sun conure parrot eating cookie

Can Parrots Eat Cookies? 

Indulging in the irresistible taste of cookies is a struggle we can all relate to. It requires a great amount of self-control to avoid the urge to eat one more.

Even though cookies are a delicious midnight snack, it is hard to have them without worrying about gaining an extra pound.

So you might be wondering, can parrots eat cookies or does it also have negative effects on their health? Well, just like how you watch your own waistlines, you need to be mindful of what your parrot eats.

Cookies are generally safe for parrots to eat. However, they are not particularly a healthy snack for them. Cookies are loaded with sugar, carbs, and unhealthy fats, which can make your parrot gain weight if consumed in excess. It can also lead to stomach upset and digestive issues as parrots do not handle high amounts of sugar.   

Are Cookies Bad For Parrots?

Cookies are basically a sugary snack. The cookie dough is made from flour, egg, butter, and loads of sugar. Although it is not exactly harmful for your parrots to eat, excess consumption can lead to various health problems such as stomach upset and diarrhea. Cookies can be especially bad for your parrot’s health if they have it regularly. Regular consumption of cookies even as a snack can potentially lead to unhealthy weight gain for parrots. Let’s look at some of the reasons why cookies are bad for parrots:


One of the reasons why cookies taste so delightful is because they have sugar in them, a lot of sugar actually! But your parrot’s digestive system isn’t designed to handle that much sugar. A little bit might not cause any problems, but excessive sugar intake can contribute to abdominal discomfort and digestive problems. It can also increase the risk of diabetes, obesity, heart issues, and other health complications. 


Like bread, cookie dough has a similar base made of flour which is high in carbohydrates. The carbohydrates in cookies can contribute to weight gain in parrots because in excess they can turn into fat. Carbs are also not easy on your parrot’s stomach and can cause problems for their digestive system.  


A huge chunk of the calories in cookies come from saturated fats. These fats are commonly found in ingredients like butter and refined flour. Saturated fats, if consumed in excess, can have negative effects on your parrot. Such fats are commonly associated with an increased risk of heart disease and high cholesterol levels. Some recipes use substitutes like applesauce or mashed bananas to reduce the amount of butter or oil. However, most commercially made cookies will be high in bad fats. 


Although cookies are generally sweet, salt is a big part of the recipe. Without salt, the baking may not be as good and the cookies can come out to be too sugary. Most cookies have around 100 mg of sodium per serving which is simply too much for a parrot. Cookies that are made commercially contain even higher amounts along with other additives. 

Other Harmful ingredients

There are so many varieties of cookies out there. Each with a different flavor and a touch of other ingredients. These include chocolate chips, cinnamon, raisins, nuts, butter, and whatnot.  However, some of these flavors might be best suited for parrots. For example, chocolate is an extremely toxic food to parrots and can potentially be fatal to their health. 

Moreover, some store-bought cookies use other unhealthy alternatives of table sugar such as corn syrup or xylitol which can be toxic to parrots. Xylitol is a type of artificial sweetener that is known to cause problems for parrots. Whereas corn syrup contains more sugar per calorie compared to regular sugar and contributes to obesity in parrots. 

Also, all cookies you find at the store contain some form of preservative. I recommend going through the labels and checking what kind of preservatives the product has. 

Can Parrots Eat Chocolate Chip Cookies?

Parrots should never be given chocolate chip cookies. Chocolate is a toxic food item for parrots and other birds. Consuming even small amounts of chocolate can be dangerous and potentially deadly to parrots.  Most types of cookies will be for parrots but you should never let them have chocolate chip cookies. 

Parrot eating cookies
Image by Stanislav71 on Freepik

Can Parrots Have Gingerbread Cookies?

Parrots can technically have gingerbread cookies but you should not feed them too much of it. Gingerbread cookies are made using ginger, flour, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and butter. While it is safe for parrots to consume, gingerbread cookies are still a sugary snack.  

Also, most types of gingerbread are sweetened using corn syrup which is a problematic food for many animals including parrots. Corn syrup has been notoriously linked to causing blood sugar spikes and rapid weight gain. It is considered worse than regular sugar as it increases the appetite leading to obesity. 

Can Parrots Eat Biscuits? 

Parrots can technically eat biscuits, but it’s not recommended you make it a regular part of their diet. Biscuits are high in sugar, fats, and refined carbohydrates, which can create many health problems for parrots such as obesity and nutritional deficiencies. Many biscuits contain additives and preservatives that can be really harmful to parrots. While it is okay to give them a small piece of biscuit once in a while, you should not serve it as a treat. Biscuits pair well with a cup of tea, so you might consider giving it to them occasionally but do not make it a habit. 

How Many Cookies Can Parrots Eat?

While some parrots may enjoy the taste of cookies, you should only give it to them in moderation. Due to their small size and sensitive digestive systems, parrots should be given no more than half of a small-sized cookie. Smaller parrot species can have a bite or two. Also, you should only give cookies to your parrots as an occasional treat and not as an everyday snack item.  

However, ideally, you should not give them any amount of sugar and focus on providing a balanced diet of fresh fruits or vegetables, which provide real nutritional value. I personally avoid giving my parrots any kind of sweet food as a snack. There are other healthier foods that you can give your parrots to snack on. 

Various types of cookies

What Happens If Your Parrot Eats Cookies?

A small bite of your cookie is unlikely to do any harm. If your parrot eats more than it should, you can expect some digestive issues and more frequent pooping. While eating cookies do not do much in the immediate moment, however, it can have a significant impact on their health if it is fed as part of their diet or a regular treat. 

Gastrointestinal Upset

Ingredients like sugar, artificial sweeteners, and unhealthy fats can be harsh on your parrot’s sensitive digestive system. Though they are not allergic to any of the ingredients in cookies, eating too much can lead to digestive issues such as diarrhea, constipation, or even vomiting. 


Just like us, parrots can also struggle with obesity issues if they consume too many high-calorie treats or junk food. Most cookies contain a boatload of sugar, unhealthy fats, and refined flour and can be very high in terms of calories. Even in small quantities, cookies can significantly increase their calorie intake, leading to unhealthy weight gain. 

Nutrient Deficiencies 

Cookies don’t really benefit parrots in any way. They have very little of the daily nutrient needed for a healthy diet. It may not necessarily create health problems if it is consumed in moderation, but if it is given to them regularly, cookies can potentially lead to nutritional deficiencies.

These deficiencies can lead to a range of health problems, including weakened immune systems, poor feather conditions, etc.  Cookies simply cannot replace or be a part of a healthy diet for your parrot. You need to ensure that your parrot is eating enough healthy foods to meet its daily requirements. 


Parrots are better off not having cookies. You might choose to give them a few broken pieces here and there but that should be it. It is not something that can be considered a good treat for them. Plus there are myriad other healthy options available like fruits, veggies, nuts, and even sometimes cheese. I usually don’t let my parrot sneak in a bite of my cookie because I don’t want them craving for more. Sugar and other types of sweeteners do have a similar effect on parrots as they have on us.

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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