A new year is upon us and with that comes another set of New Year’s resolutions (or a re-do of last year’s!) While there’s plenty you can do for your pet bird to make the new year great, here are three things you can do for yourself that will also reap benefits for your pet bird.
1. Unplug/Power Down
While ambient attention like having your pet bird perched near you as you watch TV, surf the Internet or read your Kindle is another way to give your bird out-of-the-cage time, don’t make this the only type of attention your bird receives. It’s easy to get in the habit of settling in front of the TV or firing up the tablet whenever you have downtime, but make powering down part of your New Year’s resolution. Spend time each day being fully engaged with your pet bird. Fifteen-minute, one-on-one social sessions a few times a day can do wonders for your pet bird’s well being. Talk silly or sing to him. Give your bird your full attention as you gently preen his feathers or give him gentle head scratches. Also, bear in mind that an important part of interacting with your pet bird is paying attention to his body language. Your parrot might be telling you that he wants to move on from preening/petting, and if you are touching him while focusing your eyes on the computer screen or TV, your bird might have to resort to a nip to get your full attention.
2. Get More Sleep
Ever notice that your pet bird seems louder or her screeching more grating on the ears when you are running low on sleep? And it doesn’t help that many pet birds start to stir at sunrise. Sleep deprivation can lead to moodiness, irritability and less ability to cope with stress, in both pets and people. If you have a habit of catching up on a whole season of your favorite show by staying up late watching marathon Netflix sessions, or forcing your drowsy eyes to push on to the next chapter of your book, set a timer to remind yourself to turn off the lights and get some shuteye. Your pet bird needs you rested and as stress-free as possible!
3. Drink More Water
You read that correctly: bird owners should drink more water. Harkening back to New Year’s resolution No. 2, being adequately hydrated helps increase your energy and can relieve fatigue. Another reason for pet bird owners to stay hydrated? Without sufficient amounts of water your skin can become dry and flaky (not to mention more prone to wrinkles). How many times have you had your pet bird happily perched on your hand or arm only to suffer track marks left by his toenails when he gripped your skin to hold on when you stood up or reached for something? You might even become downright hesitant to hold your bird if he is overdue for a toenail trim. Healthier skin might just make you more confident when your bird is perched on you. Moreover, just about every article dedicated to the benefits of adequate water consumption say that it also gives skin a radiant glow. Pair this with the fact that parrots see ultraviolet colors and no doubt your bird will notice a healthier you!