Birds and Vacations: Things to Keep in Mind

06 February, 2020
Sometimes, it can be difficult to know what to do with your pet birds when you go away on vacation. Should you take them with you, or leave them at a boarding center? Let's take a closer look.

Summer, Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year, weekends away… With all these holidays and vacation days, there’s one question that inevitably springs to mind: what do I do with my pet bird? To make your life easier and clear up any doubts, we’d like to give you some practical advice on birds and vacations, including traveling with your pet and finding suitable boarding.

What can you do with your bird when you go on vacation?

Luckily, more and more hotels are starting to accommodate all different kinds of pets, and tailoring to their needs. These days, you no longer have to leave your bird at home when you go away on vacation.

Needless to say, there are a lot more options when it comes to going away with cats and dogs. But your bird doesn’t have to stay home alone just so your family can have a good time.

Traveling with your bird: things to keep in mind

The word “bird” encompasses a hugely diverse group of animals. Each species has evolved in a different way, and has its own specific needs.

A yellow-collared lovebird.

So, before you decide what to do with your bird when you go on vacation, it’s important to consider the following factors:

1. Birds and vacations – species and character

Obviously, we don’t need to point out that every species of bird has its own specific physical and behavioral characteristics. But these aspects become even more important when it comes to deciding whether to travel with your pet, or leave it in the care of someone else.

If your bird is an unsociable or very highly-strung species, subjecting it to a long journey or a sudden change in its environment could be harmful to its health. In this case, leaving it at home is the most responsible decision.

Understanding your bird, as well as its dietary, environmental, and emotional needs is essential for helping it settle into a new environment. If you have to leave your pet at home while you’re on vacation, you’ll need to give their temporary carers specific guidelines to ensure the health and well-being of your bird.

If you’re not all that familiar with your birds’ behavior or temperament, the best thing to do is consult with a specialist veterinarian. You can also do some research online to get to know that species a little better.

2. Size

Whether you decide to take your bird with you on vacation, or leave them at a boarding center, size is a really important factor.

The most important thing is to make sure your pet is safe and comfortable. But that’s not all. Its size will also have an impact on the cost, ease of transportation, and the things you’ll need to take with you.

Birds and vacations – transporting your pet

The safest way to take your pet on vacation is to choose a suitable carry case. There are several options specifically designed for birds, and you should be able to find them easily in pet stores.

In order to choose the right one, you’ll need to consider their size, temperament, age, and state of health, among other things.

If you’re traveling by car, it’s important to install suitable water and food bowls to ensure your bird doesn’t get dehydrated or weak during the long journey. It’s also a good idea to stop regularly throughout the journey to give them fresh water.

You’ll also need to think about your destination. If you’re going to take your pet with you – be it a long or a short journey – you have to make sure you’re staying somewhere that’ll be suitable for them. Think about aspects such as weather, accommodation, available space, and how much time you’ll have to look after them.

Transporting your pet: preventative measures

1. Getting your bird used to their carry case

It’s important to remember that adaptation is a gradual and systematic process. If you force an animal into an unfamiliar environment, don’t be surprised when things don’t end all that well.

A pair of parakeets.

When it comes to taking your bird on vacation, it’s best to get them used to their carry case in advance. You can start by leaving them in the carry case for a few minutes every day, rewarding them with treats or toys.

It’s usually best if you can encourage your pet to go into the cage of their own freewill right from the start. Forcing them to do something they don’t want to do will only lead to one or both of you getting injured.

2. Birds and vacations – get a health check

Before traveling with any pet, it’s important to book them in for a health check. As any pet owner knows, taking preventative measures is one of the best ways to keep animals healthy.

If you want to keep your pet healthy all year round, here are some of the most important things you should do:

  • Take them for regular check-ups with a specialist exotic animals vet
  • Maintain a balanced diet that meets the nutritional needs of that particular species
  • Encourage and stimulate mental and physical development
  • Stay up-to-date with vaccinations and treat regularly for parasites

With the necessary care and proper planning, it’s possible to travel with your bird and enjoy a risk-free, stress-free vacation.