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is it ok to spray my budgie with water?

Do Budgies Like To Be Sprayed with Water?

Many budgies enjoy being sprayed and misted with a water spray bottle.

Spraying water at a budgie has many benefits. It acts as a shower, allowing a budgie to clean its feathers, especially as it encourages puffing and preening. It also moderates temperature, reduces irritation from a molt, and provides a fun activity.

Use room temperature or slightly tepid water to prevent a budgie from becoming unwell. If the water is too cold, it may plunge a budgie’s body into shock. Ensure the spray bottle is clean.

Do Budgies Like Getting Wet?

Captive budgies can get pretty dirty in a cage. Dust particles tend to cling to a budgie’s feathers, and without the ability to fly freely, the ability to shake feather dust off is limited. As a result, many budgies love being sprayed with water, treating this activity like a shower.

We say many budgies because no single rule or preference can apply to all birds. Some budgies find being sprayed with water quite upsetting and would rather bathe themselves by submerging in water.

You can tell if your budgie enjoys being sprayed by its reaction. If your budgie responds with the following behaviors, it finds water play, including being sprayed, enjoyable:

  • Playing in the water, such as bobbing its head
  • Preening and shaking feathers, including the wings
  • Chirping and singing

However, look for warnings that your budgie finds the experience of being sprayed with water upsetting. Signs of this displeasure include:

  • Flapping wings furiously
  • Screaming and squawking
  • Trying to escape and hide
  • Pacing the cage
  • Plucking its feathers

You should cease spraying your budgie with water at once if it dislikes the sensation. The budgie finds the experience upsetting, and you risk harming your bond every time you use the spray bottle.

Should I Spray My Budgie with Water?

Introduce your budgie to being sprayed steadily to ensure that it enjoys the experience – don’t just assume this will be the case. Many budgies are afraid of new experiences (neophobia), so you may need to spray yourself first to show the bottle’s contents aren’t a threat.

If your budgie actively enjoys being sprayed with water, there are many benefits, including:

  • Cooling off in hot temperatures.
  • Cleaning the feathers, removing surface-level dust and other particles.
  • Encourage grooming so that the budgie takes care of its cleanliness.
  • Relieving skin irritation during molting.

Perhaps the most significant benefit is that budgies who enjoy water spraying will have fun. This activity is a great way to bond with your budgie, earning its trust as a source of pleasure and relief.

There are some occasions that you should never spray a budgie with water, so avoid this activity in the following circumstances:

  • The ambient temperature is below 70OF because the budgie will struggle to stay warm while wet.
  • You’re about to leave the house, go to bed, or are otherwise busy.
  • You’re potty training the budgie or engaging in any other teaching, as this can lead to confusion.
  • If the budgie is anxious, afraid, or agitated, keep the spraying of water a pleasant experience.
  • You’re displeased with something the budgie has done.

You can begin the process if you’re confident your budgie enjoys being sprayed with water.

should I spray my budgie with water?

What Water Should I Use to Spray a Budgie?

Water from the tap may contain cleaning agents like chlorine that agitate a budgie’s skin or cause distress due to their strong, chemical scent.

Getting a water purifier/filter is recommended to remove any chemicals from tap water before using them in a spray bottle. Alternatively, purchase bottled water.

How to Spray a Budgie with Water

You could use a small, weak squirt gun to spray your budgie with water, but it’s inadvisable. Squirt guns can fire with surprising force for a small, delicate budgie. Instead, it’s better to use a spray bottle.

You can get spray bottles from a hardware store or supermarket – they rarely cost more than a few bucks.

You’re trying to mist your budgie, not drench it. Check the nozzle is turned as low as possible and spray your budgie with water from a safe distance, checking its reaction the entire time.

What Temperature Water for Misting Budgies?

Keep the water in your spray bottle at room temperature or slightly above.

Never keep the spray bottle in the fridge, or apply ice cubes, no matter how warm it is. If your budgie is suddenly doused in cold water, it risks going into shock.

Don’t try to warm your budgie up with hotter water. If you consider the ambient temperature too cold for misting, simply provide your budgie with a water bowl to bathe.

How Often Should You Spray Your Budgie with Water?

Misting and spraying water should be restricted to around twice a week. This will be frequent enough to help your budgie keep clean, and it’ll take care of its own grooming needs in the meantime.

You can consider misting more often in times of discomfort, such as molting or unseasonably hot temperatures. Avoid over-misting, especially if you plan to breed your budgie.

If you look a little above the tail, at the bottom of your budgie’s lower back, you’ll spot the uropygial gland, also known as the preening gland. This gland releases oil critical to budgies’ health, keeping the feathers and skin in good order.

Budgies rub their heads and beaks against this gland during grooming before transferring the oils over their body. If you mist or spray your budgie to excess, it’ll lose interest in grooming itself, leading to blockages in the uropygial gland as oil builds up.  

According to Chemical Senses, the oils found in the uropygial gland act as pheromones. If a male budgie isn’t grooming itself, relying on water for cleanliness, a female is unlikely to accept mating or breeding.

How Long Does it Take a Budgie to Dry?

Wild budgies like to air dry after bathing, so offer the same opportunity after misting with a water bottle. Let your budgie out of its cage and allow it to fly around in a bird-safe room.

If you need to dry off a budgie manually, gently wrap it in a soft towel. This approach is recommended if your budgie shows signs of being cold. Check the feet first, as hot or cold feet are a good barometer of body temperature in a budgie.

If you intend to use a hairdryer, seek out a model with a cool setting. Even then, keep your distance from your budgie while using the appliance. Budgies have delicate skin, which will dry out when subjected to intense heat, and many birds will find the noise upsetting.

You’ll learn quite quickly if your budgie enjoys being sprayed with water. If that is the case, you can introduce this to your budgie’s routine.