By Diane Burroughs
Parrot Safety During the Holidays involves both insuring your parrot is physically safe and is protected from the anxiety and stress of the season. Holidays are stressful for people but even more so for parrots. Parrots, like young children, appreciate predictability and routine. Imagine the holiday season through your pet birds eyes to determine what holiday pet safety plans you need to implement for your parrot. Learn how to keep your bird calm and safe this holiday season.
Routines Create Holiday Pet Safety:
We all know how our time schedules change over the holiday season, so many of us spend less time with our parrots from Thanksgiving through the New Year. Holiday pet safety for parrots means keeping anxiety to a minimum. Parrots experience disruptions in routine especially if we travel and have to hire a pet sitter or even board our parrots. Provide your parrot with as much of a predictable routine as possible to ward off anxiety.
Holiday Guests: We may have house guests visiting our home or even staying for an extended holiday. Parrots may be anxious with strangers in our home, especially if they bring along their pets or young children! Plan how to calm your pet birds’ anxieties if you will have house guests during the holiday season.Your bird may feel safer in a low traffic area or in a darker, quiet room until the holiday hub bub has settled down.
Holiday Cooking: One of the most cherished things about the holiday season is all of the baking and cooking. Keep in mind that Teflon cooking ware is potentially very dangerous for parrots. Overheated Teflon emits toxic fumes that are deadly for parrots. While you may not smell the fumes, a parrot can die with within minutes. If you must use Teflon cookware, do so with extreme caution. Likewise, your oven may contain Teflon, so don’t start the self-cleaning operation unless you can offer exceptional ventilation so you parrot does not have to breathe the fumes. Another kitchen danger results when we place our parrots on a bird stand in the kitchen area. While your parrot will appreciate the socialization, make sure to carefully supervise your bird for holiday pet safety. Many a parrot has been lured off of its bird stand when it sees yummy treats on the counter. A pet bird may become curious about what is cooking in hot pots. The big three kitchen dangers then are Teflon cook ware, snacking on unsafe food items and getting burned or falling into a pot of hot food.
Decorations & Scents: Parrots have extremely sensitive respiratory systems and are very vulnerable to chemically induced scents. Holiday pet safety for parrots will require careful consideration of holiday decorations and scents. Curious parrots’ may be drawn to the colors, glitters and sparkles of holiday decorations. After all to them, holiday decorations may look like fun new bird toys. Just about everyone loves to decorate for the holidays but keep holiday decorations away from your bird’s area. Make sure to keep parrots away from holiday decorations. Scented candles may emit unsafe chemicals that injure a parrot’s sensitive respiratory system. Pine cones may have been treated with chemicals to make them smell festive. Tinsel may be fun to preen but it plays havoc on the digestive system. And Mistletoe Poinsettia Plants and Holly are extremely toxic.
Birds and Candy: Birds and candy do not mix. Chocolate and other sweets are toxic for parrots. Consult Dangerous Foods For Parrots for a list of unsafe bird foods. Make sure to keep your parrot away from treats and sweets. Purchase bird safe treats to make your parrot feel special. We recommend Raw Pumpkin Seeds, Pine Nuts and Papaya.
Home Safety: In the winter, we crank up the furnace which not only dries out the air but can potentially result in carbon monoxide poisoning. Save you and your family a lot of worry by having your furnace professionally inspected and cleaned before you fire it up. Test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and change batteries as necessary. Clean the humidifier on a weekly basis and change the filter as recommended by the manufacturer. A dirty humidifier may spew bacteria and dangerous fungus into the air.
Parrot Comfort: Holiday pet safety for parrots will require that you maintain routines as much as possible. Your parrot will appreciate it if you put your bird lights on a timer so that it gets a proper amount of light each day while getting an adequate amount of darkness and rest at night. Put any bird lights that you may have on times. If you live in a dry climate, run a cleaned humidifier. Install your heated bird perch and bird bed so that your parrot doesn’t get chilled.
Holiday pet safety for parrots needs strong consideration. With the proper precautions both you and your parrot can experience a safe, fun and festive holiday season!