Dr. Laurie Hess: So it's really, really important to keep your bird's cage clean. We leave paper in the bottom that we remove everyday. It could be paper towel or just a piece of newspaper or white butcher paper looks a little nicer. But that paper should be removed every single day and replaced. You don't want stool and old food to build up on the bottom of the cage. You should clean the perches every single day. Scrape off any debris, any stool the builds up on the perches. This is all really, really important for the health of the bird. And you don't want to use things like corncob bedding or anything dusty, littler-like, on the bottom of the cage. Just paper. It's much safer for the birds respiratory track. They breathe in all kinds of stuff that can come up out of the dust on the bottom. What do we do when we clean a cage Sarah?
Sarah: Mild soap and warm is really the best thing. A lot of times people fall into the trap in the pet store of these crazy cleaning products and vinegar water or enzymatic cleaners. And a lot of them have very strong smells and that can actually be very irritating to the bird's respiratory tract. We really just recommend a mild soap and water mix. Obviously remove the bird from the cage when you're going to clean it. You can use a little scrub brush and just make sure that you dry it and get all the soap residue off before placing back in. But that's really all that you need.
Dr. Laurie Hess: Absolutely. If there are fabric things in the perches, on the perches, little tents that they have, or toys made out of fabric or felt, those are things you can stick in the washing machine or just rinse off. You don't want to use harsh chemicals that leave any kind of aroma. If you can smell it it's probably not good for your bird. And fancy cleaners, again, not necessary. Spend the money on toys or good food or other things for your bird. If you live in a house where you can take the cage outside once a year and really hose it down in the spring, I do that with my bird's cages just to start fresh. But even if you don't just keeping up cleaning on a daily basis your bird will be healthier, live longer, and have fewer probably respiratory infections.