Safety First

I do like to think about taking Maynard many places with me. He’s fun and gets lots of attention, but he’s not friendly to other people, and if he happened to get away and be lost to me forever, it would be hard to bear. His wings are clipped, because he really doesn’t want to fly and it’s safer that way. But it’s something of a hassle to be sure he’s not getting his feathers back. Birds are designed to fly, no matter how much we clip them.

How else can I keep my parrot safe? On Facebook lately I have read two tragic stories of people losing their companion birds. One incident was preventable. A door was left open for a few seconds and a dog got in the house and killed a 50-some year old parrot. How devastating to know you could have saved that bird.

But the other tragic tale involved a parrot less than a year old who contracted PDD and was dead before the regular vet could see him. PDD is Proventricular Dilation Disease, and it usually can’t be detected early enough. http://www.birdchannel.com/bird-diet-and-health/bird-diseases/bird-diseases-pdd.aspx As this article says, until recently, there was little that could be done for the patient. The worst thing is, being prey animals in the wild, parrots don’t want anyone to know that they feel poorly, so they will hide symptoms as long as possible. Be sure you weigh your birds weekly so you can catch the drop in weight that is the first sign of this disease.

That brings us back to regular habits you need to have to keep your bird safe. This link covers the basics, and some of this will come in handy for even the most experienced bird owner.
http://www.parrots.org/pdfs/all_about_parrots/reference_library/beginners_guide_to_parrots/50%20Things%20a%20Companion%20Parrot%20Owner%20Should%20Know.pdf

Did you know your self-cleaning oven can kill your parrots? Did you know Fabreeze and other aerosols can seriously hurt your birds, and possibly lead to their deaths? Coffee, chocolate, avocado, onions, many things you probably have in your home can be dangerous to your birds. The only way to keep them safe is to be vigilant, and to read about the dangers. Do a self-check on your habits regularly. http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/small-pet-care/top-ten-ways-keep-your-bird-safe-kitchen-dangers

A good point comes out in this article, although understand that the company sells a product and their research shows the product to be the best you can buy. http://www.mysafebirdstore.com/about.html

Keep your home safe: http://beautyofbirds.com/birdproofingyourhome.html
Keep birds safe during the holidays: http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=15+1912&aid=3030
Keep birds safe around other pets: http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/how-can-we-keep-our-bird-safe-from-our-cat

Take a few moments to look around every day and assess the dangers to your birds. We routinely turn off the ceiling fans before letting any flight-capable birds out. We check our shoulders for lovebirds before going outside. We don’t open doors if a flighted bird is out and we don’t have visual confirmation of their whereabouts. It’s a simple matter to develop a habit of safety first. Give your birds lots of love. I’ll be back on Sunday.

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