Your pet bird thrives on your ability to keep her safe, secure, and in a familiar environment. While none of this changes during the holiday season, your bird may feel like it does. With people coming and going, decorations being put up, and the change in everyday routines, you might have one stressed out pet on your hands! However, you can celebrate a merry holiday with your bird, while preventing any upsets, if you keep a few rules of thumb in mind.
Trying to keep a stable environment around your bird’s cage can help her stay calm. If at all possible, consider placing your Christmas tree and other large decorations in rooms of your house where your bird does not typically visit or stay. This should also be true of poinsettias and mistletoe, as these plants are poisonous if your bird ingests them. When hanging lights, keep in mind that lit decorations could hurt your bird’s chance to sleep. Since she needs 10 – 12 hours of beauty rest, you should plan on either not lighting your decorations as much as you like or else placing them away from your bird’s sleeping area. If neither of these are good options, a good cage cover will also provide a great solution for both of you. Finally, if you value your ornaments and other sparkly tree decorations, keep an eye on your bird when she is around the tree, especially if you have to place your tree near your bird’s primary location.
While some people may eat certain types of bird seed, and some birds may eat certain types of “people” food, chances on your holiday menu is not something that should be shared with your bird. Unless you plan on only serving chunks of fruit, pieces of veggies, bits of chicken, or eggs, you should be very selective in what food you share. Sugars, seasonings, and spices used in cooking your holiday meals could potentially be toxic to your bird. To keep her safe, prepare a separate meal with foods you know are safe for her or stick to her normal bird food. One last thing to watch for – alcoholic drinks. If your dinner includes eggnog, wine, or other spirits, make sure your guests watch their glasses and your pet is confined in an area where she cannot sample the glasses.
When wrapping or unwrapping gifts, be aware of your ribbons, bows, papers, and tissues. While many of the items used to cover gifts may seem like similar items used in creating bird toys, the inks used to print on gifting supplies could be toxic to your bird. In addition, ribbons and bows may contain staples or be cut in lengths too long for your bird to safely play with. Keeping the brightly wrapped parcels away from curious beaks is the safest bet for keeping your bird safe.
Many families and friends only get together around the holidays. Even if your bird is accustomed to receiving visitors, the amount of people who come or the frequency could throw her off. Try to keep your bird in an area where guests will not be congregating. Make sure to accompany anyone who wishes to see your bird to make sure she is not stressed or does not become too stressed.
With a little extra planning, you can spend a wonderful holiday with your pet bird. And, don’t forget to share a little holiday magic with your pet bird. Spending some quality time together during the holidays and giving her some special gifts will help bring you closer and increase the bond you already share.