Dos and Don’ts: The Dos of Being a Parrot Owner

green-ekkieJust as there are things to avoid when buying a bird, there are dos. Below is a list of things that current and potential owners should do when owning any species of bird. Of course, this is a list that bird owners would use in a perfect world but unexpected things come up all the time.

  • Education – There is a lot to know about being a bird owner so people prior to making an actual purchase, people should spend ample time reading information about general and specific breed care.
  • Breed Voice – Every type of bird has a distinct voice. Some like parakeets and canaries have small, sweet voices but larger breeds to include parrots can be quite loud. Considering that parrots can live 50, 60, 70, and even 80 years, it is important to choose the voice that can be tolerated most.
  • Avian Veterinarian – Preferably before buying a bird but definitely immediately after, a qualified avian veterinarian should be chosen. This way, if an emergency were to arise, an owner would know where to go. Unfortunately, birds, especially parrots, stress easily which can lead to death so a little bit of prevention goes a long way.
  • Varied Diet – At no time should birds be provided a diet that consists solely of pellets and seeds. While these are an important part of the overall diet, birds need fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as special snacks as well.
  • Dietary Needs – As part of the educational process, a potential owner should determine the right type of diet based on the specific breed of bird prior to buying a bird.
  • Maintenance Checkups – In addition to emergency visits to an avian veterinarian, birds need regular checkups. This will uncover any possible problems before they explode but also keep the pet in good health overall.
  • Future Plans – Because birds live so long, owners need to have a plan in place pertaining to a future home should they end up in a nursing home or prior to death. Not everyone loves birds so the selection needs to be carefully thought out.
  • Positive Reinforcement – Birds need to be rewarded for positive behavior and ignored when behaving badly. For bird owners, everyone in the household needs to be on the same table regarding this.
  • Preventing Problem – The goal with birds is to prevent a problem before it starts opposed to correcting an existing one. From the first day of buying a bird, owners need to be prepared to take this approach. The same is true in fixing problems, which can be stopped before they start.
  • Cage Environment – Birds need a quality, safe, and adequately sized cage. The bigger the cage the more money a person will spend so the cost of housing needs to be considered. In addition to the actual cage, there is the cost of substrate and toys, which can be costly.
  • Bird Motivations – A bird’s motivations are much different than that of a human. Therefore, a pet owner needs to learn the animal’s motivations and then respond accordingly.

We felt these were the major ones but I’m sure a list of a zillion things can be added to this but to keep it simple we feel this would be a good start for any new parrot owner to use as a guideline. Look out for the Don’ts of being a Parrot owner…

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