How to Keep Your Pet Bird Healthy

Mark your calendars: the USDA Bird Health Awareness Week starts November 6th! Birds are very charming and adorable little pets. Polly’s pretty feathers, delightful vocalizations, and cute antics have certainly melted plenty of hearts. Our feathered friends are quite delicate, however, and they do have some very specific care needs. Read on for some great advice from a Glendale, AZ vet on keeping your pet bird healthy.

Do Your Research

Polly’s species will play a large role in determining her exact needs. For instance, some types of birds need cages with more vertical space, while others need taller homes. Finches need sunlight to stay healthy, while parrots will require plenty of toys and stimulation. Be sure to do your research!


As you can imagine, living in a cage can get quite dull. Polly will need a few hours of playtime every day. To make your home safe for your winged buddy, you’ll need to address any potential hazards. Some common ones include windows, drapes, and blinds; fans; mirrors; fumes, such as cigarette smoke; small items; candles; and open water, such as a full sink. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Cage Setup

Make sure your birdcage is in a good location. Polly won’t be comfortable in direct sunlight or in a drafty area. And, while your pet will want to see and interact with you, she probably won’t like being in the center of activity. (Tip: many birds seem to prefer corner spots.)

Toys and Perches

To make your feathered pal’s cage comfy for her, add lots of fun toys and a variety of perches. Change Polly’s things around frequently to keep her from getting bored.

Monitor Polly’s Health

It’s very important for you to be able to recognize any potential signs of illness in your colorful pet. Some common symptoms to watch for include head-bobbing; unkempt feathers; unusual vocalizations, posture, or behavior; changes in waste; lack of appetite; and breathing difficulty. Ask your vet for more information.

Proper Diet

Proper nutrition is very important! Feed Polly a nourishing, well-rounded diet. Never give your bird anything that could be unsafe. Some things to avoid are garlic, onions, and chives; pitted fruits; sugary foods; candy; chocolate; and caffeine. Ask your vet for nutritional recommendations.

Do you have questions about bird care? We can help! Contact us, your local Glendale, AZ animal clinic, anytime.

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