Birds are beloved pets for their keen intellect, charming personalities, and of course, for their lovely plumage. Their feathers can come in any color of the rainbow, and they play an important role in a bird’s overall health and life. While these feathers are beautiful and functional, they can also create a lot of powder, dander, and debris in the home. Feathers can break off during preening or play and drift out of their cages and into the surrounding areas. As new feathers form to replace those that are lost, they emerge covered in a protective keratin, the same substance that makes up our hair and nails, that gradually flakes away producing bird dander. There are even some species of bird that produce extra keratin to spread over their feathers to make them waterproof, contributing to even more powder to the air.
Since birds have delicate respiratory systems, it is important to make sure that the air they are breathing is as free of all these particles as possible. Keeping the air clean of bird powder can be important for visitors as well, as bird dander can trigger asthma or allergies. Pet owners can help reduce the amount of bird dander and powder in a number of ways. Making sure that the bird gets frequent baths is not only a good first step, but many birds actually enjoy getting to play in the water. Frequent vacuuming can also help to take care of any fallen feathers that have ended up on carpets or furniture. To help ensure that the powder and dander get filtered out of the air, bird owners can run a HEPA air purifier, such as our MinusA2 with the Pet Allergy Customized filter, in the room where the birds are kept. Taking care of these airborne particles is a great way to help keep your birds happy and healthy!