Pets make sense to have in your life. Owning a pet makes you happier and live longer. However, choosing the right kind of pet is also a big decision.
Many homes just go for a cat or a dog, but what about birds? Is a pet bird right for you, your home, and your family? It could be!
Why Is a Pet Bird Right for Your Home?
Depending on the specific species or breed of bird you get, you might enjoy an animal that is animated, fun, and intelligent. Birds can often learn how to bond with you and the rest of your family. If you get a parrot, you might even get a bird that learns how to talk.
If you are part of a family, then the right bird can add a new member to your home, increasing the joy and social complexity of your current clan. Everyone might enjoy a different benefit from the bird, but the bird is likely to have a blast interacting with so many different people. Also, with plenty of humans around, the responsibilities of keeping the bird can be spread around so hopefully, no one person has to do all the work.
Should you live alone, then a pet bird can be a wonderful source of companionship when you are lacking in it. A bird’s energy, actions, and antics can also prove a source of endless entertainment. Then again, the chores involved with keeping your bird safe, healthy, and happy will be yours and yours alone.
Why Do You Want a Pet Bird?
Pet birds are very specific things, so you need to really consider if they will fill the needs you are looking to take care of. Another animal might be a better choice.
- If you want something you can cuddle or pet sometimes but otherwise leave on their own, a cat might be a better choice.
- If you want a high-energy playmate that adores you, then you might want a dog.
- If you just want something pretty to look at, then ornamental fish are a good idea.
Pet birds can be very attractive to admire visually, and they can fill your home with delightful sounds and even song. Yet, you might not be able to let them out of their cage and play with them that often, if ever.
Things to Think About Before Getting a Bird
- Time: Birds require a lot of your time, and that’s going to happen every day. They shed feathers, toss food, poop everywhere, and spill their water. You’ll have to change the tray on a daily basis. Perches need weekly cleaning, and cages require monthly disassembly for full disinfection. Once you get into a routine, it’s not too bad but it’s something to be aware of. Check out our pet bird care guide to learn more about what is involved in caring for a pet bird.
- Commitment: Some pet birds live 30 to even 50 years. You’re getting involved in a long-term relationship here.
- Expenses: It’s more than just getting a bird and a cage. You’ll need food, water, cleaning supplies, and vet appointments, possibly for decades.
- Health Issues: Many birds shed dander and feather dust, so if anyone in your home has respiratory afflictions, such as asthma, then you might have problems. Bathing your bird regularly can help, but bathing a wild bird is an adventure.
- Pets and Kids: If your children are young, they might be delighted about having a bird in your home. They also won’t be mature enough to help care of it, and they might get too curious about getting into the cage. Cats and dogs are another potential issue, especially cats who are able to climb up there.
- Rejection: Birds, even pet birds, are still wild animals. They haven’t been domesticated for generations like cats and dogs, who are genetically inclined to bond with their owners. Your bird might not return your affection.
- Sound: If you enjoy long stretches of peace and quiet in your home, then a bird might not be a smart move. They love making noise, especially in the mornings and evenings. If you live in a condo or apartment, they might just irritate the neighbors, too.
Maybe a Pet Bird Isn’t Right If…
A pet bird might not be the right choice for you if any of these apply:
- You Haven’t Done Your Homework: You need to put in serious time researching what kind of species of bird that you want in your home. It might sound fun to get a talking parrot, but they can live a long time and make a lot of noise. Larger birds might not last very long cooped up in a cage, so you need to consider room for an aviary. Always zoom in on the details of daily living with any species, but also step back and consider the long-term implications of their projected longevity, too.
- You Can’t Keep the Bird Safe: Pets and kids were alluded to earlier, but chemicals are another huge problem. Birds are very sensitive to many chemicals, such as cleaners and the like. If you rent, you might actually have little knowledge or control over the chemicals in your home.
- You Can’t Keep Your Home Safe From the Bird: If you can’t bird-proof your home, then you might be asking for trouble every time that you let the bird out of the cage. Even if you intend to keep the bird in the cage around the clock, there will be times it has to come out and might get loose. That’s not even counting on accidents.
- Your Lifestyle Is Busy: Even if you arrange for someone else to clean the cage and tray and handle the food and water, you need to spend time with your bird. You probably even need to do it multiple times per day.
- You Can’t Afford It: Caring for a pet bird isn’t a commitment of your budget and money but also your time and energy.
- You Don’t Have a Backup Caretaker: Whether it’s going out of town or falling ill, you need someone available to care for your bird when you can’t. This won’t be just planned absences either, because life will throw curveballs at you.
- You Don’t Have the Right Veterinarian: Not all vets deal with birds and exotic animals, and even among those that do, they might not be well-versed in your particular species. Make sure you have the right healthcare professionals available for your animal.
Having said all that, remember that life can change. If you really do want a pet bird, then you can obviously find ways to deal with any of these challenges.
Is a pet bird right for your home? It’s a great question, but you need to ask yourself other questions before you can truly answer this.
Why do you want one? Are you prepared for the work involved? Can you manage the downsides?
Hopefully, reading through this has given you some insight into the answers to these questions in regards to your own home.