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Can Parakeets Eat Tomatoes? What You Need to Know!
Bird enthusiasts love giving their pet parakeets a mix of fresh fruits and veggies as a treat. Even though a lot of these foods are safe for them, not all are. What about tomatoes? Are these juicy veggies safe for our little winged friends? Tomatoes are safe for parakeets to eat, but only in very small amounts.
Are Tomatoes Safe for Parakeets
While a small bite of raw tomato here and there isn’t dangerous, too much of this high-acid food could cause some trouble. Let’s start by looking at the positives.
First, tomatoes are made up of 94 percent water and are an excellent tool for hydration. Raw tomatoes are also rich in antioxidants and vitamins A, C, and K that benefit the well-being of birds.
Antioxidants are compounds that fight all the free radicals in the body. Free radicals damage the bird’s cells over a long period.
Deficient levels of vitamin A could make your parakeet’s beak and nails overgrow, chip, or flake. If you leave it unchecked, they could break and be painful for your pet.
Vitamin C is the perfect solution for reducing stress and improving mental health. It also creates antibodies that fight off sickness and keep them healthy all year long.
This vitamin is great at coagulating blood. If your bird gets a scratch or cut, vitamin K gets to work on slowing the bleeding and helping the wound heal.
Dangers of Too Much Tomato
Because of the high acid levels, too many tomato snacks could give your birds some stomach issues ranging from a simple upset tummy to more severe problems like stomach ulcers. Keep in mind that the stems and leaves of tomato plants are toxic to birds and must be avoided at all costs.
How to Safely Feed Tomatoes to Parakeets
The healthiest pet birds are the ones with owners who follow the 80/20 rule. A parakeet’s diet should be 80 percent pellets and only 20 percent fruits and veggies. As a rule, only give a quarter of a single slice of tomato to your parakeets about once per week. Any more than that is just asking for trouble.
Cooking tomatoes down is a safer way to feed them to your pet birds because the cooking process eliminates a lot of the acid. However, do not ever cook the tomatoes in Teflon. Teflon emits toxic substances that are poisonous to birds. Also, try to avoid giving them premade sauces with other ingredients that could harm them. If you do want to cook down some tomatoes, do it at home and use fresh tomatoes that are thoroughly washed to remove dirt and pesticides.
The Danger of Pesticides
Pesticides are a huge cause for concern when it comes to parakeets and all other pet birds. Some of their favorite treats, including strawberries, tomatoes, cherries, grapes, bell peppers, peaches, and apples, are commonly sprayed with chemicals to keep pests off the fruits. Buying organically grown fruits and vegetables is one simple way to reduce the number of pesticides they consume. You should wash all your produce before serving it to your birds, regardless of how the crops were grown.
Safe Foods for Parakeets
Now that you know that tomatoes are safe in moderation, we bet you’re wondering what other food is safe to give your pet parakeet. Here is a list of some of their favorite treats:
Unsafe Foods for Parakeets
Even though some foods may seem safe, don’t rely on your gut instinct. Always research if a food is safe for birds before feeding it to them. Here is a short list of foods that you should avoid feeding to parakeets at all costs:
As a bird parent, you want to be able to give your parakeets a fulfilling life with lots of tasty treats along the way. While it can be tempting to let them chow down on however much fruit or vegetables that they want, it isn’t in their best interest. Birds need a well-balanced diet. Even though a healthy diet for humans consists of as many of these types of foods as we can get, it isn’t safe for parakeets.
If your parakeets are getting a healthy mix of food pellets, birdseed, fruits, and vegetables, they will have far fewer health issues than those who stick to only one food. Treats are a great way to encourage good behavior, but we also must be extremely careful about it in order to ensure their safety.
- You may also want to know: Can Parakeets Eat Spinach? What You Need to Know!
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay
Hallie has been a proud nature and animal enthusiast for as long as she can remember. She attributes her passion for the environment and all its creatures to her childhood when she was showing horses on weekends and spending her weeknights devoting her attention to her pets. She enjoys spending most of her time in Michigan playing with her two rescue cats, Chewbacca and Lena, and her dog, Clayton. When Hallie isn’t using her degree in English with a writing specialization to spread informative knowledge on pet care, you can find her snuggled up on the couch reading books or watching nature documentaries.