The Holiday Season is a time of joyful spirits and parties, but the festivities can turn into a nightmare for bird owners that don’t make necessary adjustments in their homes for their bird’s safety.
Lets make sure that your pet has a pleasant experience each and every holiday season by paying attention to a few things, follow these easy safety tips as you plan your Christmas decorations, parties, get together and dinners.
Making sure that your feathered kids stays safe doesn’t take a lot of effort, but can go a long way in preventing accidents or worse tragedy during the Christmas season. Imagine having a loose toddler to roam free during these times of decorating, cooking, baking, and entertaining family and friends.
Who’s job is to watch the toddler (a.k.a birds)?
These really are no brainers but one can never be too careful with our beloved pets.
- Keep an eye on ornaments. You know how naturally attracted birds are to things that sparkle, shine and blink — so it’s no wonder that many Christmas decorations captivate their attention. Lets keep them away from the tree all together. Just a bite to a wire or light bulb can pose a risk of burns, electrocution, or both, and broken glass from ornaments along with their sharp wire hangers can cause cuts, scratches, and puncture wounds. So, how do you keep them uninterested or away from all that glitters, well I like to use the “2 times rule”, if they jump, fly, walk over to where they are not supposed be (the tree) they get 2 chances and then they get cage time for 15 minutes. Try it again. If your persistent toddler goes back to the tree well then it’s back to the cage till the next day. Once he gets it and stays put and is out and about without going to the tree then he is rewarded with his favorite treat, so be on the look out for small rewards and praise. Most important be consistent.
- Beware of ribbons, bows, gift wrapping paper and tape. Many holiday gift wrapping materials are brightly colored and shiny, which, like the ornaments draw them in. At first, many owners might think that it’s okay to let their birds play with and shred these papers and bows, but the inks used to print them could potentially be toxic to your bird. Additionally, some ribbons and bows have the ability to get caught around your bird’s neck, legs, or toes, and don’t forget some ribbons have turpentine. This can cause serious injury or even death, so it’s imperative that your bird be kept away from all the pretty presents.
- Don’t Share. While many other times you have shared your food and we actually encourage it, family and friends who don’t own birds may not have cooked bird-friendly dishes for sharing. Many holiday dishes include sugar, spices, and seasonings that can potentially be toxic for birds. To make sure that your bird doesn’t eat something hazardous, prepare a separate holiday dish specially for your bird. Some sample holiday recipes can be found on our website under Care and Feeding that are easy and your bird will enjoy.
- Keep tabs on the Holiday “Libations”. If you or your guests plan to partake in any alcoholic beverages, make sure that your bird does not have access to them. Alcohol can be deadly to birds, and curious parrots have been known to sneak a drink out of unattended glasses. Keep your bird safe by confining him to an area away from the festivities especially if you have a misguided cousin that thinks giving alcohol to your bird is entertainment, and I am sure we all have one of those relatives.
- Pay attention to stress levels. Birds can get stressed and over stimulated pretty easily, and the holidays can make it worse by exposing them to sights, sounds, and people that they are not familiar with or know. Consider leaving your bird caged in a quiet, comfortable, and secure area of your home until the party is over. This will ensure that your celebration does not cause stress, fear or discomfort for your feathered babies. If your bird is up and socializing, pay attention to your bird’s bedtime and the time, its easy for time to get away from us and our babies are up way to late for a well behaved parrot. We recommend 10 hours of dark quiet sleep every night.
We hope these tips will go a long way in keeping your bird safe throughout the holidays, but no amount of prevention is a substitute for good old fashioned supervision.
When your bird is out of his cage, always make sure to keep a close eye on what he is getting into just like you would a toddler.
Always paying attention to your bird’s whereabouts and actions is the best way to keep your bird safe not only during the holidays, but throughout the year — and for the many years that you and your bird will spend together. Stay safe, and Happy Holidays!