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How to Board Your Pet Bird

Learn how to board your pet bird in this Howcast video featuring veterinarian Laurie Hess.


Dr. Laurie: So when I opened the Veterinary Center for Birds and Exotics, one of the things I wanted to provide my clients, the owners of the birds that I treat the patients, with a safe and comfortable place to board their birds when they're away. Many, many people are afraid to go out of town, afraid to go on vacation because they're worried about who to leave their birds with.

They try to get bird sitters, but most bird sitters come in a couple times a day, if that, feeding the birds and not really spending much time with them. As we know birds are very, very social creatures. They get a lot of attention. They need a lot of attention or they can develop behavioral problems. They'll get depressed. They'll stop eating.

So when I opened the veterinary center I actually created a very special boarding ward, that was not only a great place to visit, so birds can have a great vacation there. But also one that was safe and as closely as possible free from infectious and contagious disease. So when we board birds we go through a series of steps, don't we Sarah?

Sarah: Absolutely, first of all, for a bird to board with us they do need to have a wellness exam. We make sure that they're not carrying an obvious diseases, we run blood work and a fecal. If they do come up with anything suspicious, they are welcome to board with us. However, we will keep them in the isolation ward, so that they're separate from any well birds, until we can make sure they are well enough to stay with the other birds.

We also keep the birds in our lovely, nice boarding ward where they have big windows. They can see outside. We can control the temperature back there in the winter if it gets cold. They have their own heat. We have television for them to watch to keep them entertained. A lot of birds really actually seem to enjoy it. We change their cages out twice a day. We go in the back, we interact with them individually and we make sure that they're happy and well taken care of.

Dr. Laurie: So if you're choosing a place to board your bird, things you might want to look for are are the birds on top of each other. Our birds are separated by walls, so they're not breathing on each other. Seeing each other. They're not startled by each other. How often are their cages changed that you mentioned. Can you bring your own food?

We encourage the owners to bring their own food, their own bedding. Even their own cages, if we can fit them into the shelves where we board birds. Then we entertain them and it's really like being at home. We even will e-mail clients at home, and let them know with a picture, that their birds are doing fine. These are all ways that we would want our birds to be taken care of if we were going out of town, and we want you to be just as comfortable, so while you're enjoying your vacation your bird will, too.

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