Have you been thinking about getting a bird? Pet birds make great and unusual pet companions. But like anything, birds have their pros and cons, and there are some considerations for basic husbandry that no pet owner can ignore.

To help you assess whether buying a bird is right for your family, The Pet Experts at Wheaton Animal Hospital are here with some of the important things you’ll want to consider.

7 Things to Know Before Buying a Bird

If you speak with many bird owners, they’re going to tell you all of the wonderful things about owning an avian friend. And they are right! Birds are intelligent, fun pets who have an air of the exotic. They are also a great conversation starter, as birds (especially those that can mimic our words) are fascinating.

Yet, there are many considerations before taking the plunge into bird ownership. 

  1. Birds are messy. With their feathers, feed, and excrement, pet birds make for a lot of clean-up. Most birds love to kick up their food, throwing it out of the cage and onto the floor. This is why having a good amount of space or a separate aviary is necessary to keep mess and smells down.
  2. Birds are noisy. If you are a light sleeper who wakes at the slightest sound, a bird is probably not the right pet for you. This is one of the bigger complaints heard from pet owners. A noisy bird can also put a damper on quiet conversation or watching a movie in peace.
  3. Birds are sensitive to fumes. Cook with a nonstick pan? Like to burn scented candles or enjoy essential oils? Birds can become sick by fumes, whether we find them enjoyable or not. Fumes from Teflon and nonstick pans can be fatal because the chemicals emitted are toxic to birds.
  4. Birds are highly social. Our avian friends are much like dogs in the sense that they require lots of socialization. If your pet is an only bird, you will need to spend more time with them, playing, interacting, and grooming. Some pet owners make the mistake of assuming the gregarious feathered friend doesn’t need as much attention as other pets. Not true.
  5. Birds require a lot of time. Birds need socialization, yes, but they also require time to clean their cages, maintain good grooming, such as beak and nail trims, and attention to their overall health.
  6. Birds have special diets. Birds can quickly fall ill without the right. Don’t just expect to throw some seed down like you do with the wild birds. Along with a specialized diet, they will need fresh fruits and vegetables. These tasty treats not only benefit your pet physically, they also provide mental enrichment.
  7. Birds can be destructive. Sharp beaks and claws come with the territory when you have a larger bird. When it comes to bird toys that are plush, feathered, and otherwise soft, you can plan on replacing these often.

Questions About Bird Care?

There are many things to think about before buying a bird, but these pets are a wonderful addition to the family. If you would like more information about bird care, we are here to answer your questions and offer recommendations. Simply call our friendly team.