How to Care for a Pet Bird

amigas4all, bird care, pet care, rescue, animal rescue, bird rescue

Caring for a new pet bird is a challenge! When bringing a bird home (by bird I mean a parrot) one must consider several things before doing so.

First and most important, you need to know that unlike a dog or a cat, parrots in general will live for a long time. The average lifespan for a parrot ranges from 30 up to 80 years old. There are stories of birds living even longer than that in captivity.

Age Matters when caring for a pet bird

With that in mind you need to consider how old you are, how old your kids are and possible changes in your life that may make you reconsider getting a bird in the first place.

Of course, age per se is not a problem unless you are 80 and in bad health and is now getting a baby bird which very clearly may outlive you. You should consider: “Who’s going to take care of it should something happen to me?”.

A lot of my rescues come from families whose parents died or were involved in accidents and the children (even adults) were not able to take care of the bird(s).

If you ever heard of the term “trust fund babies”, you should think about talking to your estate planning attorney or if you don’t have the means, at least consider talking to your family about what to do if something happens.

Maybe even contact a rescue willing to accept the bird and instruct the family about contacting them if something happens. That way everybody can rest assured that your pet bird will have a place to go.

Lifestyle and your pet bird

corky and dog amigas4all, bird care, pet care, rescue, animal rescue, bird rescue, pet birdSecond thing to consider is your lifestyle. Do you travel a lot for work? Are you retired and trying to “see the world”?

One thing is to take a vacation here and there but what if you are constantly traveling for work?

Do you think it’s fair for the bird to be locked up in a cage and being cared for by someone else? Is that someone experienced?

Is Your pet bird safe?

Third, is your house safe for a bird? Do you have cats? Dogs? Reptiles? Are you still cooking with nonstick pans? Do you like to light scented candles (or those outlet scented ones)? Do you smoke (even if outside)?

All of these items should be considered. While not all cats or dogs are dangerous for birds, you still need to supervise their interactions. Those cute videos you see online of dogs or cats interacting with birds are the exception, not the rule.

Especially the ones with dogs sleeping near the bird or cats roughhousing with the birds. First, despite what you heard cats are not the most dangerous for birds.

Except if a cat scratches a pet bird it may die within 2 hours.

So ALWAYS supervise. Dogs are the ones that are most dangerous to birds. Especially, bird dogs. Yes! your nice Golden Retriever may be one of them. But there are other breeds that can be dangerous to birds too.

Always research and always supervise. If you know your dog cannot be trusted with the bird but you still want a bird, always keep the bird locked safely in a good sized cage when you are not around.

Sometimes even lock the bird cage in a separate room. Seems pretty obvious to say this but you would be surprised how many injuries occur to birds because people trust their animals too much. You just never know.

Interacting with your pet bird

amigas4all, bird care, pet care, rescue, animal rescue, bird rescue pet birdFinally, make sure you will have time to interact with your pet bird. If you still want a bird but don’t have that much time, consider getting a companion for that bird.

Ideally, you do not want to breed the birds but most females do well with other females (they are also sweeter) but males can be buddies too.

If you do have the time, play time and just hanging out will make most birds happy. They also don’t mind stealing food from your plate.

Just make sure they are eating safe and healthy things (no chocolate, chips, fried stuff, avocados or coffee). There are other plants and food that are unsafe. Also most fruit seeds can be dangerous (especially apple, cherry, pear, among others).

When in doubt, research

Well, these are a few things to think about. This post was not meant to discourage anyone from getting a bird, just to make sure that you think hard before you get one.

They are a lot of fun if you spend time with them, but they do take some work too. Not only noise, cleaning and attention. Oh and don’t forget, a lot of people don’t know this but there are a lot of bird rescues out there and they are full of very good birds for adoption.

Some require a class (which is excellent to learn a few things about bird care-believe me-the more I know, the less I know) I learn new things everyday and I have been doing bird rescues for years!.amigas4all, bird care, pet care, rescue, animal rescue, bird rescue

Other rescues will require you to volunteer in exchange for the bird. That way they learn if you will do well with the bird of your choice and also bird care in general.

Sadly, others will just take your money and will say that any bird that sat on your hand is the perfect bird for you. Be careful!

In the next post I will talk a little more about rescues and my experience with them. Always remember: Don’t buy. Adopt!!!!

Feel free to ask me anything you need to know about bird care. Whether you own a bird or you are thinking about getting one.


pet for christmas

Gifting a Pet for Christmas

During the holidays parents are tempted to give a pet as a Christmas present. You need to be sure that the kids are prepared for the responsibility of taking care of an animal. Or that at least you, as a parent, will take care of it if the kids lose interest.

Teaching to care for an animal early in life will teach kids not only responsibility for another life. They will also learn to love a creature that completely depends on them for everything.

Always research pet breeds for hardiness, common medical issues and grooming requirements. Make sure the new family member will fit your lifestyle and budget.

Always remember: Adopt your pet, Don’t shop!

If you are interested in a particular breed, there are many rescues that focus on that breed. If not, a good mutt at the pound will do just fine. They often come with a history that tells you how they are like already. Unlike a puppy or a kitten who can turn into anything because you did not have the time or skill to teach them the basics from an early age.

If you do decide that a pet will be a great addition to the family there are great sources online for pet rescues. There are great pets waiting for a good home out there.

Buying a pet can come with issues such as medical issues because it’s a from a puppy or a cattery mill that exploits animals into breeding non-stop for profit. Then you are dealing with vet bills and unexpected expenses. Plus the heartbreak of a potential loss.

A lot of these sick animals end up in rescues because a lot of people don’t realize the expense they got into after they purchasing an animal from a mill. Eventually they choose to give these pets away because they can’t afford treatment. So again: Adopt, don’t shop!

Finally, always make sure your pet has a good supply of toys to play and a good source of nutritious food so it can thrive.

Happy responsible pet ownership and may your pet bring you many years of happiness and companionship!