Quaker Monk Parakeet eating orange sherbert treat and feeling the effects of brain freeze. Photo by Nicky Pe at Pexels.com. Digital watercolor by Kathy LaFollett

Can Parrots Get Brain Freeze Like Humans?

Can Parrots Get Brain Freeze Like Humans?

Yes, if capillary filled sinuses exist near the function of swallowing, brain freeze can happen. Vasoconstriction (narrowing the blood vessels) creates the feeling of pain. You can turn off the pain by drinking something lukewarm. (Widening the blood vessels). The great news: there is no damage to tissue.

We keep three flavors of Jonny Pop in the house. Chocolate, Pineapple/Coconut, and Strawberry. They have a limited ingredient list, old school simple. It starts with cream. I highly recommend the Pineapple/Coconut. Which I purposely assault myself with brain freeze. Snickers, scarlet macaw, loves the strawberry. He loves the strawberry like I love the coconut.

What's the difference between brain freeze in a human and brain freeze in a parrot?

  • Brain freeze in humans looks like a person running face first into a brick wall. We grab our faces. We moan. We groan. We take another bite. So good.
  • Brain freeze in a parrot looks like allergies. Snickers gets the sneezing fits. He perches, looking a little stunned while he rides out the feeling. And sneezes. He sneezes singular hard puffs. He does this until the feeling is gone. Then he asks for another bite. So good.
  • Butters likes all the flavors. She takes small nibbles, waits for the melt to start, then eats. She doesn't suffer through the brain freeze. Snickers and I have decided she doesn’t know what she's doing. Small bites. She brings shame to the game.

Dogs can get brain freeze. Cats refuse to look stupid like that. They watch dogs eat doggie ice cream and wait for the muzzle rubbing and rolling. A cat will shake their head and slink under a chair far enough away not to smell all that dog.


Can parrots get brain freeze like humans? Yes. Yes, they can. Any being with capillary filled sinuses near the function of swallowing can get brain freeze. No matter the color of ice cream, you could scream.

Want frozen treats without the face assault? It's all a matter of degrees.

  • No matter the frozen treat, let it rest just a few minutes before enjoying.
  • Have a small glass of warm drink ready. Sip when you feel those blood vessels tightening up.
  • Take smaller bites, allowing that portion to warm just one more degree on your tongue.

Want to enjoy frozen treats like a Viking Pirate after capturing a ship filled with gold?

  • Eat!
  • GAR!
  • Eat more!
  • GAH!!
  • Grab your face!
  • See how your parrot's doing and join them in sympathy sneezes!

Can parrots get brain freeze like humans? Yes. Yes, they can. Any being with capillary filled sinuses near the function of swallowing can get brain freeze.

Kathy LaFollett is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

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