Parrots, with their vibrant colors and charming personalities, have long captured the hearts of pet enthusiasts worldwide. These intelligent and social birds can form strong bonds with their human companions, making them a popular choice for those seeking a feathered friend.
However, before you decide to welcome a parrot into your home, it’s essential to consider both the joys and challenges that come with parrot ownership. Here, you can learn about the dos and don’ts of owning a parrot and what you can expect.
Parrots Make Good Pets for Prepared Owners
There’s a common misconception that birds aren’t intelligent, so they don’t need as much care as, say, a dog or cat. However, that’s not true. Parrots need lots of care, stimulation, and companionship to remain happy and healthy. When considering whether you should get a parrot, ask yourself:
- Are you prepared to offer decades of care? Parrots can easily pass the 20-year mark––with some even outliving their owners. Getting a parrot isn’t like getting a hamster that could live just a few years; these friends last a lifetime.
- Can you afford veterinary care? Getting a parrot can get costly. Not only are the food, cage, and toys pricey, but so is the cost of veterinary care. The same vets that treat cats and dogs generally aren’t equipped to handle bird-related health problems.
- Do you have other pets? Parrots aren’t meant to live their lives behind bars. They require two to three hours of free roaming time every day. If you have cats, dogs, or other prey-driven pets, this could be a problem.
What You Can Expect from a Pet Parrot
Many people imagine getting a pet parrot and bringing a feathery, chatty friend into their home. And for many people, that’s true! If you decide that getting a parrot is the right move for your family, here’s what you should know:
- Parrots can get loud. If you live in an apartment, you may want to consider getting another, quieter pet. Parrots can squawk, crow, and mimic sounds. You don’t want your neighbors constantly calling in noise complaints.
- You can’t leave a parrot by itself. Imagine that you’re going on vacation. You can’t put food in your parrot’s cage and head off to Disney World; they need around-the-clock care and stimulation. You might have to pay someone to housesit to keep your parrot company while you’re gone.
- Parrots are messy eaters. Parrots aren’t known for their table manners. They may chuck seeds out of their cage or leave crumbs everywhere.
Parrots have big personalities. If you’re looking for a winged pal with character, you could enjoy bringing a parrot home.
Ensuring Your Parrot’s Health and Well-Being
Caring for a parrot requires dedication and an understanding of its unique needs. To keep your feathered companion healthy and happy, here are some essential tips:
- Ensure a proper diet. A balanced diet is vital for a parrot’s well-being. Most parrots require a mix of pellets, fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Avoid feeding them sugary or fatty treats, as these can lead to health problems, like obesity.
- Purchase a decently sized enclosure. Parrots need ample space to move and stretch their wings. A spacious cage with plenty of room for toys and perches is essential for their physical and mental health.
- Offer plenty of mental stimulation. As intelligent creatures, parrots need mental stimulation to prevent boredom and behavioral issues. Interactive toys, puzzles, and regular playtime with their human companions are crucial.
- Schedule regular veterinary check-ups. Routine vet visits are essential to monitor your parrot’s health and catch any potential health issues early on. While parrots are not vaccinated like cats and dogs, they still need regular medical care––even if just for a check-in.
Only Get Parrots from Ethical Breeders
As appealing as parrots are, there’s a dark side to owning these popular pets. The illegal parrot trade is a significant concern, especially for species like the African Grey, which are endangered in the wild. This illicit trade involves capturing and selling parrots, often harming birds and their natural habitats.
When bringing a parrot pal home, make sure that you only conduct business with ethical breeders. These professionals understand what goes into breeding healthy parrots and ensuring they’re free of avoidable health problems. They also rely on breeding birds in captivity rather than kidnapping them from the wild.
There are many people online who rehome parrots and other birds for various reasons. Before moving forward with adoption, use your best judgment. If the parrot seems lethargic, ill, or missing feathers, you should continue your search. Caring for a parrot is involved as it is. You don’t want to complicate matters by bringing home a sick animal.
Do Your Research Before Getting a Parrot
Parrots can make wonderful and rewarding pets for those willing to invest time, effort, and love into their care. Their engaging personalities and ability to form strong bonds with their human companions create a unique and fulfilling experience. However, keep in mind that getting a parrot is a lifelong commitment. By doing your research and asking some hard-to-ask questions, you can make the right decision for you and your family.
If getting a parrot is too much work, consider other birds that make good pets.