of bacteria in it and can become mixed with dropped seed shells that will grow moldy over time. This will start to produce a smell.
A bird that lives in a feces-covered cage will have a hard time keeping itself clean.
If droppings are stuck to a bird’s perch, it has no choice but to stand and rest on poop which will stick to its feet and feathers. This may leave your bird smelling unpleasant.
Odor As A Sign Of Illness
If your Parakeet suddenly begins to have feathers that smell bad or you notice that their droppings are foul-smelling, it may be time to visit your veterinarian.
A bird that is feeling unwell may not preen and clean itself as it normally would. This could lead to an extra build-up of oils or potential dirt and dust on your bird’s feathers that changes your bird’s scent. Generally, your bird still won’t smell horrible, but its usual freshness could seem off.
The more notable concern is when a Parakeet’s droppings suddenly begin to have an odor. A healthy Parakeet should be creating mostly scentless poop. If your Parakeet has poop that is letting off a smell, it could indicate an infection or digestion struggles.
To get to the bottom of a Parakeet with bad-smelling feces, take a trip to your vet, who can make sure your bird is healthy.
Other Possible Reasons For A Parakeet To Smell
While rare, there are a few other reasons a Parakeet could smell.
If your Parakeet spills or mixes water into its food, and the food is not changed out or refreshed, it can grow moldy.
Moldy bird food will smell and can be resolved by emptying out the bird’s food, cleaning the bowl, and replenishing with new seeds.
Sometimes a bird that eats fresh fruits or vegetables may have a slight scent to its breath from eating. This is the same effect that happens to people after eating flavorful food and should go away with time.
Your bird may also smell if it recently took a bath and is still wet. This smell should be slight if noticeable and go away as the bird dries.
How To Prevent A Parakeet From Smelling
The number one way to prevent your Parakeet from smelling is by cleaning the cage liner a minimum of every third day. More frequent cleanings are even better at preventing smell.
It is not recommended to use scented material as a cage liner when trying to prevent bird smell.
The chemicals used to create scented products may not be good for your bird.
On a similar note, avoid using perfumes or other spray scents around your bird. These air scents can be hard on your bird’s nose and lungs.
So if you do invest in cage cleaning products, ensure they are safe for parakeets and other birds.
Deep cleaning food dishes, perches, and cage bars once a month with safe products or with warm soapy (mild soaps, no heavy chemical cleaners) water also keeps your bird and its home smelling fresh.
Simply remove your perches, soak them for a few minutes in soapy water, wipe with a clean cloth, and dry them before placing them back in the cage.
You should change out your bird’s water every day and change out the food at least every other day (although every day is ideal).
If your bird accidentally uses the restroom in its water, change it as soon as you notice the polluted water. If you feel that you are throwing out uneaten seed by doing frequent food changes, consider giving your bird less seed at one time.
If your bird is given fresh food as treats, remove them from the cage at the end of the day if they have not been eaten. Food sitting out can create an odor and may attract bugs to your cage.
When it comes to preventing bird smells, a few minutes of cleaning on a routine basis will keep your bird odor-free.
Parakeets: A Great Bird For Small and Smell Free Spaces
Overall, you will find that your Parakeet is a pet that comes with very little smell. This means they do great as pets in smaller homes and apartments.
They don’t create waste with a bad odor and do a good job of keeping their feathers clean.
This is all assuming you regularly clean the cage, though.
That is something that you simply have to do as a parakeet owner.
Regularly and routinely, with the right products too.
If you don’t, you may soon notice it.
And don’t forget – a Parakeet that does smell may need a simple vet check-up to get it healthy and back to its normal odor-free self.
Especially if you still notice odors following a deep clean.
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.