Can Parrots Eat Chocolate?

My parrots never shy away from taking a bite out of my food even when they have a bowl full of food in their cage at all times. And like me, you’ve probably noticed the same.   

But chocolate in particular has a bad rep for being toxic to other pets. So, you might stop to think, whether it is safe for your parrot to have a piece of your chocolate bar.

Similar to dogs, chocolate is an enemy of parrots too. 

Chocolate is toxic to parrots because it contains the compounds theobromine and caffeine. Both can cause severe health problems for parrots such as vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and even death. So, it’s best to keep your parrot away from chocolates at all costs.

Why Is Chocolate Harmful To Parrots?

Chocolate contains a compound called theobromine, which is harmless to humans but can be toxic to parrots. Theobromine is a mild stimulant that belongs to the same class of compounds as caffeine, and it affects the nervous system and heart. 

The reason why chocolate is toxic to some animals including parrots is that they metabolize theobromine more slowly than humans. As a result, theobromine can accumulate in their bodies and reach toxic levels.

The toxic dose of theobromine depends on the size and weight of the parrot, as well as the type and amount of chocolate consumed. Dark chocolate contains higher levels of theobromine than milk chocolate, and baked chocolate or cocoa powder has even higher amounts.

Symptoms Of Chocolate Poisoning In Parrots

The clinical signs of chocolate toxicosis typically begin to appear within 6 to 12 hours after ingestion. At first, your pet parrot may experience increased thirst (polydipsia), vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal bloating, and restlessness. These initial symptoms may then progress to more serious and concerning signs, such as hyperactivity, increased urination (polyuria), difficulty with coordination and movement (ataxia), muscle rigidity, tremors, and even seizures.

  • Increased thirst (polydipsia)
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Restlessness
  • Hyperactivity
  • Increased urination (polyuria)
  • Difficulty with coordination and movement (ataxia)
  • Seizures

It’s important to note that the severity of symptoms can vary depending on factors such as the type and amount of chocolate ingested, as well as the size and health of the parrot. If you suspect your pet has ingested chocolate, it’s crucial to seek veterinary care immediately.

Can Parrots Eat White Chocolate?

White chocolate also is not safe for your parrot to eat, even though it contains significantly lower amounts of theobromine and practically no cocoa. It can still cause vomiting and diarrhea.

White chocolate doesn’t contain much theobromine or caffeine, but it is still chocolate after all. However, it wouldn’t be harmful if your parrot accidentally had a nibble or two.

Other Foods That Are Toxic To Parrots

Sharing your food with your pet parrot is great and an excellent way to socialize them. However, it’s important to be mindful of what you’re offering them to eat. While some human foods are safe for parrots to consume, others can be highly toxic and potentially fatal. Apart from chocolate, here is the complete list of food you should avoid giving to your parrot.  

  •  Salt
  •  Fat
  • Fruit pits and apple seeds
  • Onions 
  • garlic
  • Xylitol 

What Should You Do If Your Parrot Has Eaten Chocolate?

If you suspect that your parrot has eaten chocolate, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately. Chocolate toxicity can be a serious and potentially life-threatening condition for parrots and can cause a range of symptoms, including vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, seizures, and even death.

When you take your parrot to the vet, be sure to let them know about the suspected chocolate ingestion and provide as much information as possible, including the amount and type of chocolate that your parrot may have eaten. The vet will likely perform a physical examination and may run diagnostic tests, such as blood work or X-rays, to assess your parrot’s condition.

Treatment for chocolate toxicity in parrots typically involves supportive care to manage symptoms and prevent complications. This may include administration of fluids to prevent dehydration, medications to control seizures, and hospitalization for more severe cases. 

The prognosis for a parrot with chocolate toxicity depends on the amount of chocolate ingested, the size of the parrot, and how quickly treatment is administered.

Remember, prevention is key when it comes to chocolate toxicity in parrots. By taking steps to keep chocolate and chocolate-based products out of your parrot’s reach, you can help to ensure that they stay safe and healthy.

How To Prevent Your Parrot From Eating Chocolate 

Parrots have a habit to snack on whatever their owner is having. While parrots may be attracted to the smell and texture of chocolate, it’s not exactly a safe food for them to consume. To prevent your parrot from eating chocolate, it’s important to take precautionary measures. By following these steps, you can help to ensure that your parrot avoids the potentially harmful effects of chocolate consumption.

  • Store all chocolate and chocolate-containing products in a secure location that is out of reach of your parrot. This could be a high shelf, a locked cupboard, or a sealed container.
  • Avoid leaving chocolate or chocolate-based foods unattended on countertops or tables, especially when your parrot is out of its cage.
  • Make everyone in your household, as well as visitors aware of the dangers of chocolate for parrots and the importance of not offering them any chocolate or chocolate-based products.
  • If you have children in the house, teach them about the potential harm that chocolate can cause to parrots and encourage them to be mindful of what they feed to the parrot.

What Other Snacks Can You Give Your Parrot Instead of Chocolate?

If you want to give your parrot a treat, there are many other options that are safe and healthy. Here are a few options:

Fresh Fruits

Parrots love fresh fruits such as apples, bananas, oranges, and strawberries. These fruits are not only delicious but also provide essential vitamins and minerals.


Vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, kale, and spinach are also great treats for parrots. They are rich in nutrients and can help keep your parrot healthy.


Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and cashews are high in healthy fats and protein. However, be careful not to give your parrot too many nuts as they are also high in calories.


Seeds such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds are also excellent treats for parrots. They are rich in protein and healthy fats, and many parrots love them.


Can Parrots Drink Chocolate Milk?

Parrots cannot drink chocolate milk. Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine that can be toxic to parrots, even in small quantities. Additionally, the milk, sugar, and other additives in chocolate milk can upset a parrot’s delicate digestive system, leading to diarrhea, vomiting, and other health issues. 


The next time you’re planning to offer food to your parrot, consider a diverse range of sweet foods that don’t include chocolate. Chocolate for parrots is not a good option So, while your parrot might give you a sad look as you eat your big bar of chocolate, it’s best to stick to a balanced diet of bird-friendly food for them.

Dorson Joseph
Dorson Joseph

I'm Dorson, a bird enthusiast who's had a lifelong fascination for the avian world. I am a parent to my beloved Senegal parrot and budgie, which has deepened my love for avian creatures and taught me a lot over the years. I co-run a bird store and care center with my friends, where we work with experienced professionals to care for our flock. Now, I find great joy in sharing my knowledge with others, hoping to assist fellow bird keepers and enthusiasts in understanding birds and helping them live happy lives.

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