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What Water To Give To Your Cockatiel

Find out the difference between distilled water, natural spring water, bottled water, enhanced water, carbonated water and tap water, and which one to give to your pet cockatiel.

By Margaret Wissman, DVM


Cockatiels, Popular Birds Series
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Water is vital for your cockatiel’s overall health. There are many misconceptions about water and the best way to deliver it to birds. Human and avian bodies are composed of approximately 60- to 70-percent water, and water is arguably the most important nutrient for a body. With so many water choices available, understanding the different options will help you decide the best to offer your cockatiel.

Distilled Water: Considered to be the purest form of water, distilled water is devoid of all dissolved materials, additives or chemicals. It is usually purified by boiling water and collecting the steam, which is then returned to the liquid state. Reverse-osmosis is another method that can produce distilled water.
Natural Spring Water: This water is from a natural underground source. It is usually filtered or otherwise treated to remove contaminants, such as bacteria, algae, protozoa and particulate matter. Ultraviolet light may be used to sanitize water to remove dangerous microscopic organisms.

Bottled Water: This water is from one of several sources (often municipal tap water) that has been purified by one of several methods. Minerals are then added back to it afterwards.

Enhanced Water: This water is purified water with added flavorings, vitamins, minerals and preservatives (usually). This water contains no juice, but it can contain fructose-glucose syrup and natural flavors. It contains minimal calories. This type of water is often used by athletes to replace vitamins lost through exercise.

Carbonated Water: This water contains bubbles, which can be either naturally occurring or added.
Tap Water: This water may contain added chlorine, chloramines, fluoride, dissolved minerals, chemicals, toxins, pesticides, bacteria, algae, protozoa, virus particles or other potentially harmful agents.

It is better to offer your cockatiel bottled spring water or bottled drinking water (water that has been filtered or certain substances somehow removed and, in most cases, has also had specific minerals replaced).

Excerpt from the Popular Birds Series magabook Cockatiels with permission from its publisher, BowTie magazines, a division of BowTie Inc. Purchase Cockatiels here.

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