Becoming a proud owner of an avian pet can be a long process.
The learning curve of caring for avians can be a little steep at first, but the experience has enormous payoffs. Birds make excellent companions and keep their owners guessing with their interesting and entertaining behaviors. Owning a bird comes with it's own highly specific set of challenges, but when dealt with correctly, avian health can truly soar.
A Long, Happy Life Together
Owning a bird is a very different experience from cat or dog ownership. For starters, some birds can live up to eight decades! Other birds might not enjoy longevity on the same scale, but all avians do require and benefit from the following:
- A safe, stable living environment
- Large enough cage in which to stretch their wings and accommodate long tail feathers (that is also easy to clean)
- Various perches
- Access to sunshine and humidity in a well-ventilated room
- Safe, enriching toys
- Balanced meals and delicious treats
- Positive experiences with other pets and people
- Regular grooming and maintenance
- A microchip
What to Expect Before Owning a Bird
Bringing home a new avian is a truly exciting moment, and it's definitely more fun when you know what exactly you've gotten yourself into. For example, birds can be extremely noisy. They may chatter, chirp, or depending on the bird, talk to you, all day long. Hopefully, your living situation can tolerate bird noises for the long term. If you live in shared housing or have nearby neighbors, be sure to ask them their thoughts before you bring a bird home.
Secondly, birds can be terribly messy eaters at times. You may need to sweep or vacuum the floor beneath the cage daily, perhaps even numerous times a day. Furthermore, the cage interior must be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized several times a week to maintain freshness and limit bacteria growth.
Owning a Bird Is Super Fun
Learning what your bird likes to eat is definitely part of the fun. They may embrace your offerings with zeal one day, only to snub them the next. Staying in front of their tastes and preferences is not always easy or simple, but can be highly entertaining. A rotating smorgasbord of fruits and veggies adds essential diversity to their bowl of pellets.
Daily handling of your pet bird is critical to their development and comfort. Just as much as you like gazing at them, they enjoy close companionship and exposure to new and interesting activities.
The Matter of Bird Health
A huge component of owning a bird is keeping them as healthy as possible. Maintaining regular avian exams is critical to preventing disease or behavioral problems. A physical exam may lead to cultures and blood work that test for parasites, bacteria, viruses, and yeast.
We can also clip feathers, trim nails, and groom their beak.
If you have additional questions about owning a bird, please call us at (727) 381-3900. Our avian experts are always here to help you at Bayshore Animal Hospital & Avian Practice.