It’s sometimes said that you don’t realise just how much of a blessing good health is until it’s gone, so we often don’t think too much about taking proper care of ourselves until something goes wrong. Unfortunately, the same goes for pet owners when it comes to the health of their feathered, scaly or furry friend.
Unless your pet bird is suffering from some sort of illness or ailment, you probably won’t spend too much time thinking about how you can make sure he stays healthy. But with a little bit of knowledge and planning, you can take a few simple steps to give your pet the best possible chance of living a long and healthy life.
Let’s take a look at five simple things you can do to protect your pet bird against common health problems.
Top 5 tips for a healthy bird
- Regular vet check-ups. Even though some birds are fantastic ‘talkers’, unfortunately they’re unable to tell us what’s wrong when they’re not feeling their best. And no matter how well you know your pet bird, you probably won’t have the specialist knowledge needed to detect when your pet is unwell. That’s why it’s such a good idea to take your bird to your avian vet once a year for a check-up. Your vet will be able to tell you if your bird is getting all the nutrients he needs, as well as whether he’s getting adequate exercise and mental stimulation. And if there are any health issues that are slowing your pet down or stopping him from enjoying life, your vet will be able to diagnose them and work out a treatment plan.
- Food for life. The right food and diet is crucial for preventing a raft of health problems no matter what type of pet you own. For pet birds, the right diet can prevent malnutrition, obesity, and the wide range of health issues that may result from these two problems. The dietary requirements of pet birds can vary substantially between species, so ask your vet for advice on what to feed your bird, how much food to give and how often. You can also check out our article for advice on the best food and nutrition for your pet bird.
- Cleanliness is crucial. While your bird will most likely be well on top of grooming and preening herself, her cage cleaning skills will probably leave a lot to be desired. In fact, a bird’s cage is often just as messy as a teenager’s bedroom — and twice as smelly. Bird droppings release ammonia into the air, which is very bad for their lungs, while eating and drinking out of dirty food and water dishes can quickly lead to health problems. Cleaning your bird’s cage and dishes regularly is therefore an essential task for every pet bird owner.
- Exercising body and mind. Every bird needs a chance to spread their wings and fly, not only for their physical health but also for their mental wellbeing. Depending on your bird, this could mean horizontal space to fly around their aviary or regular time outside the cage to take flight. But there’s also plenty you can do to exercise your bird’s brain as well as their body, including adding a range of toys and accessories to their cage to encourage play and interaction. This will prevent boredom and help your bird stay happy and content all year long.
- Love and attention. With their bright, beautiful and bold colours, pet birds are undoubtedly wonderful to look at — but looking shouldn’t be the only thing you do with your pet bird. Giving a bird a happy and comfortable home means giving him all the attention and interaction he needs, so you need to be willing to put in the time and effort necessary. Giving your pet the love, attention and TLC he needs — not to mention deserves — is crucial to ensuring his health and wellbeing, and to prevent any behavioural issues developing.
Looking after your pet bird doesn’t only mean taking action when something goes wrong; it also means taking steps to prevent health problems before they even start to develop. With a proactive approach to health care, you can give your feathered friend all the essentials for a happy and fulfilling life.