Perhaps you are live in an apartment, are unable to take a pet outside for daily walks, or simply crave a companion that will be a little less common than a cat or dog. If you feel like a furry friend might not quite fit what you are looking for, read on for the top ten reasons that a bird would make a wonderful pet!
1. Birds are intelligent animals.In the animal kingdom, birds rank near the top when it comes to smarts. Their capacity for learning and inquisitive nature makes them facsinating, captivating pets. Birds that are bonded with their owners constantly learn from the person's behavior, and often delight them with surprisingly human-like antics. Think about it: when is the last time a dog looked up at you and said "Hello"?
2. They are relatively easy to care for.As opposed to four-legged pets that typically roam free within their owners homes, birds are much easier to care for. They can be placed inside their cages when you are at work or busy, they don't require daily walks outside, and housebreaking is not an issue. Many people prefer the convenience of cleaning a cage once daily to scooping a litter box or having to go for walks outside every few hours.
3. Birds are fairly simple to train.Because of their above average intelligence, birds can be a joy to train and are typically eager to learn new things from their owners. Since birds are relatively small, training them can be less physically demanding than working with larger creatures, making them a good choice for the young, elderly, or disabled.
4. They require minimal grooming.Birds are naturally very hygienic animals, and they preen their feathers daily to keep them shiny and clean. Rather than having to deal with smelly shampoos, flea baths, and expensive haircuts, bird owners can usually maintain their pet's health and good looks with a quick nail trim now and then and a shower of plain water once or twice each week.
5. Birds are extremely social creatures.If you want a pet that will bond strongly with you, a bird is a wonderful choice. Given proper training and socialization, birds can be every bit as loving and affectionate as a cat or dog. Many pet birds are inseparable from their owners, some even accompanying them on daily errands such as trips to the bank or grocery store.
6. Birds are fairly inexpensive to feed.It's important to provide pet birds with a high quality pelleted diet, but they can also benefit greatly from foods that their owners share with them. When you serve fresh fruits or vegetables in your home, you can set a portion aside for your bird's meal. This provides the pet with additional nutrients and variety, and allows owners to "stretch out" the commercial diets they buy. Just make sure that the foods you share with your pet aren't toxic to birds!
7. They can be kept in a small space.Small bird species, such as budgies, canaries, and finches, make wonderful pets for those who live in apartments or condominiums with limited space. While larger pets require extra room to romp and play, a small bird's cage can easily fit into a cozier living space.
8. Birds are not considered "pets" at most rental properties.Owners of rental property often impose monthly "pet fees" on tenents that have cats and dogs. Most landlords, however, do not consider birds to be pets, effectively relieving bird owners of the extra charges. For this reason, a bird can be a very economical choice for renters who wish to adopt a pet.
9. Pet birds are attractive to look at.Obvious as it may seem, the aesthetic value of owning a bird should not be underestimated. It was, after all, a bird's beauty that attracted mankind to them in the first place. Birds display beautiful colors and comical behavior patterns that are interesting to watch and have even proven to lower stress levels in individuals! It can't be denied that birds bring a certain life and vibrance to the homes that they grace.
10. They are long-lived companions.Those who have experienced the heartbreak of losing a long time pet are often not eager to repeat the process any time soon. Many bird species live extraordinarily long lives, some living more than 100 years! This often eases the concerns of people who want to make sure they adopt a pet that they can love and enjoy for a very long time.
Photo (c) Alyson Burgess licensed to About.com, Inc.