Can I Use Oils And Candles Near My Pet Birds?

Can I Use Oils And Candles Near My Pet Birds?

Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman

Denise asks

I have an Amazon and a hahns macaw.

Can you please tell me what oils are safe to use once in a while in my diffusers?

I have used Scentsy, and also bath and body works candles not a lot of use at all as the scents sort of even bother me!

thank you appreciate it.


Hi Denise

We are of the firm belief there are no safe oils for pet birds including CBD oilTheir ability to smell is far more acute than we ever thought and we talk about that here


What Is The Only Bird Capable Of Smell?


According to


“At the most basic level, essential oil diffusers work by dispersing essential oils into the air to be inhaled and easily absorbed by the body.

As an added benefit, most essential oils also emit a pleasant scent into the air when distributed via a diffuser, also purifying the air – killing bacteria and fungus.” 

bird air sac illustration


Let’s walk through this.


Rub your finger along the inside of your range hood and you’ll feel a coating of grease (oil)


The oil from cooking or an oil diffuser is a “coating” which means the coating has a “thickness.”


Another reason not to allow birds in the kitchen while  cooking.


This oil is coating the entire olfactory system of your Zon and Hahns, sending skewed information about smells to the brain.



Think about seeing it while underwater in a pool.


You can see but with little focus.


The oil coating impairs your bird’s sense of smell in the same way.


Your birds can smell but not what they normally and accurately smell in the environment they are used to – which is a stress trigger.


Further, as thin as a coat of oil may seem, it is still a layer that is now reducing the air intake passageways diameter that leads to your bird’s series of air sacs.



And the final deal killer for oils.


For the most part, oils are volatile compounds that don’t bode well for birds processing these “mists.”

“But Mitch, the internet said I just have to dilute the oil.”

MitchR replies

“A 150 lb human weighs 68039 grams, Your hahns macaw weighs  150 grams – what’s your dilution strategy?”


Candles should have no part in the life of the parrot.


I’m sure you’ve heard about bomb-sniffing dogs that can detect a piece of explosive the size of a grain of sand or a human tumor?


That is how sensitive birds’ respiratory systems are.


Every lit candle sucks a little bit of oxygen that it needs for combustion which comes out of the air your birds are sharing with the candle.


Another problem with candles is that they can appear to be attractive shiny objects, yet your bird has no concept of “hot” much like a naïve young child, so the hot-flame-attraction-thing becomes a serious safety concern.


So Denise, if you want to help your bird’s respiratory system, build them one of these.



Written by Mitch Rezman
Approved by Catherine Tobsing

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