Safety Begins At Home

by Monica Gonzalez published: 11/18/01

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The Environment: Parrots rely on their humans to provide a safe and happy environment to thrive in. Bird-proofing your home is well worth the effort! Keep dangerous chemicals, medicine and vitamins in cabinets and out of reach. Store chemicals separate from food items. Someone could mistakenly grab the wrong box! If possible, install child safety locks on cabinets. 

Always be alert when your avian companions are out and about. Keep a watchful eye and ear ~ never leaving them unattended. Remember parrots are instinctively curious it is our jobs as humans to provide a safe haven for them. 

Windows & Window Coverings: Please ensure screens are securely in place on your windows. Keep window coverings and shade cords completely out of the reach. Adjust cords to the shortest lengths possible or install a tie-down device completely out of reach. Please do not knot or loop up cords, birds are at risk of becoming entangled. 

Toys, Cages, Gyms/Play Areas: Examine your birdís toys and play gyms daily. Clip back rope fraying. Secure quick links. Ensure perches are affixed tightly. Are there any loose parts on their toys? Are there broken parts that are sharp or dangerous? Check them today!!! Remove all plastic parts that are chewed and replace with new parts. 

Annual Check Up: A gentle reminder: Protect the health of your pet bird by visiting your avian veterinarian for their annual vet visit! 

Car Safety: Ensure the safety of your pet bird by protecting them in a carrier. Did you know you can install a wooden dowel in a regular pet carrier for an instant perch! Be aware of where airbags are located in your vehicle. Always secure carriers with a seat belt. If your avian friend is curious, prop up the carrier with pillows underneath so they can see out the windows. 

Note: Should your pet bird be fearful of cars, it would be a good idea to keep the sides of the carrier covered with a dark blanket.

Bird sitter Checklist: Create a contact list to include:

  • Avian Veterinarianís emergency phone number

  • Poison Control (1-800-222-1222)

  • Fire & Local Police

  • Bird-friendly contacts close to home. 

Note: Birds require special care. People who are not familiar with household dangers put your birds at risk! (Such as toxin exposure, Teflon poisoning, candles, hot wax, hot glue, chemicals, ceiling fans, etc.)  Keep a valid credit card on file with your vetís office. 

Keep pertinent information updated on each member of your flock.

  • Diagram of cage with feeders, which food dish goes into which food holder. 
  • Note any different type of care for each bird. 
  • Bed time (what time are the cages covered?) Any special treats (raisins, nuts, etc.) 
  • Any specific play time out of the cage. 
  • Medication (special needs like calcium supplementation, etc.)
  • Changing the cage paper daily, cleaning the perches, etc 

If you do not have someone who can come to your home, find a place that will board your birds. Note: This increases the risk of transference of diseases, so please be wary. Local bird clubs, veterinarians ~ Personal recommendations are highly recommended. Always leave a phone number where you can be contacted. You never know! 

Disaster Resource Plan: No neighborhood is safe from natural disasters and emergencies. Develop a Disaster Plan, share responsibility and work as a team! 

Some helpful tips: 

  • Check your flashlights. 
  • Keep extra batteries. 
  • Post emergency telephone numbers. 
  • Test smoke detectors. 
  • Store enough blankets for each pet and individual. 
  • Stock up on specialty items (birdseed, sprouts, bottled water, non- perishable foods, etc).

While no one ever wants to endure the pain and agony of a crisis, planning may ease the stress of these events. Following a disaster, families can overcome the adversity of the situation by supporting each other and working together to overcome what may be lost. This support can strengthen the family in ways that will last long after the crisis is resolved.

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