Birds may seem very different from more traditional pets such as dogs and cats, yet the same basic rules apply for their care. The essential ingredients are love, attention, good nutrition, and knowledgeable healthcare. It is true, though, that the specifics of bird owning are very different than that for other pets, and educating yourself can only help you better care for your pet bird.
Loving Attention: Like with any pet, the most important aspect of care is attention. Though birds spend almost all of their time in cages, this doesn’t mean that they are to be left alone and isolated. Here are some ideas for spending time with your bird:
- Training: Birds are very intelligent and many of them can be trained for obedience and companionship. Bird training is a great way for you and your bird to become close, and it makes caring for your pet bird easier.
- Playtime: Once your bird training has made your pet calm and obedient, you can take them out of the cage for playtime. Be sure all windows and doors are securely closed and remove any hazardous items from the room. For smaller birds that don’t leave the cage, such as finches and canaries, new toys are a great way to show them you care. Birds are very curious and love to play, even in their cages. Just make sure before you buy a toy that it’s appropriate for your species of bird.
Good Nutrition: Attention isn’t the only thing birds need, and balanced diet is as important for them as any other animal. A good base for their diet is pelleted bird food, which is less messy and easier to control than seeds. In addition, you can treat them with fresh fruit and vegetables such as apples or melons.
Health: Keeping an eye on health is an important part of owning birds. This can manifest itself in various areas:
- Environment: The first aspect of health is keeping a proper environment for your bird. Make sure your bird cage is appropriately size for your pet, with bars spaced less than one-half inch apart. The location of your bird cage is also important. Your bird should be in an area that is room temperature and well-lit, away from drafts and direct sunlight. Furthermore, the bird should never be kept in the bathroom or kitchen, where temperature changes and chemicals can be harmful to them. Always keep your bird away from fumes, chemicals, heat, sharp objects, and machinery.
- Cleanliness: Keeping a clean cage is critical to your bird’s health. Be sure to clean your cage once a week, with a more thorough disinfecting monthly.