Bird owners like to give their feathered companions different fruits as a treat. Fruits are beneficial for birds like parakeets, but you need to be cautious when giving them to your pets.
Moreover, one thing that bird owners talk about is “can parakeets eat tomatoes?” This fruit looks delicious and juicy to be appealing to your winged friends.
However, there are things that you need to know before feeding your parakeets with tomatoes.
Parakeets can eat tomatoes, but only a tiny portion. Tomatoes are a highly acidic fruit, so giving them to a parakeet in large quantities can cause stomach irritation and ulcers. It is also best for bird owners to avoid feeding their pets with tomatoes entirely since there are many other ideal fruits to choose from.
Are Tomatoes A Safe Treat For Parakeets?
Now and then, a small portion of tomato will not hurt your parakeet. But it is best to avoid feeding your pet with this fruit. Many other fruits are safer and more beneficial for your parakeet than a tomato.
Tomatoes are highly acidic. So feeding your parakeet with this fruit can cause different stomach issues, such as ulcers and irritation in the stomach lining.
Tomatoes came from the nightshade family, a group of plants that contain the organic compound alkaloids. When consumed in high amounts, this organic compound poses psychological effects on both humans and animals, like the parakeets.
These alkaloids can cause
- muscle twitching
- respiratory paralysis
Additionally, tomatoes contain vitamin D3. While this vitamin is essential for bone health, it can cause abnormal calcium deposits in a parakeet’s ligaments, soft tissues, and tendons.
Vitamin D3 can also cause mineralization in your winged friend’s arteries and veins.
A small portion of tomato will not hurt your parakeet. But feeding your feathered companion too much of this fruit can cause them to have stomach issues and ulcers. The reason is that tomatoes are high in acidity, which can irritate a bird’s stomach lining. (source)
Do Tomatoes Have Health Benefits For Parakeets?
Tomatoes are a healthy fruit. So while a large portion of this fruit can hurt your parakeet, giving it a small serving every once in a while can also bring nutritional benefits.
The vitamin A content of tomatoes prevents your parakeet from having overgrown nails and beaks. It also makes the nails and beak stronger, thus preventing them from breaking.
A tomato’s antioxidants can help your parakeet fight free radicals and cell damage.
Stress is something that bird owners do not want their parakeets to have. Fortunately, vitamin C helps these feathered friends fight stress and improve their overall mental health.
Additionally, vitamin C is crucial for improving this bird’s immune system.
Vitamin K is a vitamin that aids your parakeet in creating coagulants. If your parakeet gets a cut, vitamin K makes it easier for your bird’s blood to clot. This way, the bleeding will slow down until it stops. (source)
What Is The Safe Way Of Feeding Tomatoes To Parakeets?
The safest amount of tomato that you can give your parakeet is a quarter of a slice. It would be best if you only gave your pet a tomato once a week.
Feeding your parakeet more than a quarter of a slice of tomato will irritate its stomach and cause health problems.
If you are going to feed your parakeet a fresh tomato slice, wash it thoroughly to remove any pesticide from its skin. It is also ideal to buy organic tomatoes and other fruits to ensure that your winged companion will not ingest any pesticides.
One safe way of giving tomatoes to your pet is to cook the fruit. This process will eliminate most of the acid from the tomato, allowing the parakeet’s stomach to tolerate it.
You can also feed your bird with dried tomatoes. Dried tomatoes no longer have much acid, but they still have some vitamins your parakeet needs.
Moreover, you also need to avoid feeding your pet premade tomato sauces. Pre-packed foods have preservatives and other ingredients that can cause adverse effects on your parakeet. (source)
What Can Parakeets Not Eat?
There are a lot of foods that you can feed your parakeet. However, you need to be cautious, especially if it is your first time giving your pet such food.
Additionally, parakeets find many fruits and human food palatable. For this reason, you should not trust their instincts when it comes to choosing the food they will eat.
Here is a list of foods that you should avoid giving your parakeet:
Bread is not necessarily toxic for parakeets. However, it fills their stomach quickly, prompting them to stop eating other foods.
The bad thing is that bread lacks the vitamins and minerals that parakeets need. You should seek foods that are actually beneficial for them.
People love caffeinated drinks like coffee and soda. Not only do they taste great, but they also boost energy.
However, the same benefit of caffeine can be detrimental to your feathered friend. Caffeine can cause hyperactivity, induce arrhythmia, and increase heart rate.
In the worst cases, it can cause cardiac arrest in birds and kill them.
That said, never give your parakeet any caffeinated product.
Parakeets and other birds can have a small amount of meat occasionally. However, too much fat will cause cholesterol buildup in the walls of their arteries.
Even a little amount of salt can be toxic to a parakeet. It can disturb the bird’s fluid balance and electrolytes, which leads to dehydration, kidney disease, and death. (source)
Can parakeets eat tomatoes? They can, but it is not ideal. Tomatoes are a highly acidic fruit, which can cause stomach irritation and ulcers to such a small bird.
This fruit is also a member of the nightshade family. It contains vitamin D3, a nutrient that causes your parakeet to have an abnormal calcium buildup in its soft tissues.
The alkaloids in tomatoes can also affect your parakeet’s muscles. Too much alkaloid can result in trembling, muscle twitch, and convulsion, some adverse effects that your parakeet may not be able to tolerate.
So, instead of feeding your feathered friend a tomato, give it other fruits that are healthier and more beneficial.
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- Can Parakeets Eat Tomatoes? (Read This First!)
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- Nikki Moustaki. Parrots For Dummies. USA: John Wiley & Sons, 2021.
- Sebastiano Porretta. Tomato Chemistry, Industrial Processing, and Product Development. UK: Royal Society of Chemistry, 2019.
- Deanna Delong. How to Dry Foods. USA: Penguin, 2006.
- Nicolae Sfetcu. The Birds World. MultiMedia Publishing, 2014.