8 Intriguing Reasons Why Budgies Sneeze

Last updated on May 7th, 2024 at 01:36 am

Written by Isra P

If you aren’t sure why budgies sneeze, you have come to the right place. You see, budgies are similar to people, and like us, they have a need for sneezing from time to time.

Budgies sneeze for various reasons, such as exposure to a dusty environment, allergies, and infections. They may also do it as a result of foreign bodies, irritants, and stress. Sneezing is a way for them to react to these conditions and maintain the health of their nasal passages. However, if it happens too often, you might have to do something about it.

Once you know the cause of your budgies’ frequent sneezing, you must take steps to ensure their well-being. So, it’s essential to observe their behavior and surroundings to determine if there are serious problems that need to be addressed. Here are the most common reasons for budgies to sneeze.

It’s perfectly normal for budgies to sneeze occasionally. Sneezing is a natural way for them to clear their nasal passages of dust, debris, and other foreign particles. You don’t have to worry if your budgie does it seldom or has a sneezing fit on a particular day.

Now, it can be a problem if it’s a daily thing or if other signs accompany the sneezing. For example, nasal discharge, difficulty breathing, lethargy, appetite loss, or constant sneezing that lasts more than one day are bad news as they may indicate a health issue that might require the help of an avian vet.

How Often do Budgies Sneeze?

Budgies typically sneeze from time to time to clear their nasal passages. It is normal for budgies to sneeze every once in a while if a seed fragment or another food particle accidentally gets stuck in their nose.

cere with nasal passages

However, if your budgie sneezes more frequently than that, it could mean trouble for your feathered friend.

Why do Budgies Sneeze?

Budgies may sneeze for various reasons. Some of them are completely harmless, while others may require your attention to protect your pets’ health.

1. Dust and Airborne Particles

You could say that the number one reason budgies sneeze is dust and other airborne particles. Those are the same ones that make you sneeze most of the time, so it isn’t odd for budgies to have problems with them as well.

Dust can easily sneak into your bird’s respiratory system, making it sneeze. Of course, dust is not the only problem in the air, as pollen from plants can give your budgies the occasional sneeze attack.

2. Dry Air

Humidity can affect the way your budgies breathe. Humidity is the amount of water in the surrounding air, influencing whether your pets have an easy or a tough time breathing.

Low humidity can make your budgie’s nasal passages dry and irritated, resulting in sneezing. But that’s not all. Temperatures also play a role. For example, a hot day that suddenly becomes a cold rainy day can make a budgie sneeze uncontrollably while it adjusts to the new weather pattern.

3. Preening

budgie grooming itself

Budgies habitually groom themselves to keep their feathers in top shape (resource). During preening, they may accidentally get feather dust in their noses, causing them to sneeze. There is no need to panic if that’s the case, as that is just part of their routine.

4. Allergies

You may not believe it, but humans aren’t the only ones affected by allergies. Budgies are also susceptible to pollen and other substances found in the air that can turn your birds into chronic sneezers.

5. Infections

Infections are usually the most problematic cause of sneezing budgies. Upper respiratory illnesses resulting from bacteria, viruses, or fungi can cause sneezing and nasal discharge in budgies.

6. Foreign bodies

If a foreign object gets lodged in a budgie’s nasal passages, it can cause irritation leading to sneezing. This problem often occurs when tiny food fragments accidentally enter the bird’s nose. When it happens, it can make budgies uncomfortable, causing a sneezing fit.

7. Irritants

Some chemical compounds like air fresheners, cleaning agents, and smoke can upset a budgie’s respiratory system making it sneeze. Laundry detergents also commonly do this, as I have been on the receiving end of sneeze attacks after washing clothes.

8. Stress

Stress can weaken a budgie’s immune system, making it more susceptible to infections and other issues. Although it doesn’t directly make a budgie sneeze, it paves the way for allergies and other disorders making your pet sneeze more often than it should.

When do Sneezing in Budgies Become a Problem?

Sneezing in budgies can become a problem if it’s happening due to health conditions. There are a few universal indicators that will tell you if your pets’ behaviors are the result of an ailment.

⦁ If your budgie is sneezing a lot, it can be a problem. Occasional sneezing is not an issue, but your bird may be sick if it often happens throughout the day.

⦁ Discharge from your pet’s nostrils, especially when accompanied by sneezing, is often a sign of an infection.

⦁ Budgies with shallow breathing, wheezing, or clicking noises, may be experiencing respiratory distress, which can be connected to their sneezing.

⦁ Less active budgies, sitting at the bottom of the cage or looking weak as they sneeze, is another telltale sign of a budgie needing medical attention.

⦁ A decrease in appetite or rapid weight loss, especially if the budgie is also sneezing, usually means a health condition afflicts your companion.

⦁ Swelling or redness around your budgie’s eyes or nostrils as it sneezes is likely related to sickness.

⦁ Excessive tail bobbing and sneezing while your budgie is resting could indicate respiratory distress, which, once more, is often linked to the presence of harmful microorganisms.

In the following video, you you will learn what can make a budgie sneeze:

Which illnesses can make a budgie sneeze?

Some illnesses can make a budgie sneeze. As a matter of act, they are the biggest threats to your pets’ well-being. Respiratory infections caused by bacteria, fungi, viruses, or parasites are among the usual culprits that can trigger sneezing in your winged companions.

⦁ Bacterial infections – Bacteria, such as Chlamydia psittaci (the one responsible for Parrot Fever) or Mycoplasma, can lead to respiratory issues, nasal discharge, and sneezing (source).

⦁ Fungal infections – Aspergillosis, which is caused by the fungus Aspergillus, is a condition that affects the respiratory system of birds, including budgies. It can cause sneezing, wheezing, and shallow breathing.

⦁ Viral infections – Avian influenza, a well-known viral infection, can cause respiratory symptoms, including sneezing and nasal secretions in budgies.

⦁ Parasitic infections – If your budgie is sneezing, air sac mites can be responsible for it. These critters can be devastating to your budgie’s health if left untreated.

Do Budgies Sneeze When Cold?

Budgies can sneeze when exposed to cold temperatures. Cold air can irritate the lining of the nasal passages causing budgies to sneeze.

If your budgie is sneezing when the temperature is colder than usual and seems otherwise healthy, it is probably just reacting to a sudden shift in the temperature.

What can be Done to Help a Sneezing Budgie?

If your budgie is sneezing, and you aren’t sure what’s the problem, there are a few steps you can take to help your feathered companion out.

1. The first thing you have to do is clean the cage, perches, toys, and other accessories on a regular basis to reduce the accumulation of dust, dander, and other airborne material. Use a wet cloth or a vacuum with a HEPA filter to avoid stirring up dust when cleaning; otherwise, you could make your pet sneeze even more.

wet cloth

2. If you live in an area with plenty of dry air, use a humidifier in your budgie’s environment to help them breathe easier (reference). Try to achieve 50% humidity, but no more, or you might create a mold problem.

3. Get rid of potential allergens and irritants, such as scented candles, air fresheners, strong detergents, or harsh cleaning products from your budgie’s environment.

4. There must be a lot of fresh air flowing in and out of the room where your budgies are located. Do not place your bird’s cage near windows where drafts may occur.

5. Keep to a minimum anything that can stress your budgies by providing a consistent daily routine, a relaxing atmosphere, and an environment that stimulates them mentally and socially.

6. Offer a balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, and high-quality pellets, along with occasional seeds and nuts. Don’t forget to change your budgies’ water often to keep it fresh.

7. Monitor your budgie’s health and behavior, and consult an avian vet if you notice anything out of the ordinary or if the sneezing doesn’t stop.

How do you Treat a Sneezing Budgie?

If your budgie’s sneezing is chronic, a visit to an avian vet it’s mandatory. You mustn’t risk your beloved pet’s well-being when an infection could be the culprit behind the sneezing.

Often, they will prescribe antifungals when aspergillosis is present. They may also opt for antiparasitic medications if test results show air sac mites are responsible for the problem.

For bacterial infections, antibiotics are the usual approach to solving the ailment. Remember to consult with a qualified professional before administering any medication to your budgie.

How to Clear a Budgies Nose?

You may need to clear your pet’s nostrils if there’s a constant nasal discharge, but be aware you must be cautious.

1. One way to do it is by carefully applying a moist cotton swab or soft cloth to the external area of your budgie’s nose to remove excess mucus. Don’t insert it inside the nostrils, or you risk harming your bird.

safety cotton swab

2. Another less invasive approach is to use a steam bath that may get rid of blockages inside a budgie’s nasal passages. You can take a bath as your pet relaxes in its cage for around 5 minutes. This technique works well, as steam can do wonders to maintain your pet’s nose clear.

Final Thoughts

Budgies may sneeze for a lot of reasons, like dust, pollen, allergens, or irritants. There is also a chance an infection is responsible for your pet’s chronic sneezing.

In any case, you must take measures such as keeping their immediate surroundings clean, feeding them nutritious food, and taking them to the vet for a check-up regularly, so they remain in good health. As long as you remain vigilant, you will be able to create a stronger bond between you and your pets that will result in happier budgies.

He is the leading creator of featheredbuddies.com, a website dedicated to helping bird owners. For many years, Isra P has cared for budgies and other birds to ensure their happiness and well-being. His passion and enthusiasm for them have led him to a quest to find out why birds act the way they do and how to enrich their lives.