Birds are extremely social, intelligent, and emotionally sensitive. Being that some birds have been proven to score as high on IQ tests as primates and small children, it's no wonder that they have a reputation for being demanding of their owners' attention.
It's important for all bird owners to understand that it is their responsibility to provide for their pets' mental and emotional needs, in addition to the physical. Luckily, there are countless ways to provide for all three facets of your bird's needs, with a little bit of creativity. Read on for five fun ways to be a better owner to your bird. Putting these tips into practice will help you maintain a solid and stable relationship with your feathered friend.
- Take your bird with you, when you can. Consider investing in a portable bird carrier so that you can take your pet with you on walks or short errands. Skipper, my Yellow Collared Macaw, always enjoys taking short trips to town with me. In addition to giving him a change of scenery and providing mental stimulation, Skipper gets to see many different types of people while we're out -- which is great for social conditioning.
- Teach the bird a new trick. Training, when done correctly, can be great fun for a bird. The time you spend training your bird will transform into a healthy emotional bond. Learning new tricks will give your pet a great mental workout, and depending on what you are teaching, it can also be great exercise!
- Treat your pet to a home cooked meal. It's common knowledge that fresh foods are the best foods for birds, so why not whip up some tasty new bird food recipes for your feathered friend? The variety in his diet will benefit his body, and because you'll know exactly what is going into your bird's food, you won't have to worry about all those creepy contaminants that have been popping up in pet foods as of late.
- Make new toys for your bird. Bird toys can be costly to purchase, but cheap and fun to make! Try out some ideas for homemade bird toys to keep your pet entertained throughout the year.
- Throw a "parrot party". Birds are naturally talented singers and dancers. If you happen to spot your feathered friend looking bored, turn on some of your favorite tunes and sing and dance along with your bird. It may seem silly, but most birds respond readily to music. The excitement will lift both of your spirits, and you'll be surprised at how much fun you can have performing with your pet!