Have you recently acquired a parrot that will share the household with other pets? As a new parrot parent, you owe it to yourself (and to the well-being of your new feathered friend) to be aware of any potential household dangers. In the midst of settling your new avian companion in its new environment, keep the following pointers in mind for avoiding a potential danger and a trip to the 24-hour emergency vet:
1. Carefully Decide on a Safe Location for the Cage
As a first-time parrot owner, you may not be aware of the stress a bird may experience when relocating to a new environment. Birds take longer to become acclimated and to accept change. The stress of moving to a new home is often multiplied when other household pets are in the same vicinity. Although you may think Polly is safe in a closed cage, it doesn't take much for an overzealous dog to bump into the cage, causing serious injury to the bird. A curious cat may also cause injury to the parrot with a swipe of the claw through a cage bar.
As a new bird parrot owner, you may not be aware that a cat scratch to your bird may be life threatening. The danger lies in the presence of bacteria. These pathogens may be present on the skin of your cat, and it can infect your parrot if inflicted by a scratch.
Even if the bird is unharmed by a cat, it may become fearful and stressed in the immediate presence of other animals near its cage. Cats prowling by the cage and dogs barking may lead to issues such as feather picking or screeching. Stress may also lower a parrot's resistance to disease. For these reasons, it's best to place the cage (as well as play gyms or T-stand perches) well out of the reach of other pets. A room that is off-limits to other household pets is ideal. If you have extra living space that can be converted to a "bird room," all the better.
2. Do Not Allow Your Parrot to Consume Dog or Cat Food
Just as you wouldn't allow your dog to eat parrot pellets, peanuts or grapes, you shouldn't permit Polly to eat dog or cat food. Cat food in particular contains too much protein for a bird. Consuming this regularly or in excess may lead to medical issues such as avian gout. This is caused by an accumulation of uric acid, attributed to high protein in the diet.
3. Supervise Playtime Outside the Cage
Even the most obedient dog or docile cat may inadvertently injure a parrot that is out of the cage. While it is necessary to allow your pet parrot out of the cage daily for exercise and social interaction with its human caregiver, you need to take precautions. When your feathered friend is out of the cage, you might want to keep other pets in a separate room. At the very least, always supervise interaction between your parrot and other pets. Equally important, never allow the parrot to walk on the floor where it can be accidentally stepped on or pawed at by other pet.
4. Keep Other Bird Species Caged Separately
If your multiple pet family will include more than one bird of different species, it's probably best to house them in separate cages. Even parrots of the same size and species might do best in separate cages. Some species of parrot are known to be possessive of their belongings, although you can avoid a territorial struggle among your pets by keeping them in separate cages. Also, if possible assign each bird in your pet family a play stand and toys of its own.
All of the above measures can help you avert a potential disaster and subsequent visit to your 24-hour emergency vet. For more information, visit a site like http://www.lansdaleveterinarian.com/.