16 answers

Birds and Asthma

My daughter is really wanting a parakeet or pair of parakeets...she has been asking for quite some time. I have also been very interested in having some. That being said, I have heard that living with a bird can be very irritating to those with asthma and other lung problems. We have 3 people in the household with asthma and one with COPD. What has been your experiences with birds and asthma in the household?? I would just like your personal experiences! Thanks so much for your help!

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hi A., how do you feel about dog!! i have 2 children with asthma. they had a chuwahs( taco bell dog ) their asthma have very good. their is myth that these dogs help control asthma. hope this helps

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Have they been allergy tested? If anyone has a fowl or feather allergy, you need to steer clear for sure. Secondly, if you do get a bird, they are very dirty and you will have to clean the cage daily to keep mites and dirt from spreading through your home. Otherwise, you should be okay.

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my son has asthma, mostly triggered from cats and dogs. we really wanted a famiy pet, so we chose a bird! we have a parrotlet. very cute. there is a store called "adventures in birds" and they know everything! it is on westview near antoine. cockatoos and cockateils are not good for allergies, because they tend to shed more bird dander (sorry, don't know the right word). anyway, my boy loves the bird, and no asthma!

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I have had asthma since I was about 11. My family had a bird (cockatiel) all through my junior high and high school years, basically, and I never had a problem. Now my husband, daughter and I have a Quaker parrot. He also does not set off my allergies/asthma, as long as we keep the cage clean. Parakeets should be fine. You might want to consider a little bit bigger bird like a Quaker, cockatiel, parrotlet, or lovebird as they can be friendlier pets. However, those bigger birds also take more care (more play, etc) and some of them make more noise (although not necessarily the cockatiels). I would agree with one poster that the cockatoo probably is not a good idea because of allergens. Hope your daughter has fun with her bird(s)! They are wonderful animals!

I have a co-worker who has to Cockatiels that I care for whenever she goes out of town for more than a couple of days. I had asthma as a teen/twentysomething, but have no real problems with it now. My whole family has allergy problems though. We have never had a problem with the birds until their last stay.

It was in June and they were molting I think. We had feathers and this white dust stuff covering a 5 feet circumference around their cage. I typically sit close to where we keep their cage. I noticed this time that they really irritated my allergies. I had to clean/dust the area everyday to keep it at bay.

If you have friends that have birds, maybe they will let you borrow them for a few days and see how the people in your house react to them.

I am horribly allergic to cats. If I go in someone's house that has an indoor cat, I immediately start sneezing, itching, eyes swell up, water, wheezing, tightened air flow, etc. We visited my brother and his wife last Christmas for one night. They have 2 cats, they had cleaned their house top to bottom, but I still reacted to them. Thankfully, they keep the door on their guest bedroom closed and I found some relief there. When I went to bed I was wondering if I was going to have to go to a hotel, I was having such trouble breathing. I never told them how bad I felt, because I didn't want them to feel bad about it. However, I had a roommate once that had a cat and I seemed to get used to his dander. And, we made sure he never went in my room or sat in "my" chair.

I had my first astma attack at 3 months. I am now 26. My parents were told by doctors to get rid of all their pets which include dogs, cats and birds. My Parents thought about it but at the same time they didn't want me to be alienated from everything because they thought this will make me more sensitive to other things. Besides my whole family has always have pets so it meant I was not going to be able to visit. The point is I am still here and I have always enjoyed a variety of pets. At home my parents have 2 dogs, 1 cat, 5 cacattoos, a parrot and a turtle. I actually used to sleep with a chihuahua dog, since we were told they were good to have around when you suffer from allergies. I havent gotten an asthmaattack since the age of 8.

I hope you make a good decision, maybe I was just lucky to not get worst. I hope you don't think I am telling you to get the birds, I just wanted you to hear my story to help you make a decision.

It depends on if the people w/asthma and COPD are allergic to feathers. I am very allergic to feathers and cannot even sit on a couch that has a feather pillow on it w/out going to the hospital for a severe asthma attack. If there are no allergies to feathers, then enjoy your birds!

Hello All.. I am looking for answers as well. I recently moved to Florida and have had problems ever since. I gre up with cats and dogs and have owned 2 red bellied parrtos for 6 yrs. When I moved to Florida I suddenly became allergic to cat dogs and birds!!I have really bad asthma and I keep everything clean plus I use 2 HoneyWell Hepa filters. With no luck I am on medicine and clear lungs to keep my lungs healthy. I feel like I never get a break. Things will help me ofr a short time then the asthma returns. I am beside myself. I am suffering because I can not imagine giving my birds away, so anyone thinking to get birds if you have allergies beaware cause its not a fun way to live. Also. I had the skin test and I was not allergic to dust, mites,or mold.Does anyone know what would of caused my sudden change?

hi A., how do you feel about dog!! i have 2 children with asthma. they had a chuwahs( taco bell dog ) their asthma have very good. their is myth that these dogs help control asthma. hope this helps

Do they have allergy triggered asthma? If so, you guys are not good candidates for a bird (or a guinea pig, hamster, gerbil) I really wanted a bird when I was younger and my parents bought me one for Christmas that we bottle fed as a baby. I really loved it but my asthma was so bad we ended up having to give it to someone else. I think it was much harder to have loved it and given it away then to have not had it in the first place. The Dr. told us I would be best with a long haired type of dog, and he was right. I had my dog for 19 years and had very little trouble around her. Good luck finding the right pet. You might take her to the pet store and introduce her to the Oscars (big fish) apparently they are very friendly and can be trained.

Dust, dander, feathers, I can think of no good reason to have a bird with all of your families health problems.

I know of a person with MANY birds and breathing issues. She never had a problem until she had TOO many birds. I mean a 100 birds. I think you would be ok with one or two. As a pet, one is better and you can teachit tricks and to talk. If you have two birds, they will have company but may be less soical with humans.

hello A..well i have asthma and my son does as well.i have had it since i was eight and we had birds my whole life and now im 29 and i have had every kind of differnt bird there is i just love birds.they are a little messy but i love it when they make sounds and talk to each other its always better to get to birds at the same time so they dont get sad being by there self.but i have never had any problems with my asthma with birds cats yes very much so.i really think ur daughter will enjoy them that would make a cute christmas gift if u decide to get her some.she will love that alot wish yall good luck and have a merrychristmas.

not sure about asthma...but i had 3 parakeets growing up and loved them! they were a great pet and taught me a lot of responsibility...feeding, cleaning cage, teaching tricks, etc......

My brother had lung issues and never had a problem with our cockatiels we had growing up. They were great pets, but you do have to keep the cage clean. Most people are allergic to the down, not the feathers themselves, and it is the down that tends to float around a lot.

On a side note- In my experience when you have more than one bird, they will entertain themselves and generally are more wild (aka not people friendly). If you have only one, it will need to be handled more often to keep it tame. I tamed my parents (now my Grandma's) cockatiel about 4 times in 2 years when I left home for college. They didn't handle him very much, so he went wild. When I'd come home to visit, I'd retame him and away we would go again.

Hi - my aunt has been a nurse for over 25 years and she has told me on multiple occassions that many of her patients with lung problems have birds. She says it is indeed a fact that many bad things are airborne when birds are in the house and it can definitely be harmful for people with asthma. I'm just relaying in general what she has said because I don't remember exactly the contaminants, etc. that come from birds. I bet if you Google it, you will find confirmation of this issue.


I have severe allergies and asthma. As a child we had a parakeet and we had to get rid of it. It irritated my allergies severely which in turn severely aggravated my asthma. We have family members that still have birds and it is hard for me to go stay at their houses for any length of time (even a few hours) without having breathing trouble for some time after. I am even on allergy shots and medicine daily to keep asthma under control. Anyhow, I would take extreme caution in getting one as you will not know how it will affect each person differently. Birds and all that go with them can sometimes be a little pricey and it would not be fun to spend a lot and then find out it won't work. Not to mention the ill feelings that those that are not affected by it could have. When we had to get rid of our bird as children my oldest sibling was not acceptable to it and I remember her saying some harsh things to me in regards to having to give the bird away.

Also, I would not do anything without talking to your children's doctor first.

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