Stop Feeding Canaries

Well, don't stop feeding canaries entirely but
stop feeding your canary bird poisons...

21 Foods Considered to Toxic or Poisonous To Your Pet Canary

This page is about what NOT to feed your canary.

Also see... What To Feed Your Canary.


There are many foods that you and I enjoy that will flat KILL your canary.

Did you know that?

Some of them, you would never guess to be harmful. You and I might eat these foods all the time but...

Obviously, canaries have a completely different digestive system than you or your dog or cat.  Canaries are seed eaters and they have the ability to get most of the nutrients they need from seed, greens, and a boiled egg here and there.

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Of course, we all want to treat our flying friends with something special now and then. 

In addition to a good canary seed mixture, there are many healthy treats you can be feeding your canary.  You can see a few of the most popular here.

Some Healthy Canary Foods...

Top 10 Foods Of Which To Be Cautious

Canaries are delightful birds known for their vibrant plumage, cheerful songs, and playful personalities. As caring bird owners, it's crucial to provide our feathered friends with a balanced and nutritious diet to support their health and well-being.

While there are many suitable foods for canaries, there are also several items that should be avoided to prevent potential harm. In this list, we'll explore what not to feed canaries and why these foods can be harmful to their health.

  1. Avocado: While avocado might be a nutritious and delicious treat for humans, it can be toxic to birds, including canaries. Avocado contains a substance called persin, which can cause respiratory distress, heart failure, and even death in birds. Therefore, it's essential to avoid feeding any part of the avocado, including the flesh, skin, and pit, to your canary.
  2. Chocolate: Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, which are toxic to birds and can lead to severe health issues, including vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and even death. Even a small amount of chocolate can be harmful to canaries, so it's crucial to keep all chocolate products, such as candy, cookies, and cocoa powder, out of their reach.
  3. High-Fat or High-Sugar Foods: Canaries have sensitive digestive systems and are prone to obesity and other health problems if fed high-fat or high-sugar foods regularly. Avoid feeding canaries foods like fried or greasy foods, sugary snacks, and processed foods, as they can lead to weight gain, diabetes, and other metabolic issues.
  4. Salty Foods: Canaries require a low-sodium diet, as excessive salt intake can lead to dehydration, kidney problems, and other health issues. Avoid feeding canaries salty foods like chips, pretzels, and processed snacks, as they can disrupt the bird's electrolyte balance and lead to health problems.
  5. Alcohol: Alcohol is highly toxic to birds and can cause central nervous system depression, respiratory failure, and death. Even small amounts of alcohol can be harmful to canaries, so it's essential to keep all alcoholic beverages out of their reach and never offer them as a treat.
  6. Raw Beans: Raw beans contain toxins called lectins, which can cause digestive upset and even lead to poisoning in birds. It's essential to cook beans thoroughly before feeding them to canaries to neutralize the toxins and make them safe for consumption.
  7. Onions and Garlic: Onions and garlic contain compounds that can damage a bird's red blood cells and lead to anemia. Even small amounts of onions or garlic can be harmful to canaries, so it's crucial to avoid feeding them any foods containing these ingredients.
  8. Caffeinated Beverages: Caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea, and energy drinks can have stimulating effects on humans but can be harmful to birds. Caffeine can cause heart palpitations, increased heart rate, and even death in birds, so it's essential to keep all caffeinated beverages away from canaries.
  9. Dairy Products: Canaries are lactose intolerant and lack the necessary enzymes to digest lactose, the sugar found in dairy products. Feeding canaries dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt can lead to digestive upset, diarrhea, and other health issues.
  10. Seeds with High Fat Content: While seeds are a natural part of a canary's diet, those with high-fat content, such as sunflower seeds, should be fed in moderation. Excessive consumption of high-fat seeds can lead to obesity, fatty liver disease, and other health problems in canaries.


While canaries may enjoy a wide variety of foods, it's essential to be mindful of what not to feed them to ensure their health and well-being.

By avoiding potentially harmful foods like avocado, chocolate, high-fat or high-sugar foods, and others listed above, you can help keep your canary happy, healthy, and thriving for years to come.

Always consult with a veterinarian or avian specialist if you have any questions or concerns about your canary's diet or health.

Approved Treats and Supplements...

Caution When Feeding Canaries

Let's keep going.  There are 11 more potentially dangerous foods for canaries below. 

This is by no means an extensive list but it will cover virtually everything you might have in your home.

Foods you should NOT be feeding canaries:

Canaries enjoy and NEED some veggies...mainly greens. However, anything with a high water content should be avoided.  Here are some veggies you should NOT be feeding your pet canary...

    11. Celery

    12. Iceberg lettuce

These three examples are not poisonous to your canary bird, they simply have a very high water content and can sometimes lead to runny droppings.

After all, our main priority here is to make sure our canaries are super healthy so they'll keep on SINGING!

Lettuce with low water content and heavy leaves are OK and recommended to feed-->like Romaine and Kale.

Standard Peas are good for your canary and he'll love them too but I've heard that...

           13. Chinese Pea Pods are very bad for feeding canary birds.

Your canary will love fruits but stay away from...

           14. Tomato

           15. Apple seeds (apple is good but no seeds)

           16. ...and sometimes Mango. I don't have any experience with feeding mangoes myself but some breeders and pet owners have stated that a mango made their canary sick. Apparently some canaries can have an allergic reaction to the tropical fruit. On the other hand, I've talked to many canary owners that say they feed mango to their bird with no problem. You decide what you want to do regarding mango.

(It really feels weird to put tomatoes and even avocado in the "fruit" section but, believe me, they ARE fruits...I looked it up.)

No Feeding Canaries Apple Seeds

Some other items that can be bad include...

  • 17. Candy
  • 18. Mushrooms

These foods can wreak havoc on your canary’s system and might even kill him. You could find yourself nursing your canary back to good health. Make sure you know what symptoms to look for in a sick canary.

Although not necessarily poisonous to your canary I highly recommend you don't feed the following very often...they'll make your canary FAT...

  • 19. Breads
  • 20. Cookies
  • 21. Cake

There is certainly nothing wrong with a sweet treat now and then but make sure it's of the healthier variety such as honey sticks, poppy seed sticks, and eggfood.

In conclusion, being aware of foods that are toxic to pet canaries is essential for their health and well-being.

While these delightful birds may have diverse dietary preferences, it's crucial to steer clear of feeding canaries potentially harmful items like avocado, chocolate, high-fat or high-sugar foods, and others listed in this article.

By prioritizing their safety and providing a balanced and nutritious diet, you can ensure that your pet canary thrives in a safe and loving environment. Remember to always consult with a veterinarian or avian specialist for guidance on the best diet and care practices for your beloved feathered friend.

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What Other Visitors Have Said

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