Caring for Pet Birds
Birds can be surprisingly fascinating and even affectionate pets. And, they are undeniably beautiful. Many will even provide melodious background music for our homes and most are quite intelligent, capable of learning to speak word and phrases.
As diverse as they are interesting, pet birds are popular exotic pets that require a lot of planning, understanding, and insight into their husbandry.
Understanding Your Options among Pet Birds
Birds are eclectic, and species greatly vary in care requirements as well as longevity. Many first time bird enthusiasts may benefit from an easy-to-care for species, such as a canary, while those who are seeking lifelong companionship with a costly feathered soulmate, may opt for a parrot.
What is key to selecting your new bird companion is understanding what is required. This means doing your research.
- Many birds thrive in pairs, such as doves, parakeets, and lovebirds, and will need companionship in order to be healthy
- Birds need to fly – after all, that’s what they do – so it is important that the cage selected is quite roomy or you have secured a few rooms for flight fun
- Some birds are incredibly noisy and some bite – keep this in mind when looking at different pet bird options
One of the biggest challenges for new bird owners can be learning how to provide a nutritious diet. Along with fresh, clean water, birds require a balanced amount of protein, amino acids, fats, carbohydrates, and vitamins and minerals.
Generally, these nutritional needs are met through high-quality commercial seed blends formulated for the specific species. They also require some diversity in fruits and vegetables, and will benefit from a mix of apple slices, mango slices, or a small amount of berries. With vegetables, opt for organic vegetables that have not been sprayed with any pesticides, which can harm many birds.
Again, to determine the specific tastes and nutritional needs of your pet bird, it is advised to speak with your veterinarian (one who is adept in exotic species). One of the biggest challenges to maintaining health is a lack of understanding of nutritional balance and daily dietary needs, and many birds become ill because of a nutritional deficiency.
Proper housing is also a strong component of optimal bird care. When selecting a cage for your bird, ensure it is roomy enough for activities, movement, and cleanliness while remaining secure.
Placement of the cage will depend upon the social needs of your bird (some want to be where the action is, such as the living room, while others may thrive in a quiet room with minimal foot traffic). In drafty areas or on cooler nights, you may want to cover your bird’s cage.
All animals require enrichment, and this is absolutely true for our active, curious bird friends. Along with allowing your bird to fly in a spacious cage or secure room, your bird will benefit from a variety of mirrors, bells, and other cool toys in the cage. Certain birds, as we have learned over the years, require an ability to forage for food to express a natural instinct. There are many unique food puzzles and games designed specifically for these foraging species.
When it comes to the complexities of our bird companions, consistent veterinary care is one of the most important aspects of maintaining health. At Schertz Animal Hospital, we recommend twice yearly appointments since changes in health may be difficult to ascertain. It also offers you the chance to ask questions or get recommendations on any necessary dietary adjustments that need to be made.
It is our hope that through pet owner empowerment and education, we can offer our feathered friends the best quality of care and the longest, healthiest life possible.
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Schertz Animal Hospital
Since 1976, Schertz Animal Hospital has offered the greater San Antonio area outstanding pet care. Our state-of-the-art animal hospital in Schertz, TX compliments our stress-free handling and experienced veterinary staff. Make an appointment online or give us a call at (210) 659-0345 today!