Budgies must drink clean water throughout the day. You may not think twice about filling your budgie’s water dish from the tap, but not everything in water is healthy, such as chlorine.
The safest water for budgies is bottled spring water, and tap water may be safe, depending on whether the water is soft or hard.
Never give a budgie unfiltered tap water where you can smell chlorine. Also, avoid water softeners, flavored water, carbonated water, vitamin water, and distilled water.
To make tap water safe, it must be boiled or filtered (preferable). Installing a reverse osmosis filter purifies water and removes chemicals, such as fluoride.
A standard filter will remove contaminants, fluoride, and hard minerals (calcium and magnesium).
What Can Budgies Drink?
A budgie can die from dehydration in 24 hours if it lacks access to water and moisture-rich foods.
Budgies stay hydrated through the water in their food, especially fruit and vegetables. Obviously, budgies must drink water several times a day to stay hydrated.
The best water for budgies is clean, filtered, and undiluted.
Of course, wild budgies don’t have access to bottled spring water or filtered water. So, they drink from whatever water source that they instinctively deem safe.
Budgies drink from the cleanest streams, lakes, and rivers they can find.
However, a budgie will drink from an available water source, such as a murky puddle or neglected pond, if that’s all that’s available. Budgies know that they can’t survive long without hydration.
According to Frontiers, poor water quality has been a large contributor to the decline in the global population of avian life.
Unsurprisingly, wild budgies regularly die due to bacterial infections, digestive issues, and poisoning.
Can Budgies Drink Tap Water?
In most cases, budgies can drink ordinary tap water without adverse consequences.
Most tap water is filtered and treated by your local water plant. If your area is known for its high water quality, your budgie’s health and well-being shouldn’t suffer.
Of course, there are exceptions. If so, installing a Brita-style pitcher may be beneficial.
Avoid tap water or get a filter to make tap water safe for budgies if the following apply:
Unfortunately, not all tap water is thoroughly filtered and processed before being supplied to your home.
Depending on the area, the water may contain trace amounts of bacteria and contaminants. This is usually a small and regulated amount, harmless to most humans. Only young children or the elderly with health complications are dissuaded from drinking it.
However, a budgie may be adversely affected by drinking unclean tap water. A budgie is much smaller than a human adult, and its immune system is more delicate.
Most tap water is treated with chlorine, which is needed to kill bacteria, viruses, and parasites. The amount of chlorine is small, so it’s virtually harmless to humans.
However, when chlorine reacts to organic compounds in pipework, it can create a chemical byproduct called trihalomethane. In humans, it’s connected with a slightly higher risk of cancer and kidney failure.
If you can smell chlorine in the water, avoid giving it to your budgie.
Hard water refers to the amount of minerals found in water, such as calcium and magnesium. If your area is known for hard water, avoid filling a budgie’s dish directly from the tap.
While some owners are tempted to get a water softener, this can be dangerous. It can expose your budgie to excessive salt (sodium), damaging its feathers and internal organs.
Is Fluoride in Water Harmful to Budgies?
Fluoride is mainly added to water to protect human teeth, which birds don’t have.
Scientific studies on fluoridated water safety haven’t revealed evidence of any harmful effects. According to the National Toxicology Program, fluoride in tap water has no discernible effects on:
- Motor functions
Additionally, fluoride ingestion’s most common side effect is fluorosis, which is rare in birds. However, there’s no reason for a budgie to ingest fluoride.
Can Budgies Drink Bottled Water?
Bottled water is a safe means of hydration for budgies.
Certain types, such as Artesian well water, mineral water, spring water, and well water, are quality checked by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
It’s carefully filtered to remove any chemicals and microbial contaminants.
However, there is evidence that bottled water may contain microplastics (tiny particles of plastic debris). According to the Frontiers of Chemistry, 93% of the 259 bottles tested contained microplastics.
If your tap water is suspect, bottled water is the safest option. However, avoid the following:
Flavored water often contains artificial flavorings, sugar, and corn syrup to enhance the taste. This can lead to issues with a budgie’s digestive system, metabolism, and mood.
Vitamin water contains added vitamins to improve its health benefits for people. However, this should be avoided with budgies, as the amounts of vitamins are often too high to be safe.
Vitamin water may contain added flavors or sugar to make it palatable.
Can Budgies Drink Distilled Water?
Distilled water is created by boiling water at high temperatures until it all turns to vapor. Then, it’s condensed back into a liquid and results in 100% pure, mineral-free water.
While this may sound ideal, the lack of minerals can leave your budgie mineral deficient. Essentially, you’re left with the opposite problem to giving your budgie hard water.
Distilled water has a high concentration of hydrogen molecules. So, it’ll pull minerals from the budgie’s bones to form bicarbonate, gradually compromising the bones.
If a budgie consistently drinks distilled water, its body will become more acidic and produce more free radicals. Free radicals are a risk factor for cancer and various age-related illnesses.
The best water for a budgie is clean, filtered water, which is most easily obtained through bottled water, especially spring water. However, if your tap has a filter or you live in an area with good water quality, tap water is OK for budgies to drink.