Important Information For First-Time Bird Owners

Do you want a pet but neither cats nor dogs are your thing? Do you think that a bird might make a better pet for you? Birds have different needs than either cats or dogs, needs which you should familiarize yourself with before you visit the pet store. If you've never owned a pet bird before, here are some things that you should know:

Keep them out of the kitchen: Most modern kitchens have at least one non-stick pan. It's likely that you have an entire set of non-stick pots and pans. Unfortunately, the Teflon in a non-stick pan can be deadly for your pet bird. Although you might want companionship while you're cooking, it's better to keep your feathered friend out of the kitchen when you have non-stick. You should also run the exhaust vent while you're cooking to prevent accidentally sending Teflon vapors into the rest of your house. If your bird does get exposed to Teflon fumes, your local veterinary hospital may be able to treat it by putting your bird into an oxygenated environment to help ease its symptoms. But the best way to prevent problems is to eliminate your use of non-stick pans before you even buy a bird.

Trim their wings: Contrary to what you might believe, clipping a bird's wings doesn't hurt the bird. It's very similar to giving a person a haircut since feathers and nails are both made of keratin and contain no nerves. While it may, at first, seem cruel to prevent a bird from flying, doing so can stop it from getting seriously injured. A house or apartment is obviously relatively tiny, compared to the great outdoors. When you let your bird out of its cage, whether on purpose or accidentally, it could fly into a wall or mirror and wind up breaking a wing. Instead of being forced to make a trip to your local veterinary hospital to have the wing set, you can prevent the injury in the first place by carefully clipping the bird's flight feathers. 

Lock up non-food items: Birds can be just as curious as cats and dogs. Depending on the size of the bird in question, they may be able to get into many packages that you would have thought were impossible for a bird to open. If your parrot or cockatoo sees you use a makeup compact and then set the compact on the counter, it may want to investigate. If you don't notice what it's doing, your bird may even be able to get the compact open. Since large birds often eat nuts in the wild, it may view your makeup as nothing more than an oddly shaped nut. Once it gets the compact open, it may then eat, or try to eat, the compact applicator or even some of the makeup, potentially resulting in an emergency trip to your local veterinary hospital. Keeping your house clean, providing many fun toys for your birds, and whisking tempting items out of sight will help prevent injury to your avian buddy in the first place.

For more information and help with caring for a pet bird, visit a local veterinary hospital or clinic, such as Clovis Veterinary Hospital P A.