Should I Get a Pet Bird?

A girl plays with a pet bird.

You want to bring a pet into your home but aren’t sure which pet is the best fit for your lifestyle. You think a smaller bird might be just perfect. Birds are colorful, make cheerful noises, don’t take up much space, and seem to require little maintenance. But is a bird a good choice of pet for you?

At 10 West Bird & Animal Hospital, we can help you decide which pet will fit best with you and your lifestyle.

A Quick Checklist Before You Buy a Pet Bird

There are many personal and household questions to ask yourself before deciding that a bird is the best pet for you.

  • Are you allergic to feathers or dander? If so, a bird is not for you.
  • How much time can you spend with your bird? Many species require an hour or more of your personal time each day.
  • Are you a late riser? Your bird will not sleep in!
  • Do you often travel for work or fun? You’ll need a backup caregiver who your pet trusts.
  • Is your house bird safe? Our bird expert and hospital owner, Dr. Barbara Powers, can help you learn how to make your home environment safe for your new pet.  
  • Find a reputable source for purchasing your new pet.

Owning a Bird Comes With Benefits and Challenges

Birds are smart, inquisitive, playful, and can be loving. They can also become destructive or despondent if they get lonely or don’t have suitable toys to keep them entertained. Regardless of size, most domesticated birds need to interact with their humans every day, sometimes for many hours a day.

They make excellent companions for owners who have time to interact with their feathered housemate(s). Each bird has a distinct personality, so be prepared for a unique individual!

So Many Varieties, Which Should You Choose?

From small and chirpy to large and loud, your bird choices are in the hundreds! Here are a few suggestions for beginner bird keepers like you.

  • Canaries & Finches need the least amount of human interaction but are social with each other, so plan on housing two or more together.
  • Cockatiels are highly interested in their humans and crave flight and cuddle time each day.
  • Lovebirds live up to their name! They want to be with you and on you as much as possible.
  • Parakeets, the most popular and inexpensive bird to keep as a pet, will appreciate any loving attention you can provide. Keep them entertained, as with all birds, with a variety of toys and puzzles.

Do you think you want a parrot? Consider smaller varieties but stay away from the large species. Not only are they tons of work, but they can also live longer than 50 years!

Health Care For Your Pet Bird

As with any pet, wellness checkups provide an essential measure of your bird’s health. Birds that receive proper nutrition, whose cages are regularly cleaned, and who have plenty of stimulation from handling and toys should thrive in your care. However, sometimes they may exhibit signs that something isn’t right.

Please contact us right away if you see any of these symptoms of illness:

  • Clogged nostrils
  • Watery or otherwise a change in droppings
  • Cough or difficulty breathing or sneezing
  • Dried material on the beak or eyes
  • Is quieter, less active, or sitting on the cage floor with its eyes shut

Call us at (210) 696-1700. If you feel your pet has an emergency need after hours, contact Mission Pet Emergency.