It’s very important to keep your bird’s water fresh and clean. Most birds won’t drink the water in their dish if it is dirty. Birds who stop drinking their water are at risk for dehydration.
Some birds like to soften their food in the water. Some will use their water dish as a bathtub – talk about “ring around the tub.” You may find pieces of toys, feathers and even poop in the water dish.
If you’re at home, you can check the water regularly and supply your bird with fresh water all the time. But most of us are out several hours daily, so we must make other choices.
You can use a water bottle made especially for birds instead of a dish. You’ll have to teach your bird that there’s water in there and how to use the tube. Water bottles can be difficult to clean, but there are products you can use to keep it free from yucky buildup. Pipe cleaners can be used to clean the tube. There are also regular bottle brushes that have a smaller brush at one end that can do the job.
An alternative is to add another water dish or bird bathtub to the cage. With patience and training your bird can learn to use one dish for drinking and one for bathing, etc. Of course both dishes should be kept clean. Set aside a small brush, even a toothbrush to scrub the dishes clean in warm, soapy water.
After cleaning the dishes and/or bottle well, they can be placed in the dishwasher once a week to be disinfected.
Take care to rinse bottles and dishes well after cleaning and after using the dishwasher. Always use products that are safe for birds and follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully.