Budgies are affectionate, sociable birds that enjoy bonding with their owners.
So, you may want to kiss your budgie on the cheek or forehead to show them how much you care. However, you may wonder if kissing a budgie is a safe way for the owner and bird to bond together.
While giving a budgie a kiss on the beak or head is safe, avoid kissing a budgie near its mouth opening as this can transfer harmful bacteria. Ensure your lips are dry, and no lipstick or lip gloss is applied.
Kissing is one of the main ways we show affection to pets, but it’s not a risk-free activity due to the bacteria found in human saliva.
Kissing a parakeet on the mouth isn’t recommended since you risk passing on deadly bacteria to your budgie. Human saliva contains bacteria that parakeets don’t have.
Consequently, exposing your budgie to these bacteria when kissing can cause illness or death. So, avoid making mouth-to-mouth contact no matter how clean you think your mouth is.
If you want to show affection, only kiss the top of its beak or give it forehead kisses.
Kissing a budgie on top of the beak or head is okay. However, kissing your budgie in the mouth isn’t recommended for the following reasons:
Human saliva contains more than 100 distinct species of germs and bacteria. So, no matter how clean you believe your mouth is, the risk of transmission remains high.
A budgie’s natural bacterial population is gram-positive, whereas a mammal’s bacterial population is gram-negative. The immune system of a budgie has little natural defense against gram-negative bacteria.
Exposure to these bacteria through kissing can cause deadly infections, including:
- Respiratory tract infections
- Lung disease
For this reason, avoid kissing your budgie in the mouth, licking its beak area, or allowing your budgie to eat from utensils that may contain traces of human saliva.
According to StatPearls, psittacosis (parrot fever) is a rare infectious disease that has been documented in over 467 species of birds.
This disease is prevalent in many parrot species, including budgies, parakeets, and cockatiels. Unfortunately, it’s transmissible to humans.
Some of the common symptoms of psittacosis in birds include:
- Ocular and nasal discharge
- Ruffled plumage
- Loss of appetite
- Green or yellow-green droppings
The disease is typically transmitted to humans through inhalation of urine, poop, and other excretions of an infected parrot. Kissing an infected budgie or making direct contact with its beak are high-risk factors for psittacosis.
In humans, the symptoms of psittacosis may include:
- Breathing difficulty
- Muscle pain
The course of illness for psittacosis varies, depending on factors such as an individual’s age and the state of their immune system.
Older patients and individuals with compromised immune systems are likely to experience more severe symptoms, such as inflammation of the liver and lining of the heart.
Fortunately, the disease can be treated successfully through antibiotic treatment, which a patient must take for up to 10-14 days after the fever resolves.
If you frequently use lip products, such as lipstick and lip gloss, kissing your budgie on the mouth can expose it to chemicals that can be hazardous to its health, leading to illness or death.
Avoid wearing lipstick or applying lip gloss when kissing your budgie around the beak area.
Before you consider kissing a budgie, be aware of its personality and understand its behavior.
While budgies are social creatures that enjoy human company, they may respond differently to certain displays of affection.
For instance, you may have a budgie that doesn’t enjoy being kissed. So, when you attempt to kiss it, your budgie might snap at or bite you.
How To Show Affection To Budgies
While kissing your budgie on top of the beak occasionally can strengthen your bond, there are other ways of showing affection to your budgie, including:
Spend Time Together
Budgies are social creatures that require plenty of interaction to remain healthy and happy. Wild budgies proactively seek social stimulation from other flock members.
So, setting aside time to spend with your budgie is critical to ensuring your pet budgie feels loved and contented, even if it’s the only bird in your home.
Budgies are intelligent and active birds that enjoy fun activities that are stimulating and entertaining. So, playing with your budgie is a great way to keep it happy and useful for bonding.
While kissing a budgie in the mouth isn’t recommended, there are other ways to show physical affection.
For example, you can rub the top of a budgie’s head or neck with your finger, allow them to perch on your arm, or snuggle up close to them.
Even if your budgie receives a regular diet, you should offer it treats a few times throughout the day, especially when spending quality time together.
Kissing a budgie is discouraged, but that doesn’t mean you can’t show it affection. By using these avenues, both bird and owner can stay healthy while building a lasting bond together.