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Can Parakeets Eat Bread? What You Need to Know!

Nicole Cosgrove

We all love our pets, and many of us like to share our food with them. One of the most common foods found in many homes is bread. Many readers write to ask if it’s safe to feed this tasty treat to their pet parakeets. While your parakeet can eat bread, there are several things to consider before giving it to them. If you are considering giving your parakeet a morsel of bread and want to know more about the pros and cons, keep reading while we look at the nutritional benefits as well as any potential health hazards your pet might face to help you make an informed decision.

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Is Bread Bad for My Parakeet?

High in Carbohydrates

Bread is high in carbohydrates which can upset your pet’s sensitive digestive system. If the bird’s digestive system is off track, it can result in your bird not feeling well, and it might even get diarrhea. These carbohydrates can also turn into fat, which will cause your pet to gain weight. An overweight bird can suffer from multiple health problems, including heart and liver disease and diabetes.

Bourke’s Parakeet
Image Credit: jggrz , Pixabay

Additives

Many brands of bread contain additives, like cinnamon, raisins, walnuts, and many other ingredients. Any of these can be dangerous to your pet. Some are poisonous, while others may add too much sugar to your pet’s diet. Unless you have the time and patience to look up all of the additional ingredients, it’s better to avoid them.

Preservatives

Almost all bread brands contain some form of preservative, and many can be harmful to your parakeet. We recommend checking the ingredient list for preservatives like BHA and BHT, which can be especially harmful to your pet, and avoiding them. Instead, look for brands that use lecithin or powdered ascorbic acid as a preservative.

Salt

Some brands of bread have too much salt to be safe to feed your pet. We recommend seeking out low salt brands to avoid any risk from sodium.

bread
Image Credit: Couleur, Pixabay

Sugar

Many brands also have a lot of sugar which can also wreak havoc on your parakeet’s internal system.

Bleach

White bread uses bleached ingredients that can cause a spike in blood sugar when your bird eats it. A spike in blood sugar can leave your bird feeling tired and run down. It can also lead to weight gain and other health problems.

Is Bread Good for My Parakeet?

Vitamins and Minerals

Many brands are high in nutrients, including vitamins and minerals that can be beneficial to your pet. Vitamins to look for include vitamin A, which many birds have a deficiency and can lead to a serious health concern. Vitamin C is also a helpful nutrient because it’s a powerful antioxidant that can help keep your pet healthy and ward off disease. Potassium and calcium are also helpful minerals that we recommend looking for when choosing bread.

green parakeet in the wild
Image Credit: suju-foto, Pixabay

Choosing the Right Bread

Organic Whole Meal

We recommend choosing an organic wholemeal bread for your bird. There are several options, including whole wheat, whole rye, whole grain, etc. These slices of bread will not break down as quickly as bleached bread, affecting blood sugar levels. Three-grain and multigrain bread are also good.

Low Sodium with No Additives

As we mentioned earlier, many brands have too much salt to feed to your pet regularly. We recommend choosing a low salt brand as a pet treat. You also want to avoid raisins, nuts, and other ingredients that might harm your pet, at least until you can properly research their safety. Many of these slices of bread contain a lot of different ingredients that are not good for your pet, including artificial dyes and chemical preservatives.

bread
Image Credit: Pixabay

How Should I Feed My Parakeet Bread?

Once you have the perfect brand of organic, whole grain, low sodium bread chosen, we recommend breaking each piece into four pieces.

Feed your pet one piece.

Watch your bird carefully for an hour or two after feeding to ensure it doesn’t have an adverse reaction, especially the first few times.

If your pet doesn’t have any problems with the first piece, you can continue to give them one piece once or twice per week.

If your bird enjoys it, you can give your parakeet as much as two pieces or one-half slice per serving. However, bread can quickly cause your pet to gain weight so you will need to provide it less often if you increase portion size.

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Summary

While your parakeet can eat bread in small amounts, we recommend avoiding it unless it’s something your bird really craves. If it’s one of its favorite foods, we recommend choosing organic, low sodium, whole grain bread to feed your pet as an occasional treat. Limit your portions to less than one-half slice every week or two, and your pet should remain healthy.

We hope you have enjoyed reading over this short guide and have found the answer you need. If we have helped you provide a nutritious snack for your pet, please share our look into if parakeets can eat bread on Facebook and Twitter.


Featured Image Credit: Manfred Richter, Pixabay

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.