Caring for a Parakeet

Have you recently adopted a parakeet? If so, that’s great! These cute little birds make wonderful pets! In this article, a Glendale, AZ vet discusses basic parakeet care.


Polly will need a cage that is at least 18 x 24 x 24”, though bigger is always better. Parakeets fly horizontally, so pick a birdcage with more width than height. We recommend getting a stainless steel cage, with bars spaced under a half inch apart. Avoid round cages, used cages, and cages that contain zinc, lead, or brass. Choosing the right spot is also very important. Ask your vet for helpful tips.


Your cute pet will need some accessories. For lining, you can use copy paper or paper towels. You’ll need to add a food bowl and a water bottle, which you can mount on the side of the cage. If you have more than one parakeet, provide separate bowls, to prevent fighting. Polly will also need some good perches, and some toys to play with. (Tip: These adorable birds often really like mirrors, bells, and ladders.)


Seed mixes are fine as a supplement, but pellets should make up the bulk of Polly’s diet. Parakeets can also have fresh produce, like peas, carrots, parsley, and apples. For treats, you can offer millet sprays. Always research new foods before giving them to your feathered friend, as not everything is safe for birds. Some things to avoid include rhubarb, caffeine, chocolate, eggplant, avocados, and tomato or potato leaves. Ask your vet for specific advice.


Parakeets need to interact with their humans frequently to stay happy. Spend a few hours a day with your pet!


Polly will need a few hours out of her cage every day. Make sure your home is safe by removing potential hazards, such as small objects and plastic wrappers, and turning off fans. Ask your vet for more birdproofing tips.

Veterinary Care

Just like any other pet, parakeets need regular veterinary care. Follow your vet’s recommended appointment schedule. In between appointments, watch for signs of illness, such as stiffness, unusual behavior or vocalizations, or red, runny eyes. Ask your vet for more information.


Parakeets tend to do better with their cages covered at night. Keep Polly’s bedtime to a set schedule.

Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Call us, your Glendale, AZ animal clinic, anytime.

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