Bird Care Basics
Ever Want to Own A Pet Bird?
Author, Dorinne Whynott, Owner of Professional Pet Sitting Etc.
Pet birds are intelligent, affectionate and excellent companion animals, provided they are properly cared for. Taking good care of your pet bird makes them happy. You can do this with maintaining a clean cage, a friendly environment and a healthy lifestyle. Pet birds are not commonly susceptible to most parasites, and are among of the most affordable pets to maintain. That said, lets now take a look at how to properly take care of your pet bird. Bird care basics are pretty easy.
First of all, you will want to get your pet bird a fairly big sized cage. Different bird breeds generally need differently sized cages. Make sure the cage is big enough to fully accommodate your pet bird. Most birds should be able to freely stretch and flap their wings without hitting the sides. The cage should also have adequate room for short flights. In addition to that, the cage should have bars which are less than 3/8 inches wide so that your pet bird will not get his/her head stuck between the bars. Since your pet bird will most likely spend a good amount of his/her time in the cage, you will want to design it for utmost comfort; you can add multiple perches of varying heights, along with toys for stimulation.
You should always keep the cage clean and hygienic. Clean the cage thoroughly at least once a week, including all perches and toys. You can place cage liners like paper towels, newspapers and paper bags on the floor of the cage to make cleaning up easier. Remember, do not use colored newspapers, as the ink can cause harm to the bird’s health.
The cage should be placed in an area that’s draft free, well lit, but not in the direct sunlight. If you want to make your bird feel more comfortable and secure, you can place the cage against a wall, or at the corner of the room. Place the cage such that it’s at eye level for better social interaction.
Pet birds require a proper, nutritionally balanced diet in order to lead a long and healthy life. A healthy diet for most of the birds can include; seeds, grains, fruits, vegetables and high quality, organic pellets.
Some of the fruits and vegetables you can feed your pet bird include – corn, carrots, apples, broccoli, grapes, peas, bananas, yams, oranges, papayas, plums, cucumbers, mangos, and zucchini.
Never feed avocado, citrus fruits, garlic, onion, or chocolate as they might be highly toxic to the bird. That said, you should know that since bird diets vary from one species to the next, we advise consulting your veterinarian, or research the types of foods that are recommended for your particular type of bird. It’s essential you feed your bird food that is suitable for that specific species.
All types of pet birds need to fresh water available at all times. Make sure the fresh water is at a temperature that your bird prefers. The water should be changed on a daily basis, and placed high to prevent it from getting dirty. If placed higher then feed dishes and most perches, the water may stay cleaner longer.
Grooming and Bathing your Pet bird
Cleanliness is very important for a bird’s health and comfort. Water on the bird’s skin helps reduce the overall amount of dander, and adds the much needed moisture. Bathing promotes preening (feather grooming), which in turn promotes spreading of oils from oil glands, leading to a shinier, tighter, and more waterproof feathers. Bathing also helps a molting pet bird remove the itchy feather sheathes.
Some pet birds prefer being misted, while others prefer bathing. For the birds that like being misted, a squirt bottle may be set on mist and then aimed over the pet bird so that the water falls like mist. For those that prefer bathing, you can place a dish (with an inch or two of water), at the bottom of the bird cage. Remember to remove the dish after the bird has bathed. Never leave dirty water in the cage.
Trimming a pet bird’s wings prevents them from flying around nonstop. Birds have been known to fly into ceiling fans, pots of boiling water, into windows, among others. You need to take the responsibility to protect your bird and this includes trimming the wings. Wing trimming will help protect your bird against injuries, and can also prevent them from escaping. Wings can be trimmed by your vet or can be done at home. However, it is best to let your vet or a bird groomer trim the wings. You can carefully watch the vet trim the wings so that you can learn how to do it. A good trim will allow your pet bird exercise his/her muscles.
Overgrown nails usually make perching difficult for birds, and also increases the chances of scratching furniture and other things. Generally, nails are considered to be too long when the toe is elevated off the surface/ground when the bird’s feet are flat on the floor. Even the short nails might need to be blunted a little to remove any sharp points.
Before you embark on nail trimming your pet bird, you first need to familiarize yourself with the proper method of nail trimming. You can visit an experienced bird groomer, or you can have your veterinarian show you how to properly trim your bird’s nails. Having the nails trimmed by a bird groomer or a veterinarian will give you a good idea of just how short the nails need to be kept. After the vet’s trim, you can continue keeping them short with an every other week or every month nail trim.
You need to show your pet bird that you care. Whenever you are home, give him/her lots of attention, and make things interesting and fun. As mentioned earlier, you can add some bird toys to the cage. Bird toys are a great way to combat boredom and providing exercise for your bird.
Bird ownership can be very rewarding. We hope you enjoy your bird for a lifetime!!
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About the Owner and Professional Pet Sitting Etc
Dorinne Whynott, is a long time animal professional. She is a successful business owner establishing one of the largest pet sitting companies in New Hampshire since 1990. Click to Read her complete History.
Professional Pet Sitting Etc. is a leading business in the pet care field and continues to grow since 1990. It is an AWARD WINNING business, having been awarded the 2015 Best Pet Sitting , 2015 Best Dog Walker, Business of the Year Awards in 1996, 1997, 2006 and 2010. It boasts 30+ amazing pet sitters on staff, over 3000 clients in 38 cities from Nashua to Concord, NH. Hundreds of satisfied client testimonials can be found on their website and more 5 star reviews on their Facebook page, Google+ page and more. They have sustained an A+ rating with the BBB, A rating with Angie’s List and are unmatched in the Pet Sitting Industry in New Hampshire.
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