All pets represent responsibility, but parrots offer one of the most extreme cases. Their long life, combined with their intelligence, means that pet parrots need specialist care over a long period of time. So, before you decide for certain that a parrot is the perfect pet for you, consider the following questions carefully…
Do You Have the Time?
Parrots are incredibly intelligent creatures and can rapidly get bored in captivity. What is more, most parrots are very sociable creatures and will be seen spending time together in the wild. This means that parrots require considerable personal time each week.
The caring parrot owner should be ready and available to spend quality time with their bird every single day, and to provide a continually-rotating selection of toys to keep life interesting. Can you realistically afford 30-60 minutes every day to spend with your pet parrot?
Do You Have the Budget?
Parrots are expensive to purchase, and their cages don’t come cheap either. More than this, a large bird eats plenty of food, destroys toys with ease and is likely to need specialist veterinary care. Parrot ownership is therefore not a hobby to consider unless you’re confident that you have suitable funds to cover every eventuality, and to ensure your bird the best possible care irrespective of cost.
Do You Have Suitable Insurance?
While a large budget may be necessary for day-to-day care, it is still not an alternative to pet insurance. While pet parrots often cannot be insured through traditional providers, a limited number of companies are willing to provide coverage for exotic pets like parrots. To start your search consider specialists like E&L or Exotic Direct.
Have You Considered Longevity?
Parrots have very long lives, and many of the more popular species may live for 50 years or more. This means that you need to think carefully about whether your parrot is likely to outlive you, and if so who will take care of them. Furthermore, even if your bird only 30 years or so, ask yourself honestly if you’ll still have the same level of passion for your pet in three decades’ time. If not, a parrot may not be the pet for you.
Are You (or Your Neighbours) Sensitive to Noise?
Parrots make noise – there’s little you can do about that. While some birds are quieter than others, most parrots will squawk away if they get excited or stressed. What’s more, bigger birds make more noise.
Be aware, therefore, that from time to time both you and your neighbours may have to deal with a noisy bird. Be certain before buying a parrot that such raucous calls are unlikely to cause issues.
Are You Overly House Proud?
While parrots aren’t necessarily overly messy, they will crack open seeds and then drop the empty casings wherever they may fall. Parrots also naturally generate a measure of dust which will find itself into whatever room they are kept in. Lastly, let’s not forget that with their powerful beaks parrots are able to do some serious damage to your home furnishings if they get hold of them. The successful and happy parrot owner appreciates this, and accepts the odd bit of mess or a mangled table cloth are a small price to pay for looking after a parrot.
Have You Considered Holidays?
What do you plan to do when your two weeks of summer holiday roll around? Taking your bird with you isn’t likely to be possible unless you’re holidaying in your home country. Very few pet boarding businesses accept parrots either.
While you may be lucky enough to locate one, most parrot owners need to choose between no holiday at all, a staycation or leaving their bird with an understanding family member. Make sure you have a plan in place before bringing your bird home, because once you have they are your sole responsibility.
Have You Considered Family Events?
Family get-togethers may be a wonderful occasion for the “human” part of the family, but also try to consider your parrot. Birds, even large ones, can get stressed when there are lots of unfamiliar faces around, and screaming children dashing around often aren’t an ideal situation for parrots.
As a result, if you love to have family groups round for rowdy dinner parties consider where you can place your parrot’s cage so that they are insulated from the worst of the mayhem.
Only when you can confidently answer all of the above questions, and have solutions to any potential problems, can you be certain of being ready to bring a parrot into your home for the first time.