For New Parrot Parents: 5 Tips for Transporting Polly to the Vet
If you are a relatively new parrot owner, you may soon be faced with the challenge of safely transporting your bird to the veterinarian for a routine examination. As with most pets, parrots need wellness exams and routine check ups. Assuming you have already found a qualified avian veterinarian, you'll need the proper transport carrier and a few tried-and-true techniques for safely transporting Polly to and from the vet's office. To minimize the stress to your avian friend and to yourself, follow these simple rules:
1. Get Your Bird Acclimated to the Transport Cage or Carrier
Many birds easily become stressed when introduced to changes to their immediate environment. For this reason, it's best to get your parrot used to its new carrier before the need arises. Introduce the bird gradually by leaving the carrier or travel cage door open. Curiosity may win out and your pet may investigate. If not, simply place the parrot inside for a few minutes at a time each day until the bird shows no apprehension. Once your parrot becomes used to being inside the carrier, it will be less stressful when transport is needed.
2. Keep Carrier Contents to a Basic Minimum
If you're simply taking the parrot to and from the vet's office, you only need to supply the basics inside the carrier. A safe perch, fresh water and some food should suffice. Don't clutter the transport cage or carrier with toys and other non-essentials. During the ride, the items may rattle around and stress your parrot.
3. Consider the Weather
In cool or cold weather, do be sure to bring along a lightweight cage carrier to drape over the side of the carrier. This will prevent drafts and keep your pet warm. If the weather is very chilly or cold, preheat the car before placing your parrot inside. It is also a good idea to line the carrier with a warm blanket or towel.
4. Bring Along a Helpful Assistant
You'll want to have another person hold the carrier securely while you drive. Never place the transport carrier unsecured on the car seat. A sudden stop could thrust the carrier forward and cause injury to your pet.
5. Offer Your Pet Reassurance
Try talking softly to your parrot as you drive. The sound of your voice will be comforting. You might also play soft music on the radio, as it may block out distracting outside noise.
For more tips on transporting your parrot or other pet to the vet's office, talk to a veterinarian like those at Northwest Animal Hospital.