Thinking About Getting a Bird for a Pet? Read This First

January 5th, 2018 is National Bird Day. While the day is designed to shed light on the fact that 12% of the world’s bird species is expected to face extinction within the next century, it’s also a day when many bird lovers choose to bring new feathered friends into their homes for the first time.

Having a bird as a pet can be just as enjoyable as having a dog or cat, and for people who are allergic to pet dander, birds make for the ideal solution. But, there are some differences to owning a bird as a pet that you need to be aware of before you purchase your new feathered friend and all the necessary accessories she needs.

A bird, more than any other type of pet, requires you to make some changes in your life. As a result, far too many people wind up releasing their birds into the wild rather than adjusting their lifestyles to make their homes safer and more comfortable for their birds. If you are thinking about buying a bird, you need to know what you are committing yourself to. Here are ten things you should know about keeping a bird as a pet.

things to know before owning a bird

#1: Your Bird Will Wake You Up Early

Do you know the term, “the early bird gets the worm?” A bird is mentioned because birds like to wake with the sunrise, bright and early. So, you may need to adjust your sleep routine to ensure you get the right amount of sleep at night. Also, your bird will need to be fed immediately after waking.

#2: No Smoking in the House

If you’re a smoker and you want to be a bird owner, then you need to take your habit outside. Cigarette smoke is bad for humans, but it’s really bad for birds. Tobacco products are so bad for birds that you need to wash your hands after smoking before you even touch or handle your pet.

#3: Say Goodbye to Non-Stick Cookware

Non-stick cookware, like those coated with Teflon, can be deadly to a bird when they are heated up. The non-stick coating used on the pans releases an odorless fume when heated, and those fumes can kill a bird within minutes. If you are going to have a bird for a pet, you must only cook with stainless steel, cast iron, or another safe substance.

#4: Don’t Wear Jewelry or Shiny Clothing When Handling a Bird

Birds are attracted by shiny things, so you’ll want to remove any jewelry you have on before you handle your bird, or your pet may take a nip at you. The same goes for shiny or sequined clothing. Birds also love playing with buttons, so you should learn how to sew buttons back on clothing to help preserve your wardrobe.

#5: Some Houseplants May Need to Go

A lot of the common household plants are toxic to birds. So, if you are going to have a bird as a pet, you will need to find new homes for any such plants you might have. Here’s a list of houseplants that are safe for birds.

#6: Invest in a Good Vacuum

Birds are messy eaters, and the ground below a bird’s cage becomes littered with debris and seeds after she eats. So, you can expect to be vacuuming around the birdcage every day, if not a couple times each day. Investing in a good vacuum will give you the best value for the money and the effort.

#7: No Scented Candles, Air Fresheners, or Scented Oils Allowed

Air freshening products like scented candles, oils, and plug-in air fresheners contain chemicals and produce fumes that can be fatal to birds. The respiratory system of a bird is very sensitive to such things, so if you plan on owning a bird, you’re going to want to find a more natural way to add scents to your home.

#8: A Bird Can Be a Noisy Pet

Dogs bark and a cat meows, but they don’t do it constantly. Meanwhile, a bird chirps, tweets, and chatters all day long. So, if you prefer your home quiet, then bringing a bird in will make it anything but.

#9: Birds Aren’t Social Pets, But They Can Be

Unlike a dog, which will jump on your lap the moment you bring her home, a bird is not a domesticated pet, at least not at the start of your relationship, but this can change. It will take a lot of work, however, as you will need to handle your bird and socialize her in order to finally get her to view you as a friend.

#10: A Bird Needs to Be Monitored When Out of Her Cage

When you have a bird as a pet, she needs to be monitored whenever you take her out of her cage because left to her own devices, she will more than likely damage everything from your curtains to your couch and pillows as well as anything else she can get her beak on.

Still Considering Keeping a Bird for Your Pet?

While the above might make you second-guess ever having a bird as a pet, it has to be said that these list items are just what is to be expected from a responsible bird owner. At the end of the day, a bird can make a wonderful and loving pet. They can even be constant companions for those who live alone.

If you are thinking about buying a bird, these are things you’re going to have to consider. If you are willing to make the necessary adjustments to your life for the sake of your pet, then you are going to love being the owner of a bird.

Author: Giano Panzarella