What can be more beneficial than an avocado? This seems to be the mantra of modern fitness influencers and healthy food blogs. Avocado has rapidly become a superfood that is a must-have for every breakfast!
In fact, avocados are healthy, nutritious, and tasty. So, why wouldn’t people take such a liking to this product? Unfortunately, there is no middle ground – you either love it or hate it.
And if you are in the first group, the chances are that you have avocados in your kitchen almost every day! And it seems totally justifiable to feed such a delicious and beneficial avocado to your pets as well, right?
No matter how useful a product is for you, you should never feed it to animals before learning whether your animal can eat it safely! That is why I’m making a series of posts that discuss some products that new owners may be inclined to give their parrots. And I share whether the products are safe, helpful, and how exactly to introduce them to a parrot’s diet.
So, turning back to the product in question, AVOCADO. Can you give it to a parrot? NO! Avocado may be nutritious for you, but it’s a dangerous poison for parrots. The whole fruit is dangerous for the bird; for example, you cannot separate certain parts of it as with cherries. So don’t give your parrot anything avocado-related.
Yes, this is the bad news that you’ve probably didn’t wanted to hear! I believe you were expecting the green light and already prepared to enrich your parrot’s diet. But this is still poison. The pit and skin are deadly for the bird. The flesh is a bit less toxic but is still a potent poison. So, where you eat avocado, close the parrot’s cage, and be sure not to mix its food with your ingredients!
Here’s a more detailed guide on why avocados are dangerous, would your bird eat it anyway, and what to do if it happens anyway! I hope this article will make you more cautious about what you give your pet.
What Are the Benefits of Avocados?
There are numerous benefits when it comes to people. Humans can safely eat avocados and do that rather eagerly! Here are some of the beneficial nutrients that will improve your health (NOT YOUR PARROT’S)
The fruit is rich in vitamins. It contains the following: vitamins K, C, B5, B6, E, and folate. This is quite a mix that positively affects the health of any human. I won’t describe the effects of each in detail ass it’ll take lots of time. Just know that this vitamin boost affects various areas of your body.
One of the most beneficial parts of avocado to my mind (and many scientists’) is fatty acids. They are essential for a healthy diet and the long-term health of your body. There is a limited number of foods that provide these essential elements. So, feel free to eat avocados regularly.
But what can parrots do? Where will they get fatty acids if not from avocado? Here are your alternative sources: coconut and cherries. The former is perfect for parrots. You can read more about whether parrots can eat coconut and its benefits in my previous article.
Yes, avocados are rich in fibers as well. It’s essential for proper digestion, and its influence cannot be overestimated. Plus, it’s a positive influence on blood sugar levels and healthy weight. And parrots get enough fibers from other products if you keep them on a proper diet. So don’t worry; they don’t miss much.
I’ve already mentioned the benefits of potassium from parrots in several articles. But this element is vital for humans as well. I’m sure you already know how important it is.
And avocado contains excellent amounts of potassium! Numerous studies have shown that avocado has more potassium than a banana! And that means a lot.
Antioxidants are responsible for keeping us healthy as we grow old; they are effective in cancer prevention even! Basically, they are meant to fight off everything bad that happens in our bodies. And that is why it’s crucial to introduce antioxidants both in our diet and in skincare as well.
Overall, you can see how many benefits avocado can bring to humans. Theoretically speaking, all these elements are highly beneficial for parrots as well. If only they didn’t have that toxic effect…
Anyway, let’s check why exactly your bird shouldn’t eat it.
What Are the Negative Effects of Eating Avocado?
Note that you won’t experience the poisonous side of avocados; only your parrot will.
Here are some of the effects eating an avocado can have on a parrot.
Avocado as a whole is a deadly poison for birds. All of them, not only parrots. First of all, it disrupts the work of a bird’s digestive system. Second, in time, it can even lead to death if you do nothing! Thus, you should always call a vet if you suspect that your parrot has eaten the fruit to avoid a deadly outcome.
The following symptoms are present in parrots for sure but can also affect people who eat too many avocados regularly. Beware the adverse effects.
Avocado can be an allergen on its own, sure. There are people who cannot eat the fruit at all. However, there is also a case of it worsening all the existing allergies. If you are vulnerable in this area, eating too much avocado can worsen the symptoms.
I’ve mentioned that a bird’s digestive system suffers first. And if a human consumes too much avocado, they’ll experience gastrointestinal irritation as well!
It’s not drastic but will cause you minor inconveniences and aches.
Yes, avocado is considered a healthy food and is recommended by many dieticians and food blogs. However, this fruit comes with a catch – it’s incredibly high in calories. You cannot enjoy avocados three times a day because one avocado contains 322 calories. And that should only be a small part of your daily ratio; you also need lots of protein, veggies, meats, fish, lentils, and so on.
Thus, it’s better to consume avocado in the morning when you need to boost your energy levels for the day.
What Is the Best Avocado Alternative?
If you still want to provide the similar nutritional benefits of an avocado to parrot and introduce a taste similar to the fruit, I can offer a few alternatives.
I’ve already mentioned the similar contents of potassium in avocado and banana. And they offer similar nutritional benefits as well.
Plus, I consider this to be the best alternative due to the similarities in texture. Yes, banana is sweeter, but when you mash it (not the too ripe mushy one), you get something similar that can easily imitate an avocado to a clueless parrot.
Besides, a banana would be completely safe for your parrot! You can read all about the benefits of bananas for parrots in the previous article.
Yes, this alternative is more far-fetched from an avocado than bananas but hear me out! This is also a highly nutritional snack but one that is filled with calories. Remember to limit the amount you offer your parrot to the minimum.
Do Parrots Love Avocados Anyway?
Sadly, captivity-bred birds do not have such strong survival instincts as their wild relatives. And even the latter don’t know everything that may hurt them. Thus, you need to make sure that avocados are always out of reach! It’s better not to eat your favorite avocado toast near the cage at all!
A parrot doesn’t know that avocado can severely poison it. So, the bird will gladly try it least. Parrots also have different tastes. So, you never know whether that one bite will turn the bird away from the fruit for all or inspire a craving. Plus, it’s better not to let even the slightest bit of avocado near your pet!
I really hope that you take this article seriously and decide to hide all your avocados in the fridge or cupboards to minimize the risks. After all, this is one of the most dangerous food a bird can find in your home! Remember not to feed your parrot anything new before checking whether it’s safe or not. Some effects and restrictions may surprise you!
It’s better to be safe than sorry!
I hope your bird remains healthy and happy for years to come!