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How Long Can Parakeets Go Without Food? Vet-Reviewed Facts & FAQ

Chantelle Fowler

By Chantelle Fowler

couple of Monk parakeet birds in the cage

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lauren Demos

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Most living creatures require three things to survive: reliable shelter, food, and water. While we all need these things to survive, the amount of time that we can go without will differ between species. Some animals can go months without food (blue whales), while others can only survive hours without eating (look at you, hummingbirds).

Parakeets aren’t on either extreme end of the spectrum, as they can go without food for around 24 hours before they start feeling the effects. Read on to learn more.

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How Long Can Parakeets Go Without Food?

It takes a healthy parakeet around 24 hours without food to start feeling the ill effects. They will become weak and lethargic as they aren’t receiving the energy they require from food to stay active and healthy. Technically speaking, they can probably survive longer than 24 hours without any access to food, but this isn’t something we recommend putting your bird through. In fact, even 24 hours is overdoing it.

Further, young or sick parakeets may not be able to go as long without food and may begin to exhibit signs of illness after 12 to 24 hours without sustenance.

Two blue Budgerigars or Parakeet inside the cage
Image Credit: Roman.Stasiuk, Shutterstock

How Long Can Parakeets Go Without Water?

Like most species, parakeets can go longer without food than water. Dehydration is dangerous as it can lead to death if left untreated. Birds can become critically ill within 24 hours of not having access to water and can die within 24 hours after that.

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What Should I Do With My Parakeets While I’m Away?

You may be reading this blog because you’re going on vacation and wondering how many days you can realistically leave your parakeet alone. If that’s the case, you have several options to ensure your parakeet is well cared for while away.

Board Them

Boarding your parakeets is probably your safest bet, especially if you’re going away for longer than an overnight trip or weekend. Some people offer boarding services from their homes, where your bird will be cared for 24/7 while you’re away, while boarding agencies provide their services from a commercial building. The latter tends to be less hands-on than the former and may be costlier.

What is right for your parakeet depends on your bird’s personality and what kind of care they prefer. If they’re used to having you at home all the time, we recommend finding a boarder that cares for animals from their homes as they’ll have access to humans all the time instead of just during the operating hours of a commercial boarding agency.

bird in cage at hotel in Havana Cuba
Image Credit: Jon McGowan, Shutterstock

Hire a Sitter

A bird sitter can either stay in your home the entire time you’re away or make daily visits to check in on your birds. They will let them out of their cage, feed them, change their water, and play with them. This is a great option if you’re going away for longer periods and your bird doesn’t need more consistent care and attention.

Ask a Friend or Family Member

A trusted friend or family member can also pop by your house or stay there 24/7 while you’re away. This is a good way to go for people who don’t have the funds available to hire a sitter or board their parakeets to ensure their pets are well looked after while they’re gone.

Stock Them Up on Food and Water

If you’re going away overnight, your parakeet will probably be fine to be left alone if you fill up their food and water dishes. Do not put perishable foods like fruits and veggies out, as they will begin to harbor bacteria after a few hours. We recommend setting up a Wi-Fi-enabled pet camera in your bird’s room to keep a close eye on them while you’re away. It’s also not a bad idea to give a spare key to your home to a trusted neighbor in case of emergency.

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Final Thoughts

While parakeets can go up to 48 hours without food before they start to feel the ill effects of no nutrition, it’s not recommended to put your bird through that. You have plenty of options for feeding, watering, and caring for your parakeet if you’re going away, so please use your resources to ensure your pet is healthy and happy even when you’re gone.


Featured Image Credit: Jana Mackova, Shutterstock

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