While vacations go a long way to help you relax and rejuvenate, they can also be a time of worry and stress for pet owners. Leaving your beloved pet bird behind while you’re on an adventure can be rather challenging. However, with the right approach and careful planning, you can help ensure your feathered friend is safe and well cared for while you are gone. Keep reading to learn more about what to do with your pet bird when on vacation.
What To Do With Your Pet Bird When On Vacation
While it is only natural to worry about your pets while on vacation, there are some things you can do to help ease the stress on both you and your bird. Things such as proper planning and preparation will go a long way to ensuring your pet bird is well taken care of while you’re away. We have five categories below with tips to ensure you have all the bases covered.
1. Start Planning Early
The key to ensuring your pet bird is well cared for while you are gone is planning as early as possible. Start the planning phase several weeks before you leave on vacation.
Find A Trusted Bird Sitter
Having a trusted bird sitter, especially if it is a friend or family member who knows your bird, is the best option when it comes to leaving your pet while on vacation. Both you and your bird are more likely to feel at ease with a trusted bird sitter.
Hire A Professional Pet Sitter
If you don’t have a friend or family member who can care for your pet bird while you’re on vacation, consider hiring a professional pet sitter. Make sure you use a reputable pet-sitting service and select a sitter that has experience caring for birds. Additionally, most pet sitting services allow clients to leave reviews for the sitter, and reading these reviews should give you a good idea on the quality of care the sitter can provide.
Consider Boarding Facilities
Another potential option if you can’t find someone to come to your house is to place your pet bird in a boarding facility equipped to care for birds. These types of establishments specialize in caring for a wide array of bird species, and they typically have the expertise to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of your pet bird. It is always recommended to visit the facility a few weeks before your trip to ensure it is clean, safe, and can provide the level of care your pet bird requires.
2. Prepare Your Bird
You’re not the only one that has to get ready for your trip, you will also need to prepare your bird for their temporary home and/or caregiver. Not properly preparing your bird could cause them to become frightened, stressed, and distrustful.
Familiarize Your Bird With The Caregiver
You don’t want to surprise your bird with a new temporary caregiver just moments before you leave for your trip. This could cause undue stress on your bird. Instead, make sure your pet is familiar and comfortable with both the temporary caregiver and the temporary environment. This may require arranging for the caregiver to visit your home and spend time with your pet bird before the trip. This not only allows your bird to become more comfortable with their sitter, but it also builds trust between the two.
Pack Their Essentials
Make sure you pack your bird’s food, treats, toys, and any other necessary supplies. Never assume that the temporary caregiver has everything that your bird likes or is used too. You should also create a detailed list of your bird’s daily routine, such as dietary preferences, feeding times, and any quirks or behaviors that the caregiver should look out for.
Maintain a Consistent Routine
We all know how hard it is to stick to your normal routine in the days leading up to your departure. However, it is important that you maintain your bird’s routine at all times, including before you leave and while you are away. As I am sure you are aware, birds thrive when they have a routine, and sticking to it can help reduce their stress and anxiety while you are on vacation. Communicate as much as you can with the birds caretaker what time they usually wake up, play, eat, and go to sleep.
3. Prepare Your Home
Preparing your home is especially important if the caregiver or sitter will be coming to your house to care for your bird. Bird-proofing and detailed instructions are a few of the things needed to get your home ready.
Bird-Proof The Home
Before you head out on your vacation, make sure your home is bird-proofed to help prevent accidents or escapes. Double check that the windows and doors are secured and closed, and remove any potential hazards from your pet bird’s living area.
Leave Detailed Instructions
Having detailed instructions for your caregiver will go a long way to ensuring your bird is happy and well-cared for while you are gone. Include emergency contact information, the name and number to your bird’s veterinarian, medications that your bird may need, and any health concerns the caregiver should know about.
Install Security Cameras
If you don’t already have security cameras, you should consider installing them in your bird’s living area. This will allow you to monitor your bird remotely, and help give you some peace that everything is going smoothly while you’re away.
4. Keep Your Bird’s Environment Stimulating
Birds are intelligent and social creatures that require physical and mental stimulation. If you want to keep your bird healthy and happy while you’re on vacation, you will need to provide them with plenty of entertainment options.
Toys and Enrichment
You should give the caregiver a variety of toys and other enrichment activities to help keep your bird active and engaged. Mental stimulation, such as foraging toys and puzzle feeders, will help provide your bird with the entertainment they need and love. If you know your bird is fond of particular music or having the TV on in the background, you can have the sitter play that while visiting.
How much social interaction your bird needs can vary from one bird to the next. If, for example, your pet bird is extremely social and used to daily interactions, then the caregiver will need to spend quality time with the bird every day. It is best to be upfront with the caregiver from the get-go to ensure they know how much time they will need to spend with the bird in your absence.
5. Monitor Your Bird’s Health
Even with the best care possible, accidents can happen and birds can, unexpectedly, become ill. Having a plan for how you can monitor your bird’s health while you’re on vacation can help take off some of that worry you may have while away.
It is rather common for pet owners to ask the sitter or caregiver to send regular updates about how their pet is doing while they are away. This can include videos, photos, and daily reports on how your bird is coping in your absence. Just make sure you convey to your sitter/caregiver before you leave that you want them to send you regular updates.
There is nothing wrong with creating an emergency plan with your caregiver so that they know what to do if your bird becomes ill or if an emergency situation occurs. Ensure they know how to contact your bird’s veterinarian and what steps they should take if there is a health crisis.