Have you ever wondered: Can parakeets eat tomatoes? If so, you’re definitely not alone and it’s a good question to ask yourself. As you probably know, parakeets can eat fruits and vegetables, but it’s important to know which fruits and veggies are safe, and which ones are not. After all, a large part of being a responsible bird owner means feeding your bird the right foods. In order to do so, it’s important to know which foods are safe for your parakeet to consume, and which are best avoided.
Today, we’re going to take a closer look at whether or not parakeets can safely eat tomatoes. I will start off by discussing if tomatoes are safe for parakeets to eat, and if so, whether they’re good for them to have.
If you’re in need of a short answer, here it is: Parakeets can technically eat tomatoes, but not in large quantities and are best avoided completely. Tomatoes are highly acidic, and giving your budgie too many tomatoes can cause stomach irritation and even ulcers. I recommend avoiding giving tomatoes to your parakeet altogether because, as you’ll see, there are much better fruits and vegetables out there. If you do decide to give your parakeet a bit of tomato, make sure to be very careful and not overdo it to avoid problems.
Do keep reading though, because there is a way to feed tomatoes to your parakeet safely!
Can parakeets eat tomatoes and are they good for them?
Parakeets can technically eat tomatoes. That is to say that if you give your parakeet a piece of fresh tomato, he won’t drop or even necessarily even become sick. However, just because your bird can eat something, does not mean that they should. Some parakeets can tolerate tomatoes very well, but it can also go very wrong.
According to Larry Nemetz, DVM, of the Bird Clinic in Orange County, California: “Tomatoes are an acidic fruit, and some birds can be hyper-sensitive to the acids in tomatoes.” However, he further elaborates that: “It’s a one in a million chance, on there being major problems feeding your birds tomatoes.”
So, there is a good chance that your parakeet will be fine after eating some tomato, but there is a chance that it will end badly. Since we as humans are responsible for what we give to our beloved birds, I always like to err on the side of caution. Therefore, I recommend that you completely avoid giving tomatoes to your parakeet. Better safe than sorry! However, there are some ways that you can feed tomatoes to your parakeet and still be safe, keep reading to find out more.
Feeding tomatoes to your parakeet safely
Now that you know that it’s a good idea to avoid giving fresh tomatoes to your parakeet, you might be disappointed. But don’t worry, there is a way to feed tomatoes to your parakeet without having to worry about the acidity.
Dried tomatoes and tomato sauce are safe to feed to your budgie because most of the acid is removed in the process of making these foods. Because of this, dried tomatoes and tomato sauce have much lower acid contents and are much more tolerable for birds to consume.
Studies have shown that sun-dried tomatoes can protect the body from inflammation and that the antioxidants in them can help prevent oxidative stress, making them a good snack for your bird.
Tomato sauce is also okay for birds to eat, but you do have to be a little careful here. The main reason why is that tomato sauce often contains a lot of salt and sugar, which is not good for your parakeet. Too much salt can upset the electrolyte and fluid balance in your bird’s body, which can lead to excessive thirds and dehydration. Before feeding tomato sauce to your parakeet, it’s therefore important to check the label. If it contains too much sugar or salt, I’d avoid it.
Alternative fruits and vegetables for parakeets
So, now you know that fresh tomatoes aren’t a great option for parakeets. This might leave you wondering what other options are available. Luckily enough, there are plenty of fresh fruits and veggies that parakeets can eat without any issues, such as:
- Apples (remove the seeds)
- Brussel sprouts
- Bok Choy
So, to sum it up, fresh tomatoes are not a good choice for parakeets. They’re highly acidic and according to veterinarians, this can lead to stomach issues. If you do want to feed tomatoes to your parakeet, it’s much better to go for dried tomatoes, because these have a much lower acid content and are therefore much easier on your bird’s stomach. Also, since there are so many other fruits and veggies that parakeets can safely eat, I recommend substituting tomatoes for one of the other fruits and veggies I’ve listed above.