Birds can make for a wonderful pet. They enjoy socializing with people and have the benefits of not needing to go on walks, but what do you need to know about avian care? Today, our avian vets in Turlock share some information and a guide for pet bird care including their nutritional and health needs and more.
Caring For a Pet Bird
Birds are remarkable creatures that are as diverse in their coloration as they are in their size, lifespan, and socialization needs. Being a good caregiver to a pet bird requires some thorough research before choosing an avian pet, then plenty of love and devotion once your new feathered family member comes home.
It's important to note that birds range in lifespan from 8 years to a remarkable 80 years or more! So choosing a breed that suits your lifestyle and your dedication to being a bird caregiver are essential. If you have never owned a bird before, choosing a relatively easy bird to care for such as a budgie will give you a great opportunity to develop an understanding of what is involved in caring for an avian pet.
Parrots such as Macaws, African Greys, and other large, long-lived birds do best with experienced owners with ample time to spend caring for and socializing with them.
Here are a few basic tips from our exotic pet vets in Turlock:
What to Feed Your Pet Bird
This is where your research should begin. Once you have chosen a species to care for you will need to learn the specific dietary needs of that species. Different birds have different nutritional requirements and will of course need differing amounts of food to stay healthy.
Pet birds typically do well on a mixture of high-quality breed-specific pellets, a small amount of dried seeds, and a good variety of fresh green vegetables along with other fruits and veg. Speak to your avian vet to learn more about what you should feed your specific feathered friend.
Bird seed on its own is not a healthy diet for birds and if fed nothing but seed, your bird's health could decline rapidly.
Providing Proper Care For Your Bird at Home
Like other pets that need an enclosure, you will need to choose a cage that fits the size of your bird. The more room your bird has to spread their wings and move about, the happier they will be. Speak to your breeder or exotic pet vet to find out how large your bird's cage should be.
Equip the cage with toys that are appropriate for your species, enough perches for them to rest comfortably (but not over their drinking water or food) but not too many since your bird will need room to move about.
Your bird will need constant access to fresh food and water, as well as a bath to play and clean themselves in.
The cage should be placed in a sunny spot away from cold drafts. Birds should be able to enjoy sunshine (although not direct sunlight) throughout the daytime hours, and about 10-12 hours of darkness every night. This may require a cage cover when it's time for your bird to go to sleep.
Whenever you plan to let your bird out of their cage for exercise be sure to close all windows and doors, turn off fans, and put away any foods that could be harmful to your pet.
Do not smoke around your bird, secondhand smoke can harm your bird's long-term health.
Spending Time Socializing With Your Bird
While there are a few species of bird that prefer to be left alone, the majority would benefit from regular interactions with you.
You should avoid leaving your bird alone for extended periods of time and consider a pet sitter if you do need to be away. Much like a dog, your pet bird needs to feel loved and part of the family. Keep the cage in a room where they will be able to see what's going on and be around others.
Whether the species you choose is able to learn words, it's important to speak to your pet bird and give it lots of attention.
Do some research on possible tricks that you could teach your bird to do, pet them gently and give them treats. You might even consider eating at the same time as your pet bird, near the cage, as a way of bonding.
Keeping Your Bird's Environment Clean
You will need to be sure to remove the soiled cage liner daily and replace it with a fresh one.
Clean your bird's drinking bottle or bowl daily each time you refill it, and do the same with their food bowl, and their bath.
Each week while your bird is out of the cage enjoying exercise you can give the full cage a deep cleaning with warm water and dish soap.
Wash all of the toys, mirrors any other items your bird has access to. You may want to rotate between a different selection of toys each week to help keep your bird occupied and happy.
You should also be sure to clean the area surrounding your bord's cage at least once a day.
Health Care Needs of Your Pet Bird
Routine veterinary care is just as important to pet birds as it is for cats and dogs. Get to know the avian and exotic veterinarian in Turlock, and take your bird in for routine checkups regularly and to have their beak and nails cared for.
Your exotic pet vet in Turlock will be able to provide you with lots of advice on how best to care for your pet bird so that your feathered friend has their best shot at a long and healthy life.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.