Pet-Proof Your Bird

  • Place your bird’s cage in an area where other animals cannot jump on it or invade its space. Suspend small cages from the ceiling; place large cages in an easily supervised area, away from furniture and curtains that could allow birds access. A rigid, angled apron around the bottom of the cage will keep most curious noses and paws out. While you’re gone, keep birds and other creatures apart with a closed door. Ferrets often hunt on birds, so keep them as far away as possible.
  • Birdcages and gyms should be placed away from fish tanks and reptile enclosures. Cover tanks to protect birds from drowning if they fall in. To reduce the risk of transmitting salmonella to your bird, wash your hands after handling reptiles.
  • A bird stealing food from an animal’s dish right under its nose may appear amusing, but it is also dangerous. Bacteria in food may be dangerous. If the animal feels its food is being stolen or its territory is being invaded, it may attack the bird. When birds are bitten or scratched by other animals, there are no minor injuries. Dogs and cats carry pasteurella bacteria in their mouths, and an injured bird can become infected, often fatally, if antibiotic therapy is not started right away. Check that your dog understands and follows the ‘No’ command.
  • Some birds enjoy preening the fur of their pets. All physical contact between the species should be monitored. Flea collars and anti-flea product residue are toxic to birds, so never let them near flea-treated animals or surfaces.
  • Some birds learn to address their pets by name. African grey parrots frequently mimic their owners’ voices, causing the family cat or dog to become confused. Cockatoos and other playful parrots may lure pets into their cages and pelt them with food and debris.

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